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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: 3, Interesting) by lentilla on Saturday May 14, @01:55AM (2 children)

    by lentilla (1770) on Saturday May 14, @01:55AM (#1244861)

    My escalator horror story:

    I was riding an escalator when I noticed a woman in one of those head-to-toe coverings had got her garment caught. The escalator was rapidly munching away and her face was being pulled towards the teeth. I couldn't speak the language, and even in this emergency I knew better than to touch her to haul her free (Muslim country). The only hope was the emergency stop button. So I ran back down the escalator and was greatly relieved when I found a button and the escalator stopped. I shudder to think what would have happened if it had caught hold of her hair.

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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by anubi on Saturday May 14, @02:07AM (1 child)

    by anubi (2828) on Saturday May 14, @02:07AM (#1244869) Journal

    (shudder) this is what happens when any law is enforced to the letter of the law. As is common in religions.

    This is why I believe "mens ria" should override all law. []

    "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
    • (Score: 2) by lentilla on Saturday May 14, @02:45AM

      by lentilla (1770) on Saturday May 14, @02:45AM (#1244876)

      Oh, I'm (reasonably) sure the woman would have been fine with me hauling her out of trouble - the danger to me was other people jumping to the wrong conclusion and issuing mob-justice. It still surprises me that I was able to perform that calculus in the blink of an eye and come up with a working solution! Anyway, it ended well and; having done everything I could do; I walked away and let others untangle her.