Using Micro-Simulation in the Restructuring of an Urban Environment in Favor of Walkability



Using Micro-Simulation in the Restructuring of an Urban Environment in Favor of Walkability

Authors

Tobias Kretz, PTV Group, Florian Schubert, PTV Group, Frederic Reutenauer, PTV Group

Description

This contribution reports about a micro-simulation project in favour of pedestrians which also keeps an eye on vehicular traffic and public transport services. For this an integrated micro-simulation model of the location has been built in which pedestrians, cyclists, motorized individual traffic as well as public transport are simulated together.
Pont Kuss in the center of Strasbourg is an important connection between Strasbourg's main station and its Old City for all modes of traffic of commuters and tourists alike. Recently various issues particularly concerning pedestrians have been identified at and around Pont Kuss.
First Strasbourg’s Plan Piéton will briefly be summarized and as a part of it the traffic situation around the central bridge Pont Kuss will be introduced. The safety and convenience issues in pedestrian traffic which have been identified will be discussed. This will be the motivation for the multi-modal microscopic simulation project which assesses measures to improve the situation for pedestrians. The assessment includes both: benefits for pedestrian and potential drawbacks for vehicular traffic.
The project resulted in the finding that pedestrians would benefit from modifications of both: street layout as well as signal programming. It will be shown in detail that clear these benefits for pedestrians go along with some advantages for public transport and are opposed by – if at all – only small drawbacks for vehicular traffic.

Abstract

Pont Kuss in the center of Strasbourg is an important connection between Strasbourg's main station and its Old City for all modes of traffic of commuters and tourists alike. Recently various issues particularly concerning pedestrians have been identified at and around Pont Kuss.

One of the reasons why the issues arose is that pedestrian volumes increased over recent years. This is probably an effect of various reasons: a change in travel behaviour (more walking as such or walking as part of a public transport trip) as well as increased population density (as a consequence of the “rush back into the city”) but also larger numbers of tourists.

This contribution reports about a micro-simulation project in favour of pedestrians which also keeps an eye on vehicular traffic and public transport services. For this an integrated micro-simulation model of the location has been built in which pedestrians, cyclists, motorized individual traffic as well as public transport are simulated together.

The simulation project is not carried out in an isolated way, but it is part of Strasbourg’s Plan Piéton (French for Pedestrian Plan) which spans over the years 2012 to 2020 and which intends to make the city more walkable. Part of the plan is the identification of a number of corridors with outstanding relevance for pedestrians. Various measures are planned to be executed along these corridors. Pont Kuss is located on one of these corridors. The plan does not restrict to infrastructure planning, but includes educative ways to encourage walking as well.

First Strasbourg’s Plan Piéton will briefly be summarized and as a part of it the traffic situation around the central bridge Pont Kuss will be introduced. The safety and convenience issues in pedestrian traffic which have been identified will be discussed. This will be the motivation for the multi-modal microscopic simulation project which assesses measures to improve the situation for pedestrians. The assessment includes both: benefits for pedestrian and potential drawbacks for vehicular traffic. The project resulted in the finding that pedestrians would benefit from modifications of both: street layout as well as signal programming. It will be shown in detail that clear these benefits for pedestrians go along with some advantages for public transport and are opposed by – if at all – only small drawbacks for vehicular traffic.

The modelling and simulation work included the production and integration of a high-quality 3D model of the vicinity. This was done to be able to use the 3D visualization output of the micro-simulation for communication with and information of the population. As most rapid communication channel youtube was used to publish a visualization of the current-state-simulation. Later this was presented inter alia in one of Strasbourg’s cinemas as part of an information event.

On a different level of evaluation it is concluded that multi-modal micro-simulation is a powerful tool to handle all traffic modes with equal care and equal rights in the planning process and that it is at the same time a powerful tool to produce material for communication with the public.

Publisher

Association for European Transport