A comparative study of pedestrian crowd flow at middle and corner exits

Shiwakoti, N, Shi, X, Ye, Z, Liu, Y and Lin, J 2016, 'A comparative study of pedestrian crowd flow at middle and corner exits', in Proceedings of the 2016 Australasian Transport Research Forum, Melbourne, Australia, 16-18 November 2016, pp. 1-10.

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title A comparative study of pedestrian crowd flow at middle and corner exits
Author(s) Shiwakoti, N
Shi, X
Ye, Z
Liu, Y
Lin, J
Year 2016
Conference name The 38th Australasian Transport Research Forum (ATRF 2016): The Australasian Transport Research Forum
Conference location Melbourne, Australia
Conference dates 16-18 November 2016
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 2016 Australasian Transport Research Forum
Publisher Australasian Transport Research Forum
Place of publication Melbourne, Australia
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Abstract Bottleneck formed due to complex architectural configurations can create hazardous situations for pedestrian crowd as have been noted from the previous documented studies of crowd disasters. Existing studies demonstrate that escape layout and adjustment of architectural features in an escape area can have an effect on the outflow and safety of the pedestrian crowd. However, all the observed results are either the mathematical prediction or empirical experiments with non-human organisms. There is lack of empirical data on human crowds that explores the effect of architectural configurations on the outflow of the people. This is critical for verification of the model intended to simulate the pedestrian crowd behaviour in built environment such as train stations, stadiums and shopping malls. In this paper, the comparative performance of location of two exits (middle vs. corner exit) is explored with 50 human participants in a controlled laboratory egress experiments under normal walking and slow running (faster walking) conditions. Each set of experiment was repeated for three times and a total of 12 experimental trials were conducted. It was observed that compared to middle exit, corner exit was efficient in terms of outflow by around 8.7% under normal walking condition and around 4.2% under slow running or faster walking condition. Further, it was observed that with corner exit, there were less long headways (successive time gap between two pedestrians) and potential conflicts as compared to middle exit. The findings from this paper have demonstrated that there is a scope to adjust the architectural elements to optimize the maximum outflow and enhance the pedestrian crowd safety at the egress point. Further the output from the experiments can be used to develop and verify mathematical models intended to simulate pedestrian crowd evacuation.
Subjects Transport Engineering
Keyword(s) Crowd Dynamics
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