Purpose This paper aims to determine the urban traffic flow spatiotemporal characteristics and correlation with the built environment using SCATS (Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Traffic System) and POIs (Point of Interests) data of Shenyang, China. Methods A standard analysis framework based on these data is proposed in the paper. The study analyzes the traffic volume spatiotemporal distributions and built environment influence factors determined by the geographical detector. An improved gravity model using simple structural parameters (lanes number and road length) is proposed to estimate the traffic flows of day and peak hour scales for specific flow ranges. Results The results show that the peak hours of different intersections and roads are heterogeneous and reveal trip time flexibility. The correlation between peak hour flows and day flows is significant in the multidimensional analysis. Based on the investigation of lanes, more interesting conclusions are found. In this case, when the numbers of lanes of intersections and roads are more than 14 and 4 respectively, the lane resources are wasted to a great extent. There is also a certain correlation between these factors. Proposed gravity model establishes the connection between structure and function of urban roads. Conclusions Flexible work time and places will be effective methods to reduce traffic congestion. The day flows could be estimated via a traffic survey on peak hour flows, especially in developing cities. The traffic flow mainly concentrates in a relatively small part of city roads. The maximum service traffic volumes exhibit segmentation, we should reconsider the maximum optimal lanes number of intersections and roads under better performance and utilization rate of the network. The effect of lanes number on the service traffic volumes is found to be more significant compared with the other factors. Our conclusions will be helpful for policy-makers and sustainable urban planning.
Document type: Article
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