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Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Transportation Engineering
Lesson 2
Traffic Engineering

K. Sudhakar Reddy
Department of Civil Engineering
IIT Kharagpur
Email: ksreddy@civil.iitkgp.ernet.in
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

General

• Traffic Engineering deals with the knowledge


required for evaluation and design of different
transportation facilities such as

• Mid-block sections of highways


• Intersections / junctions
• Cycle tracks
• Pedestrian Pathways
• Parking facilities
• Bus Terminals
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

General
• The Transportation facilities are designed to
PERFORM satisfactorily
• The Measure of Performance (MOP) may be
different for different facilities
• Speed of Operation, Safety, Comfort and
Economy are the major considerations for
design of transportation facilities
• Environmental Issues also play a significant role
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

General
• Traffic Inputs required for design and evaluation
of Transportation facilities
• Characteristics of Road User – Drivers,
Pedestrians
• Characteristics of Vehicles
• Traffic
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

General
• Road User – Visual and hearing capacity,
perception and reaction time under different
situations, walking speed
• Vehicles – length, width, height, max. operating
speed, acceleration and deceleration
characteristics
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Traffic Characteristics
• Traffic flow is characterized by (a) traffic volume
(b) traffic speed and traffic density
• Traffic volume is the number of vehicles (or
persons) crossing a given section per unit time
• Different units of traffic volume are used
depending on the unit of time considered
• Yearly Volume, Daily Volume, Hourly Volume
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Traffic Volume
• Yearly (Annual) Volume – Number of vehicles per year
• Average Yearly (Annual) Volume = Total number of
vehicles counted / number of years of counting
• Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) = Total no. of
vehicles counted /365 (if the traffic is counted for all
365 days)
• Average Daily Traffic (ADT) = Total No of vehicles
counted / No of days of count (less than 365)
• ADT is used if it is not possible to count for all 365
days
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Traffic Volume
• Yearly (Annual) Volume – is used for macro level
examination of traffic and for computing revenue,
estimating maintenance costs, etc where daily
variation need not be known
• AADT or ADT – Planning exercises usually yield
predictions in terms of daily traffic volumes.
AADT/ADT will be useful for planning and operating
facilities such as parking facilities, bus fleet
deployment, etc as demand will vary on a daily basis
(especially in urban situations)
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Traffic Volume
• AAWT or AWT – Average Annual Weekday Traffic
(AAWT) is obtained by dividing the total number of
vehicles counted during all the weekdays (excluding
weekends) in a year by the total number of weekdays
in a year
• Average Weekday Traffic (AWT) is obtained by dividing
the total number of vehicles counted during the
weekdays by the total number of weekdays
(considering a period that is shorter than a year(
• These units are relevant for locations where there is
significant difference between the week-day and week-
end traffic (recreational locations etc)
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Traffic Volume
• Hourly Flow rates – Useful for design of most
transportation facilities (capacity analysis, LOS
analysis, intersection design, etc)
• Selection of Design Hourly Volume – Many agencies
use peak hourly flow rates for the design of
transportation facilities
• In the case of existing facilities, peak hours of traffic
can be observed and the condition during the peak
hours can be evaluated
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Traffic Volume
• For new facilities (which are to be created) the design
hourly volumes are estimated from average daily
volumes (ADT or AADT) using empirical adjustment
factors. As mentioned earlier, planning exercise yields
Daily traffic volumes which need to be converted into
units useful for different design exercises.
• Practical observations have resulted in useful
information which can be used to estimate peak
(design) hourly volume from daily volume (ADT or
AADT)
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Traffic Volume
• For new facilities (which are to be created) the design
hourly volumes are estimated from average daily
volumes (ADT or AADT) using empirical adjustment
factors. As mentioned earlier, planning exercise yields
Daily traffic volumes which need to be converted into
units useful for different design exercises.
• Practical observations have resulted in useful
information which can be used to estimate peak
(design) hourly volume from daily volume (ADT or
AADT)
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Selection of Design Hourly Volume


No of Hors during which

Point of Diminishing Returns –


Volume on X-Axis is

Corresponding Hourly Volume is


generally selected as Design Volume
Exceeded

Hourly Volume (Veh/h)


Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Traffic Volume
• The point of diminishing returns is generally observed
to correspond to 15th to 30th highest hourly volumes.
30th highest hourly volume is usually selected for
design. This means that facilities designed for this
volume may have congestion in 29 hours in a year
• A Design Hour Volume Factor (k) is generally used to
express design hourly volume as proportion of the
AADT (ADT)
• DHV (Design Hourly Volume) = AADT X k
Where k = proportion of AADT during the 30th (or any
other selected) highest hour
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Traffic Volume
• Directional Design Hourly Volume (DDHV) – Since
traffic flows are directional and can have significant
differences in terms of the traffic volumes expected in
both the directions, it is necessary to select the traffic
in the busier direction
• Directional Distribution (Split) Factor is used for this
purpose.
• DDHV = AADT X k X D
Where D = Directional Split in Peak Direction
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Traffic Volume
• There will be flow variation within the peak hour. Many
agencies considered the peak sub-hourly flow rates for
capacity analysis
• Peak Hour Factor (PHF) represents the peak sub-hourly
flow rate in a peak hour
• PHF (if 15 minute sub-hours are considered) = Design
Hourly Volume / (4 X Peak sub-hourly flow rate)
• For 15-minute sub-hours, theoretical range of PHF
value is 0.25 to 1.0
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Traffic Volume
• Design Directional Sub-hourly Flow Rate
= AADT.K.D/PHF
• Typical values of k, D and PHF factor are obtained from
practical observations. These values are usually
available for different conditions :- urban, sub-urban,
rural, etc
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Traffic Volume
• Design Directional Sub-hourly Flow Rate
= AADT.K.D/PHF
• Typical values of k, D and PHF factor are obtained from
practical observations. These values are usually
available for different conditions :- urban, sub-urban,
rural, etc
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Traffic Volume - Measurement


• Traffic volumes are measured by (a) manual and (b)
automated methods
• The counting (survey) can be conducted for a short
duration or continuously
• Information regarding number of motorised vehicles,
non-motorised vehicles, pedestrians etc is collected
• In the case of intersections, turning volumes are also
surveyed
• Vehicles are counted category-wise
• Temporal variation of traffic is obtained
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Traffic Volume - Measurement


• Manual count is laborious and can be carried out only for
shorter duration (one or two weeks or shorter period)
• Number of surveyors can be selected from general
guidelines available for the number of vehicles that can
be counted by a person (trained) per hour without fatigue
• Automated counting of vehicles can be done by using
different sensors that can detect the presence or absence
of a vehicle at a location by the signal produced. Various
principles (variation in magnetic field, heat sensing,
optical, variation in electrical resistively, etc) are used for
automatic counting
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Traffic Speed
• We are interested in two types of average (mean)
speeds that provide us information about the (1)
instantaneous (spot) speeds at a location over some
time period (2) condition of the traffic over some space
(length of road)
• Spot speed of a vehicle is its instantaneous speed
measured at a location
• Spot speed can be measured by observing the time
taken by the vehicle to cover a short distance (trap
length). The trap length can be selected depending on
the method of measuring time.
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Traffic Speed
• For manual method of time measurement (using stop
watches) the trap length can typically be 25 to 30m.
However, if electronic and automated method of time
measurement is used, the trap length can be very small
to make the speed measured instantaneous.
• Spot speed study is conducted to identify the design
speeds that can be selected for typical highway
sections
• Spot (instantaneous) speed information is necessary
to examine the safety, accident proneness of a
location.
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Traffic Speed
• Spot speed study can also be used to assess the effect
of improving the road condition (where increased
speeds are expected) or that of a speed limit restriction
(speed reduction expected). Mean spot speed obtained
“before” and “after” the activity can be compared for
this purpose.
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Traffic Speed – Design Speed


• The design speed for which all the geometric features
of the road are designed can be selected as the 98th
percentile speed (speed which is expected to be
exceeded 2% of time)
100%
than that given on X-axis
% of time Speed is Less

