Revision of pedestrian levels of service values based on pedestrian conflicts

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Pedestrian and Evacuation Dynamics PED (2012)


The levels of service (LOS) for pedestrian flows are determined with Korean Highway Capacity Manual in South Korea. Although the pedestrian LOS methodology in KHCM has an advantage of having a simple computational procedure, this methodology seems to involve some shortcomings. For example, pedestrian density was adopted to explain the discomfort in pedestrian flows but appears to be too insensitive to changes in pedestrian volume.

Theoretically, the volume increase required to degrade LOS D to E should be much less than the one for LOS A to B, because the total number of pedestrian conflicts increases rapidly at high volume levels. However, with pedestrian density being insensitive to changes in pedestrian volume, the KHCM methodology is unable to accurately explain the pedestrian discomfort at each LOS level. In fact, a field panel survey carried out in this research reveals that the KHCM methodology will results in LOS values that are quite different from the LOS values perceived by pedestrians.
This research attempts to resolve this problem by realigning the pedestrian density-volume curve on which the pedestrian LOS services are based. In this process, it is found that pedestrian conflict is a more reliable, sensitive, and can explain more accurately the pedestrian discomfort levels according to volume increase. Subsequently pedestrian conflict characteristics are investigated for various pedestrian flows and these results are linked to pedestrian density in order to realign the current density-volume curve. Finally, a revised set of pedestrian LOS are proposed in this research. It is expected that this revision of the pedestrian LOS values will capture the effects on pedestrian discomfort of volume increase on walkways.