Reducing Bidirectional Pedestrian Conflict Based on Lane Formation Phenomenon in Subway Corridors

  • Jing Qiao Beijing University of Technology
  • Lishan Sun Beijing University of Technology
  • Shi Qiu Beijing University of Technology
  • Jian Rong Beijing University of Technology
  • Xiaoming Liu Beijing University of Technology
Keywords: rail transit, bidirectional flow, pedestrian experiment, countermeasures,


With the rapid increase of the subway passenger volume, the conflict among passengers emerges as a significant issue which affects subway serviceability, especially in the bidirectional flow. The aim of this study is to explore the characteristics of the bidirectional flow of pedestrians in a subway corridor. Pedestrian experiments were conducted to investigate microscopic characteristics of the pedestrian flow. It was found that the microscopic characteristics, including the walking speed and turning angle, were time-dependent and had a generalized trend with time. It was also found that different pedestrian volumes affected the microscopic characteristics. Based on the trend of the microscopic characteristics, the lane formation phenomenon was observed and quantitatively studied, identifying three phases: conflict phase, lane formation phase, and steady lane phase. To alleviate the bidirectional pedestrian conflict, additional pedestrian experiments for the countermeasure of adding separating strap in the corridor, which was based on the lane formation analysis, was conducted. The effectiveness of the countermeasure was demonstrated through a before-and-after comparison. The results showed that adding the separation between the adjacent lanes had the best performance in reducing the conflicts. The results would provide a rationale for subway managers in optimizing the corridor bidirectional pedestrian flow.

Author Biographies

Jing Qiao, Beijing University of Technology

Jing Qiao is a Ph.D Candidates of Beijing Key Laboratory of Traffic Engineering at Beijing University of Technology.  Dr. Qiao research interests are in the areas of pedestrian behavior mechanism and subway hub layout design.

Lishan Sun, Beijing University of Technology
Lishan Sun is an associate professor of Beijing Key Laboratory of Traffic Engineering at Beijing University of Technology.  Dr. Sun mainly engaged in the research of pedestrian behavior mechanism and subway hub layout design. The research works are supported by more than 30 projects from National Science and Technology Major Project, National Natural Science Foundation of China, Beijing Natural Science Foundation, Doctor Fund of Ministry of Education of China, Scientific Research Foundation for the Returned Overseas Chinese Scholars, State Education Ministry and so on. Relevant research results have been published on over 50 papers, and 1 local standard of Beijing.
Shi Qiu, Beijing University of Technology

Shi Qiu is a Lecturer of Beijing Key Laboratory of Traffic Engineering at Beijing University of Technology.

Jian Rong, Beijing University of Technology
Jian Rong is a Professor of Beijing Key Laboratory of Traffic Engineering at Beijing University of Technology
Xiaoming Liu, Beijing University of Technology

Xiaoming Liu is a Professor of Beijing Key Laboratory of Traffic Engineering at Beijing University of Technology and the Director of Transport Services Division at Ministry of Transport of The People’s Republic of China.


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How to Cite
Qiao J, Sun L, Qiu S, Rong J, Liu X. Reducing Bidirectional Pedestrian Conflict Based on Lane Formation Phenomenon in Subway Corridors. Promet [Internet]. 2017Nov.6 [cited 2023Feb.5];29(5):489-02. Available from:

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