By Luc Oude Velthuis (the Netherlands)
In the city of Amsterdam, the bicycle is rapidly becoming the most popular method of transportation, and is seen as the solution to congestion, pollution and health problems. A number of improvements have been proposed by the city of Amsterdam, to increase the safety and capacity of the bicycle transportation network. The effect of these improvements will be measured in surveys and path width percentages, creating a knowledge gap on the actual impact of the proposed changes in capacity and safety. Therefore, this thesis research proposes an additional feedback method in the form of an Agent Based Model application of the bicycle network, to calculate the effects of cyclist behaviour on the bicycle network load distribution under varying influence of external parameters.
First, the bicycle network is translated to a conceptual Agent Based Model, defining the main components and their interactions of a bicycle network. This conceptual model is implemented in a case study for the city of Amsterdam, which is translated to a model in the GAMA simulation environment. The simulation model is able to simulate the behaviour of 60.000 cyclist agents in the Centrum district of Amsterdam, for a time period between 05:00 and 23:00. Environmental changes are simulated with external parameters on road safety class and occupation of network segments. A change in cyclist behaviour in the simulation affects distribution of cyclists on the network.
The accuracy of these results relies heavily on assumed values derived from census data, as data on migration patterns within the city of Amsterdam is non-existent. Comparison of the simulation results with observation based data from the Fietstelweek does however show similarities in cyclist distribution. Agent Based Modelling can therefore be considered an additional tool to investigate the effects of infrastructural changes on a cyclist network, within the boundaries of the available information on cyclist behaviour.