Similar to vehicular traffic, pedestrians, despite having diverse capabilities and body sizes, can be classified as heterogeneous. The use of vehicular traffic resolves the diversity issue with a conversion of heterogeneous vehicle flow into an equivalent flow with the use of passenger car–equivalent (PCE) factors. Analysis of pedestrian flow has yet to incorporate pedestrian diversity analysis implicitly into the design of pedestrian facilities, although some form of adjustment has been suggested. This paper introduces the concept of PCE-type factors for mixed pedestrian traffic called standard pedestrian-equivalent (SPE) factors. Estimates of SPE factors are made relative to the average commuter. The equivalent total travel time approach for PCE estimation was adapted to consider the effects of the differences in physical and operational characteristics of pedestrians, particularly walking speed and body size. Microsimulation of pedestrians was employed to evaluate hypothetical pedestrian proportions so as to generate corresponding flow relationships. Walking speeds and body sizes were varied across different flow conditions, walkway widths, and proportions of other pedestrian types. The first part of this paper explores how the two pedestrian characteristics (walking speed and body size) influence estimated SPE factors. The second part is a case study in which field-collected data illustrate SPE factors calculated for older adults, obese pedestrians, and their combination. An application of SPE factors demonstrates the robustness of the methodology in bridging the gap between pedestrian compositions and planning practice.
Ronald Galiza, L. Ferreira
Transportation Research Record