Pedestrian Micro-Simulation for Evaluating the Impacts of Social Distancing Regulations on a Dense Urban Street in Halifax, Canada

This research attempts to understand the impacts of social distancing regulations on pedestrian environments from the perspective of traffic flow and business activity. This study uses a market demand pedestrian simulation model to understand how pedestrians move on the busy street of Spring garden Road, under various scenarios. The three scenarios tested in this study observe urban environments that eastern Canada has experience during the pandemic. The business-as-usual scenario will simulate traffic flow under no social distancing regulations. Pandemic scenario 1 & 2 will use adjusted parameters to encourage social distancing. The sidewalk width in the second pandemic scenario is extended to represent the actions of the municipality as per the mobility response plan for the city of Halifax. The results show that social distancing regulations in the pandemic scenarios significantly improved traffic flow in terms of the reduction in pedestrian contact violations. These violations are described as instances in which pedestrian violate the 2m social distancing rule. The simulation of the first pandemic scenario (no sidewalk enhancement) showed a significant reduction of 43% in the number of contact violations during the one-hour pedestrian simulation of the street. The second pandemic scenario showed a 68% decrease in violations. The conclusions derived from this research support the actions of the municipality as the simulation results indicate that an increase in sidewalk width can influence contact rates and time travelled. When comparing the two pandemic scenarios, the scenario that incorporated wider sidewalks showed a decrease in total travel time and contact rates.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 15p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01764087
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: TRBAM-21-01362
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 23 2020 11:19AM