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Sponsored by
the Federal
Airport Curbside and Terminal
Area Roadway Operations
CHAIR: Michael R. Morris, Director of Transportation, North Central Texas Council of
Governments, Arlington
VICE CHAIR: Neil J. Pedersen, Administrator, Maryland State Highway Administration, Baltimore
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board
J. Barry Barker, Executive Director, Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, KY
Allen D. Biehler, Secretary, Pennsylvania DOT, Harrisburg
Larry L. Brown, Sr., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT, Jackson
Deborah H. Butler, Executive Vice President, Planning, and CIO, Norfolk Southern Corporation,
Norfolk, VA
William A.V. Clark, Professor, Department of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles
Eugene A. Conti, Jr., Secretary of Transportation, North Carolina DOT, Raleigh
Nicholas J. Garber, Henry L. Kinnier Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, and Director,
Center for Transportation Studies, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Jeffrey W. Hamiel, Executive Director, Metropolitan Airports Commission, Minneapolis, MN
Paula J. Hammond, Secretary, Washington State DOT, Olympia
Edward A. (Ned) Helme, President, Center for Clean Air Policy, Washington, DC
Adib K. Kanafani, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
Susan Martinovich, Director, Nevada DOT, Carson City
Debra L. Miller, Secretary, Kansas DOT, Topeka
Sandra Rosenbloom, Professor of Planning, University of Arizona, Tucson
Tracy L. Rosser, Vice President, Corporate Traffic, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Mandeville, LA
Steven T. Scalzo, Chief Operating Officer, Marine Resources Group, Seattle, WA
Henry G. (Gerry) Schwartz, Jr., Chairman (retired), Jacobs/Sverdrup Civil, Inc., St. Louis, MO
Beverly A. Scott, General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit
Authority, Atlanta, GA
David Seltzer, Principal, Mercator Advisors LLC, Philadelphia, PA
Daniel Sperling, Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy; Director, Institute of
Transportation Studies; and Interim Director, Energy Efficiency Center, University of California, Davis
Kirk T. Steudle, Director, Michigan DOT, Lansing
Douglas W. Stotlar, President and CEO, Con-Way, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI
C. Michael Walton, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of Texas, Austin
Peter H. Appel, Administrator, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, U.S.DOT
J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S.DOT
Rebecca M. Brewster, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, Smyrna, GA
George Bugliarello, President Emeritus and University Professor, Polytechnic Institute of New York
University, Brooklyn; Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Engineering, Washington, DC
Anne S. Ferro, Administrator, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S.DOT
LeRoy Gishi, Chief, Division of Transportation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the
Interior, Washington, DC
Edward R. Hamberger, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads, Washington, DC
John C. Horsley, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation
Officials, Washington, DC
David T. Matsuda, Deputy Administrator, Maritime Administration, U.S.DOT
Victor M. Mendez, Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, U.S.DOT
William W. Millar, President, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, DC
Robert J. Papp (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of
Homeland Security, Washington, DC
Cynthia L. Quarterman, Administrator, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration,
Peter M. Rogoff, Administrator, Federal Transit Administration, U.S.DOT
David L. Strickland, Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S.DOT
Joseph C. Szabo, Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration, U.S.DOT
Polly Trottenberg, Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, U.S.DOT
Robert L. Van Antwerp (Lt. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General,
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC
James Wilding
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (re-
Jeff Hamiel
MinneapolisSt. Paul
Metropolitan Airports Commission
James Crites
DallasFort Worth International Airport
Richard de Neufville
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Kevin C. Dolliole
Unison Consulting
John K. Duval
Austin Commercial, LP
Kitty Freidheim
Freidheim Consulting
Steve Grossman
Jacksonville Aviation Authority
Tom Jensen
National Safe Skies Alliance
Catherine M. Lang
Federal Aviation Administration
Gina Marie Lindsey
Los Angeles World Airports
Carolyn Motz
Hagerstown Regional Airport
Richard Tucker
Huntsville International Airport
Sabrina Johnson
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Richard Marchi
Airports Council InternationalNorth America
Laura McKee
Air Transport Association of America
Henry Ogrodzinski
National Association of State Aviation Officials
Melissa Sabatine
American Association of Airport Executives
Robert E. Skinner, Jr.
Transportation Research Board
Christopher W. Jenks
Transportation Research Board
*Membership as of July 2010. *Membership as of June 2010.
Research sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration
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Aviation Design Operations and Traffic Management
Airport Curbside and Terminal
Area Roadway Operations
Burlingame, CA
Oakland, CA
Sacramento, CA
Pasadena, CA
Airports are vital national resources. They serve a key role in trans-
portation of people and goods and in regional, national, and inter-
national commerce. They are where the nations aviation system
connects with other modes of transportation and where federal respon-
sibility for managing and regulating air traffic operations intersects
with the role of state and local governments that own and operate most
airports. Research is necessary to solve common operating problems,
to adapt appropriate new technologies from other industries, and to
introduce innovations into the airport industry. The Airport Coopera-
tive Research Program (ACRP) serves as one of the principal means by
which the airport industry can develop innovative near-term solutions
to meet demands placed on it.
The need for ACRP was identied in TRB Special Report 272: Airport
Research Needs: Cooperative Solutions in 2003, based on a study spon-
sored by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The ACRP carries
out applied research on problems that are shared by airport operating
agencies and are not being adequately addressed by existing federal
research programs. It is modeled after the successful National Coopera-
tive Highway Research Program and Transit Cooperative Research Pro-
gram. The ACRP undertakes research and other technical activities in a
variety of airport subject areas, including design, construction, mainte-
nance, operations, safety, security, policy, planning, human resources,
and administration. The ACRP provides a forum where airport opera-
tors can cooperatively address common operational problems.
The ACRP was authorized in December 2003 as part of the Vision
100-Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act. The primary partici-
pants in the ACRP are (1) an independent governing board, the ACRP
Oversight Committee (AOC), appointed by the Secretary of the U.S.
Department of Transportation with representation from airport oper-
ating agencies, other stakeholders, and relevant industry organizations
such as the Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA),
the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), the National
Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), and the Air Transport
Association (ATA) as vital links to the airport community; (2) the TRB
as program manager and secretariat for the governing board; and
(3) the FAA as program sponsor. In October 2005, the FAA executed a
contract with the National Academies formally initiating the program.
The ACRP benets from the cooperation and participation of airport
professionals, air carriers, shippers, state and local government officials,
equipment and service suppliers, other airport users, and research orga-
nizations. Each of these participants has different interests and respon-
sibilities, and each is an integral part of this cooperative research effort.
Research problem statements for the ACRP are solicited periodically
but may be submitted to the TRB by anyone at any time. It is the
responsibility of the AOC to formulate the research program by iden-
tifying the highest priority projects and dening funding levels and
expected products.
Once selected, each ACRP project is assigned to an expert panel,
appointed by the TRB. Panels include experienced practitioners and
research specialists; heavy emphasis is placed on including airport pro-
fessionals, the intended users of the research products. The panels pre-
pare project statements (requests for proposals), select contractors, and
provide technical guidance and counsel throughout the life of the
project. The process for developing research problem statements and
selecting research agencies has been used by TRB in managing cooper-
ative research programs since 1962. As in other TRB activities, ACRP
project panels serve voluntarily without compensation.
Primary emphasis is placed on disseminating ACRP results to the
intended end-users of the research: airport operating agencies, service
providers, and suppliers. The ACRP produces a series of research
reports for use by airport operators, local agencies, the FAA, and other
interested parties, and industry associations may arrange for work-
shops, training aids, eld visits, and other activities to ensure that
results are implemented by airport-industry practitioners.
Project 07-02
ISSN 1935-9802
ISBN 978-0-309-15512-0
Library of Congress Control Number 2010937921
2010 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining
written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously
published or copyrighted material used herein.
Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this
publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the
understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB or FAA endorsement
of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the
material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate
acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of
the material, request permission from CRP.
The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the Airport Cooperative Research
Program, conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the approval of the
Governing Board of the National Research Council.
The members of the technical panel selected to monitor this project and to review this
report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance.
The report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to
procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved
by the Governing Board of the National Research Council.
The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the
researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transportation
Research Board, the National Research Council, or the program sponsors.
The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National Research
Council, and the sponsors of the Airport Cooperative Research Program do not endorse
products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers names appear herein solely because
they are considered essential to the object of the report.
Published reports of the
are available from:
Transportation Research Board
Business Office
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
and can be ordered through the Internet at
Printed in the United States of America
Christopher W. Jenks, Director, Cooperative Research Programs
Crawford F. Jencks, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs
Michael R. Salamone, ACRP Manager
B. Ray Derr, Senior Program Officer
Emily R. Greenwood, Senior Program Assistant
Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications
Hilary Freer, Senior Editor
Doug English, Editor
Field of Design
Craig Leiner, Massachusetts Port Authority, East Boston, MA (Chair)
Owen P. Curtis, HNTB Corporation, Arlington, VA
Nathalie Martel, AECOM, Montreal, QC
Scott S. Washburn, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Kum L. Dan Wong, American Planning Association, San Francisco, CA
Chris Hugunin, FAA Liaison
Richard A. Cunard, TRB Liaison
The research discussed in this report was conducted under ACRP Project 07-02, Airport Curbside and
Terminal Area Roadway Operations, by a research team of recognized experts in airport planning and
operations, traffic engineering, and transportation planning. LeighFisher (formerly Jacobs Consultancy)
was the prime consultant. Peter B. Mandle, LeighFisher Director, was the Principal Investigator and
W. Gavin R. Duncan, LeighFisher Principal Consultant, was the Deputy Principal Investigator. Other con-
tributors from LeighFisher included Andrew Blaisdell, Dan Barton, and Tyler Tate, Consultants; and Mark
Nagle, Principal Consultant. Dowling Associates was the primary subconsultant and led the research con-
cerning roadway weaving analyses under the direction of Rick Dowling, President, and Marty Beene, Vice
President. Senanu Ashiabor, a Dowling Associates Associate Engineer, also contributed. The focus groups
of airline passengers were conducted by Jennifer D. Franz, President of JD Franz Research, Inc. The traf-
fic surveys at Oakland, San Francisco, and Washington Dulles international airports were conducted
by WILTEC under the direction of Moses Wilson, President. Faith Oiwa of LeighFisher coordinated the
internal production and word processing of this report. Debra L. Lubin served as the technical editor.
The research team would like to express its gratitude to the members of the Project Panel for their sup-
port and insightful comments and advice throughout this research project. The research team would also
like to thank the many airport staff members and consultants who took the time to review interim drafts
of the Guide and provide their thoughts and comments. These reviewers included Foster de la Houassaye
of Kimley-Horn Associates, Inc., and Joel Marcuson of Jacobs Engineering, both of whom served as sub-
contractors; John Bergener of the City and County of San Francisco (San Francisco International Airport);
Michael Hackett of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (Washington Dulles International and
Reagan Washington National airports); Hugh Johnson of the Port of Oakland (Oakland International
Airport); Keith B. Wilschetz of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority (San Diego International
Airport); James W. Green of AECOM; and M. Allen Hoffman of Ricondo & Associates, Inc.
This guide presents a cohesive approach to analyzing traffic operations on airport curbside
and terminal area roadways. The guide describes operational performance measures and
reviews methods of estimating those performance measures. A quick analysis tool for curb-
side operations and low-speed roadway weaving areas is packaged with this guide. Techniques
for estimating traffic volumes are presented as well as common ways of addressing operational
problems. The guide should be useful to airport landside operators, transportation planners,
and consultants analyzing airport curbside and terminal area roadway operations.
Efficient and safe roadway operations are critical to an airport's success. Key elements of
an airports roadway operations are the curbsidewhere travelers and their baggage enter
and exit the terminaland the terminal area roadways that provide private and commercial
vehicles access to the curbside as well as to other destinations such as parking. Travelers expect
safe and efficient roadway operations even as volumes increase, but the design and capacity
of the curbside are often constrained by the terminal building and the proximity of on-airport
landside infrastructure.
For more than 60 years, the Transportation Research Boards Highway Capacity Manual
(HCM) has been the authoritative reference for estimating the capacity and determining the
level of service for transportation facilities, including intersections and roadways. Over the
decades, the HCM has grown to address additional types of facilities and better meet the needs
of analysts. Although it now includes transit, bicycle, and pedestrian facilities, it does not
address the unique challenges posed by airport transportation facilities. Some of these challenges
are related to the tight geometrics due to limited space in the terminal area while others are
due to the differences in traffic composition and traveler expectations.
In this project, LeighFisher took the rst step toward creating analysis guidance comparable
to the HCM for airport curbside and terminal area roadways. They surveyed the largest U.S.
and Canadian airports to obtain reports from recent landside analyses. They reviewed these
reports to identify analysis methods and performance measures of interest, which were then
critically reviewed. A conceptual model for analyzing curbside operations and low-speed weav-
ing areas was then developed. Field data were collected for the development of a macroscopic
queuing model for curbside operations and low-speed weaving areas. The research team then
wrote the guide and validated it with the project panel and staff at two airports.
The project panel believes that the guide will be practical and useful for conducting road-
way analyses. The guide establishes a baseline for analysis based on the current state of the art
but future additional research and experienced analysts will develop better analysis methods,
much as they have for the HCM. These improvements can be incorporated into the analysis
approach in the future.
By B. Ray Derr
Staff Officer
Transportation Research Board
1 Chapter 1 Purpose, Methodology, and Organization
of this Guide
1 Purpose of the Guide
1 Methodology
1 Organization of the Guide
3 Chapter 2 Framework for Analysis of Airport Roadways
and Curbsides
3 Users of Airport Roadways
4 Types of Airport Roadways
7 Operating Characteristics of Airport Terminal Area Roadways
13 Overview of Analytical Framework Hierarchy
14 Overview of Capacity and Level-of-Service Concepts
16 Chapter 3 Estimating Airport Roadway Traffic Volumes
16 Establishing Existing Airport Roadway Traffic Volumes
17 Estimating Future Airport Roadway Traffic VolumesTraditional
Four-Step Approach
28 Estimating Future Airport Roadway Traffic VolumesAlternative Approach
30 Chapter 4 Analyzing Airport Terminal Area Roadways
30 Level-of-Service Denitions for Airport Terminal Area Roadways
30 Quick-Estimation Methods for Analyzing Airport Roadway Operations
32 Macroscopic Method for Analyzing Airport Roadway Weaving Areas
39 Use of Microsimulation Methods
40 Other Performance Measures
41 Chapter 5 Evaluating Airport Curbside Operations
41 Performance Measures
42 Level-of-Service Denitions for Airport Curbside Roadways
43 Estimating Airport Curbside Roadway Traffic Volumes
45 Estimating Airport Curbside Roadway Capacity and Level of Service
50 Analytical Framework Hierarchy for Airport Curbside Roadways
57 Chapter 6 Improving Airport Curbside and Terminal Area
Roadway Operations
57 Typical Terminal Area Roadway Problems
60 Potential Terminal Area Roadway Improvement Measures
63 Typical Curbside Roadway Problems
64 Potential Curbside Roadway Improvement Measures
Note: Many of the photographs, gures, and tables in this report have been converted from color to grayscale
for printing. The electronic version of the report (posted on the Web at www.trb.org) retains the color versions.
70 Appendices
71 Appendix A Glossary
ACRP Report 40: Airport Curbside and Terminal Area Road-
way Operations (the Guide) is intended to assist airport opera-
tors and others in analyzing airport terminal area roadway
and curbside operations. The Guide presents guidelines for
estimating airport roadway requirements and capacities, rec-
ommended performance measures, valid and useful analytical
methods, and potential measures to improve terminal area and
curbside roadway operations.
Purpose of the Guide
This Guide is intended for use by three primary user groups.
The rst user group consists of airport operators, including the
staff responsible for planning, design, and day-to-day opera-
tions of airport terminal area and curbside roadways. The sec-
ond user group includes city, regional, and state transportation
planners who may not be familiar with airport roadway oper-
ations. The third user group consists of airport consultants
who are engaged to conduct planning, environmental, design,
and other projects on behalf of airport operators and other
sponsors. Some users may have signicant experience with air-
ports or aviation, but little familiarity with trafc engineering
or transportation planning principles. Other users may have
experience in trafc engineering and transportation plan-
ning, but little knowledge of airport operations. This Guide
is intended to assist both groups.
For users unfamiliar with airports, the Guide describes the
unique operating characteristics of airport terminal area road-
ways and curbside areas, and how their operations differ from
those of urban streets and regional highways. The Guide pre-
sents methods for estimating existing and future airport road-
way requirements and alternative methods for analyzing
operations on airport roadways.
The Guide was prepared under the direction and guidance
of the project panel. The Guide reects information gathered
through an extensive literature review and the performance of
more than a dozen focus groups of airline passengers, airport
landside operators, and the drivers of commercial ground
transportation vehicles serving airports. The denitions of
curbside and weaving area levels of service included in this
Guide reect the input and comments received during the
focus group sessions.
Trafc volumes gathered during a week-long survey period
at Oakland and Washington Dulles International Airports
were used to develop and validate new macroscopic models for
analyzing and evaluating airport curbside roadway operations
and low-speed weaving, as described in this Guide. The draft
Guide and the macroscopic models were reviewed by represen-
tatives of these two airports and other airports.
