Modelling Complete Streets Using Microsimulation

Posted in: Transportation | 0

When people think of a corridor analysis using microsimulation, they typically associate that with heavy traffic corridors. While there is certainly a greater benefit for using microsimulation on arterials with heavy traffic, there are still many reasons to use that tool on corridors that are about to be converted to complete streets, even if they are not the busiest corridors.

Complete Streets allow for safe usage by all modes of travel, with more emphasis on transit, bikes, and pedestrians. This integration of all modes creates a lot of friction in the system: transit passengers need to cross bike lanes to get to the bus stop; vehicles are stopped behind transit buses; street parking sometimes needs to be accessed through bike lanes; and, loading operations sometimes take place on the street. It is easier to see that while complete streets are a good and welcomed design in our communities, design options should be carefully assessed to ensure that the street can accommodate the projected vehicle demand, and flag any potential safety issues. This is precisely where a microsimulation model can be used very effectively.

I posted a clip to Evolve's YouTube channel, showing an example of a complete street Vissim model. The model features a collector street on Vancouver Island that was recently converted to a complete street. The model illustrates some of the friction between travel modes.

Check out the microsimulation clip here.

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