Design and analysis of control strategies for pedestrian flows

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, place - urban, mode - rail, mode - pedestrian, ridership - demand, planning - methods, planning - service level, planning - service improvement, land use - planning


Pedestrian control strategy, Dynamic pedestrian management, Bidirectional pedestrian flow


Exploiting the full potential of pedestrian infrastructure is becoming critical in many environments which cannot be easily expanded to cope with the increasing pedestrian demand. This is particularly true for train stations as in many dense cities space is limited and expansion is difficult and very costly. In this paper, we investigate how to improve the level-of-service experienced by pedestrians by regulating and controlling their movements with a dynamic traffic management system. Although dynamic traffic management systems have been widely investigated in the last two decades to mitigate vehicular traffic congestion, little attention has been given in the literature to dynamic traffic management systems for pedestrian flows. The objective of this paper is to develop the concept of a dynamic traffic management system for pedestrian flows by building on the experience acquired from vehicular traffic management systems. We first propose a general framework for dynamic traffic management systems which takes into account the specificities of pedestrian traffic. The specificities of pedestrian traffic are discussed and emphasized. Then we illustrate the framework by using a control strategy designed for pedestrian flows that mitigates the issues induced by bidirectional flows. We show the effectiveness of this strategy by simulating a subpart of the train station in Lausanne (Switzerland). The results show a substantial improvement despite the relative simplicity of the method. These results emphasize the under-explored potential of pedestrian control and guidance when integrated into a dynamic pedestrian management system.


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