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posted by hubie on Friday May 13, @08:11PM   Printer-friendly
from the you-can-tell-by-the-way-I-walk dept.

Slow walking may be to blame for perceived congestion in pedestrian areas:

If you live in a town or city, you are probably experienced in the art of navigating through crowded areas. But sometimes you can't help but feel like your surroundings are too congested for comfort. Intuition tells us this feeling must be because of the sheer volume of people around us in these moments that causes the perception of somewhere being too congested. But Project Assistant Professor Jia Xiaolu from the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Tokyo wanted to verify this assumption, and ended up proving that it might not actually be the entire truth of the matter.

"Perception of congestion is an important matter for those designing spaces to be used by people, so if there's a way to estimate this perceptual value, it would be useful to know," said Xiaolu. [...]

"That the velocity of pedestrians rather than density of the crowd better indicates perceived congestion was a bit of a surprise," said Xiaolu. "But it leads us to believe that people perceive a space too congested when they are simply unable to walk at the speed they wish to; there is a gap between their desired and actual velocity. [...]

"We found that women and also older people generally felt less constrained than men and younger people, which is probably due to their lower desired velocity, thus a smaller gap between their desired and actual velocity," said Xiaolu. "And while this is interesting, I think our future studies will focus on spaces where the objective is not so much about getting from A to B, but more goal oriented, such as interacting with a service in a store, gallery or other destination."

Original material:

Journal Reference:
Xiaolu Jia et al., Revisiting the level-of-service framework for pedestrian comfortability: velocity depicts more accurate perceived congestion than local density, Transportation Research, 2022.
DOI: 10.1016/j.trf.2022.04.007

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Friday May 13, @09:35PM (4 children)

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Friday May 13, @09:35PM (#1244823) Journal

    In America most people have a sense of how to behave when they're driving. That is, don't stop your car in the middle of the road, don't tailgate, check your mirrors before you change lanes, etc. Those same behaviors don't seem to translate to walking, however. I think it's because most people outside a small handful of cities like San Francisco or NYC don't really experience pedestrian congestion that often, not on the daily, constant basis that residents in those places do.

    Washington DC delenda est.
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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, @10:18PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, @10:18PM (#1244825)

    In America most people have a sense of how to behave

    [Citation required]

    • (Score: 2) by istartedi on Friday May 13, @11:29PM

      by istartedi (123) on Friday May 13, @11:29PM (#1244837) Journal

      Yeah, I was like "What part of America?" Do tell. It certainly isn't the Bay Area, where 280 is an Autobahn with bad lane discipline where cops go to meet their ticket quota, 101 is the superbike circuit, 880 is for sideshows, and 680 is like 280 but with worse lane discipline and fewer cops.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, @01:25AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, @01:25AM (#1244856)

      I think most of us do.

      Not much different from here.

      The assholes really stand out.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by TrentDavey on Saturday May 14, @06:54PM

    by TrentDavey (1526) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 14, @06:54PM (#1244992)

    ... women leisurely strolling. Not usually a problem outside but when you're inside walking down a corridor, it's the worst.
    Also: In the grocery store people have this strategy of maximizing their aisle blockage by putting their cart on one side of the aisle, walking halfway across the aisle to reach for some item while maintaining a grip on the cart (like if they let go the cart would whisked off the some alternate universe) and then stopping to price-compare. Drives. Me. Nuts.