Empirical Analysis of the Macroscopic Characteristics of Bicycle Flow during the Queue Discharge Process at a Signalized Intersection

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Abstract

Signalized intersections are one of the most common types of bottleneck in urban cycling networks. Gaining knowledge on the macroscopic characteristics of bicycle flow during the queue discharge process is crucial for developing ways to reduce the delay experienced by cyclists at intersections. This paper aims to determine these characteristics (including jam density, shockwave speed, and discharge flow), and to unveil possible relationships between them, particularly whether and to what extent discharge flow is correlated with jam density and shockwave speed (which is of high relevance from a traffic management viewpoint). To this end, the study analyzes high-resolution bicycle trajectories derived from video footage on a one-direction cycle path leading to an intersection in Amsterdam (the Netherlands). Linear regression analysis is used to investigate the relationships between macroscopic variables. The results indicate that jam density, shockwave speed, and discharge flow vary considerably across traffic-signal cycles, which highlights the stochastic nature of bicycle flow. Furthermore, the results show that discharge flow is strongly positively correlated with jam density and shockwave speed. It is hypothesized that there is a causal relationship between these variables, which would imply that traffic engineers can increase discharge flows (thus reducing delay) at signalized intersections if they find effective ways to increase jam densities and shockwave speeds.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalTransportation Research Record
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2018

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