The Influence of Jam Density and Merging Cyclists on the Queue Discharge Rate

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An increasing number of people use the bicycle for urban trips resulting in local congestion at intersections, especially during peak hours. Understanding the queue dynamics is key to find the correct measures that can reduce the delays for cyclists without affecting other traffic modes. To this end, the discharge process of bicycle queues is studied, focusing on the impact of jam density on the queue discharge rate and how this process is affected by cyclists that merge into the queue during the discharge phase. The impact of merging cyclists is captured by a newly introduced bicycle equivalent (BE) value. This direction-specific BE value is used to convert a merging cyclist into a cyclist that is waiting in the original queue. Results show that the queue discharge rate increases with increasing density of the queue. Furthermore, cyclists that merge by overtaking contribute to the queue discharge rate, while cyclists who merge from a perpendicular direction hinder the discharge process, thereby decreasing the bicycle flow at the intersection. The insights can be used to develop measures which minimise delay at intersections and to design efficient infrastructure for bicyclists.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9272845
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Advanced Transportation
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Bicycle flow
  • queue discharge rate
  • jam density
  • bicycle equivalent unit

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