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Factors Affecting Operating Speed on Urban Tangent Road Sections Open Access


Other title
Operating Speed
Urban Operating Speed
Tangent Operating Speed
Operating Speed Model
Tangent Operating Speed Model
Panel Data
Bicycle lane
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Thiessen, Avi J
Supervisor and department
El-Basyouny, Karim (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
El-Basyouny, Karim (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Kim, Amy (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Bouferguene, Ahmed (Chemistry)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Transportation Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
This thesis expands previous research on operating speed models by developing models for tangent segments in an urban road environment. The thesis explored the relationships between operating speeds and several road features which have not been previously investigated. Typically, operating speed models use a single operating speed such as the 85th percentile. The single percentile approach is limiting as it narrows the data set and does not represent the entire speed profile. Panel data allows for the use of multiple operating speed percentiles. To overcome this limitation, this thesis used panel data representing speed percentiles from 5 to 95 in increments of 5. Panel data not only increases the data set but allows the impacts of operating speed and speed variability to be investigated separately. Furthermore, several class variables were added to model to allow for variation within a single attribute to be explicitly modeled as opposed to the standard binary operator approach. This thesis is a large exhaustive macro evaluation of urban roads using 280 tangent locations. The data set is comprised of 31 residential, 123 collector and 126 arterial roads. In order to study the impact of road elements on different road types, four models were created: one model was created to include all locations, a separate model that only included arterial and collector locations, another model that included only arterial locations, and a final model with only collector locations. The models resulted in several interesting findings: - Operating speeds on one-ways were lower than two-way roads. - Roads with sidewalks that were farther away from the road were associated with higher operating speeds. - Locations with monolithic walk on both sides of the road had the lowest operating speeds. - Roads that had bicycle facilities were associated with higher operating speeds. - Longer road segments had higher operating speeds. - Operating speeds decreased as accesses increased. - On arterials, operating speeds decreased as object density and/or tree density increased. - Bus stops were found to have opposite effects on arterials compared to collectors. On arterials bus stops were associated with higher operating speeds while on collectors they were associated with lower operating speeds. - A wider median, on arterials, was associated with higher operating speeds. The findings from this thesis expanded the current understanding of the effect of elements in the urban environment on operating speeds. One of the major takeaways was that the elements which were statistically significant differed between road classes.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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