Organization of the Guide
This Guide consists of six chapters and seven appendices
(see www.TRB.org for Appendices B through G). Chapters 2
through 6 are summarized below:
Chapter 2, Framework for Analysis of Airport Roadways
and Curbsides, describes the types of vehicles and roadways
typically found on airports and their unique operating char-
acteristics. An overview is provided of (a) the hierarchy of
analytical methodsquick-estimation methods, macro-
scopic models, and microsimulation methodspresented
in Chapters 4 and 5 of this Guideand (b) the concepts of
capacity and level of service, as presented in the 2000 High-
way Capacity Manual (HCM).
Chapter 3, Estimating Airport Roadway Trafc Volumes,
describes the data required to analyze existing roadway traf-
c operations and ways to gather these data. Two alterna-
tive methods for estimating future roadway requirements
are presented, along with the challenges inherent in each
C H A P T E R 1
Purpose, Methodology, and Organization
of this Guide
Chapter 4, Analyzing Airport Terminal Area Roadways,
presents definitions of levels of service for airport termi-
nal area roadway operations and a hierarchy of analytical
methods for analyzing terminal area roadway operations,
including low-speed weaving areas, capacities, and levels of
Chapter 5, Evaluating Airport Curbside Operations, pre-
sents denitions of levels of service for airport curbside
roadway operations and a hierarchy of analytical methods
for quickly estimating curbside roadway capacities and lev-
els of service, including a macroscopic modelthe Quick
Analysis Tool for Airport Roadways (QATAR) developed
during this research project.
Chapter 6, Improving Airport Curbside and Terminal Area
Roadway Operations, presents examples of commonly
occurring airport curbside and roadway operational prob-
lems, describes potential improvement measures, and
overviews steps for analyzing and evaluating airport road-
way improvements.
The Guide also contains seven appendices as follows:
Appendix A: Glossary of technical terms used in the Guide.
Appendix B: Bibliography of resource documents reviewed
for this research project.
Appendix C: Summary of Terminal Area Roadway Trafc
Volume Surveys conducted as part of this research.
Appendix D: Summary of Curbside Roadway Trafc Char-
acteristic Surveys conducted as part of this research.
Appendix E: Summary of Focus Group Surveys of airline
passengers, airport landside operators, and the drivers of
commercial ground transportation vehicles serving air-
ports conducted as part of this research
Appendix F: A Reproduction of Portions of TRB Circular
212 presenting the Critical Movement Analysis for signalized
intersections and the application of this analysis method
Appendix G: Overview of QATAR Curbside Analysis
Methodology presenting the use and application of this
model as well as the spreadsheet model itself.
On-airport roadways are a unique class of roadways. Un-
familiar drivers mix with signicant numbers of professionally
driven large vans and buses; entrances and exits at major air-
ports operate at near-freeway conditions, while curbside road-
ways operate at much slower speeds, as drivers attempt to
maneuver into and out of curbside spaces. Double and triple
parking and jaywalking frequently occur on curbside roadways
despite the visible presence of trafc enforcement ofcers.
Standard highway capacity analysis procedures can address
some aspects of these conditions, but not the full spectrum of
operating conditions that exist on airport terminal area and
curbside roadways. The various users and types of airport
roadways and curbsides, and their unique operating character-
istics are described in this chapter. Overviews of (1) the hierar-
chy of methods for analyzing airport roadway and curbside
operations and (2) roadway capacity and level-of-service con-
cepts also are presented.
Users of Airport Roadways
Airport roadways provide access to and from the multi-
ple land uses on an airport. These roadways serve vehicles
transporting airline passengers and visitors (in this Guide,
visitors refers to meeters, greeters, and well-wishers accom-
panying or greeting airline passengers), employees of the
airlines and other airport tenants, air cargo and mail, as well
as vehicles used for the delivery of goods and services, main-
tenance, to support airport operations or construction, and
other purposes.
A multitude of vehicle types use airport roadways. They
include private vehicles, rental cars, on-demand and pre-
reserved taxicabs, prearranged and on-demand limousines or
Town Cars, door-to-door vans, courtesy vehicles, charter
buses, scheduled buses, and service and delivery vehicles. Each
vehicle/user type has its own special characteristics and affects
airport roadway operations differently, as described below.
1. Private vehicles. Privately owned and operated vehicles
consist of automobiles, vans, pickup trucks, and motor-
cycles used to transport airline passengers, visitors, and
employees of the airport operator, airlines, and other air-
port tenants. Motorists transporting airline passengers in
private vehicles may use the curbside areas, parking facili-
ties (including cell phone lots), or both.
2. Rental cars. Rental vehicles, including automobiles and
vans, used to transport airline passengers or visitors, are
rented by passengers or visitors from rental car compa-
nies doing business on or near the airport for the duration
of the passengers or visitors trips. Rental car customers
may use the curbside areas, rental car ready and return
areas, or both.
3. On-demand taxicabs. Taxicabs provide door-to-door
service without prior reservations, which is typically exclu-
sive (i.e., for a single party) and provided in vehicles capa-
ble of transporting ve passengers plus their baggage.
These vehicles are typically licensed and regulated by a
municipal taxicab authority. Typically, on-demand taxi-
cabs wait for deplaning passengers at a taxicab stand (or
in a taxicab queue) at the curbside area next to the bag-
gage claim area. At large airports, taxicabs may wait in a
remotely located taxicab holding or staging area until they
are dispatched to the curbside taxicab stand in response to
customer demand.
4. Pre-reserved taxicabs. Pre-reserved taxicab service is
exclusive, door-to-door transportation provided in vehi-
cles capable of transporting up to ve customers plus their
baggage. Rather than being provided on demand, as tra-
ditional taxicab service, pre-reserved taxicabs are pro-
vided in response to prior reservations made by airline
passengers seeking to be picked up by a specic company
or driver, including suburban taxicabs not regulated by
the municipal taxicab authority. Passengers with special
needs, such as those with skis, golf clubs, large amounts of
C H A P T E R 2
Framework for Analysis of Airport Roadways
and Curbsides
baggage, disabilities, or passengers using a credit card to
pay the fare, may request service by specic vehicles or
companies. Typically, pre-reserved taxicabs or taxicabs
requested specially are not allowed to wait at the curbside
taxicab stand, but are assigned curb space at nearby or
alternative locations.
5. Prearranged limousines. Prearranged limousine ser-
vice is exclusive door-to-door transportation provided
in luxury vehicles capable of transporting a single party
consisting of up to five customers (or more in stretch
limousines) regulated by a local or state agency. Gener-
ally, limousine service is only available to customers
who have made prior reservations (i.e., prearranged)
and are greeted (or picked up) by a driver having a way-
bill or other evidence of the reservations. Some airport
operators allow limousine drivers to park at the curb-
side and wait for customers; others require that the
drivers park in a parking lot or other designated zone
and accompany their customers from the terminal to
the parking area.
6. On-demand limousines or Town Cars. Privately operated
on-demand door-to-door transportation is also provided
by exclusive luxury vehicles or Town Cars capable of
transporting up to ve passengers and their baggage. These
services are similar to on-demand taxicab services, but are
provided in luxury vehicles with higher fares than those
charged for taxicab services.
7. Door-to-door vans. Door-to-door or shared-ride van
services are typically provided in vans capable of trans-
porting 8 to 10 passengers and their baggage. The service
is available on both an on-demand and prearranged basis.
Passengers, who may share the vehicle with other passen-
gers, are provided door-to-door service between the air-
port and their homes, ofces, or other locations, but may
encounter several (typically four or fewer) en route stops.
Typically, door-to-door vans wait for deplaning passen-
gers at the curbside next to the baggage claim area. Similar
to taxicabs, vans may be required to wait in hold or stag-
ing areas until they are dispatched to the curbside in
response to customer demand.
8. Courtesy vehicles. Door-to-door courtesy vehicle service
is shared-ride transportation provided by the operators of
hotels, motels, rental car companies, parking lot operators
(both privately owned and airport operated parking lots),
and others solely for their customers. Typically, no fare is
charged because the cost of the transportation is consid-
ered part of, or incidental to, the primary service being
provided. Courtesy vehicle service is provided in shuttle
vehicles, including 8- to 12-passenger vans (e.g., those
operated by small motels), minibuses, and full-size buses
(e.g., those operated by rental car companies at large air-
ports). Typically, courtesy vehicles pick up customers at
designated curbside areas that have been reserved or allo-
cated for their use.
9. Charter buses. Charter bus service (also referred to as tour
bus or cruise ship bus service) is door-to-door service pro-
vided to a party (or group of passengers) that has made
prior reservations or arrangements for the service. Char-
ter bus and van service is provided using over-the-road
coaches, full-size buses, minibuses, and vans seating more
than ve passengers. Since charter bus service is sporadi-
cally provided at most airports, curb space (or other
passenger pickup areas) is either not allocated for char-
ter buses or is shared with other transportation modes.
Exceptions include airports serving large volumes of char-
ter or cruise ship passengers on a regular basis. Typically,
charter buses are required to wait in a remotely located
hold area until the arrival or assembly of the party being
provided the service.
10. Scheduled buses. Scheduled buses provide shared-ride
service at established stops along a fixed route and oper-
ate on a scheduled basis. Typically, scheduled buses are
operated by a public agency and make multiple stops
along a designated route, but in some communities
express or semi-express service is operated by a private
operator or public agency. The location and amount of
curb space allocated to scheduled buses depends on the
volume of such service and the policy of the airport
11. Service and delivery vehicles. Service vehicles include a
wide range of trucks, vans, and semi-trailers, and other
delivery vehicles used to transport goods, air cargo and
mail, contractors, and refuse to and from the airport.
Generally, deliveries are made at designated loading docks
or warehouses, not at the terminal curbside. However, the
pickup and drop-off locations for airline-operated small
package delivery services, which are provided by small
vans and light trucks, are at the terminal curbside at some
Types of Airport Roadways
Although the airport passenger terminal building and sur-
rounding area (the terminal area) is the most prominent
location on an airport, depending on the size, type, and distri-
bution of airport land uses, less than half of all trafc on an air-
port may be associated with passengers and visitors proceeding
to/from the terminal area; the remaining trafc is generated by
nonairline passenger activities, including employees. Regard-
less of airport size, the variety of land uses found on an airport
requires a network of roadways to provide for inbound and
outbound trafc, and the internal circulation of trafc between
land uses. The roadway network consists of the types of road-
ways depicted on Figure 2-1.
Access Roadways
For purposes of this Guide, airport access roadways are
dened as the roadways linking the regional highway and road-
way network with the airport terminal and other areas of the
airport that attract large volumes of airline passenger-generated
trafc, such as parking and rental car facilities. Access road-
ways provide for the free ow of trafc between the regional
network and the passenger terminal building or other major
public facilities, and typically have a limited number of deci-
sion points (i.e., entrances or exits). At large airports, access
roadways are often limited-access roadways with both at-grade
intersections and grade-separated interchanges. At smaller
airports, access roadways often have at-grade intersections
that may be signalized, stop-sign controlled, or have round-
abouts (yield-sign controlled).
Curbside Roadways
Curbside roadways are one-way roadways located immedi-
ately in front of the terminal buildings where vehicles stop to
pick up and drop off airline passengers and their baggage.
Curbside roadways typically consist of (1) an inner lane(s)
where vehicles stop or stand in a nose-to-tail manner while pas-
sengers board and alight, (2) an adjacent maneuvering lane, and
(3) one or more through or bypass lanes. Curb space is often
allocated or reserved along the inner lane for specic vehicles
or classes of vehicles (e.g., taxicabs, shuttle buses, or courtesy
vehicles), particularly at the curbside areas serving baggage
claim or passenger pickup.
As shown on Figure 2-2, depending on the conguration of
the adjacent terminal building, curbside roadways may include
one, two, or more vertical levels and/or one, two, or more
parallel roadways separated by raised medians (often called
islands). At airports with dual-level curbsides, the upper level
curbside area is at the same level as airline passenger ticketing
and check-in facilities inside the terminal and is intended for
passenger drop-off. The lower level curbside area is at the same
level as the baggage claim area and is reserved for passenger
pickup. At airports with multiple terminals where one of the
parallel roadways serves as a bypass roadway, cut-through
Figure 2-1. Hierarchy of airport roadway classications.
roadways may be provided to allow vehicles to circulate
between the inner and outer parallel roadways (and curb-
side roads).
Circulation Roadways
Circulation roadways generally serve a lower volume of traf-
c and are less direct than the roadways served by access road-
ways. Circulation roadways often provide a variety of paths for
the movement of vehicles between the terminals, parking, and
rental car facilities. Examples include return-to-terminal road-
ways that allow motorists to proceed to parking after having
dropped off airline passengers (or proceed from parking to the
terminals) and allow courtesy or other vehicles to return to the
terminal (e.g., after having dropped off enplaning airline pas-
sengers and returning to pick up deplaning passengers on a
Figure 2-2. Typical airport curbside conguration.
different curbside roadway). Compared to access roadways,
circulation roadways typically operate at lower speeds and
allow for multiple decision points.
The above roadwaysaccess roadways, curbside road-
ways, and circulation roadwaysare considered curbside
and terminal area roadways and are the focus of this Guide.
Other airport roads include service and access roads, as
described below.
Service Roads
Service roads link the airport access roadways with on-
airport hotels, employee parking areas, and employment
centers (e.g., aircraft maintenance facilities or hangars), air
cargo/air freight buildings and overnight parcel delivery
services, loading docks/trash pickup areas, post ofces, xed-
base operators (FBOs) or general aviation areas, airport
maintenance buildings and garages, military bases, and other
nonsecure portions of the airport that generate little airline
passenger trafc.
The trafc generated by these land uses differs from that gen-
erated by the passenger terminal building in several respects.
First, the trafc on service roads includes a higher proportion
of trucks, semi-trailers, and other heavy vehicles than the traf-
c on curbside and terminal area roadways, which rarely serve
trucks or delivery vehicles. Second, most drivers on the service
roads (e.g., employees and drivers of cargo vehicles) use these
roads frequently and are familiar with the roads and their des-
tinations, unlike drivers using the curbside and terminal area
For purposes of operational analyses, the service roads are
similar to those found in an industrial park. Typically, they
consist of two- to four-lane roads with generous provision for
the turning paths of large trucks and semi-trailers and for
entering and exiting vehicles, including separate or exclusive
turning lanes.
Aireld Roads
A separate network of roads located within the aircraft
operating area or the aireld is used by ground service equip-
ment, including vehicles servicing aircraft, towing aircraft, or
towing baggage carts and vehicles used for runway mainte-
nance or emergency response. Often these vehicles are not
licensed to operate on public streets. Only drivers with air-
eld licenses are permitted to operate vehicles with aero-
drome permits in secure or restricted areas. The design and
operation of these roads is addressed in guidelines issued by
the FAA Series 150 Advisory Circulars
The remainder of this Guide addresses curbside and termi-
nal area roadways only.
Operating Characteristics of Airport
Terminal Area Roadways
The operating characteristics of airport terminal area road-
ways differ from those of other public roads. This section
describes the distinguishing operating characteristics of airport
terminal area roadways, weaving sections, and curbside areas.
What Makes Airport Roadway
Operations Unique
The main differences between the operating characteristics
of airport terminal area access and circulation roadways and
nonairport roadways include
A high proportion of unfamiliar motorists. Because most
airline passengers y infrequently (e.g., fewer than four
times per year), they (and the drivers who are dropping
them off/picking them up) are not familiar with the road-
ways at their local airport(s), much less the roadways at their
destination airport(s). Unlike commuters, who rarely need
to refer to roadway signs, airline passengers rely upon signs
(or other visual cues) to guide them into and out of an air-
port and to/from their destinations on the airport. Picking
up passengers may be particularly challenging for unfamil-
iar motorists, who must follow the appropriate signs, be
aware of all the trafc and pedestrian activity at the curbside
areas, and also be able to identify their party among crowds
of other passengers waiting to be picked up.
Large number of complex directional signs. Directional
signs on airports often provide more information (i.e., more
lines of text) than those on public roadways governed by the
Manual of Uniform Trafc Control Devices (published by
FHWA) because of the number of terminals, separation of
departures and arrivals level roadways, airlines, parking
options, and rental car companies that must be provided to
motorists (see Figure 2-3). For example, the general policy
at U.S. airports is to display the name of every airline serving
an airport, even those operating only a few times a week. The
signs often include colors, fonts, symbols, and messages not
used on other public roadway signs.
Because of the number, size, and complexity of these
signs, motorists may not see regulatory or warning signs
concerning height restrictions, parking rates, security reg-
ulations, use restrictions (e.g., authorized vehicles only),
and other messages. These signs may result in an overload
of information and cause motorists to decelerate while
attempting to read the signs.
Stressful conditions. Motorists operating on airport
roadways are under more stress than typical motorists.
This stress results from the knowledge that minor delays or
wrong turns may cause a person to arrive too late to check
baggage, claim a pre-reserved seat, or greet an arriving pas-
senger, or in an extreme case, miss a ight entirely. Con-
gested airport roadways, closely spaced decision points,
and complex signs can add to this stress and discomfort.
