Video data collection method for pedestrian movement variables & development of a pedestrian spatial parameters simulation model for railway station environments

Hermant, Laurent Fernand Leon (2012-03-14)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The design of railway station environments in South Africa and to a certain extent internationally, is based on rules of thumb. These rules, using general macroscopic principles for determining peak passenger loads are inadequate and misleading for detailed design purposes. The principles advocated in local design guideline documents are erroneous and ignore the highly variable flow nature or “micro-peaking” effects that typically occur within railway station environments. Furthermore, there are no procedures proposed in these guideline documents, which leads to ambiguous assessment techniques used by practitioners in the determination of pedestrian spatial areas. It is evident that the knowledge in the area of pedestrian movement contained within the design guidance is far from comprehensive. Without a reliable method for estimating pedestrian levels-of-service and capacities, design of new facilities does not follow a uniform process, resulting in high levels of uncertainty in determining if the time, money and resources invested in upgrading facilities will actually cater to the demand. The situation is further exacerbated by current industry thinking towards pedestrian modelling in South Africa, where it is perceived by both clients and practitioners to be more cost effective to use macroscopic techniques and designing infrastructure according to a “one-level-up” level-of-service method. Working with architects confirmed that the area of circulation design was lacking in data and guidance and that associated quantified assessments of pedestrian movement was rarely, if ever, carried out. Towards addressing these issues, the development of a Spatial Parameter (SP)-model spreadsheet application became the main objective of the study. The model contributes towards addressing the needs of individual station users based on the trade-off between level-of-service and infrastructure costs. The output of the model allows the designer to avoid the under-provision (detrimental to operations) and oversizing of railway station infrastructure (with obvious financial implications). The author recognised the lack of pedestrian movement data in South Africa and addressed this by conducting extensive video-based pedestrian observations aimed at exploring the macroscopic fundamental relationships and the ways in which these relationships might be influenced by the various personal, situational and environmental factors that characterise the context in which pedestrians move. The movement trajectories of 24,410 pedestrians were investigated over three infrastructure environments at Maitland and Bonteheuwel stations in Cape Town, carefully selected to incorporate the cultural diversity common in South Africa. Tracking of pedestrians was achieved via the use of an in-house developed “video annotator” software tool. Boarding and alighting rates of 7,426 passengers were also observed at these stations incorporating contributory attributes such as age, gender, body size, encumbrance, group size, time of day, and location. The research makes a number of significant advances in the understanding of pedestrian flow behaviour within railway station environments and provides recommendations to industry of what issues to consider. The empirical study has provided comprehensive pedestrian movement characteristics incorporating the relationships between density, speed and flow including the effect of culture and other context factors unique to the local South African environment. New methods for determining spatial requirements are proposed, together with new and unique empirical data for use by the local industry. A calibrated spreadsheet SP-model for assessing the design of concourse type railway stations is developed and presented in the study. The advance in local pedestrian flow knowledge, together with the SP-model, is shown to be practical through application to two real railway station case study projects. The results of this study constitute an important contribution to local pedestrian flow knowledge and is considered a valuable resource for those developing pedestrian models in practice. It is expected that the results will be useful in the planning and design of pedestrian environments in South African railway stations and can be applied to other African metro railway stations with similar pedestrian characteristics. Overall, this research has succeeded in advancing the approach to railway station design, empirical data, knowledge and methods held within the local engineering industry. However, the contribution of this study and associated conference papers is an early step in changing the perceptions in this country towards ensuring fully informed and appropriate performance-based spatial designs.