Analysis of side friction impacts on urban road links. Case study, Dar-es-salaam

Side friction factors are defined as all those actions related to the activities taking place by the sides of the road and sometimes within the road, which interfere with the traffic flow on the travelled way. They include but not limited to pedestrians, bicycles, non-motorised vehicles, parked and stopping vehicles. These factors are normally very frequent in densely populated areas in developing countries, while they are random and sparse in developed countries making it of less interest for research and consequently there is comparatively little literature about them. The objective of this thesis is to analyze the effect of these factors on traffic performance measures on urban roads. An empirical case study methodology was adopted where Dar-es-salaam city in Tanzania was chosen as a representative case. The scope was limited to include only road-link facilities. A sample of these facilities including two-lane two-way and four-lane two-way roads were selected and studied. The study was conducted in two parts, of which each involved a distinctive approach. Part one involved a macroscopic approach where traffic and friction data were collected and analyzed at an aggregated level, whereas part two involved a microscopic approach where data of individual frictional elements were collected and analysed individually. Data collection was mainly performed by application of video method, which proved to be effective for simultaneous collection of traffic and side friction data. Data reduction was conducted chiefly by computer, using standard spreadsheet and statistical software packages, mainly SPSS and some computer macros.In the macroscopic approach, traffic and friction data from all sites were adjusted through a process called normalization, which enabled the data from the different sites to be merged, and consequently to obtain speed-flow curves for each road type. The individual friction factors through regression analysis were weighted and combined into one unit of measure of friction called FRIC. The effect of FRIC on speed-flow curves was analyzed. The results showed significant impact on speed for both road types. Impact on capacity was identified on two-lane two-way roads while field data on four-lane two-way roads did not allow this. In the microanalysis approach, effect of individual side friction factors on speed was analyzed. The results showed that on two-lane two-way roads, all studied factors exhibited statistically significant impact on speed, while on four-lane two-way roads, only one factor showed the same. The results also identified impact values characteristic to the individual friction factors on some roads. Recommendations were made based on these results that highway capacity studies particularly in developing countries, should include the friction variable, though in the form suitable to their own particular circumstances. Further recommendations were made that these results should be applied to formulate management programs seeking to limit levels of side friction on high mobility urban arterial streets in order to improve traffic safety and operation efficiency (A). This document is also available at


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Media Info

  • Pagination: 176p
  • Serial:
    • Issue Number: 07:001
    • Publisher: Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
    • ISSN: 1653-4468

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01054872
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)
  • ISBN: 978-91-85539-17-8
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Aug 6 2007 1:50PM