Factors adding to passenger stress at an airport include
the need to connect from a car to a plane, from a car to a
bus, nd a parking place, nd a passenger (Where is Aunt
Meg?), nd the correct place to drop off or pick up a pas-
senger, locate the taxicab, courtesy vehicle, or city bus stop,
and so forth. Passengers realize the importance of making
correct decisions in an environment that is more compli-
cated and anxiety-lled than a typical roadway situation so
that they do not miss their ights or rides. Each action on
an airport is part of a chain of events, any one of which can
go wrong and disrupt or delay a vacation, business meet-
ing, or other important event.
High proportion of large vehicles. More than 10 types of
ground transportation services operate on airport road-
ways. The characteristics of each service, the needs of the
customers using the services, and the operating character-
istics of the vehicles used to provide these services must be
considered when developing physical and operational
plans for airport curbside and terminal area roadways.
Courtesy vehicles, door-to-door vans, scheduled buses,
and other large vehicles may represent 10% to 20% of the
trafc volume on a terminal area roadway. On a typical pub-
lic street, less than 10% of the trafc consists of large vehi-
cles. Standard Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) capacity
calculation procedures reduce the capacity of a public high-
way with a high percentage of truck, bus, and other large
vehicle traffic to account for the slower acceleration/
deceleration characteristics of these vehicles.
However, the use of a capacity adjustment factor may not
be necessary on airport terminal area roadways because
courtesy vehicles, vans, and buses operating on those road-
ways do not interfere with the ow of other trafc to the
extent that they do on public highways. On airport termi-
nal area roadways, these large vehicles can operate at the
range of prevailing speeds typically found on airport road-
ways (i.e., 25 miles per hour [mph] to 45 mph) and have
sufcient power to accelerate and decelerate at rates that are
comparable to those of private vehiclesand do so unless
they are transporting standing passengersbecause most
airport roadways are level or have gentle vertical slopes.
Additionally, large vehicles such as courtesy vans or shuttle
buses may obstruct motorists views of waynding signs
and may interfere with the operation of passing vehicles as
they enter or exit curbside areas.
Mix of experienced and inexperienced drivers. Although
most private vehicle drivers use an airport infrequently,
20% to 30% of the vehicles on airport roadways are oper-
ated by professional drivers who are thoroughly famil-
iar with the on-airport roadways because they use them
frequentlyperhaps several times each day. This difference
contributes to vehicles operating at a range of speeds on the
same roadway segmentslow-moving vehicles (e.g., un-
familiar drivers of private vehicles attempting to read signs
or complete required turns and maneuvers) and faster vehi-
Figure 2-3. Complex airport roadway signs.
Source: LeighFisher.
cles (e.g., taxicabs and limousines operated by professional
drivers familiar with the airport roadways and who may
ignore posted speed limits).
Recirculating trafc. Trafc ofcers often require motorists
to exit the terminal area if they are not actively loading or
unloading passengers, unable to nd an empty curbside
space, or waiting for an arriving passenger who is not yet at
the curbside. Motorists exiting the curbside area may either
wait in a cell phone lot until the passenger arrives (which is
encouraged by airport operators) or recirculate around the
airport and back to the curbside. Table 2-1 indicates the per-
centage of roadway trafc that recirculates past the terminal
more than once.
These recirculating vehicles contribute to roadway conges-
tion and represent unnecessary trafc volumes. Factors con-
tributing to recirculating roadway trafc include (1) stricter
enforcement procedures required by current security regula-
tions, (2) motorists who may not understand the difference
between the published ight arrival time and the time when
a passenger arrives at the curbside, (3) motorists waiting for
passengers whose ights have been delayed, and (4) drivers
of commercial vehicles who, in violation of airport regula-
tions, are improperly soliciting customers along the curbside
What Makes Airport Roadway Weaving
Section Operations Unique
Weaving is dened as the crossing of two or more trafc
streams traveling in the same direction along a length of
highway without the aid of a traffic signal or other control
device. A weaving maneuver occurs when vehicles enter a
roadway segment from one side and exit the segment on the
other while other vehicles do the opposite at the same time.
The most common example of weaving occurs on freeways
where an on-ramp is followed by an off-ramp a short dis-
tance later, and those two ramps are connected by an auxil-
iary lane. The weaving movement occurs when vehicles on
the freeway move into the auxiliary lane to exit via the off-
ramp, while vehicles from the on-ramp move from the aux-
iliary lane onto the freeway.
The operation of weaving and merging areas on airport
roadways differs from the operation on nonairport roadways
primarily because these operations occur at slower speeds on
airport roadways than they do on freeways and arterial streets.
Weaving analyses generally are conducted for freeways and
arterial streets on which vehicles operate at higher speeds than
those on most airport roadways. At high speeds, drivers require
large gaps between successive vehicles in order to merge
into, or weave across, a trafc stream. In the 2000 HCM, it was
assumed that a free-ow speed of 35 mph on a weaving section
represents level of service (LOS) E (i.e., operations at or near a
roadways capacitythe HCM chapters on weaving and merg-
ing were prepared for freeways). Thus, the metrics used in the
HCM to establish satisfactory weaving conditions are not suit-
able for analysis of airport roadways, which operate at lower
speeds than freeways. Chapter 4 of this Guide presents alterna-
tive metrics and analysis methods for use on airport roadways.
Upon entering an airport, motorists typically encounter a
series of exits or turns leading to nonterminal areas (e.g., econ-
omy parking, air cargo, general aviation), close-in parking
(hourly, daily, or valet) and rental car return (by company), and
ticketing/departures vs. baggage claim/arrivals curbside areas.
Upon exiting the airport, motorists may encounter a similar
series of exits as well as roads leading back to the terminal and
alternative regional destinations.
Often, the distance between successive decision points is
much less than that suggested by highway design standards
established for limited access highways because of the relatively
short distances available between an airport entrance and the
terminal area. Unlike a regional highway where decision points
may be separated by a mile or more, successive decision points
on an airport may be separated by 500 feet or less. Even though
motorists on airport roadways are traveling at speeds (e.g.,
35 mph or less) that are slower than those on freeways or arte-
rial roadways, the limited distances between decision points
compromise the ability of motorists to recognize, read, and
react to roadway guide signs, or do not allow adequate time to
complete required merging and weaving maneuvers.
What Makes Airport Curbside
Operations Unique
As noted in Chapter 1, curbside roadways consist of the
inner curbside lane(s) where vehicles stop or stand typically in
a nose-to-tail arrangement while passengers board and alight,
an adjacent maneuvering lane that vehicles may occupy while
decelerating or accelerating to enter or exit the curbside lane,
and one or more through or bypass lanes. The operating
characteristics of airport terminal curbsides differ signicantly
from those of most other roadways because of the interactions
Table 2-1. Percentage of private vehicles
recirculating to the arrivals curbside.
Baltimore/Washington International
Thurgood Marshall Airport
San Francisco International Airport
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Dallas Love Field
Reagan Washington National Airport
Source: Based on data provided by Ricondo & Associates, Inc., June 2009.
between vehicles maneuvering into and out of curbside spaces
and vehicles traveling in the through or bypass lanes.
The capacity of a curbside roadway is dened both by the
number of vehicles that can be accommodated while stopping
to pick up or drop off passengers and the number that can be
accommodated while traveling past the curbside in the through
lanes. The capacity of the through lanes is restricted by vehicles
that are double parked (which is often tolerated on airport
curbside roadways) or triple parked. These capacity restric-
tions can cause trafc delays and the formation of queues that
block vehicles trying to maneuver around stopped vehicles or
attempting to enter and exit curbside spaces. (Additional infor-
mation on the operating characteristics of curbside roadways
is presented in Chapter 5.)
The length (or capacity) of a curbside area must be in bal-
ance with the capacity of the through lanes drivers use to
enter and exit the curbside area. For example, a mile-long
curbside served by only two lanes (one curbside lane and one
through lane) would be imbalanced because, even though the
curb length could accommodate a large number of vehicles,
trafc ow in the single through lane would be delayed every
time a vehicle maneuvers into and out of a curbside space or
double parks waiting for an empty space. The reverse imbal-
ance would occur with a very short curbside area and multi-
ple through lanes.
Other operating characteristics of airport curbside road-
ways that differ from public roads, as further described in
Chapter 5, include the following:
Dwell times. The length of time a vehicle remains stopped
at the curbside area is referred to as dwell time. Generally,
vehicles transporting a large number of passengers and bag-
gage require a long dwell time. The number of vehicles that
can be accommodated along a given curbside length is
determined by the size of the vehicles (i.e., the length of the
stall each vehicle occupies, including maneuvering space in
front of and behind the vehicle) and the amount of time
each vehicle remains at the curbside (i.e., the dwell time).
Dwell times at a particular airport are affected by enforce-
ment policies (i.e., strict enforcement leads to shorter dwell
times) and local driver behavior (e.g., do drivers double park
in a way that allows other motorists to easily enter and exit
the lane adjacent to the terminal?).
Motorists dropping off passengers typically have shorter
dwell times than those picking up passengers (unless
motorists are prohibited from waiting for the arrival of a
deplaning passenger). Thus, since airports generally have
equivalent volumes of originating and terminating airline
passengers (and associated traffic volumes), the required
capacity or length of an arrivals (pickup) curbside area is
typically greater than that of the departures (drop-off)
curbside area.
Maneuvering trafc and parking preferences. Unlike
motorists on city streets, motorists parallel parking at air-
ports rarely back into a curbside space. Motorists frequently
stop with their vehicles askew to the travel lanes or sidewalk
areas rather than maneuvering their vehicles into positions
parallel to the curbside. By doing so, they may block or
interfere with the ow of trafc in other lanes. Motorists
leave space between successive vehicles to assure that they
are not blocked and to allow access to the trunk or baggage
storage area.
Motorists using airport curbside roadways may stop in
the second lane even if there is an empty space in the curb-
side lane to avoid being blocked in by other motorists and to
reduce the walking distances of passengers being dropped
off (e.g., stop near a desired door or skycap position) or
being picked up (e.g., stop at a point near where the person
is standing). Thus, motorists frequently stop in the second
lane in front of the door serving the desired airline even
though there may be an empty curbside space located down-
stream. The propensity to avoid inner lanes and double park
reects local driver behavior or courtesy.
Capacity of adjacent through lanes. Through-lane capacity
is reduced by trafc entering and exiting curbside spaces,
high proportions of vehicles double and triple parking, the
use of the maneuver lanes, and other factors. As such, the
capacity analysis procedures presented in the 2000 HCM are
not applicable. Chapter 5 of this Guide presents suggested
methods for calculating the capacities of curbside lanes and
through lanes at airports.
Uneven distribution of demand. Curbside demand is not
uniformly distributed during peak periods, reecting (1) air-
line schedules and (2) the uneven distribution of the times
passengers arrive at the enplaning curbside prior to their
scheduled departures (lead time) or the times passengers
arrive at the deplaning curbside after their ights have landed
(lag times). Furthermore, stopped vehicles are not uniformly
distributed along the length of a curbside area, reecting
motorist preferences for spaces near specic doors and sky-
cap positions and their aversion to spaces near columns or
without weather protection, if weather-protected spaces
are available.
An aerial view of a busy terminal curbside area would
show vehicles stopped adjacent to the door(s) serving
major airlines. When a new terminal is opened, the airline
with the largest market share frequently gets the rst choice
of ticket counter and baggage claim area locations. Often,
this airline selects the most prominent location, which gen-
erally is the area nearest the entrance to the curbside area.
Thus, curbside demand is often heaviest at the entrance to
the curbside area, causing double-parked vehicles and
congestion in this area, while downstream areas remain
Allocation of space for commercial vehicles and other
uses. At most airports, curb space is allocated to commercial
vehicles on the pickup curbside area. In the allocation of
commercial vehicle curb space, multiple factors must be
considered in addition to calculated space requirements,
such as customer service, operational needs, airport poli-
cies, revenues, and perceived or actual competition among
ground transportation services. Curb space may also be allo-
cated for disabled parking, police vehicles, airport vehicles,
valet parking drop-off/pickup, tow trucks, and other users.
Allocation of trafc on inner and outer curbside areas. At
airports having inner and outer curbside areas, one curbside
area is generally allocated for private vehicles and the other
curbside area(s) is (are) allocated for commercial vehicles. It
may be difcult to direct private motoristsespecially those
unfamiliar with the airportto multiple curbsides (or sup-
plemental curbsides) and, as such, supplemental curbsides
are rarely used. Conversely, it is fairly common to direct
commercial vehicles to multiple curbside areas.
Crosswalk location, frequency, and controls. Crosswalks
provide for the safe movement of pedestrians between the
terminal building and center island curbside areas or a park-
ing facility located opposite the terminal. The use of cross-
walks can be encouraged and jaywalking discouraged by
providing numerous crosswalks at convenient (i.e., closely
spaced) locations and/or fences or other barriers to pedes-
trians along the outer island.
However, providing multiple crosswalks adversely affects
the ow of through trafc. Motorists are often required to
stop at more than one crosswalk because trafc controls at
the crosswalks (whether trafc ofcers or signals) are rarely
coordinated in such a way as to allow a continuous ow of
through vehicles, such as commonly occurs on an urban
street. Multiple crosswalks also reduce the available length
of curb space. A single crosswalk has less impact on through
trafc and available curb length than multiple, unsignal-
ized crosswalks, although multiple crosswalks are more
Curbside lane widths. At most airports, curbside roadway
lane widths are the same as those on public streets (e.g., 10
to 12 feet). Recognizing the tendency of drivers to double
park, some airport operators have elected to delineate one
double-wide (e.g., 20 to 24 feet) curbside lane rather than
two adjacent 10- to 12-foot lanes. (See Figure 2-4.)
Availability of short-duration parking. Curbside demand
can be inuenced by the availability and price of conve-
niently located, short-duration (e.g., hourly) parking. If such
parking is readily available and reasonably priced, fewer
motorists may choose to use the curbsides. Conversely, the
perceived lack or high cost of available short-duration park-
ing spaces can discourage motorists from parking and
instead lead to increased curbside demand. Similarly, the
availability of cell phone or call-and-wait lots can reduce
curbside roadway trafc volumes.
Multiterminal airports. Large airports may have multiple
terminals, each with separate curbside areas, or continuous
curbsides that extend between terminal buildings. Curbside
operations at each terminal may differ, reecting the char-
acteristics of the dominant passenger groups and airlines
(e.g., international vs. domestic passengers, or legacy vs. low
cost carriers).
Recirculating or bypass trafc. At many airports, there is
a signicant proportion of nonstopping or bypass trafc on
the terminal curbsides. This bypass trafc includes (1) recir-
culating traffic that, because of police enforcement or
other reasons, passes the terminal curbside (particularly the
deplaning curbside) more than once, (2) curbside trafc
destined for another terminal or adjacent curbside section,
which must bypass the curbside in question, and (3) non-
curbside trafc traveling past the curbside (e.g., cut-through
vehicles, employee vehicles, or airport service or mainte-
nance vehicles).
Nonstandard curbside congurations. Although most air-
ports have linear curbsides where vehicles stop bumper to
bumper or nose to tail, a few airports have nonstandard
curbside congurations.
Pull-through private vehicle spaces. As shown on Fig-
ure 2-5, the curbside areas at some U.S. airports (e.g.,
Lambert-St. Louis International, Nashville International,
and Little Rock National Airports), as well as many over-
seas, have (or had) pull-through spaces arranged at
45-degree angles that allow motorists to pull through,
similar to the way they would at a drive-through window.
Figure 2-4. Double-wide curbside lane at
Washington Dulles International Airport.
Source: LeighFisher.
Angled commercial vehicle spaces. The commercial
vehicle curbside areas at the airports serving Atlanta,
Newark, and Orlando, among others, have angled spaces
that require vehicles to back up to exit.
Driver-side loading. As shown on Figure 2-6, at a few air-
ports (e.g., Bush Intercontinental Airport/Houston and
Mineta San Jose International Airport), the deplaning
curbsides are located on the drivers side of the vehicle,
requiring private vehicle passengers to open the door and
enter or exit the vehicle on the side away from the termi-
nal building while standing in a trafc lane. Driver-side
loading is used at some airports for taxicabs because pas-
sengers may enter the cab from either side of the vehicle.
Brief parking zonespay for curbside use. Some Euro-
pean airports do not provide free curb space, but instead
provide parking areas adjacent to the terminals that
motorists can use for a fee. These areas can be congured
parallel to the curbside (see Figure 2-7) or in a traditional
parking lot adjacent to the terminal building (see Fig-
ure 2-8). In Europe, unattended vehicles are permitted
in these zones, but in the United States, current security
regulations prohibit unattended vehicles at the terminal
Supplemental curbsides. Some airports provide sup-
plemental curbsides in or near parking structures or at
remotely located sites. Examples of airports with curb-
side areas within parking structures include those at the
airports serving New York (LaGuardia), St. Louis, and
Salt Lake City (see Figure 2-9).
Source: LeighFisher.
Figure 2-5. Pull-through curbside lanes at Brussels
Figure 2-6. Driver-side loading at Mineta San Jose
International Airport.
Figure 2-8. Brief parking curbside zone at Munich
Figure 2-7. Pay for curbside use at Paris Charles
de Gaulle International Airport.
