Exploring Operating Speeds on Urban Arterials Using Floating Car Data: Case Study in Shanghai

Urban arterials in Shanghai usually have high intersection densities, which can lead to frequent and severe congestion. Research in this area of study focuses on urban arterial operating speed and its relationship with road geometry, traffic control, and traffic volume, and more study is needed before remedies to the congestion problems can be identified. In Shanghai, an opportunity exists to investigate urban arterial operating speed by accessing continuously updated global positioning system (GPS) data from taxis, hereafter called floating car data (FCD). With more than 50,000 taxis equipped with GPS running in the Shanghai road network, it is feasible to acquire comprehensive, citywide arterial speed measurements throughout the network. In this study, 45 arterials in Shanghai, which comprised of 177 two-direction segments bounded by signalized intersections, were selected for study. GPS data from taxis were captured during peak and off-peak hours to enable the calculation of the mean operating speed for each selected segment. Information of road geometry, traffic control, and traffic volume data was also acquired to examine their influence on operating speed. Multilevel linear regression models were utilized to analyze operating speed with the arterial level’s unobserved heterogeneity accounted for as well. It was identified that roadway design variables, including segment length, number of lanes, and horizontal degree of curvature, left-turn lane types, and presence of median along with saturation degree, are all significantly related to the operating speed. The results of this study shed some light on roadway design, roadway improvement, and traffic management.


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  • Accession Number: 01525491
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: May 21 2014 3:03PM