Experimental Study for Optimizing Pedestrian Flows at Bottlenecks of Subway Stations
In subway stations, bottlenecks are the narrowed areas that reduce pedestrian flows in channels. Because pedestrians at bottlenecks are forced to dense together, bottlenecks decrease flow efficiency and pedestrians’ transfer comfort and may trigger serious crowd disasters such as trampling. This study used pedestrian experiments to investigate the methods of optimizing pedestrian traffic at bottlenecks of subway stations. Three optimization measures were proposed and evaluated by analyzing the characteristics of pedestrian flows, including efficiency, smoothness, and security. In this paper, setting the rear sides of the bottleneck entrance as straight and surface funnel shapes is called straight funnel shape and surface funnel shape, respectively. Setting a column at a bottleneck is called the column obstacle. The results showed that when efficiency or security come first, a column on the left is recommended; when comfort comes first, a concave funnel is recommended; when comprehensiveness is prioritized, a column on the left is recommended. Moreover, the larger the volume, the optimization is more obvious. Although many bottlenecks cannot be prevented when subway stations are constructed, the proposed optimization measures may help ease their adverse effects by improving facility efficiency, smoothness, and security, and by providing recommendations for designing and managing subway stations.
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