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die ontwerp van areas binne Suid-Afrikaanse spoorweg stasies en ook tot ‘n sekere mate internasionaal, is gebaseer op historiese ondervindings asook riglyne wat tans in die praktyk gebruik word. Die riglyne gebruik algemene makroskopiese beginsels om die spits passasiersvrag te bepaal vir gedetaileerde ontwerp doeleindes. Hierdie riglyne is egter ongeskik en misleidend aangesien dit nie die hoogs wispelturige natuur van vloei en mikrospits effekte wat binne die stasies plaasvind, in ag nie. Die riglyne ontbreek ook van prosedures wat gevolg moet word vir die bepaling van ruimtelike areas vir voetgangers wat die gevolg het dat dubbelsinnige beramingstegnieke deur praktisyne gebruik word. Die kennis oor voetganger bewegings in die ontwerp riglyne is nie omvattend genoeg nie. Sonder ‘n betroubare beramings metode vir die bepaling van voetganger diensvlak en kapasiteit kan daar nie bepaal word of die tyd, geld en hulpbronne wat in die fasilitieit geinvesteer word, aan die behoeftes gaan voldoen nie. Die situasie word verder vererger deur die huidige persepsie oor voetganger modellering in Suid-Afrika, waar dit deur beide kliënte en praktisyne, as ‘n meer koste effektiewe oplossing gesien word om makroskopiese tegnieke te gebruik en om infrastruktuur te ontwerp volgens ‘n metode waar ‘n hoër diensvlak as die teiken diensvlak gebruik word. In samewerking met argitekte is dit bevestig dat die area van sirkulasie ontwerp ‘n tekort het aan data en riglyne en dat die kwantitatiewe skattings verbonde aan voetganger beweging selde, indien ooit, uitgevoer word. Die ontwikkeling van ‘n Spatial Parameters (SP)-model om die bogenoemde problem te oorkom, is die hoofdoel van hierdie tesis. Die model poog om die behoeftes van individuele stasie gebruikers aan te spreek gebaseer op die wisselwerking tussen diensvlak en infrastruktuur kostes. Die uitsette van die model stel die ontwerper in staat om ondervoorsiening en oorvoorsiening van spoorweg stasie infrastruktuur te voorkom wat nadelige vir die bedryf is en ook ooglopende finansiële implikasies tot gevolg het. Die skrywer het die tekort aan data aangaande voetganger bewegings in Suid-Afrika geidentifiseer en dit aangespreek deur omvattende video gebaseerde voetganger waarnemings te maak met die doel om die basiese makroskopiese verhoudings te ondersoek asook in hoe ‘n mate hierdie verhoudings beinvloed word deur verskeie persoonlike, liggings- en omgewingsfaktore wat die konteks waarin voetgangers beweeg, karakteriseer. Die bewegingsprofiel van 24,410 voetgangers is ondersoek by drie infrastruktuur omgewings by Maitland en Bonteheuwel stasies in Kaapstad. Die stasies is noukeurig uitgesoek om Suid-Afrika se kulturele diversiteit te verteenwoordig. Die voetgangers is nagevolg deur gebruik te maak van ‘n selfontwikkelde video-annoteerder sagteware. Waarneming van die opklim- en afklimspoed van 7,426 passasiers is gemaak by hierdie stasies en faktore soos ouderdom, geslag, liggaamsgrootte, mobiliteit, grootte van groepe, tyd van die dag en ligging was ingesluit by die waarnemings. Hierdie navorsing maak belangrike bydraes tot die begrip van die vloei van voetgangers binne spoorweg stasies en aanbevellings word aan die industrie gemaak oor die faktore wat in ag geneem moet word by ontwerp van fasilitieite. Die empiriese studie het omvattende voetganger beweging karakteristieke uitgewys wat die verhoudings tussen digtheid, spoed en vloei inkorporeer asook die effek van kultuur en ander faktore wat verband hou met die unieke konteks van die plaaslike Suid-Afrikaanse omgewing. Nuwe metodes om ruimtelike-vereistes te bepaal word voorgestel, saam met nuwe en unieke empiriese data vir gebruik deur die plaaslike industrie. ‘n Gekalibreerde en gevalideerde SP-model is ontwikkel om die ontwerp van spoorweg stasies te assesseer en word in hierdie tesis beskyf en aangebied. Die studie toon dat akkurate data en kennis oor plaaslike voetganger vloei met die SP-model verkry kan word, soos bewys uit twee spoorweg stasie studiegevalle. Die resultate van hierdie tesis dien as ‘n belangrike bydrae tot die kennis van plaaslike voetganger vloei en word geag as ‘n waardevolle hulpbron vir die ontwikkeling van voetganger modelle in die praktyk. Hierdie resultate mag nuttig wees gedurende die beplanning en ontwerp van voetganger-areas in Suid-Afrikaanse spoorweg stasies. Dit kan ook toegepas word vir spoorweg stasies in die res van Afrika wat soortgelyke voetganger karaktereienskappe het. Die navorsing het daarin geslaag om die benadering tot spoorweg stasie ontwerp te verbeter, asook om empiriese data, kennis en die metodes wat binne die plaaslike ingenieurs industrie voorgehou word, te verbeter. Let egter daarop dat die bydrae wat hierdie tesis maak, asook bydraes deur relevante konferensie verhandelinge, ‘n vroeë stap is in die verandering van persepsies in Suid-Afrika om geskikte prestasie-gebaseerde ruimte ontwerpe te verseker.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/20148
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