Managing and Enhancing Terrestrial Road Ecology

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Dee Patriquin
Alex Zeller
Karen Truman
Rebecca Hay
Sophie Gibbs
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The location, design and operation of roads can be highly influential to the character, function and livability of adjacent communities and land uses. Both urban and rural roadways have strong linkages with the natural environment. Fish, wildlife, birds, waterbodies, vegetation communities and local air and water quality are affected by roads and vehicular traffic. Roads can alter habitats, increase wildlife mortality and facilitate the spread of invasive weeds. The concept of “road ecology” is relatively new, and its primary focus is on the potential effects of roadways on natural landscapes and processes as an element of sustainable transportation systems.

This document provides decision-making criteria to assist in various aspects of roadway design and operation for management of sustainable road systems, including:
• The influence of road type and context
• Roadside vegetation management
• Pollinator habitat enhancement opportunities along roadways
• Interactions of wildlife with roadways
• Regulatory compliance obligations
• Road safety requirements and considerations
• Public perception of visual aesthetics
• Feasibility and operational considerations
• Cost considerations