University of Twente Student Theses


Spatial and temporal analyses of traffic flows in the city of Almelo: in search for a Macroscopic Fundamental Diagram (MFD).

Danquah, Samuel Boamah (2010) Spatial and temporal analyses of traffic flows in the city of Almelo: in search for a Macroscopic Fundamental Diagram (MFD).

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Abstract:Land use and its related activities generate and distribute trips between places. Traffic flow analysis is an essential component of a city’s traffic and transport systems since these flows could (and often do) lead to the occurrence of congestion on our roads. As a result of the increasing congestion menace, transport engineers, planners and relevant authorities put in measures to try to ameliorate congestion and its effects. Most of these measures (based on segment-based indicators) are normally geared towards solving localised congestion problems on the road network, whereas the named problems are typically area-wide or even city-wide. In an attempt to come up with area-wide traffic management measures, this research performs spatial and temporal analyses of traffic flows within the city of Almelo, The Netherlands, in search for a macroscopic fundamental diagram (MFD), which primarily shows the relation between a network’s average speed and its average volume over a demarcated area. The performance of road networks enables transport planners, traffic engineers and network operators to assess how the network has performed in the past, how it is performing now and how its future can be planned to meet increasing demand levels. Although segment-based indicators are very essential in understanding performance levels of road segments, this may not be enough for urban planning and management purposes of an entire area or even a city. This makes area-wide indicators such as the MFD, an appropriate indicator, which considers the performance of the entire city, selected parts of the city or trajectories within the city. Area-wide spatial-temporal analyses were carried out to assess performances of different road trajectories with respect to their percentages of free flow speeds, in the city of Almelo. Studies were also conducted into the feasibility of the existence of the MFD for the city as a whole and this led to a speed-flow model for Almelo. The performance of the road segments during morning and evening peak periods were also studied using speed profile curves. The spatial and temporal analyses revealed that some level of variation existed between different trajectories in terms of traffic flows and speeds during morning and evening peaks. Significant differences in the performance of trajectories were found when different trajectories were compared. This implies that some trajectories perform better than others. The analysis also suggests that the MFD exists for the city of Almelo but there are no data in the congestion part of the diagram, and thus there is little congestion in Almelo. Results from the MFD again indicated that a strong relation between average speed and volume exists and that the average traffic volumes can account for 92% (R2 of 0.92) of the variations in the average speeds. The profile performance analysis (comparing relative speeds on the segments) also revealed that there is little congestion in Almelo (at a city-scale level) but some individual links experience some levels of congestion during peak flows. Although the current levels of travel demand show that traffic flow within the city is generally good, information from the results is important for the municipality to consider for further traffic planning operations in the city of Almelo. Operationalising these measures will enhance traffic circulation within the city. This new approach of using the percentages of free flow speeds provides insights into the study of performance levels of road trajectories. Keywords: Congestion, Spatial and temporal analyses, Macroscopic Fundamental Diagram, free flow speed, speed profile, area-wide analyses, trajectory.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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