Calibration and validation of a shared space model: Case Study

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Shared space is an innovative streetscape design that seeks minimum separation between vehicle traffic and pedestrians. Urban design is moving toward space sharing as a means of increasing the community texture of street surroundings. Its unique features aim to balance priorities and allow cars and pedestrians to coexist harmoniously without the need to dictate behavior. There is, however, a need for a simulation tool to model future shared space schemes and to help judge whether they might represent suitable alternatives to traditional street layouts. This paper builds on the authors’ previously published work in which a shared space microscopic mixed traffic model based on the social force model (SFM) was presented, calibrated, and evaluated with data from the shared space link typology of New Road in Brighton, United Kingdom. Here, the goal is to explore the transferability of the authors’ model to a similar shared space typology and investigate the effect of flow and ratio of traffic modes. Data recorded from the shared space scheme of Exhibition Road, London, were collected and analyzed. The flow and speed of cars and segregation between pedestrians and cars are greater on Exhibition Road than on New Road. The rule-based SFM for shared space modeling is calibrated and validated with the real data. On the basis of the results, it can be concluded that shared space schemes are context dependent and that factors such as the infrastructural design of the environment and the flow and speed of pedestrians and vehicles affect the willingness to share space.

Transportation Research Record