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Application of AIMSUN Microscopic Simulation Model in Evaluating Side Friction Impacts on Traffic Stream Performance

Authors: H. Naghawi, M. Abu Shattal, W. Idewu


Side friction factors can be defined as all activities taking place at the side of the road and within the traffic stream, which would negatively affect the traffic stream performance. If the effect of these factors is adequately addressed and managed, traffic stream performance and capacity could be improved. The main objective of this paper is to identify and assess the impact of different side friction factors on traffic stream performance of a hypothesized urban arterial road. Hypothetical data were assumed mainly because there is no road operating under ideal conditions, with zero side friction, in the developing countries. This is important for the creation of the base model which is important for comparison purposes. For this purpose, three essential steps were employed. Step one, a hypothetical base model was developed under ideal traffic and geometric conditions. Step two, 18 hypothetical alternative scenarios were developed including side friction factors such as on-road parking, pedestrian movement, and the presence of trucks in the traffic stream. These scenarios were evaluated for one, two, and three lane configurations and under different traffic volumes ranging from low to high. Step three, the impact of side friction, of each scenario, on speed-flow models was evaluated using AIMSUN microscopic traffic simulation software. Generally, it was found that, a noticeable negative shift in the speed flow curves from the base conditions was observed for all scenarios. This indicates negative impact of the side friction factors on free flow speed and traffic stream average speed as well as on capacity.

Keywords: AIMSUN, parked vehicles, pedestrians, side friction, traffic performance, trucks.

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