Landscape ecology and rural roads: Traffic calming for improving both landscape and wildlife?

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Abstract

The concept of traffic calming has successfully improved road safety. This concept applied in rural areas has provided new insights in the mitigation of negative effects of roads and traffic. Earlier studies have shown that the concept, distinguishing between local access roads and rural arterial highways, also can improve landscape connectivity for wildlife. Physical speed reducing devices are frequently used in the context of traffic calming, but applying these devices may negatively impact the coherence and identity of the landscape. Therefore an alternative approach for speed reduction has been proposed, namely applying local landscape elements, such as hedgerows, plantings, and objects of cultural heritage, such as railings of small bridges over local water courses, as speed reducing devices. We explain this “green approach” with examples from Dutch practice. We conclude that a combination of disciplines is needed to realize this new approach, that it may even be more cost effective than traditional approaches and additionally improves landscape quality. The new insights are at least equally effective from a landscape ecological viewpoint
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-360
JournalEkológia (Bratislava)
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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