Estimating cycleway capacity and bicycle equivalent unit for electric bicycles

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 2015, 77 pp. 225 - 248
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© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. With the rapid increase of electric bicycles (E-bikes) in China, the heterogeneous bicycle traffic flow comprising regular bicycles and E-bikes using shared cycleway creates issues in terms of efficiency as well as safety. Capacity and bicycle equivalent units (BEUs) for E-bikes are two most important parameters for the planning, design, operation, and management of bicycle facilities. In this paper, eight traffic flow fundamental diagrams are developed for one-way cycleway capacity estimation, and a novel BEU estimation model is also proposed. Eleven datasets from different shared cycleway sections with different cycleway widths were collected in Hangzhou, China for estimation and evaluation purposes. The results indicate that, with around 70% share of E-bikes, the mean estimated capacity is 2348. bicycle/h/m. The effects on the capacity of the proportions of E-bikes, gender of cyclists, age of cyclists, and cyclists carrying things were also analyzed. The results implied that the estimated capacity is independent of a cyclist's gender and age, but increases with the proportion of E-bikes. According to this study, the mean BEU for the E-bike is 0.66, and the converted capacities of pure regular bicycles and pure E-bikes are 1800 and 2727. bicycle/h/m, respectively. These findings can be used to propose practical countermeasures to improve the capacity of heterogeneous bicycle traffic flow on shared cycleway.
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