A generalised function for modeling bi-directional flow effects on indoor walkways in Hong Kong

Hing Keung William Lam, Jodie Y.S. Lee, K. S. Chan, P. K. Goh

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the relationships between walking speed and pedestrian flow under various bi-directional flow conditions at indoor walkways in Hong Kong. The effects of bi-directional pedestrian flows are investigated empirically with particular emphasis on their effects on walking time for different directions of flow at pedestrian walkways in Hong Kong. Flow measurements were conducted at selected indoor walkways in urban areas. A generalized walking time function that takes bi-directional flow distributions (or flow ratios) into account is proposed for these pedestrian facilities and calibrated for various flow conditions ranging from free-flow to congested-flow (at-capacity) situations. The bi-directional flow effects on free-flow walking speed, effective capacity and at-capacity walking speed are validated with observed data. It was found that the bi-directional flow ratios have significant impacts on both the at-capacity walking speeds and the maximum flow rates of the selected walkways but not on the free-flow walking speeds. The findings and study methodology provide better insight into the effects of bi-directional pedestrian flow characteristics and will assist engineers/planners in improving the design and operation of pedestrian facilities not only in Hong Kong, but also in other countries as well.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-810
Number of pages22
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


  • Bi-directional flow effects
  • Walking speeds and maximum flow rates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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