Simulating pedestrian route choice behavior in urban retail environments

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

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Many European cities are preparing or realizing downtown upgrading projects. The likely effects of these plans on pedestrian behavior are commonly assessed by common sense and experience. However, research projects to get more insight into the likely effects of policy measures in inner city areas are being initiated. The purpose of this paper is to present a model to simulate individual route choice decision making of pedestrians in the Eindhoven downtown shopping area. The model assumes that 1) pedestrians enter the network at specific entry points such as parking facilities, bus stops, the railway station, or other locations, 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 circuit through the downtown area is created for each pedestrian. The process of selecting the consecutive links in the downtown network is simulated in this study. A multinomiallogit choice model was 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), distance walked so far and minimum distance to the exit location, the side of entering the link, and the number of times the link was passed before. The parameters of the choice model were estimated from observed routes. These routes were observed in the Eindhoven downtown area. Data was collected in March 2002. pproximately 850 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 six hundred respondents satisfied this criterion. The perfonnance 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 publicationWalk21 - V Cities for people : the fifth international conference on walking in the 21st century, (June 9-11, 2004, Copenhagen, Denmark)
Place of PublicationWellington
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Eventconference; Walk21 - V; 2004-06-09; 2004-06-11 -
Duration: 9 Jun 200411 Jun 2004


Conferenceconference; Walk21 - V; 2004-06-09; 2004-06-11
OtherWalk21 - V


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