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Factors Affecting Operating Speed on Urban Tangent Road Sections

  • Author / Creator
    Thiessen, Avi J
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2016-06
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R33B5WK10
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. 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.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Specialization
    • Transportation Engineering
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • El-Basyouny, Karim (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Bouferguene, Ahmed (Chemistry)
    • Kim, Amy (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
    • El-Basyouny, Karim (Civil and Environmental Engineering)