Client: Ove Arup and Partners, commissioned by the Transport Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Brief: Conduct a large-scale assessment of the potential traffic problems resulting from a major new infrastructure development in Hong Kong’s central business district.
New government headquarters, office buildings and two additional metro lines in the Admiralty business district have prompted the need to manage the already heavy congestion and to improve pedestrian access. The proposed layout aims to reduce congestion by encouraging more people to use trains instead of their cars, diverting road-based traffic to rail-based public transport. Arup’s design includes improved access for those with impaired mobility and has also helped to keep the harbor area next to the new government headquarters as a pedestrian zone, preserving its character and promoting green travel.
Bus weaving is a problem in Hong Kong’s CBD
Arup took an integrated approach, using Legion for Aimsun. The tool combines the Legion pedestrian simulator and the Aimsun microscopic simulator in a single software application, enabling city planners to manage the different and often competing requirements of pedestrians and traffic.
The pedestrian model includes richly detailed pedestrian areas containing obstacles, stairs, escalators, and queuing at ticket booths or bus stops; the traffic model represents multi-modal public transport in all its complexity: a mix of trams, buses, scheduled and reserved lanes realistically represent Hong Kong’s multi-level road structure along with 34 bus stops, multiple metro entrances, an area for Kiss-and-Ride operations, and multi-level mass transit rail (MTR) stations. Pedestrian interaction with buses adds realism to vehicle arrival and departure, providing load-dependent dwell times and platoons of passengers alighting and heading towards the MTR station entries on their intermodal transfer.
Arup’s close collaboration with TSS and Legion led to enhancements to the modelling functionality from a user perspective with robust improvements such as boarding and alighting interaction between pedestrians and vehicles; vehicles giving way to pedestrians at cautionary crossings; modelling results in 3D and enhancing output graphics for advanced simulation animation. Another key advancement is that the study was the first to show the way pedestrians and on-street traffic interact at Admiralty in a three-dimensional simulation model. Using simulation outputs and a 3D model of the interchange makes it possible to create much clearer and more accessible presentations of the impact of the proposed mitigation schemes to key government officials. In the final analysis, the Arup model successfully demonstrated that the proposed traffic improvement schemes could indeed mitigate existing traffic issues and cater for future traffic growth.