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An Intelligent Traffic System for Vulnerable Road Users

Objective

This project aims to provide a set of tools for the creation of traffic systems that enhance the safety and mobility of vulnerable road users.
2 major pieces of work have been carried out with the aim of increasing existing knowledge of vulnerable road user behaviour and improving their safety and mobility in the road system. These were, firstly, the development of models to represent, albeit in summary form, the movement of pedestrians around a street network and the safety consequences of the various pedestrian road crossing flows and pedal cyclist behaviour at junctions. Secondly, a diverse set of experiments were undertaken using road traffic informatics (RTI) detection devices to alter the interaction of vulnerable road users (VRU) with motorised traffic. Most of these have used the detection devices to alter signal timings in ways that are more responsive to VRU presence, but some work was also done to examine the potential for using the detection devices to activate warning signals that alert the driver to VRU presence.
Positive safety benefits to VRUs have been shown to be achievable using relatively simple RTI devices without detrimental effects on traffic flows. Also, working models have been developed which will provide a valuable source of advice to road safety and traffic professionals who are designing the traffic schemes of the future.
1 the project will develop a model of the traffic system that incorporates vulnerable road users as an integral part. This model will build on existing models of the traffic system and will incorporate information on vulnerable road user route choice criteria. Outputs from the model will include predictions of both travel (flows) and safety (conflicts and accidents) and will provide planners and other users with the ability to create networks that meet vulnerable road users needs.
2 the project will evaluate a number of RTI applications in signalling and junction control in order to ascertain what benefits can be obtained for vulnerable road users by such local measures. The two levels of analysis will be linked by feeding back into the model the results of the experiments.
The model will also be used as a simulation tool to perform an evaluation of the consequences for motorized traffic of optimizing the road network for vulnerable road users. One major scenario here will be a network that uses signal timings to discourage vehicle traffic where pedestrian use is heavy and has, where relevant, signal timings set to assist cyclists. This system will incorporate knowledge of pedestrian movements to and from schools, places of work and shops. The more complex scenario will add the use of route guidance to divert vehicles away from areas of heavy pedestrian use at particular times. Predictions will be made of the consequent congestion and of the safety effects, both in terms of overall benefit or loss for different classes of road user and in terms of accident migration.
Main Deliverables:
Computer model.

Coordinator

University of Leeds
Address
37 University Road
LS2 9JT Leeds
United Kingdom

Participants (4)

DEPARTMENT OF TRAFFIC PLANNING, UNIVERSITY OF LUND
Sweden
H.B. MODULES LIMITED
TRAFFIC RESEARCH CENTRE-UNIVERSITY OF GRONINGEN
Netherlands
West Yorkshire Highways Engineering and Technical Services
United Kingdom
Address
313 Albion Street
LS2 8JX Leeds