Modelling pedestrian behaviour in downtown shopping areas

A.W.J. Borgers, H.J.P. Timmermans

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The purpose of this paper is to present a model to simulate individual route choice behaviour of pedestrians in downtown shopping areas. The model assumes that 1) pedestrians enter the network at specific entry points like the railway station, bus stops, and parking facilities: 2) pedestrians exit the downtown area where they entered the area, and 3) given a pedestrian’s current link in the downtown network, the pedestrian will choose one of the connecting links to move onwards. This way, a route through the downtown shopping area is created for each pedestrian. The process of selecting the consecutive links in the downtown network and finishing the shopping trip is simulated in this study. A discrete choice model is used to predict which link will be selected from the set of possible links. The probability a particular link will be selected from the set of connecting links depends on the physical characteristics of the link itself (e.g. supply of shops), the distance walked so far, the minimum distance to the exit location, whether the link would induce a turn around, and the number of times the link was passed before. Unlike most other models of pedestrian behavior, the link-to-link decision making process is calibrated using observed route choice data. In addition, this model employs an endogenous, utility-driven mechanism to finish the trip. The parameters of the choice model were estimated from observed routes in two medium sized Dutch cities: Eindhoven and Maastricht. Data was collected in March 2002 and October 2003 respectively. Approximately 850 (Eindhoven) and 580 (Maastricht) pedestrians participated in the on-site interviews. For these analyses however, only those respondents were selected who returned to their entry point and did not leave the downtown area in between. Approximately 600 (Eindhoven) and 450 (Maastricht) respondents satisfied this criterion. The performance of the model will be discussed at the level of individual link choices as well as at the level of link intensities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of CUPUM 05, Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management, 30-Jun-2005, London
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherUniversity College London
PagesPaper 83-15 pp.
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Event9th International Conference on Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management (CUPUM 2005), June 29-July 1, 2005, London, UK - CUPUM 2005, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 29 Jun 20051 Jul 2005


Conference9th International Conference on Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management (CUPUM 2005), June 29-July 1, 2005, London, UK
Abbreviated titleCUPUM 2005
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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