Aimsun traffic modelling software from ITS (UK) member TSS–Transport Simulation Systems has been used to model a proposal to join up Barcelona’s two existing tram networks.
The tram lines serving the east and west sides of the city do not currently link, but proposals could see them joined up via a new 4km tram line running through the centre of Barcelona. The Royal Automobile Club of Catalunya, known as RACC, has presented a study using Aimsun software that analyses the impact of such a connection at 21 junctions in and around Avinguda Diagonal – a major thoroughfare in the city.
The aim was to assess the impact of linking the two tram networks on air quality and the travel times for users of the light rail service and other modes of transport. It found that, from a mobility point of view, journey times would be shorter for tram users. In contrast the new tram link would lead to worse travel times for users of the bus routes crossing Avinguda Diagonal as well as for some pedestrians and private vehicle users.
From an environmental perspective, this increased congestion for private vehicles would bring a significant negative effect on air quality (the levels of NOx) on Avinguda Diagonal, the software showed.
In a public statement, RACC urged that these conclusions should not be used to promote an ‘anti-tram’ stance but rather they indicate that further research is necessary to develop robust proposals.
© 2017 Published with kind permission from ITS-UK ITS Review