Source: LeighFisher. Source: LeighFisher.
Source: LeighFisher.
The analytical procedures described in this Guide are most
relevant for airports with traditional curb spaces because of
the differing dwell times and through-lane operations that
occur with other congurations.
Overview of Analytical Framework
Subsequent chapters of this Guide present alternative meth-
ods for analyzing airport roadways, weaving sections, and
curbside areas, recognizing the unique characteristics of these
facilities. The alternative analysis methods or hierarchy differ
in terms of (1) the level of effort or time needed to conduct the
analysis, (2) the expected level of accuracy or reliability of the
results, and (3) the necessary level of user skill or experience.
The three methodsquick-estimation methods, macroscopic
methods, and microsimulation methodsare described in the
following paragraphs.
Quick-Estimation Methods
Quick-estimation methods, as the name suggests, can be
used simply and rapidly to produce preliminary analyses of
roadway operations (or other facilities). They generally con-
sist of look-up tables, simple formulas based on regression
analysis of databases, or rules of thumb, and are based on
broad assumptions about the characteristics of the facility
being analyzed. As such, they provide a rst test of the ability
of a roadway or other facility to properly accommodate the
estimated requirements (existing or future) or the adequacy
of a potential improvement measure.
Quick-estimation methods are ideal for quickly sizing a
facility. The analyst can easily check which of many possible
roadway design options is sufficient to serve the forecast
demand. These methods, however, are less than satisfactory
for estimating the operating performance of a given roadway
or for rening a given design. If information on the actual per-
formance of a given facility or how to rene a particular design
is desired, then macroscopic methods (described below)
should be used.
Macroscopic Methods
Macroscopic methods are used to consider the ows of vehi-
cle streams, rather than the ows or operations of individual
vehicles. The HCM is an example of a set of macroscopic meth-
ods for evaluating roadway operations. As such, these methods
approximate the interactions between individual vehicles, the
behavior of individual drivers, and detailed characteristics of
the roadways (or other facilities). Adjustment factors, typically
developed through empirical observations or microsimulation
methods, often are used to account for atypical vehicles or
driver characteristics, trafc ow constraints, or other opera-
tional characteristics. These methods produce results that are
considered acceptable, more accurate than quick-estimation
methods, and can be used with less training and experience
than microsimulation methods.
Macroscopic methods can provide reliable estimates of the
steady-state performance of a roadway averaged over a given
analysis period. They are best for determining the renements
to a proposed design (or existing facility) that would elimi-
nate capacity and congestion problems. These methods are less
satisfactory for quantifying facility operations under heavy
congestion conditions.
Macroscopic methods are generally unsatisfactory for com-
paring alternative improvements that reduce but do not elim-
inate congestion. Under heavily congested conditions (hourly
demand exceeding capacity), queuing vehicles from one part
of the roadway affect both upstream and downstream opera-
tions in a manner that cannot be estimated easily using macro-
scopic methods. Macroscopic methods also cannot be used for
unusual facility types or situations for which they were not
designed. In those situations, microsimulation methods must
be used.
Microsimulation Methods
Microsimulation methods consist of the use of sophisti-
cated computer programs to simulate the operation of indi-
vidual vehicles on simulated roadway networks. Each vehicle
is assigned characteristics, such as a destination, perfor-
mance capabilities, and driver behavior. Each roadway net-
work is dened using characteristics such as number, length,
and width of lanes; operating speeds; trafc controls; and
pedestrian activity. As each imaginary vehicle travels through
the computerized roadway network, various aspects of its
Figure 2-9. Supplemental curbside at Salt Lake City
International Airport.
Source: LeighFisher.
performance can be recorded based on its interaction with
other vehicles and trafc controls. These performance statis-
tics can be summarized in many ways, including commonly
used performance measures, such as travel time and delays,
travel speeds, and queue lengths. Also, some microsimulation
models produce a visual display of the simulated roadway
operations, which can be helpful when evaluating operations
or presenting results.
Of the three methods for analyzing airport roadway condi-
tions, microsimulation methods are the most complex and
require the most effort and skill on the part of the user, but they
also produce the most detailed and reliable results. The use
of microsimulation methods is suggested when macroscopic
methods do not yield reasonable results, do not provide suf-
cient detail, or when the conditions being analyzed are outside
the ranges addressed by macroscopic methods.
Additional information regarding the application of these
three analysis methods is presented in subsequent chapters
of this Guide.
Overview of Capacity and
Level-of-Service Concepts
The concepts of capacity and level of service, as presented
in the 2000 HCM, are fundamental to analyses of roadway and
other transportation facilities and well understood by trafc
engineers and transportation planning professionals. This sec-
tion is intended to provide an overview of these concepts for
users not familiar with the 2000 HCM.
Capacity Concept
The capacity of a rectangle or a box can be dened easily by
its size (i.e., its area or volume) because the maximum amount
the object can accommodate is xed. This is not true with
objects that serve as processors, such as roadways, ticket
counters, or runways. The capacity of a roadway, for example,
depends not only on its size (e.g., the number of lanes and
other geometric design aspects), but also on the characteristics
of the vehicles using the roadway (e.g., their size, performance,
spacing, speed, and many other operating characteristics). If all
the vehicles on a roadway were identical in size, distance
apart, speed, driver characteristics, and other characteristics,
then the capacity of the roadway (number of vehicles travers-
ing a point or section during a unit of time) would be expected
to be substantially higher than the capacity of the same road-
way if it were serving a mix of vehicle sizes, speeds, and driver
Accordingly, the capacity of a roadwayeven roadways
with the same number of lanesvaries based both on the char-
acteristics of the roadway (e.g., lane and shoulder widths, ver-
tical grades, intersection and driveway spacing, and trafc
control types) and the characteristics of the vehicles and driv-
ers using the roadway (e.g., the proportion of trucks or heavy
vehicles, daily and hourly variations in use, familiarity of the
typical drivers with the roadway). With knowledge of the char-
acteristics of a roadway section and the vehicles (and drivers)
using the roadway, it is possible to calculate its capacitythe
maximum hourly rate of vehicles owing past a point.
However, it is not possible or desirable for a roadway to
operate at its capacity for sustained periods, because any minor
disruption will cause congestion, which results in delays or
lengthy queues and undesirable levels of safety and driver com-
fort. Thus, roadway capacity, while stated in terms of base
vehicles (e.g., passenger car equivalents) per hour, is sometimes
computed for only the peak 15-minute ow rate within that
hour. In addition, roadway operations are characterized in
terms of level of service and service ow ratethe maximum
ow rate that can be accommodated while maintaining a des-
ignated level of service. Similar to capacity (maximum hourly
vehicle ow rates), service ow rates vary according to the
characteristics of a roadway section and the vehicles using the
Level-of-Service Concept
Level of service is a qualitative measure of roadway (or
other transportation facility) operations. Six levels of service
are dened in the 2000 HCM, with LOS A representing the
highest (or best) level of service and LOS F representing the
lowest (or worst) level of service. The 2000 HCM denes level
of service as follows:
. . . a quality measure describing operational conditions within
a trafc stream, generally in terms of such service measures as
speed and travel time, freedom to maneuver, trafc interrup-
tions, and comfort and convenience.
Levels of service are dened in terms of parameters that can
be perceived by the users of a transportation facility and that can
be measured and predicted. On roadways, each level of service
corresponds to a specic maximum ow rate (i.e., the upper
limit of the performance measure threshold (or ow rate)) for
that level of service. The parameters or measures of effectiveness
dening each level of service are (1) the density of the trafc
ow (passenger cars per mile per travel lane) for a freeway or
other unsignalized multilane roadway and (2) delay (seconds
per vehicle) for signalized and unsignalized intersections.
Commonly Used Level-of-Service
Denitions for Airport Terminal
Area Roadways
As noted, the 2000 HCM denes six levels of service, as pre-
sented below. (These denitions were taken from the 2000
HCM, but have been modied slightly for the benet of airport
planners and others not familiar with the HCM.)
LOS A represents operations where free-ow speeds prevail.
The ability of each driver to maneuver within the trafc stream,
change lanes, merge, or weave is almost completely unimpeded
by other vehicles because of low trafc densities. The effects of
transient blockages or incidents (e.g., an accident, vehicle break-
down, or other event that impedes the ow of trafc) are easily
absorbed at this level of service.
LOS B represents conditions in which free-ow speeds are
maintained. The ability of each driver to maneuver within the
trafc stream, change lanes, or weave is only slightly restricted
by the presence of other vehicles. The general physical and psy-
chological comfort of drivers is still high. The effects of minor
incidents and point breakdowns (e.g., a breakdown in trafc
ow where trafc enters, leaves, or crosses a roadway) are still
easily absorbed.
LOS C represents trafc ow with speeds at or near the free-
ow speeds of the roadway. Freedom to maneuver within the
trafc stream is noticeably restricted (by the presence of other
vehicles) and lane changes may require more care and vigilance
on the part of the driver because of high trafc densities. Minor
blockages or incidents may still be absorbed, but the local dete-
rioration in service will be substantial. Queues may be expected
to form behind any signicant blockage. On airport roadways,
LOS C is generally considered to be the minimum acceptable
level of service because of the lack of alternative travel paths
and the signicant negative consequences of travel delays.
LOS D represents the level at which speeds begin to decline
slightly with increasing ows, and density (on freeways and
other roadways with uninterrupted ows) begins to increase
somewhat more quickly. Freedom to maneuver within the
trafc stream is more noticeably limited (because of the lack of
gaps between successive vehicles), and the driver experiences
reduced physical and psychological comfort. Even minor
blockages or incidents can be expected to quickly create queues
because the trafc stream has little space to absorb disruptions.
LOS E represents operations at or near capacity. Opera-
tions at this level are volatile because there are virtually no
usable gaps in the trafc stream. Vehicles are closely spaced,
leaving little room to maneuver (or allow for lane changes or
weaving) within the trafc stream. Any disruption of the traf-
c stream, such as vehicles entering from a ramp or a vehicle
changing lanes, can disrupt upstream trafc ows. At capac-
ity, the trafc stream has no ability to absorb even the most
minor disruptions, and any incident can be expected to pro-
duce a serious breakdown with extensive queuing. Maneu-
verability within the trafc stream is extremely limited and
the level of physical and psychological comfort afforded the
driver is poor.
LOS F represents breakdowns in vehicular ow. Such con-
ditions generally exist within queues forming behind bottle-
neck points. Bottlenecks occur as a result of (1) trafc accidents
or incidents, (2) typical traffic congestion areas, such as lane
drops, weaving segments, or merges, (3) parking maneu-
vers, or (4) trafc conditions when the projected hourly ow
exceeds the estimated capacity of the roadway segment.
Acceptable Levels of Service
for Terminal Area Roadways
As noted, levels of service are typically used to determine if
a roadway can properly accommodate existing or future traf-
c operations or compare alternative improvement options.
On regional freeways and arterials and in densely developed
urban areas, LOS D is often considered acceptable because
motorists traveling on regional roadway networks can select
alternative travel paths should their preferred path be con-
gested. However, on airport roadways, where only a single path
is available (and the cost of delay to the traveler is great), LOS
C is typically considered to be the minimum acceptable level of
service because of the lack of alternative travel paths and the
signicant negative consequences resulting from travel delays
(e.g., passengers missing their ights).
This chapter presents methods for estimating existing and
future airport roadway requirements. The data required to
analyze existing roadway trafc volumes and operations are
described, and two alternative methods for estimating future
roadway trafc volumes are presented. One method, the tra-
ditional four-step approach commonly used by transporta-
tion planners, incorporates estimates of the roadway trafc
volumes generated by airline passengers, visitors, employees,
air cargo handlers, and major airport land uses. This method
requires an extensive database for each of these trafc gener-
ators. The second method, the growth factor method, yields
acceptable, but less precise results, while requiring much less
input data. However, this simpler method is less sensitive to
changes in future conditions or travel patterns.
Establishing Existing Airport
Roadway Traffic Volumes
Analyses of existing conditions and estimates of future con-
ditions should be based on observed vehicular activity. Surveys
of trafc volumes, roadway operations, and vehicle character-
istics are often conducted to support these analyses. Additional
information about trafc surveys can be found in the ITE Man-
ual of Trafc Engineering Studies and other references listed in
the bibliography provided in Appendix B to this Guide.
Roadway Trafc Volume Survey Methods
Roadway trafc volumes can be obtained inexpensively and
quickly through surveys compared to a planning and forecast-
ing analysis. Surveys of roadway trafc can be conducted by
(1) the public works or traffic engineering department of a
municipality or county using automatic traffic recorders
(ATRs), (2) consulting firms that specialize in conducting
such surveys, or (3) interns, students, or volunteers recruited
to manually record trafc volumes on airport roadways. For
example, in 2010 a comprehensive 7-day traffic survey that
included installing ATRs at 25 locations typically cost less than
$50,000 (or about $1,000 to $2,000 per location) excluding
any analyses of the resulting data.
If the analysis of roadway operations is to focus on one road-
way segment (e.g., a curbside roadway), it may be necessary to
record only the trafc volumes on this segment and/or adja-
cent roadways rather than to conduct a comprehensive survey
of all roadways. Similarly, if peak airport trafc periods are
known, it may be possible to record the trafc volumes during
a 3-hour peak period coinciding with this peak period rather
than conduct day-long, 48-hour, or 7-day surveys.
Selecting Survey Dates
Ideally, the trafc volume and curbside surveys should be
conducted during the peak hours on a typical busy day (ideally
during a peak month). Typically, the peak days occur in the
months with the largest volumes of airline trafc. At many air-
ports, the busiest days are Mondays and Fridays, but at some
airportsespecially those serving large volumes of non-
business passengersthe busiest days may be Sundays.
Selecting Survey Hours
The peak hours for roadway trafc precede the peak hour
for originating airline passenger departures and follow the
peak hour for terminating airline passenger arrivals. Peak-
hour trafc volumes can be determined by counting the num-
bers of vehicles on the roadway by type of vehicle (for curbside
surveys), recording the number of vehicles on the roadway
during each 15-minute increment, and then either identify-
ing the four consecutive 15-minute increments with the
largest trafc volumes or the busiest 15-minute increment. It
is suggested that surveys of the departures area (passenger
drop-off area) roadways be conducted during the 3 hours
prior to and including the 60-minute period with the most
departing ights, and that surveys of the arrivals area (passen-
C H A P T E R 3
Estimating Airport Roadway Trafc Volumes
ger pickup area) roadways be conducted during the 3 hours
including and after the 60-minute period with the most arriv-
ing ights. The 60-minute departures and arrivals ight peaks
do not necessarily coincide.
Surveys of Trafc Characteristics
and Operational Patterns
In addition to surveys of trafc volumes, analyses of airport
roadway operations frequently require other surveys to deter-
mine the following:
Vehicle mix. In an airport environment, vehicle mix (or
vehicle classication) refers to the portion of the trafc vol-
ume accounted for by individual modes, as dened by both
the type of service each mode provides (e.g., taxicab, cour-
tesy vehicle, charter bus) and the type of vehicle used (e.g.,
sedan, passenger van, minibus, full-size bus). These data are
required to analyze curbside roadway operations.
Dwell time. This is the amount of time a vehicle spends
parked at a curbside lane (or other passenger loading or
unloading area). Typically, the dwell time is the length of
time between when the driver parks (i.e., the vehicle comes
to a complete stop) and when the driver rst attempts to
rejoin the trafc stream (it does not include any time dur-
ing which the driver may be ready to depart, but is pre-
vented from doing so by other vehicles). For some analyses,
it is also helpful to measure active dwell times (i.e., the
length of time a vehicle remains at a curbside while actively
loading/unloading passengers and their baggage) as opposed
to the total dwell time, which reects the time difference
between when a vehicle rst stops at a curbside until it leaves
the curbside. Dwell time data are required to analyze curb-
side roadway operations.
Queue length. Queue length is the distance, time, or number
of vehicles in a line of vehicles waiting to proceed along a road-
way in which (1) the ow rate of the front of the queue deter-
mines the average speed within the queue and (2) the rate of
vehicles arriving in the queue is greater than the rate of vehi-
cles leaving the queue. Queues form when a group of vehicles
is delayed because of downstream congestion or bottlenecks.
The length of a queue can be measured by observing, at xed
intervals, the length of slow moving or stopped vehicles, and
the time of a queue can be measured by observing how long
it takes a vehicle to travel from the back to the front of a queue.
The number of vehicles in a queue and the duration, or per-
sistence, of the queue also can be determined through obser-
vations. These data are used to support evaluations of airport
roadway operations.
Travel speeds. Average travel speeds can be measured by
recording the time it takes random vehicles to travel a
known distance, such as between two xed objects or points.
Average travel speedsparticularly along a roadway seg-
ment having a length of 1,000 feet or morecan be used to
support evaluations of airport roadway operations. Measur-
ing instantaneous speeds (also known as spot speeds) is not
useful in airport roadway analyses because the speeds of
individual vehicles tend to vary signicantly on the roadway
Other data. In addition to the data listed above, depend-
ing on the nature of the trafc operations problem being
addressed, data on vehicle mix (i.e., the proportion of pri-
vate vehicles, taxicabs, limousines, vans, buses, etc., using
the roadways), recirculation volumes (i.e., the proportion
of vehicles passing the curbside or other location multiple
times, typically determined by recording and matching
the license plate numbers of passing vehicles), and curbside
occupancies (observations or video recordings of curbside
use patterns) are sometimes gathered as part of airport road-
way operations analyses. Surveys of airline passengers and
visitors are commonly used to gather such data as vehicle
mode-choice patterns, passenger arrival patterns, passenger
regional approach/departure routes, place of origin/
destination, and use of airport parking facilities.
