Brutus’s modelling results have an almost unlimited potential to solve planning issues. Here we have collected a couple of the most typical issues our clients face, along with explanations on how Brutus helped in these situations.
When planning bicycle connections between areas, knowledge about the underlying bicycle potential is essential. Main bicycle routes are needed where the user potential is highest, while taking into account other factors such as the existence and nature of road infrastructure, the amount of car traffic and locations that attract bicycle trips.
Simulations can give planners an insight into the underlying bicycle potential while taking into account land-use developments that will be accomplished in years to come. This method has been used in numerous bicycle network planning projects in Finland, including the town of Riihimäki, shown here as an example.
In many cities cycling potential is studied simply by counting cyclists automatically or by hand. This is a good starting point, but counting current cycling volume does not always correspond to the cycling potential. Take, for example, an inner city main street with a high volume of cars, trucks and buses, driving at the speed of 50 km/h. Without any dedicated infrastrucrure for cyclists, this type of environment attracts only the bravest cyclists. If you use cyclist counts to analyze the need for infrastructure, you may easily come to the conclusion that no investment can be justified in this case. Instead, if you use a transportation model like Brutus to construct a scenario in which a bicycle lane is built, you can reveal the hidden cycling potential that is currently using other, more inconvenient routes or choosing other modes of transport. You can even create an imaginary scenario where all the routes and streets are modelled with equal quality for bicyclists and find out where cyclists would actually cycle if the city was planned just for them!
Sometimes it is interesting to analyze, how a large-scale land-use development project changes traffic volumes on adjacent streets and routes. This type of analysis can be used to improve bottlenecks in the existing network when the project starts to realize. In 2010 Helsinki started the construction of a new residential area in the old harbor area of Jätkäsaari. 17,000 new residents and 6000 jobs are expected to be accommodated in the area, which is directly connected to the inner city. With the help of the Brutus-model we analyzed how the new residential area will affect the cycling flows in the inner city and on the new high-quality bicycle route Baana.
The Brutus-model is able to use a complete network description in its analyses. This feature allows a very accurate analysis of the route choice effects of any improvement projects for cycling. The following picture introduces an example project from Helsinki. The key figures from the analysis were:
The new link shifts bicycle traffic from Kaivokatu and Salomonkatu to an underway passage below the railway yard. There is a lot of pedestrians rushing to and fro in front of the railway station on Kaivokatu. These pedestrians are currently in continuous conflict with passing cyclists. The shift makes a marked decrease on the number of conflicts, thus improving safety for both cyclists and pedestrians.