98%

98 Percentile Speed

Speed (km/h)
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Traffic Speed
• The mean of spot speeds collected at a location is
called time mean speed (TMS) as the speeds collected
over time (at a location) are averaged
• Journey (Travel) Speed = Distance Travelled / Total
Travel time
• Running Speed = Distance/ Travel time excluding
stoppages (if any for fuel at intersections, etc)
• Comparison of Journey speed with running speed
gives an idea about the extent of stopped delay on the
stretch.
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Traffic Speed
• Free Speed – Speed of the vehicle which is in a free
condition (not following other vehicles in the traffic
stream, i.e. the vehicle in front of it is at such a
distance the driver of this vehicle can choose the
speed he desires and governed by the road and
neighboring conditions
• As traffic volumes increase on the stretch, the journey
speeds decrease
• Comparison of journey speed with free speed can give
us an idea about the degree of congestion
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Traffic Speed
• Average Journey Speed – Representative of the travel
condition on a stretch can be obtained by dividing the
length of the stretch by the average travel time
• Average travel speed will vary with time depending on
the traffic volume, densities and the corresponding
travel times observed at different points of time.
• The Average travel (journey) speed is Space mean
Speed (SMS) as it is obtained by considering the travel
times of vehicles occupying some space at a given
time
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Traffic Speed
• Average Journey Speed (SMS) of a stretch of road can be
obtained by identifying the vehicles that are there in the
stretch and by averaging the travel times of those vehicles.
Distance divided by the average travel time gives SMS.
• TMS will be greater than SMS
• If the spot speeds of 5 vehicles at a location on a stretch of
5km length are 50, 60, 40, 60, 70 km/h, the TMS is
(50+60+40+60+70)/5 = 56km/h. If it is assumed that the
vehicles cover the stretch at constant speed (equal to spot
speed), the travel times of the vehicles will be 0.1, 0.0833,
0.125, 0.0833, 0.0714 hours. Average travel time = 0.0926
hours. SMS = 5/0.0926 = 53.98 km/h (< 56 km/h)
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Traffic Speed
• The following empirically developed equation can be
used to estimate SMS from TMS (which is easy to
measure)
• SMS = TMS – ((standard deviation of spot
speeds)2)/TMS
• A number of procedures are available for measuring
travel times and delays using which travel speeds can
be obtained
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Traffic Density
• Density (Concentration) is defined as the number of
vehicles occupying unit length of road (vehicles/km)
• Density can be measured by conducting density
experiment in which the times of entry into and exit
from the stretch are observed for all the vehicles. From
this data, the number of vehicles occupying the stretch
at a given point of time can be obtained. Number of
vehicles divided by length gives us the density
• Other procedures also can be used to obtain densities
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Time and Space Headways


• Space (distance) headway is the space (distance
measured centre to centre or front bumper to front
bumper) separating vehicles on a stretch of road
• Average distance headway (s), if available can be used
to obtain the density as 1000/s (vehicles /km)
• Similarly, the difference between the arrival times of
successive vehicles at location is called as time
headway. If average time headway (average of time
headways of a number of vehicles arriving at a
location) can be obtained as ‘t’, flow rate can be
obtained as 3600/t (veh/h)
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Fundamental Flow Diagrams


• Flow (Q), speed (Space Mean Speed) V and Density (D)
are related as Q = V X D
• It can generally observed that Speed depends on
density. As densities increase, speeds of vehicles
decrease due to the closer proximity of other vehicles
and because of reduced availability of spaces for
maneuvering
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Fundamental Flow Diagrams

Free Speed

Speed
(SMS)

Jam Density
Density

Typical Speed-Density Relationship (Greenshields)


Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Fundamental Flow Diagrams


• Linear relationship between Speed and density will
yield Sped-Flow and Density-Flow relationships as
given below (parabolic)

Capacity Capacity
Flow Flow

Jam Density
Free
Speed
Density Speed
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Fundamental Flow Diagrams


• Capacity is the maximum flow possible (on a regular
basis) at the selected location
• If the relationship between Density and speed is linear,
the corresponding relationships between speed and
Flow and Density and Flow will be parabolic.
• For these conditions, It can be shown that capacity
flow occurs at a density of Jam Density /2 and at a
speed of Free Speed /2.
• Capacity (C) can be obtained as C = (VfXDj)/4
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Extreme Flow Conditions

Free Speed
s e
Ca Hypothetical
ck
Speed t- ra Continuous Train
c e Case
(SMS)
Ra

Parking Jam Density


Density

Extreme Flow Conditions


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Extreme Flow Conditions


Draw Speed-Flow and density Flow diagrams for the
three extreme flow conditions given in the previous
slides