Estimating Future Airport Roadway
Traffic VolumesTraditional
Four-Step Approach
Developing a comprehensive estimate of future trafc vol-
umes on airport roadways using the traditional four-step
approach involves the following:
Trip generation. Estimating the trafc volume generated
by each on-airport land use during the future airportwide
peak hour(s) as well as the peak hour(s) of activity for each
land use.
Trip distribution. Determining the points where trips gen-
erated by each airport land use enter the airport roadway
Mode-choice analysis. Analyzing the travel mode choice
patterns of passengers and employees.
Trip assignment. Assigning the estimated trafc volumes
to the on-airport and regional roadway networks.
In regional planning, the third stepmode-choice analysis
is conducted using sophisticated travel demand forecasting
models. These models are used to estimate future mode-choice
patterns or changes in existing patterns caused by the intro-
duction of new travel modes (e.g., rail service) or changes in
travel time or travel cost. Such models are rarely required in an
airport setting. It would be appropriate to include mode-choice
analysis during the analyses of airport roadways if a signicant
change in the existing travel modes were anticipated (e.g., new
scheduled public bus or rail service or expansion of existing
service) and if this service were expected to attract signicant
numbers of airline passengers or employees who currently
travel by private vehicles.
The three steps applicable to airport roadway operations, as
well as challenges to using this approach, are described below.
Estimating Trafc Volumes
(Trip Generation)
The key generators of airport roadway trafc are airline pas-
sengers and accompanying visitors, employees working at the
airport, air cargo and airmail services, airlines, in-terminal
concessionaires, and other building tenants plus airport ten-
ants with service or delivery needs. At most airports, the data
required to estimate the volume of trafc generated by airline
passengers are more readily available than comparable data for
employees, air cargo, or service and delivery vehicles.
Reliable statistics on existing monthly and annual volumes
of airline passengers and air cargo tonnage and forecasts of
airline passengers and air cargo tonnage are available for all
commercial-service airports. However, as described in greater
detail in subsequent paragraphs, most airport operators have
limited-to-no data available on the number of employees
working at their airports, or the types of air cargo shipments
(e.g., overnight deliveries, small parcels, international, or other
types of freight). As a result, forecasts of trafc generated by air-
line passengers are often developed in substantially more detail
than forecasts of trafc generated by employees, air cargo, or
services and deliveries. However, trafc generated by airline
passengers may represent less than half of the total (daily)
vehicular trafc generated at an airport.
Trafc Generated by Airline Passengers
Estimating the volume of trafc generated by airline pas-
sengers requires the following inputs.
Number of originating and terminating airline passen-
gers. Roadway trafc operations are analyzed considering
the peak-hour volume (i.e., the trafc volume occurring dur-
ing the busiest 60 consecutive minutes). Analyses of airport
roadway trafc begin with the hourly numbers of originating
and terminating airline passengers (or preferably the num-
bers occurring in 15-minute increments). Originating and
terminating airline passenger numbers (rather than enplaned
and deplaned passenger numbers) are used to generate traf-
c volumes because these volumes exclude those passengers
transferring between ights.
Analyses of hour-by-hour airline passenger numbers indi-
cate when the largest numbers of originating passengers, ter-
minating passengers, and total passengers (originating plus
terminating) arrive at, or depart from, the airport. Separate
analyses of these three peak periods (originating, terminating,
and total) are required because peak periods of demand on
some roadway segments coincide with the originating passen-
ger peak periods (e.g., the departures curbside area), and some
coincide with the terminating passenger peak periods (e.g., the
arrivals curbside area). The total peak period trafc volume
may not coincide with the peak period of either the originating
or terminating passengers, but may instead reect the busiest
overall period at the airport (e.g., the hour with the largest traf-
c volumes on the airport entry and exit roadways).
At airports with significant numbers of connecting pas-
sengers, the peak hours of airline passenger activity may not
correlate with the peak hour of roadway trafc volumes. For
airports with multiple terminals or multiple large concourses,
it may be necessary to gather these hourly data for each termi-
nal or each concourse.
Existing originating and terminating airline passenger num-
bers are available through the Origin-Destination Survey of
Airline Passenger Trafc, Domestic, an online database pub-
lished by the FAA, which is based on a 10% sample of all air-
line tickets collected by U.S. airlines. Since foreign ag airlines
are not required to participate in this ticket sample, the pub-
lished originating-terminating airline passenger data may
underreport passenger numbers at major international gate-
way airports.
Future peak-hour airline passenger numbers are a function
of the future ight schedules of each airline, the anticipated
size of aircraft operated (i.e., number of seats), and anticipated
passenger load factors. Forecasts of airline passengers can be
obtained from recent airport master plans, the FAA Terminal
Area Forecast (TAF) (see http://aspm.faa.gov/main/taf.asp),
and other sources. Master plans may present forecasts of
annual or daily airline passenger numbers, as determined
using an average day of the peak month or standard busy day
rate. Such forecasts may be based on the assumption (partic-
ularly at small and medium commercial-service airports) that
the existing relationship between peak hour and daily airline
passenger numbers will remain constant through the forecast
period unless a significant change in airline operations is
Passenger characteristics. When possible, it is helpful to
disaggregate the numbers of originating and terminating air-
line passengers by trip purpose and place of residency rather
than just considering the total passenger numbers because air-
line passenger travel patterns (e.g., vehicle occupancies, cir-
culation, and mode-choice patterns) are a function of their
trip purpose (business vs. nonbusiness), place of residence
(local residents vs. nonresidents), and type of flight (short-
haul domestic, long-haul, transborder, overseas, or other).
Typically, these data are obtained from surveys of airline
passengers or from data at peer airports. For example, resident
travelers are more likely to use private vehicles and park for
the duration of their trips, while nonresidents are more likely
to travel to the airport in rental cars or hotel/motel courtesy
vehicles and not use parking facilities.
Lead and lag times. Airline passenger numbers are
reported by the airlines according to the time aircraft are sched-
uled to depart (push away from the gate), and arrive (touch
down). Since these times do not coincide with the times
motorists enter and exit airport roadways, to analyze airport
roadway trafc operations it is necessary to adjust these times
to reect how much time passengers arrive at the airport in
advance of their scheduled ight departure times (lead time)
and depart from the airport after their scheduled ight arrival
times (lag time). International passengers typically have longer
lead and lag times than domestic passengers (because of
the 2-hour advance check-in required by most airlines and
time required for immigration and customs processing), and
leisure travelers typically have longer lead and lag times than
business travelers (because they are more likely to have checked
baggage). Typically, these data are obtained from surveys of
airline passengers or from data at peer airports. Lead time data
may be aggregated to form a representative distribution (some-
times referred to as an earliness distribution). Similarly, a rep-
resentative distribution of lag times is sometimes referred to as
a lateness distribution.
Travel mode choices. To convert person trips into vehicle
trips, it is necessary to rst determine the travel modes used by
airline passengers (or the percentage of passengers using each
available travel mode). Regional transportation planning often
considers just two travel modesprivate vehicles and public
transitwhereas airport roadway planning requires consider-
ation of taxicabs, limousines, courtesy vehicles, rental cars,
scheduled buses, and other travel modes.
As noted, travel modes are a function of trip purpose and
place of residency. Airports serving a large proportion of
leisure passengers have distinctly different travel-mode-choice
patterns than those serving business markets. However, at
most U.S. airports, 70% to 80% of all airline passengers arrive
and depart in private vehicles or rental cars. Typically, fewer
than 5% to 10% of all passengers use public transportation
(e.g., scheduled buses or trains, or door-to-door shared ride
vans). The remaining passengers typically use taxicabs, courtesy
vehicles serving hotels/motels, parking facilities, rental cars, or
transportation services that require prior reservations (e.g.,
limousines, charter or tour buses/vans). Table 3-1 presents the
Los Angeles (a) San Diego (b) Tampa (c)
Salt Lake
City (d)
Typical vehicle
(number of
Private Vehicles
Curbside 42.4% 25.5% 36.3% 27.0% 1.2
Short-term parking 4.4 17.0 8.5 1.3
Long-term parking 2.5 7.0 1.3
Off-airport parking (e)
4.5 1.3
Subtotal (private vehicles) 54.8% 55.0% 55.9% 47.0%
Rental cars 11.4 19.1 36.9 35.0 1.4
Subtotal 66.2% 74.1% 92.8% 82.0%
Commercial Vehicles
Taxicabs 9.3% 7.3% 2.3% 1.5% 1.5
Limousines 2.0 1.3 -- 2.0 1.5
Door-to-door shuttles 10.0 9.5 2.0 4.0
Hotel/motel courtesy vehicles 5.1 5.8
10.5 2.6
Public transit 4.1 1.0 0.3 0.5 5.0
Charter/other bus 3.0 1.0 1.4 1.5 15.0
Subtotal (commercial vehicles) 33.5% 25.9% 7.3% 18.0%
Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
(a) Applied Management and Planning Group, 2006 Air Passenger Survey: Final Report. Los Angeles
International Airport, December 2007
(b) Jacobs Consultancy, Interim Report 1: San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. Destination Lindbergh,
December 2008.
(c) http://www.tampaairport.com/ground_transportation/transit_survey_presentation.pdf.
(d) HNTB, Landside Report, Salt Lake City International Airport, December 2002.
(e) Passengers typically arrive at the curbside in courtesy vehicles.
Source: LeighFisher, July 2009, based on the documents noted above.
Table 3-1. Typical vehicle mode choice and occupancies at selected airports
originating airline passengers.
mode-choice patterns for typical large-hub airports. These
data were obtained from recent studies prepared for Los
Angeles, Salt Lake City, San Diego, and Tampa International
Airports. Using the format shown in Table 3-1, some airline
passengers are counted twice (e.g., a private vehicle driver who
parks in an economy lot and rides a courtesy vehicle or a rental
car customer who also uses a courtesy vehicle).
Vehicle occupancies. Vehicle occupancies (the number of
passengers per vehicle) are used to translate or convert person
trips by travel mode into vehicle trips. When analyzing airport
roadways, vehicle occupancies represent the number of airline
passengers in each vehicle (i.e., excluding visitors accompany-
ing airline passengers or the drivers of commercial vehicles).
Typically, these data are obtained from surveys of airline pas-
sengers (for single-occupancy vehicles, such as private vehicles,
taxicabs, and limousines) or from visual observations for
multiparty vehicles, such as courtesy vehicles, buses, and vans.
The average occupancy of private vehicles operating on air-
ports is higher than the average occupancy of private vehicles
operating on public streets (particularly during commute
hours) because vehicles on airports are typically transporting a
group of airline passengers rather than just a single occupant.
On-airport trafc circulation patterns. The locations on
an airport where motorists begin or end their trips and the
paths they follow vary according to their choice of travel mode
(and parking facilities), and the on-airport roadway network
conguration. Airline passengers follow numerous travel paths
on an airport. For example, a private vehicle driver may enter
an airport and then do one or more of the following:
Go directly to the enplaning (or deplaning) curbside area
and then immediately exit the airport (e.g., a motorist drop-
ping off an airline passenger who does not park), or recircu-
late and return to the curbside (e.g., a motorist attempting
to pick up a passenger and who was not allowed to remain
stopped at the curbside).
Go rst to a cell phone waiting area then proceed to the
deplaning curbside to pick up an arriving airline passenger
and then immediately exit the airport.
Go directly to a parking facility and park for the trips dura-
tion (e.g., a long-term parking patron).
Go directly to the curbside area, drop off passenger(s), and
then continue to a parking facility and park for the trips
duration (e.g., a long-term parking patron).
Go directly to a parking facility, accompany a passenger into
the terminal (or greet an arriving passenger at the baggage
claim area), and then exit the airport (e.g., a short-term
parking patron).
After landing at the airport, a passenger could go directly to
a parking facility, retrieve his/her vehicle (which has been
parked for the trip duration), drive back to the terminal to
pick up passengers, and then exit the airport (e.g., a long-
term parking patron).
Similarly, rental car customers may go to the curbside area
before they drop off rental cars or after they pick up rental cars.
Commercial vehicle drivers may drop off customers, wait in a
holding area, and then recirculate back to the terminal to pick
up additional customers. Table 3-2 presents the travel paths
and proportion of airline passengers using these paths for a
typical large-hub airport. Medium- and small-hub airports
have similar patterns, but at these airports there may be greater
use of private vehicles and less use of taxicabs, limousines,
courtesy vehicles, and public transit vehicles. Again, these data
are typically obtained from surveys of airline passengers.
Peak-hour factors. Airport roadway traffic is not uni-
formly distributed over a typical peak hour or other peak
period. At small airports in particular, much larger volumes of
trafc may occur during one 15-minute period than during
the preceding or subsequent 15-minute period. Peak-hour
(adjustment) factors are used to translate nonuniform ows
into equivalent hourly ows to allow for the analyses of road-
ways exhibiting such nonuniform peaks. (This translation is
required because roadway capacities are dened and analyses
of roadway operations are performed using vehicle volume
per hour.) These peak-hour factors can be determined from
airport roadway trafc surveys or indirectly from analyses of
airline schedules. Trafc volumes generated by airline passen-
gers can be estimated by the following:
Multiplying the number of originating (or terminating)
airline passengers during the peak 60-minute period times
the percentage of passengers selecting each travel mode,
adjusted using lead (or lag) times, and
Dividing each volume by the corresponding vehicle occu-
pancy, taking care not to double count the same passen-
gers (e.g., those in courtesy vehicles transporting parking
patrons). Exceptions are required for vehicles that may oper-
ate on a scheduled basis rather than in direct response to pas-
senger demand (e.g., courtesy vehicles and scheduled buses).
Regression equations that correlate vehicle trips generated
to airline passengers to acres of airport property or other meas-
ures are provided in Intermodal Ground Access to Airports: A
Planning Guide, the ITE Trip Generation Handbook, and other
reference documents. Trafc volume estimates at commercial-
service airports developed using such equations are not con-
sidered reliable because of the signicant differences in the
characteristics of each airport, including differences in airline
activity peaking patterns and volumes; airline passenger demo-
graphics (e.g., trip purpose, place of residency, travel mode
preferences); passenger circulation patterns on and off the air-
port; airport layouts; the availability of parking, public transit,
and commercial ground transportation services; and other fac-
tors inuencing trafc volumes.
Trafc Generated by Visitors
The volume of trafc generated by visitors accompanying
departing airline passengers (i.e., well-wishers) and arriving
airline passengers (i.e., meeters and greeters) can be deter-
mined by establishing the average number of visitors accom-
panying each airline passenger or group of airline passengers.
The number of visitors accompanying a passenger is a func-
tion of airline passenger trip destination/purpose and the
demographics of the local community. For example, a greater
number of visitors is expected to accompany airline passen-
gers traveling overseas for leisure purposes than those accom-
panying business passengers traveling on domestic ights. In
some cities, passengers are greeted by a large extended fam-
ily group, rather than one or two persons. Typically, visitors
either (1) use only the curbside areas, (2) park (for a short
period) while they accompany the airline passenger group
to/from the terminal building, (3) park (for a short period) in
a parking lot (or cell phone lot) and, having met the passenger
in the terminal building, return to their vehicle, drive to the
curbside area to pick up the passenger, and then exit the air-
port, or (4) drop off passengers, park, and then return to the
terminal to accompany the passengers to/from the gate (e.g.,
a passenger with special needs, such as an unaccompanied
minor or a disabled passenger). The latter pattern (drop off
and then park) has become less prevalent since 2001, because
visitors are prohibited from accompanying an enplaning pas-
senger to an aircraft gate or greeting a deplaning passenger at
a gate.
Similar to the travel times for airline passengers, visitor
travel times shift from the scheduled aircraft departure and
arrival times. (See Figure 3-1.) By far, most visitors travel to
and from an airport in private vehicles. They rarely (i.e., less
than 5%) use public transportation or other travel modes.
Trafc Generated by Employees
Estimating the volume of traffic generated by airport
employees requires the following inputs.
Volume of employees and their work schedules. On an
average day, more than 10,000 people work at many large-hub
airports and more than 1,000 people work at typical medium-
Table 3-2. Typical vehicle circulation patternsoriginating
airline passengers.
Travel mode Circulation pattern Percentage
Private vehicles
Drop off at curb, then exit 31%
Drop off at curb, then parkHourly, remain 9
Drop off at curb, then parkHourly, then exit 4
Drop off at curb, then parkDaily Parking 7
Drop off at curb, then parkEconomy Parking 4
Direct to parkHourly, remain for duration 4
Direct to parkHourly, exit immediately 14
Direct to parkDaily 14
Direct to parkEconomy 9
Direct to off-airport 4
Rental Cars
Direct to rental car return 73%
Drop off at curb, then rental car return 23
Direct to off-airport 4
Drop off, then exit 83%
Drop off, then hold area 17
Source: LeighFisher, July 2009, based on data gathered at Los Angeles International,
Salt Lake City International, Tampa International, and other airports.
