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Optimising multimodal transport networks: Sharing road space

multimodal transport networks

The primary objective of this PhD project is to develop modelling and analysis techniques for optimising and facilitating multimodal road use.

Specifically, the research will focus on enhanced depiction of pedestrian and active mode interactions with vehicular traffic across a variety of road infrastructure scenarios.


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Project background

The project aims to optimise and facilitate multimodal road use by finding ways to improve the allocation of time and space of a roadway or streetscape between different modes.

Many cities, including Sydney, are experiencing significant and growing levels of traffic congestion. Practitioners are encouraging public and active transport options through traffic management and infrastructure designs as a means of ameliorating congestion.

In this scenario, road infrastructure is increasingly being shared by more modes resulting in complex intersection interactions. Practitioner guidance and design of infrastructure is also evolving to better accommodate this emerging context. This research project investigates traffic modelling of road infrastructure to enhance the depiction of shared travel behaviour.

The research considers the following key points:

  • Decomposition of a multimodal road system into cell-based structures that account for shared infrastructure.
  • Consideration of whether the interests of customers are better served by prioritising car throughput or human throughput
  • Determination of optimal signalisation for efficient and safe movements of vehicles and road users within a system whilst also maximising the potential for social interaction in a place.

Project objectives

The primary objective of the research is to develop modelling techniques for optimising and facilitating multimodal road use by improving the allocation of time and space of a roadway accounting for multiple modes.

This core objective will be achieved by completing the following sub-objectives:

  • Review existing modelling approaches used in academia and practice for assessing multi-modal transport systems, with a particular focus on shared locations (shared zones, spaces, and streets).
  • Replicate, verify and improve selected modelling approaches related to public transport prioritisation, pedestrianised urban environments, and mixed-use road infrastructure.
  • Develop novel algorithms, advancing existing approaches (such as the social force model) to better capture multimodal interactions. Use these models to extract performance metrics for better evaluation of transport infrastructure (by accounting for an integrated system).

Test proposed models in real world settings to evaluate the robustness and effectiveness.

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