RACC Mobility Club
June 2017 – November 2017
The tram lines serving the east and west sides of the city do not currently link. RACC Mobility Club wanted to evaluate the proposal to join up Barcelona’s two existing tram networks via a new 4km tram line running through the center of Barcelona along Diagonal Avenue.
The study analyzes the impact of a new tram link at key junctions in and around Diagonal Avenue – the major thoroughfare that cuts across the whole of the Eixample district in the city center. The main focus was on the busy 1.5 km stretch between Francesc Macià Square and Passeig de Gràcia boulevard.
The Aimsun Next model was used to model the linking of the two tram networks and assess the impact on three factors:
Results showed that from a mobility point of view, journey times would be shorter for tram users. In contrast the new tram link would lead to longer, less reliable travel times for users of the bus routes crossing Diagonal Avenue as well as for some pedestrians and private vehicle users. Buses would have to take new routes to avoid the tramlink but the initial proposal had only taken into account the added kilometers on the new bus routes rather than how much longer they would take to drive.
From an environmental perspective, this increased congestion for private vehicles would bring a significant negative effect on air quality (the levels of NOx) on Diagonal Avenue, the software showed.
RACC Mobility Club was successful in their rejection of the proposal to implement the tramlink along Diagonal Avenue, showing unequivocally that it would in fact increase congestion and journey times in the Eixample district, for both public and private modes of transport crossing the avenue and would therefore also increase emissions and noise pollution.
Furthermore, RACC Mobility Club was able to propose an alternative solution for the tramlink, having used the model to study possible link scenarios using other, less busy routes such as Urgell-Roma-Aragó, Urgell-Gran Via, Numància-Sants-Roma-Aragó or simply using Gran Via.
The flexibility of Aimsun Next allowed the customer to model a variety of scenarios even including the impact of actions such as lowering the average tram speed, modifying tram priority at certain intersections, or building short pedestrian underpasses at certain larger squares to maintain surface transport flow.
The clear, easy-to-understand visual outputs and models in Aimsun Next allowed non-modelers in government positions to understand the impacts of each proposal and enables them to compare options.
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.
The client wanted to evaluate the regional impact of four different designs for the east extension of the T3 tramway with a model covering the Ile-de-France region. The client also wanted an optimal revised traffic control plan for each design.