CONGESTION REDUCTION BY ACTIVE TRANSPORT MODES: DEVELOPMENT OF MULTIMODAL CONGESTION ASSESSMENT AND ITS APPLICATION IN LISBON
Prof. Dr. Christoph Walther, PTV AG Karlsruhe, MSc.- Ing. Nora Szabo, PTV AG Karlsruhe, Pedro Homem De Gouveia, Camara Municipal De Lisboa
This paper presents the first results of the EU-funded research project FLOW. Thereby the FLOW Congestion Assessment Methodology with improved transport modelling and impact assessment, as well as their application in Lisbon are introduced.
Nowadays, many cities in Europe face a common challenge: urban traffic congestion. By searching for solutions, transport policy tends to focus only on motorised modes, overlooking the potential role of walking and cycling in congestion reduction. In addition to this, most planning- and assessment tools either ignore non-motorised transport or consider them a „disruption“ to traffic.
The primary aim of FLOW is to contribute to a paradigm shift, where walking and cycling are recognized as effective transport modes for relieving urban traffic congestion.
This objective is achieved through the elaboration of the FLOW Congestion Assessment Methodology, including the improvement of existing transport modelling software and the development of a socio-economic impact assessment tool. The developments introduced in this paper were conducted by PTV AG.
The advanced modelling and impact assessment tools are directly deployed and tested in the FLOW partner cities across Europe, for example in Lisbon. First findings of the application are also presented here.
TRANSPORT MODELING IN THE CONTEXT OF FLOW
Up to now, cycling and walking have usually less consideration in current transport modelling tools. Significant improvement is needed in data availability for transport demand and supply. Furthermore, the development of methods modelling cycling and walking in all relevant situations is also essential. The scope of the conducted software extension was to overcome these shortcomings, both in macroscopic and microscopic transport software. In the context of FLOW, following functionalities and features were developed:
• Introducing vehicle sharing systems
• Enhanced stochastic assignment for cycle route choice
• Improved modelling of interaction between vehicles and pedestrians
The software developments – including calibration and validation – took place in close cooperation with the FLOW partner cities. Thereby the cities deployed the latest software versions to analyse the impacts of their various walking and cycling measures accurately, putting emphasis on the congestion reduction benefits. These modelling results feed directly in the developed impact assessment tool, serving as a basis for the evaluation of the direct and further benefits.
FLOW IMPACT ASSESSMENT
Currently, many cities do not have standardised evaluation methodologies and tools for non-motorised measures. This gap is filled by the FLOW Impact Assessment Procedure, addressing a wide range of effects across multiple disciplines within one integrated tool. Thereby the congestion reduction potential as the direct impact on mobility is placed in the foreground, and at the same time, further environmental, social and economic benefits of walking and cycling are also covered.
The core element of the impact assessment tool is the determination of a multimodal indicators set. Depending on the local political objectives of the city, FLOW offers different approaches for aggregating the impacts of walking and cycling measures, whereby the city can select the most suitable one: Multi-criteria analysis (MCA), Weighted benefit analysis (WBA), Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) or Qualitative appraisal (as add-on to CBA). Moreover, the developed tool is applicable to both ex-ante assessments and ex-post evaluations.
IMPLEMENTATION IN LISBON
Lisbon suffers from congestion due to steadily increasing motorised traffic, whereas pedestrian movements are impeded due to the lack of sufficient infrastructure. These two circumstances led to the emerging need for intervention: a pedestrian accessibility plan as an overall concept was elaborated, and various walking measures are implemented, of which three directly relates to the FLOW context:
• Extension of green time at signalised junctions in favour of pedestrians
• Widening the sidewalks to provide sufficient width
• Deconstructing pedestrian under- and overpasses in order to reduce separation effects and increase accessibility
These measures are linked with certain restrictions for car traffic. Within FLOW, Lisbon directly applies the FLOW Congestion Assessment Methodology to these measures: the improved transport modelling software is deployed to depict and analyse the interaction of pedestrians with motorised traffic. Furthermore, the impact assessment tool is used to evaluate the congestion reduction potential, and the further benefits on society, economy and environment.
Further applications similar to Lisbon in more cities across Europe and beyond will help to improve the methodology presented in this paper continuously.
Association for European Transport