Figure 3-1. Sample airport visitor lead and lag time.
hub airports (see Table 3-3). These people are employed by the
numerous employers located on an airport, as follows:
The airport operator, including third-party contractors
working for the airport operator or sponsor, if different
(e.g., janitorial, parking operators, and bus operators),
providing services that have been outsourced;
The airlines, including ight crew, aircraft maintenance,
and other employees who may not be working in the ter-
minal building;
Concessionaires and other terminal building tenants, such
as rental car companies and the operators of newsstands,
restaurants, and other retail establishments;
Government agencies, including (at U.S. airports) the
FAA, TSA, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration
and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Postal Service, and (at
some airports) the military;
Air cargo shippers and forwarders;
Fixed-base operators; and
Construction contractors, including construction workers
and subcontractors.
Airport-based employees, particularly those employed by
the airlines and cargo handlers, work unusual hours, because
all commercial airports operate 365 days per year, and many
operate 24 hours per day. Typically, the arrival and departure
hours of employees at an airport do not coincide with regional
commute hours or with an airports peak enplaning or deplan-
ing hours. For instance, major shift changes for airline employ-
ees often occur between 5 A.M. and 6 A.M. and between 2 P.M.
and 3 P.M. Another complicating factor is the presence of ight
crews, who may only travel to/from the airport a few days per
month. The trips made by ight crews at an origin-destination
(O&D) airport are sporadic, but while on an assignment, they
become like passengers at destination airportsrequiring
courtesy vehicle service or ight crew transportation services
(i.e., chartered vans).
Generally, employers are required to report the total num-
ber of their employees requiring security badges, but do not
report the number of employees working on each shift, the
starting/ending times of each shift, or the travel modes used
by their employees. Other than at airports with transportation
management programs or ride-share promotional programs,
few airport operators have accurate data indicating the num-
ber of individuals working at the airport at any given time of
day or the travel modes used by these individuals.
Surveys of the employers located on an airport are neces-
sary to determine the number of people working on the air-
port, their work schedules, travel modes, and circulation
patterns. Without such data (or trafc surveys conducted at
Table 3-3. Number of employees at selected airports.
Airport Hub size
employees (a)
average daily
employees (b)
Boston-Logan International Large -- -- 14,600
Bush Intercontinental/Houston Large -- -- 14,406
Chicago OHare International Large -- -- 40,000
Dallas/Fort Worth International Large 28,654 -- --
Denver International Large -- -- 17,400
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood
Large 14,000 -- 4,700
John F. Kennedy International Large 20,000 7,920 --
Lambert-St. Louis International Large -- -- 19,000
Las Vegas McCarran International Large -- -- 8,000
Los Angeles International Large -- -- 40,000
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Large 22,000 16,019 8,000
Salt Lake City International Large -- -- 13,026
San Diego International Large -- -- 3,000
San Francisco International Large 12,500 -- --
Seattle-Tacoma International Large -- -- 11,375
Tampa International Large 6,000 -- --
John Wayne (Orange County, CA) Medium -- -- 1,000
Mineta San Jose International Medium 4,750 -- --
Oakland International Medium -- -- 10,500
Omaha Eppley Airfield Medium -- -- 2,500
Portland International Medium 14,500 -- 5,000
Sacramento International Medium -- -- 1,500
(a) Includes badged and unbadged.
(b) Number of people working at the airport on an average day.
Source: LeighFisher, based upon information provided by individual airport operators.
the entry/exit to employee parking lots), it is difcult to deter-
mine the number and pattern of employee vehicle trips.
Employee travel mode choices. As noted, little data are
available describing the travel modes used by employees on
an airport. Data presented in ACRP Report 4: Ground Access
to Major Airports by Public Transportation (2008), indicate
that, at 14 airports for which data were available, about 98%
of all employees working on the airport arrive and depart in
private vehicles (with the exception of Boston-Logan, Chicago
OHare, and Denver International Airports).
Employee reliance on private vehicles is a result of
(1) employees working nontraditional hours that do not co-
incide with the operations or the schedules of public trans-
portation, (2) employees residing in locations not well served
by public transportation (i.e., outside the central business
district), (3) employees working in locations outside of the
terminal area that are not well served by public transporta-
tion, and (4) the availability of free or very-low-cost employee
parking on airport property.
One indicator of the number of vehicles driven by employ-
ees on an airport is the number of parking permits or iden-
tification badges issued by the airport operator to these
individuals. For example, in 1996, it was determined that 61%
of the employees who were issued security badges at Los Ange-
les International Airport had also been issued parking permits.
The surveys indicated that, on a typical day, 29% of all employ-
ees were absent due to staff schedules, vacation, illness, or
working away from the ofce. Of those employees traveling to
work on a typical day, it was determined that 64% drove alone,
33% participated in a ride-share program, and 3% rode public
transit, biked, or walked. The average vehicle occupancy for
those individuals traveling to work at Los Angeles International
was 1.38 employees per vehicle. Because most of the large
employers operate multiple shifts, about 25% of the daily
employee-generated vehicle trips occurred during a single
hour. These data are similar to those reported at Boston-
Logan International Airport, where about 40% of all employ-
ees are absent on a given weekday and about 25% of those
working on a given day arrive between 6 A.M. and 10 A.M.
Employee circulation patterns. The use of regional access
roads and airport access roads by on-airport employees can be
estimated by determining the minimum time path or mini-
mum cost path between their places of residence and place of
employment. Place of residence data, summarized at a zip-code
level, can be obtained from parking permit applications or from
databases of airport-issued security badges. The minimum
travel routes between these locations and points of access to
the airport can be determined using regional planning mod-
els or by planners familiar with the regional highway network.
Future employment and employee work schedules.
Forecasts of employment and employee trips tend to be impre-
cise because reliable estimates of future employment generally
are not available and changes in future employment do not
correlate well with changes in airline passenger numbers. His-
torically, planners have estimated future employment assum-
ing that the rate of growth in employment represents the
average of the rate of growth in airline passenger and aircraft
operations numbers. However, anecdotal information suggests
that this assumption is no longer correct because the airlines
appear to be reducing their numbers of employees in order to
improve productivity levels and reduce costs. For example, the
increasing share of passengers who obtain their boarding
passes via the Internet or check their bags using electronic tick-
eting kiosks has reduced the need for ticket counter agents.
It is suggested that additional research is required to develop
methods for estimating the volume of traffic generated by
employees on airports.
Sample results. Using the steps presented above, the
employee trip generation rates presented in Table 3-4 were
developed as part of the Los Angeles International Airport
Master Plan Update. These data are presented as an example of
how employee trip generation rates can vary for a day or over
specic hours, and this example is not intended as a suggested
proxy for another application.
Trafc Generated by Air Cargo
Air cargo (including airmail) trafc includes the trucks
transporting the cargo, the private vehicles driven by the
employees in the air cargo terminals, and customer trips. This
trafc is generated by air cargo facilities (cargo terminals)
located away from the passenger terminal area, freight con-
solidators or forwarders, and small package deliveries made
directly to the terminal area.
It is recommended that the volumes of trips generated by
trucks, delivery vans, and air cargo employees be estimated
separately. Employee vehicle trips are the largest component
of the traffic generated by an air cargo facility (over 70% of
the total traffic volume, according to surveys conducted at
Memphis and Los Angeles International Airports and other
The volumes of truck and delivery van trips generated by
an air cargo facility (i.e., the trip generation rate) are unique
to an individual airport and not transferable to other airports.
The two measures (or dependent variables) related to air
cargo that are most readily availableair cargo tonnage and
the size of air cargo buildingsare not reliable indicators of
the volume of cargo-related truck or total vehicle trips, largely
because there are many different forms of air cargo service,
including integrated cargo handlers, all-cargo or heavy freight
carriers, as well as import, export, and shipments that require
special handling (e.g., owers or fresh sh). Each form of air
cargo may generate a different number of truck trips, operate
at different truck arrival/departure times, and use different
vehicle sizes.
For example, a local overnight delivery service operation
might have multiple tractor-trailers picking up and drop-
ping off containers, as well as dozens of local single-unit deliv-
ery vehicles distributing packages locally. Conversely, a large
import/export freight operation may only generate a few
tractor-trailer trips. Thus, although airport operators have
reliable statistics on air cargo tonnage transported, tonnage is
not a reliable indicator of the volume of truck trips because the
volume of trips is a function of the type of cargo service and
freight activity, not cargo tonnage (or the size of the air cargo
Sample results. Although not considered applicable to all
airports, the data in Table 3-5, developed for Los Angeles Inter-
national Airport, present the estimated vehicle trips generated
by different cargo facilities (including employee trips) per ton
of air cargo.
Data from Chicago OHare International Airport, circa
2004, indicate that a general-purpose cargo facility generated
about 0.13 daily truck trips per 1,000 annual cargo tons.
As noted, air cargo is transported by a wide variety of cargo
shippers, each having different trip generation rates. Little, if
any, research has been published, or documented, on air cargo
trip generation. Additional research is required to develop
methods for estimating the volume of trafc generated by air
cargo terminals at airports and the employees working in these
Trafc Generated by Service and Delivery Vehicles
Service and delivery vehicles include those vehicles (1) bring-
ing goods and materials (other than air cargo) to/from termi-
nal building loading docks, consolidated warehouses, and other
sites on an airport, (2) transporting individuals performing air-
port maintenance and construction, (3) being used by airport
police, re, and emergency response staff, and (4) making trips
not directly generated by airport passengers, employees, or
air cargo. At most airports, little to no data are available on the
current volume of service, delivery vehicle trips, or the activi-
ties generating these trips (i.e., the extent of goods and material
deliveries, trash removal, emergency responses, or construction
deliveries and trafc).
Generally, no data are available to guide estimates of the
future volume of service/delivery vehicle trips, or the extent of
future activities generating these trips. Additional research is
required on this topic.
Table 3-4. Example of vehicle trips per employee working at
Los Angeles International Airport.
Table 3-5. Estimated airport cargo trips per daily cargo tonnage at
Los Angeles International Airport.
Employee trip generation rate (vehicle trips per employee)
Morning peak
(8 A.M. to 9 A.M.)
Airport peak
(11 A.M. to 12 P.M.)
Afternoon peak
(5 P.M. to 6 P.M.)
Inbound 0.59 0.15 0.03 0.01
Outbound 0.59 0.01 0.03 0.15
Source: Leigh Fisher Associates, January 1996, using Los Angeles World Airports'
ride-share database representing a typical weekday, Los Angeles
International Airport Master PlanPhase I, On-Airport Existing
Transportation Conditions.
Facility peak hour Commuter peak hour
trips (in
Morning Afternoon Morning Afternoon
Cargo shipper and out) In Out In Out In Out In Out
International airline 25.2 0.39 0.13 0.19 0.29 0.23 0.13 0.16 0.16
Domestic airline 6.9 0.21 0.20 0.30 0.18 0.17 0.08 0.17 0.13
Overnight delivery service 3.0 0.30 0.24 0.77 0.27 0.30 0.03 0.55 0.26
Source: Leigh Fisher Associates, January 1996. Los Angeles International Airport Master Plan
Phase I, On-Airport Existing Transportation Conditions.
Trafc Generated by Other Airport Land Uses
Other land uses commonly found at public airports include
general aviation/FBO facilities and military bases. At most
commercial-service airports, these other land uses do not gen-
erate signicant volumes of trafc during the peak hours for the
airport or regional highway network. When the analysis is
focused on the airport terminal area and primary airport access
roadways, the trafc volumes generated by these land uses are
often ignored or considered to be background trafc and
combined with that of service/delivery vehicles.
Trafc volumes generated by general aviation are a function
of the number of general aviation aircraft operations, and the
type of aircraft (business jets, air taxis, or small propeller
aircraft). Trafc volumes generated by military bases vary
according to the type of base and its function. Trafc volumes
generated by nonaviation land uses that are not related to
airport or aviation activity (e.g., industrial parks or large
retail centers) can be estimated using the ITE Trip Genera-
tion Manual.
Trafc Generated by Nonairport Vehicles
Using Airport Roadways
Vehicles not related to the airport or airport land uses
may use airport roadways as a shortcut to bypass congestion
or delays on the regional roadway network. This traffic,
commonly referred to as cut-through traffic, adds to airport
roadway requirements and contributes to airport roadway
congestion. Cut-through trafc occurs at airports having multi-
ple entrance and exit points (e.g., Dallas/Fort Worth, Phoenix
Sky Harbor, and Washington Dulles International Airports,
and Bush Intercontinental Airport/Houston) and where the
roadway network conguration allows nonairport trafc to
share the airport roadways with airport-generated trafc. Most
airport operators discourage such cut-through trafc.
Determining the volume or proportion of existing cut-
through trafc may require recording and matching the license
plates or electronic toll tags of vehicles entering and exiting
the airport at all major airport entry and exit points (i.e., a
license plate matching survey or toll tag survey). It is not
possible to identify cut-through trafc volumes using simple
trafc volume counts.
Estimating the volume of future cut-through trafc requires
an understanding of future regional land uses and expected
regional trafc patterns/travel times. The volume of nonairport
trafc using airport roadways is a function of the volume of
trafc on the regional roadways, and the travel-time savings
these vehicles would experience if they were able to use airport
roadways as a shortcut. These time savings can be determined
by comparing the travel times via airport roadways and on
alternative routes, knowing the forecast congestion and travel
times on these routes as forecast by regional travel models or
other sources.
Off-Airport Origin and Destination Points
(Trip Distribution)
Some non-hub and small-hub airports have single entry/exit
points. At these airports, all vehicles enter and exit via one
roadway. The regional approach and departure vehicle distri-
butions may be required to determine the proportion of left-
turn, right-turn, and trough trafc at the intersection of the
airport roadway with the regional highway network.
Many airports have multiple entrance/exit pointsone
serving the terminal area and separate entrances/exits for air-
craft maintenance centers, general aviation terminals, military
bases, or other land uses. Although the volume of trafc using
each entrance/exit can often be determined by the land use(s)
served by the specic entrance/exit, large airports may have
multiple connections to the regional roadway system, where
the use of each is determined by regional travel patterns (or a
combination of regional travel patterns and the on-airport
For these large airports with multiple connections to the
regional roadway system, it is necessary to know the routes
drivers follow when traveling to and from the airport in order
to analyze (1) the intersections or junctions of the airport
access roadways and regional roadway network, (2) trafc
volumes on airport roadways associated with specic connec-
tions to the regional roadway network, and (3) the effect of
airport trafc on the regional roadway network. The routes
drivers follow are a function of where they enter airport prop-
erty and their on-airport destinations. These locations (or the
distribution of these locations) are a function of airline pas-
senger trip purpose, place of residency, regional land use pat-
terns, the regional highway network, existing and forecast
roadway congestion/travel times, the availability of public
transit, and other factors.
At airports having multiple entry/exit points serving the ter-
minal area (or other major land use), drivers typically select
the most convenient entry/exit point, which generally implies
the point that minimizes travel time. It is possible to esti-
mate the proportion (and thereby the volume) of vehicles using
each entry and exit point by determining (1) the actual loca-
tions where motorists (including airline passengers, visitors,
and employees) begin their trips to the airport (or end their
trips from the airport) or the distribution of these locations,
and (2) the most logical routes used by motorists from each of
these origin or destination points.
At many airports, fewer than 30% of all trips begin/end in
the downtown area, with the remainder arriving from or
going to places of residency and employment distributed
throughout the region. A planner familiar with the regional
highway network can determine the most likely routes from
the primary regional origin and destination points. In addition,
these data (or trip distributions) can be obtained from surveys
of airline passengers or, when such data are not available, from
the local metropolitan planning organization, which can pro-
vide information on future distributions of places of residence
and employment, a description of the future regional trans-
portation network, and the likely travel paths or approach/
departure distributions.
Assigning Trafc Volumes to the Roadway
Network (Trip Assignment)
Assigning the trafc volumes generated by airline passen-
gers, visitors, employees, air cargo, and service/delivery vehi-
cles to the on-airport roadway network requires information
as to (1) where these vehicles enter or exit the airport, (2) their
final and interim destination or origination points on the
airport, and (3) the routes or paths available to these vehicles.
Airport entry and exit points. The methodology for deter-
mining trafc volumes entering and exiting an airport at
specic locations is provided earlier in this chapter (see Esti-
mating Trafc Volumes [Trip Generation]).
Origin and destination points on the airport. The method-
ology for determining the volumes of trips associated with
specic on-airport origins and destinations is also provided
in the previous section on Estimating Trafc Volumes (Trip
Travel paths. Typically, on a regional roadway network
motorists can select from several alternative travel paths.
Thus, a sophisticated traffic assignment procedure is
required to allocate these vehicle trips among the available
travel paths (i.e., to assign the vehicle trips to the regional
roadway network) and, if desired, allocate trips to alterna-
tive routes, as primary routes become congested and travel
times decrease. In comparison, on an airport, there is gen-
erally only a single logical travel path available for airline
passengers and visitors, employees, and air cargo vehicles.
