Near Road

  • The Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency’s Near Road monitoring site provides data on traffic-related air pollution. The site is located adjacent to Interstate 75 South approaching the Hopple Street exit.
  • When COVID-19 hit Ohio, the Ohio Department of Health issued a statewide Stay-at-Home order effective March 24. As a result, many businesses were suspended or quickly transitioned to telework, reducing traffic on local interstates.
  • An analysis of the pollutants collected at the Near Road site for the time period March 23 through June 30 showed a decrease in all pollutant collected at that site compared to the same time period for the previous three years: 2017-2019.
    • Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx):-19.1%
    • Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2): -18.6 %
    • Nitric Oxide (NO): -20.1%
    • Carbon Monoxide (CO): -9.1%
    • Particulate Matter in size fraction 2.5 microns (PM2.5): -14.1%
  • The graph below shows the monthly averages of Nitrogen dioxide through June 30, 2020. A decrease in the concentration can be seen during the Stay at Home order. When the order was lifted in late May, NO2 concentrations began to rise to their pre- Stay-at-Home order levels.
  • Nitrogen dioxide is a by-product of gasoline combustion engines used in personal and commercial vehicles from compact cars to large freight trucks.
  • Total traffic counts from March 24 through May 19 were down 42% when comparing 2019 vs. 2020.
  • Total traffic counts for the period May 20 through June 30 were down 20% when comparing 2019 vs 2020.
  • View the complete report and charts here.
  • View media coverage on the reduction of air pollution during the Stay at Home order:
  • Pollutants Briefly Drop in Cincinnati during Lockdown: WLWT-TV 5
  • Air Quality Improved in Cincinnati When Pandemic Hit: WCPO-TV 9