Thus, the traffic assignment process is much simpler at
At most airports, there is only one travel path available
between the airport entry and exit points and the primary
origin/destination points. For example, at most airports,
there is only one route connecting the airport entrance/exit
and the terminal curbside areas, public parking areas, or
rental car ready/return areas.
Exceptions include those airports having several entrances/
exits used by airline passengers, or having multiple terminal
buildings served by separate roadways. Some large airports
provide internal bypass roads allowing motorists to avoid
slow moving trafc at curbsides or other areas of potential
Generally, at an airport, most motorists follow the guide
signs directing them to the major on-airport destinations.
Furthermore, most motorists will follow the prescribed routes
even if they become congested, and typically deviate to a dif-
ferent route only if directed to do so by a trafc control of-
cer. Most employees and service vehicle drivers follow the
quickest route, unless they are prohibited from using specic
roads, or tolls or fees are associated with the use of specic
The travel paths of originating airline passengers can be
determined using the information presented in Table 3-1
(revised for the specic characteristics of the airline passengers
and airport being analyzed), and the travel paths of terminat-
ing airline passengers can be determined using similar infor-
mation. As noted, care must be taken when assigning trips
made by passengers who use multiple travel modes (e.g., those
who park in a remote parking lot and also use a courtesy vehi-
cle) or multiple legs (e.g., those who go to the curb and then
to parking).
For example, assuming that 100 vehicle trips per hour are
generated by originating airline passengers at an airport; 65%
of these trips are generated by private vehicles; 30% of those
private vehicles go to the curb and then go to parking, where
they remain for their trip duration; and 80% arrive from the
east and 20% arrive from the west, these assumptions result in
20 vehicle trips by private vehicles using both the curb and
daily parking (100 65% 30%), of which 16 vehicles enter
from the east and 4 enter from the west.
The trip assignment process for airport roadways requires
(1) repeating this calculation for every combination of travel
mode, circulation path, and regional approach/departure
path, (2) assigning these vehicle trips to the corresponding
roadway links, and (3) finally determining the sum of all
vehicle trips assigned to each roadway link. The sum of the
vehicle trips on each roadway link represents the estimated
traffic volume on that link. Travel forecasting software or
spreadsheet analyses are frequently used to perform this
repetitive process, particularly when traffic forecasts are
being prepared for large airport roadway networks. The use
of these methods allows planners to readily test the implica-
tions of alternative assumptions regarding mode choice,
travel paths, or airline passenger activity patterns, as well as
saving time and effort.
Challenges with Estimating
Roadway Trafc Volumes
As noted, several challenges are associated with estimating
roadway trafc volumeseither existing or futureusing
the traditional four-step travel forecasting techniques. Key
challenges encountered by most airport operators include the
Lack of Data on Airline Passengers
Most airport operators do not conduct regular surveys of
the travel modes used by airline passengers, the occupancies
of vehicles transporting airline passengers, their lead and lag
times, or their on-airport circulation patterns (e.g., the percent
using parking or curbside areas). It is estimated that fewer than
20 U.S. airport operators regularly conduct surveys of the travel
modes and circulation patterns of airline passengers and have
access to current data.
Lack of Data on Hourly Passenger Volumes
Many airport operators do not have accurate data on hour-
by-hour originating/terminating airline passenger numbers. At
many airports, for planning purposes, hourly airline passenger
numbers are calculated using (1) reported aircraft arrival and
departure schedules, (2) aircraft sizes (and corresponding seat
capacities) to determine the number of available seats per hour
(or other time increment), (3) assumed load factors (by air-
line)the portion of seats occupied by passengers, and (4) the
assumed portion of originating or terminating passengers (by
airline). A minor difference in the estimated load factor or the
proportion of enplaned/deplaned passengers in the peak hour
can lead to signicant differences in the numbers of peak-hour
passengers. Furthermore, although planners recognize that air-
craft load factors vary throughout the day and by day of the
week, typically, a single load factor is applied to all aircraft of
a given airline. Similarly, while the percentage of passengers
who originate or terminate at an airport may vary signi-
cantly throughout the day, typically only a single originating/
terminating factor is applied to all passengers of a given airline.
Lack of Data on Airport Employees
As previously noted, most airport operators have little or
no data regarding the numbers of employees reporting to
work on a daily basis, and less data on the hour-by-hour
arrival/departure patterns and travel modes used by these
employees. Few, if any, airport operators have forecasts of
future employment that are considered to be as reliable as the
available forecasts of airline passengers.
Lack of Data on Air Cargo
and Service/Delivery Trips
As noted earlier, additional research is required on air cargo
and service/delivery vehicle trips. At most airports, little data
are available on the existing numbers of trips generated by
these land uses and no reliable method exists for forecasting
future trips.
Effort Needed to Gather Required Data
Comprehensive surveys of originating and terminating air-
line passengers can be costly and time consuming to plan,
authorize, and conduct, with several months required to
review and summarize the resulting data before they are
available for release to others.
Resulting Accuracy
As noted, forecasts of the trafc volumes generated by air-
line passengers are often prepared in substantially more detail
than forecasts of trafc generated by employees, air cargo, or
service/deliveries. However, although traffic generated by
airline passengers may account for over 70% of the traffic
during the peak hour, it typically represents less than half of
the daily traffic generated by an airport. The costs and time
required to gather the airline passenger data needed to fore-
cast airline passenger vehicle trips should be compared with
the benets (i.e., anticipated level of accuracy).
Estimating Future Airport
Roadway Traffic Volumes
Alternative Approach
An alternative approach to estimating future airport road-
way traffic volumes involves determining existing traffic
volumes on each roadway segment (or major segments) and
applying a growth factor to the peak-hour volume to repre-
sent future conditions. This alternative approach is com-
monly called the growth factor method. It is suitable for
quick analyses of airport curbside and terminal area roadway
operations for planning purposes. Compared to the four-
step forecasting approach, this approach can be applied rela-
tively quickly and inexpensively. The growth factor method
requires (1) determining the existing peak hour(s) roadway
trafc volumes on each roadway segment or major segments,
(2) developing growth factors, and then (3) multiplying the
existing peak roadway trafc volumes by the selected growth
factor to develop an approximation of future conditions.
Growth Factor Method for Estimating
Future Trafc Volumes
A growth factor is the ratio between trafc volumes in the
current peak hour and in the peak hour to be analyzed. A
growth factor can be based on the ratio of the forecast total
annual airline passenger numbers (enplaned plus deplaned
passengers) for the future year to be analyzed to the equivalent
existing airline passenger numbers. Seasonal growth factors
can be developed to adjust for peak-month trafc operations
using data commonly available at most airports. For example,
seasonal factors can be developed using the ratio of parking
revenues (or, preferably, public parking transactions) during
the peak month to the revenues during the current month or
the ratio of month-to-month airline passenger numbers.
Challenges with Use of
the Growth Factor Method
The major challenge with using the growth factor method
is that it is relativity simplistic. This method is based on the
assumption that existing patterns of activity and circulation
will remain unchanged throughout the forecast period. This
method also may not account for changes that may result from
New land uses on or near the airport that could affect the
paths that motorists follow when entering or exiting the
Changes in choices of travel modes, parking facilities, or
circulation paths that may result from new or improved
public transportation services, changes in parking facilities
or parking rates, or increases or decreases in the propensity
of motorists to use curbside roadways.
Changes in the proportion of airline passengers during the
future peak month, peak day, or peak hour, although these
changes could be compensated for by adjusting the growth
factor appropriately. For example, if the peak hour is
expected to account for a smaller proportion of daily traf-
c due to anticipated changes in airline schedules or a at-
tening of the peak due to increased trafc volumes, the
growth factor could be adjusted accordingly.
Changes in the roadway network on or near the airport.
For example, the construction of a new major regional
highway may affect how vehicles approach the airport and
turning movement patterns at the airport entry/exit. Sim-
ilarly, a new or modied airport roadway could alter inter-
nal trafc circulation and merging or weaving patterns on
the airport.
This chapter presents an overview of terminal area roadway
analyses. It presents level-of-service denitions applicable to
airport roadways and describes methods for estimating the
capacity and levels of service. Chapter 5 presents comparable
methods for analyzing curbside roadways.
As described earlier, a hierarchy of analytical methods
including quick-estimation, macroscopic, and microsimula-
tion methods for analyzing airport terminal area roadway and
weaving section operations, is proposed. The appropriate ana-
lytical method will evolve as a project proceeds from concept
to nal design, and as more time and data become available to
support the analyses.
This chapter presents the suggested quick-estimation meth-
ods for analysis of airport roadways with uninterrupted ows,
signalized roadways, and airport roadway weaving sections; the
macroscopic method for analyzing low-speed roadway weav-
ing areas commonly found on airports; and an overview of the
use of microsimulation methods.
The macroscopic methods and performance measures
presented in the 2000 HCM are considered applicable for
analyses of airport roadways with uninterrupted traffic
flows and unsignalized or signalized intersections, but not
for analyses of low-speed roadway weaving areas. It is sug-
gested that the method presented in the section on Macro-
scopic Method for Analyzing Airport Roadway Weaving
Areas be used when macroscopic analyses of airport weav-
ing areas are required, and that the methods presented in
the HCM be used for macroscopic analyses of all other air-
port roadways.
The methods and data presented in this chapter represent
the best available information concerning airport roadway
operations and the consensus of the research team, the Project
Panel, and other reviewers at the time this Guide was prepared.
It is suggested that additional research be conducted on low-
speed weaving areas and maximum service rates for airport
Level-of-Service Definitions for
Airport Terminal Area Roadways
The key performance measures dening the level of service
of an airport terminal area roadway are as follows:
Average speed, which determines travel time;
Trafc density, which determines the ability of motorists
to easily maneuver into and out of travel lanes;
Maximum volume-to-capacity (v/c) ratio, which indicates
how close the roadway is to breakdown and is useful for
determining other performance measures such as queue
length and delays; and
Duration and length of queues.
With the exception of the weaving analysis discussed in this
chapter, the definitions, metrics, and procedures presented
in the 2000 HCM are applicable to airport roadways with un-
interrupted operations and signalized and unsignalized (i.e.,
stop-sign controlled) intersections.
The weaving analysis methods presented in the 2000 HCM
(and the 2010 update) are primarily oriented toward opera-
tions on freeways or major arterial streets. At airports, weaving
often takes place on roadway segments designed for speeds that
are much slower than those on freeways or even on major arte-
rial streets. As a result, although the weaving theory and meth-
ods presented in the 2000 HCM (and subsequent updates) are
applicable to airport roadways, the metrics dening levels of
service are not. Consequently, subsequent portions of this
chapter present alternative metrics for the low-speed weaving
that occurs on airport roadways.
Quick-Estimation Methods for
Analyzing Airport Roadway
This section presents quick-estimation methods for ana-
lyzing uninterrupted ows, signalized roadways, and airport
roadway weaving sections.
C H A P T E R 4
Analyzing Airport Terminal Area Roadways
Quick-Estimation Method for Uninterrupted
Flows on Airport Roadways
Quick-estimation methods are most appropriate for siz-
ing a roadway in the early stages of planning and the design
process when little has been decided (or is known) about the
details of the required roadway. Such methods are suitable for
use when preparing airport master plans or terminal area
plans to size or evaluate a roadway and identify points of
existing or future constraints.
Table 4-1, which is adapted from Exhibits 21-2 and 21-3 of
the 2000 HCM, presents the maximum service ow rate and
adjusted ow rates for multilane roadways with uninter-
rupted ows. The adjusted ow rates represent the maximum
ow rates of typical airport access and circulation roadways
and were calculated assuming that (1) heavy trucks and buses
represent less than 5% of the trafc volume on the access
roadways, (2) courtesy vehicles and minibuses (which are
assumed to be equivalent to recreational vehicles in terms of
performance) represent about 10% of the trafc volume on
access roadways, and (3) a high proportion of drivers who are
infrequent users of, and are, therefore, unfamiliar with, the
airport roadways. The free-ow speeds can be approximated by
the posted speed limits on the roadway section unless drivers
Level of service
Criteria A B C D E
Free-flow speed = 50 mph
Minimum speed (mph) 50.0 50.0 50.0 48.9 47.5
Maximum volume/capacity ratio 0.28 0.45 0.65 0.86 1.00
Maximum service flow rate (passenger cars/
hour/lane) 550 900 1,300 1,710 2,000
Maximum flow (vehicles/hour/lane) (a) 440 730 1,050 1,380 1,620
Free-flow speed = 45 mph
Minimum speed (mph) 45.0 45.0 45.0 44.4 42.2
Maximum volume/capacity ratio 0.26 0.43 0.62 0.82 1.00
Maximum service flow rate (passenger cars/
hour/lane) 490 810 1,170 1,550 1,900
Maximum flow (vehicles/hour/lane) (a) 400 650 940 1,250 1,530
Free-flow speed = 40 mph
Minimum speed (mph) 40.0 40.0 40.0 39.0 38.0
Maximum volume/capacity ratio 0.26 0.42 0.61 0.82 1.00
Maximum service flow rate (passenger cars/
hour/lane) 450 740 1,060 1,400 1,750
Maximum flow (vehicles/hour/lane) (a) 360 600 860 1,130 1,410
Free-flow speed = 35 mph
Minimum speed (mph) 35.0 35.0 34.0 34.0 33.0
Maximum volume/capacity ratio 0.26 0.42 0.61 0.80 1.00
Maximum service flow rate (passenger cars/
hour/lane) 410 670 980 1,280 1,600
Maximum flow (vehicles/hour/lane) (a) 330 540 790 1,030 1,290
Free-flow speed = 30 mph
Minimum speed (mph) 30.0 30.0 30.0 29.6 29.0
Maximum volume/capacity ratio 0.26 0.41 0.60 0.79 1.00
Maximum service flow rate (passenger cars/
hour/lane) 370 600 870 1,150 1,450
Maximum flow (vehicles/hour/lane) (a) 300 480 700 930 1,170
Free-flow speed = 25 mph
Minimum speed (mph) 25.0 25.0 25.0 24.8 24.0
Maximum volume/capacity ratio 0.25 0.40 0.59 0.79 1.00
Maximum service flow rate (passenger cars/
hour/lane) 310 500 740 990 1,250
Maximum flow (vehicles/hour/lane) (a) 250 400 600 800 1,010
mph = miles per hour
(a) Flow rates adjusted to account for 0.95 heavy vehicle factor and 0.85 driver population factor due to
occasional or unfamiliar users.
Source: LeighFisher, based on information presented in Transportation Research Board, National
Research Council, Highway Capacity Manual, Exhibits 21-2 and 21-3, December 2000.
Table 4-1. Levels of service for airport terminal area access and
circulation roadways.
regularly exceed the posted speed limit, in which case the free-
ow speed can be approximated by the average operating
speed of the vehicles on the roadway.
These adjusted ow rates also are based on the following
Travel lanes are at least 12 feet wide.
Lateral clearances (e.g., distance from walls, abutments, or
other physical obstacles) are at least 6 feet on both the left
and right sides of the roadway.
Any vertical grades are less than 0.25-mile in length or less
than 3% (i.e., rises less than 3 feet per every 100 feet of length).
The roadways operate in one direction only, or for two-
way roadways, at least two travel lanes are provided in each
direction, separated by a median.
The 2010 HCM includes tables that can be used to modify
travel speeds and ow rates for conditions other than those
described above.
If the roadway being evaluated falls signicantly outside the
lane width, lateral clearance, percent of truck use, and varies
from the other factors listed, then the trafc volume thresh-
olds presented in Table 4-1 may not be accurate. A more
detailed macroscopic analysis using procedures described in
the 2000 HCM (or the 2010 update) may be necessary to
determine the maximum service volume for the facility.
If the lane width, lateral clearance, percent of truck use, and
other factors described are applicable to the roadway being
analyzed, then the information in Table 4-1 should be applied
as follows:
1. Determine the free-ow speed for the roadway. The free-
ow speed is usually determined by measuring the mean
speed of trafc under very light ow conditions. However,
the posted speed limit can be used as an approximation of
the free-ow speed.
2. Determine the target level of service. The target is deter-
mined by individual airport operators (or local agencies)
and reects their individual policies and standards. If such a
standard or policy is lacking, LOS D is a common standard
for urban roadways, although many urban agencies have
adopted LOS E as a standard. LOS C is considered the com-
mon standard for planning new airport facilities, although
at large-hub airports, LOS D is sometimes considered to be
acceptable on existing roadways during peak periods.
3. Using Table 4-1, select the appropriate free-ow speed
and the column with the desired level of service. The max-
imum ow provides the maximum trafc per hour per
lane that the roadway can serve in one direction.
For example, if the free-ow speed is 50 mph and the tar-
get level of service is LOS D, then the maximum desirable
ow rate for a two-lane one-way road would be 2,760 vehi-
cles per hour (twice 1,380).
Quick-Estimation Method
for Signalized Roadways
The 2000 HCM (Appendix A, Chapter 10) presents a quick-
estimation method for roadways and signalized intersection
operations that is considered applicable for analysis of airport
roadways. An alternative quick-estimation methodthe plan-
ning application of the critical movement analysis or Inter-
section Capacity Utilization (ICU) methodalso is applicable
to airport roadways with signalized intersections. The ICU
method involves the following steps:
1. Identify the lane geometry.
2. Identify the hourly volumes, including left-turn, through,
and right-turn volumes for each intersection approach.
3. Identify the signal phasing (i.e., which movements oper-
ate concurrently).
4. Perform left-turn check to determine the probability of each
critical approach volume clearing the identied opposing
or conicting left-turn volume.
5. Assign lane volumes.
6. Identify critical volumes by identifying the conicting or
opposing trafc volumes (on a per lane basis) having the
highest total volumes for each signal phase.
7. Sum the critical volumes.
8. Determine the intersection level of service.
Appendix F of this Guide presents an explanation of the
use of the planning application of the critical movement
analysis method and a worksheet to guide users.
Quick-Estimation Method for Airport
Roadway Weaving Sections
Table 4-2 provides example data for a procedure for quickly
estimating the maximum service volumes on airport roadway
weaving sections for one-sided and two-sided weaving areas.
These service volumes were developed using the macroscopic
method described in the next section.
Macroscopic Method for Analyzing
Airport Roadway Weaving Areas
The 2000 HCM and the draft 2010 HCM provide method-
ologies for evaluating trafc operations on airport roadways.
However, neither edition of the HCM is designed to evaluate
weaving conditions for low-speed airport roadways (speed
limits of 30 mph or slower). In fact, commercially available
software for applying the HCM methods generally prohibit
the user from applying the software to weaving sections with
free-ow speeds lower than 35 mph.
Consequently, a separate weaving analysis without the lim-
itation on low free-ow speeds was developed and incorpo-
rated into a macroscopic modelthe Quick Analysis Tool for
Airport Roadways (QATAR). QATAR includes components
that provide information about low-speed weaving and curb-
side roadway operations given certain inputs. The low-speed
weaving operations are described in this section. The curb-
side operations components are described in Chapter 5.
QATAR uses the weaving analysis calculations and method-
ology presented in Chapter 12 of the draft 2010 HCM for one-
sided and two-sided weaving, and applies these calculations to
roadways having free-ow speeds slower than the lower bound
of speeds presented in the draft 2010 HCM (free-ow speeds
less than 35 mph).
The draft 2010 HCM weaving methodology is described
below so that analysts can follow its implementation within
QATAR. Two modications were made to the draft 2010 HCM
weaving method to extend its application to lower speed road-
way sections. First, the minimum speed for weaving traffic
was reduced from 15 mph in the draft 2010 HCM materials to
10 mph. Second, special LOS threshold trafc densities were
developed for application to weaving sections on low-speed
airport roadways. As an input in determining the capacity of
the weaving segment, maximum service ow rates for basic
freeway segments under base conditions were extrapolated to
correspond to input free-ow speeds (i.e., less than 55 mph).
The draft 2010 HCM presents macroscopic methods for
analyzing airport roadway operations. These methods, if
adjusted for the factors used to develop Table 4-1 (e.g., driver
population, heavy vehicles, and roadway geometry), are appli-
cable to analysis of airport roadways with uninterrupted traf-
c ows and ows controlled by signals or stop signs.
Use of Draft 2010 Weaving
Analysis Procedures
The draft 2010 HCM weaving analysis procedure involves
the following steps, which are described in this section:
1. Collect and input roadway weaving section lane geometry,
lane designations, free-ow speed, and peak hour volumes.
2. Adjust the mixed-ow trafc volumes to equivalent pas-
senger car volumes (adjust for percent of heavy vehicles,
driver familiarity, and peak-hour factor).
(3 Lanes in this image)
3 1,300 1,800 2,200 2,600 4,200
4 1,650 2,250 2,800 3,200 5,600
5 2,000 2,700 3,300 3,800 6,200
(3 Lanes in this image)
3 1,450 2,100 2,700 3,250 4,200
4 1,950 2,800 3,600 4,300 5,600
5 2,400 3,500 4,450 5,350 6,200
(3 Lanes in this image)
3 1,400 1,950 2,500 2,950 4,150
4 1,800 2,500 3,150 3,700 5,550
5 2,150 3,000 3,700 4,300 6,950
Table uses arbitrarily selected volume combination with free flow speed of 35 mph, level terrain, weaving segment
length of 500 feet, 5% heavy vehicles, and approximately 20% of traffic weaving. This table is an example of what service
flows could be for one volume pattern and is not intended to function as a look-up table for a quick estimation method.
Number of lanes in
weaving section
One Sided Ramp Weave (single lane ramp)
Service Volumes (vehicles/hour) for LOS
Number of lanes in
weaving section
One Sided Ramp Weave (two lane ramp)
Service Volumes (vehicles/hour) for LOS
Number of lanes in
weaving section
Two Sided Ramp Weave
Service Volumes (vehicles/hour) for LOS
Table 4-2. Example service volumes for airport roadway weaving segments.
3. Determine conguration characteristic, which is based on
lane changes of weaving movements.
4. Determine the maximum weaving length, if weaving analy-
sis is appropriate.
5. Determine the weaving section capacity.
6. Determine lane-changing rates.
7. Determine the average speed of weaving and nonweaving
8. Determine the level of service.
The rest of this section describes these steps in more detail
with the recommended modications for applying this analy-
sis to weaving sections of low-speed airport roadways. Addi-
tional detail on these steps is provided in the draft 2010 HCM.
Collect and Input Data
The analyst must collect data on existing and/or forecast
peak-hour trafc volumes for each leg of the weaving section.
The trafc data should include a peak-hour factor and per-
cent of heavy vehicles. The peak-hour factor is the ratio of the
total peak-hour ow rate in vehicles per hour (vph) divided
by the peak 15-minute ow rate within the peak hour (con-
verted to vph).
The free-ow speed or posted speed limit should be observed
(or estimated in the case of a new design or planning study).
The proposed (or existing) lane geometry must be identi-
ed (number of lanes on each leg, number of lanes in the
weaving section, lane striping showing how the lanes on each
leg transition to and from the lanes in the weaving section,
and the length of the weaving section).
Adjust Flow Rates
The mixed (passenger cars, trucks, buses, etc.) ow rates
should be converted to the equivalent passenger car rates
using the following formula:
= equivalent passenger car ow rate (passenger cars
per hour, or pc/hr)
= the mixed ow rate (vph)
PHF = peak-hour factor
= the heavy vehicle adjustment factor
= driver familiarity adjustment factor
The heavy vehicle adjustment factor is computed as follows:
1+P E P E
( ) + ( ) 1 1
PHF f f
HV p
( )( )( )
where P
, E
, P
, E
, are percentage and equivalence of
trucks/buses and recreational vehicles in the traffic stream,
The presence of recreational vehicles is typically negligible
for airport facilities. Suggested truck equivalence is 1.5 for
level terrain, which is typical for airport roadways. A peak-
hour factor of 0.9 is suggested in absence of eld-collected
data. For airport roadways where arriving and departing pas-
sengers constitute the predominant users, a value of 0.85
should be used for the driver familiarity adjustment factor
(the full range should be between 0.85 and 1.0, with 0.85 rep-
resenting unfamiliar drivers, and 1.0 representing regular
The user has two options for entering trafc volumes
through the weaving segment. The rst option is to enter
actual O&D counts (or volumes) on the weaving section, and
the second option is to enter approach and departure vol-
umes, and then use QATAR to estimate the weaving volumes
in the segment.
Determine Weaving Conguration
Several key parameters characterize the conguration of a
weaving segment. The rst step is to determine whether the
roadway being analyzed is a one-sided ramp weave or a two-
sided weave (illustrations are provided in QATAR as well as
in Figures 4-1 and 4-2). The key variables in subsequent steps of
the methodology for both types of weaving congurations are
= minimum rate at which weaving vehicles must
change lanes to successfully complete all weaving
maneuvers (lc/hr).
= number of lanes from which weaving maneuvers
may be made with either one lane change or no
lane changes. For one-sided weaving, this value is
either 2 or 3, and for two-sided weaving, this value
is always 0 by denition.
For a one-sided weaving segment, the two weaving move-
ments are the ramp-to-freeway and freeway-to-ramp ows;
the following values are established:
= minimum number of lane changes that must be
made by one ramp-to-freeway vehicle to success-
fully execute the desired maneuver.
= minimum number of lane changes that must be
made by one freeway-to-ramp vehicle to success-
fully execute the desired maneuver.
= minimum rate of lane changing that must exist for
all weaving vehicles to successfully complete their
weaving maneuvers, lc/hr
= (LC
) + (LC
= ramp-to-freeway demand flow rate in weaving
segment, pc/hr.
Figure 4-1. Examples of airport roadway weaving
(continued on next page)
= freeway-to-ramp demand ow rate in weaving
segment, pc/hr.
For a two-sided weaving segment, only the ramp-to-ramp
movement is functionally weaving. The following values
are established:
= minimum number of lane changes that must be
made by one ramp-to-ramp vehicle to success-
fully execute the desired maneuver.
= LC
= ramp-to-ramp demand ow rate in weaving seg-
ment, pc/hr.
Determine Maximum Weaving Length
The concept of maximum length of a weaving segment is
critical to the methodology. Strictly dened, the maximum
length is the length beyond which weaving turbulence no
longer affects operations within the segment, or alternatively,
no longer affects the capacity of the weaving segment.
where VR is the ratio between weaving volume and total
= + ( )

[ ] 5 728 1 1 566
1 6
, ,
If the length of the weaving segment is greater than or equal
to L
, then this weaving analysis methodology is not appro-
priate. The segment should then be analyzed as merge, diverge,
and basic segments, as appropriate.
Determine Capacity of Weaving Segment
Weaving capacity is determined by two methods: density
and weaving demand ows. The nal capacity is the smaller
of the results of the two methods.
Weaving segment capacity determined by density. This is
computed by
= capacity of the weaving segment under equivalent
ideal conditions, per lane (pc/hr/ln)
= c
] + [0.0765L
N = number of lanes within the weaving segment.
= length of the weaving segment.
= capacity of a basic freeway segment with the same free-
ow speed as the weaving segment under equivalent
ideal conditions, per lane (pc/hr/ln), draft 2010 HCM,
c c N f f
Chapter 11, Exhibit 11-17, and interpolated for low-
speed airport access roadways.
Weaving segment capacity determined by weaving
demand ows. This is computed by
= 2,400/VR for N
= 2 lanes.
= 3,500/VR for N
= 3 lanes.
With capacity determined, a v/c ratio for the weaving seg-
ment may be computed as follows:
Determine Lane-Change Rates
The equivalent hourly rate at which weaving and nonweav-
ing vehicles make lane changes within the weaving segment is
a direct measure of turbulence in the ow of trafc (i.e., when
vehicles exhibit irregular and apparently random uctuations
in speed). It is also a key determinant of speeds and densities
within the segment, which ultimately determine the existing
or anticipated level of service.
v c V f f c
c c f f
Figure 4-1. (Continued).
Estimating the total lane-changing rate for weaving
vehicles. This is computed by
= equivalent hourly rate at which weaving vehicles
make lane changes within the weaving segment, lc/hr.
ID = interchange density, int/mi.
Estimating the total lane-changing rate for nonweaving
vehicles. Two models are used to predict the rate at which
nonweaving vehicles change lanes in the weaving segment:
= nonweaving demand ow rate in the weaving seg-
ment, pc/hr.
LC v L N
= ( ) +( ) ( )
0 206 0 542 192 6
. . .
,1135 0 223 2 000 + ( ) . , v
= + ( ) + ( )

0 39 300 1
0 5 0 8
. .
Unfortunately, these two equations are discontinuous, there-
fore, a third equation is introduced to bridge the gap between
the discontinuity:
= a measure of the tendency of conditions to induce
unusually high nonweaving vehicle lane-change rates.
= [L
ID v
] / 10,000, where ID is interchange spac-
ing per mile.
Final nonweaving vehicle lane-changing rate is dened as
If I
1,300: LC
= LC
If I
1,950: LC
= LC
If 1,300 < I
< 1,950: LC
= LC
: LC
= LC
Total Lane-Changing Rate. The total lane-changing rate
of all vehicles in the weaving segment, in lane changes
per hour, is computed as follows:
Determine Average Speeds of Weaving and
Nonweaving Vehicles in Weaving Segment
The average speed of weaving vehicles in a weaving seg-
ment may be computed as follows:
= average speed of weaving vehicles within the weav-
ing segment, miles/hour.
= minimum average speed of weaving vehicles
expected in a weaving segment, miles/hour; the rec-
ommended setting for low-speed airport roadways
is 10 miles/hour.
= maximum average speed of weaving vehicles
expected in a weaving segment, miles/hour; the
recommended setting for airport roadways is the
posted speed limit (unless a speed survey or eld
observations by the analyst indicate that a different
speed is appropriate).
W = weaving intensity factor.
= 0.226 [LC
/ L
The average speed of nonweaving vehicles in a weaving
segment may be computed as follows:
= ( ) ( ) 0 0072 0 0048 . .
= + ( ) + ( ) [ ] 1
= +
= + ( ) ( ) [ ] 1 300 650 , ,
Type C weave. Vehicles entering
from the lower left must make two
lane changes to exit on the right.
Vehicles entering from the lower
right require no lane changes to
exit on the left.
Figure 4-2. Example of weaving congurations.
Note that usually the nonweaving speed should be mod-
estly faster than the weaving speed. However, the developers
of the draft 2010 HCM weaving methodology believe that it
is acceptable for the nonweaving speed to be slightly slower
than the weaving speed in some cases.
If the analyst nds that the nonweaving speed is more than
3 mph to 5 mph below that of the weaving speed, then it is
recommended that the analyst recompute the weaving speed
using a lower minimum speed of 5 mph (instead of 10 mph).
The average speed of all vehicles in a weaving segment may
be computed as follows:
Determine Level of Service
The level of service in a weaving segment, as in all freeway
analyses, is related to the density in the segment. Density is
computed as follows:
where D is measured in pc/mi/ln
Density is used to look up the level of service in Table 4-3.
A special set of density thresholds has been developed for
weaving on low-speed airport roadways. Airport operators
may choose their own thresholds based on local experience
and perceptions of quality of service.
Without more extensive research, it is impossible to know
with certainty whether the results of the low-speed weaving
D v N S =[ ]
S v v v S v S
= + [ ] ( ) + ( ) [ ]
macroscopic model presented in this section are accurate, but
the results can provide an initial indication of whether a weav-
ing section with certain parameters might operate success-
fully or not.
The results of the low-speed weaving analysis method and
the revised metrics appear to correlate reasonably well with
the observations of airport roadway weaving operations con-
ducted as part of this research project, and produce results
suitable for planning-level analyses of low-speed airport road-
way weaving operations. Although low speeds can be entered
as inputs to most microsimulation models, it is not known
whether the resulting modeled trafc ows represent actual
trafc operation patterns under those conditionsfew, if any,
studies have been conducted of the low-speed weaving con-
ditions typical of airport roadways to allow full verication of
the suggested low-speed weaving analysis method outputs.
Significantly more observations at numerous locations are
required to provide a basis for analysis of low-speed roadway
weaving operations that is consistent with the level of analyti-
cal precision of the Highway Capacity Manual or any similar
The proposed low-speed weaving method is not intended
to serve as a basis for any of the following:
Design of a new low-speed roadway weaving section,
Design of modications to an existing low-speed weaving
A denitive operational analysis of an existing or proposed
weaving section, or
The assessment of the level of safety afforded by an exist-
ing roadway.
Under the above conditions, microsimulation models may
be more appropriate for evaluating trafc operations.
Freeway weaving
segments (pc/mi/ln)
roadways (pc/mi/ln)
Airport low-speed
A 10 12 20
B 20 24 30
C 28 32 40
D 35 36 50
E >35 >36 60
F v/c>1.0 v/c>1.0 v/c>1.0
Notes: pc/mi/ln = passenger cars per mile per lane.
If the density exceeds the LOS threshold, then the roadway is over capacity.
Source: Transportation Research Board, Draft Highway Capacity Manual, Exhibit
12-10, 2010 (except for airport low-speed roadways).
Table 4-3. Level-of-service criteria for weaving segments.
Use of Microsimulation Methods
Microsimulation modeling is an analytical process that uses
sophisticated computer programs to analyze trafc operations
for complex roadway systems. In microsimulation modeling,
individual imaginary vehicles are assigned characteristics,
such as a destination, vehicle performance capabilities, and
driver behavioral proles. Each vehicle then travels through
a computerized roadway network, and various aspects of its
performance are recorded during its simulated trip based on
its interactions with other vehicles and trafc controls. These
performance statistics can be summarized in many ways,
including performance measures commonly used by traffic
engineers and transportation planners (e.g., delays, travel times,
travel speeds, and queue lengths).
Some aspects of roadway systems, such as intersections con-
trolled by isolated or coordinated trafc signals, can be ana-
lyzed using simpler techniques than microsimulation. The use
of microsimulation models can be benecial in other roadway
environments, including those with complex trafc move-
ments, such as weaving operations where some vehicles are
entering, some are exiting, and some are traveling through the
weaving sections.
Many airport roadway systems are sufciently complex to
warrant the use of microsimulation. The use of microsimula-
tion models should be considered if simpler analytical tools
and methodologies do not yield reasonable results, provide
sufcient detail, or cannot be used because the roadway con-
figuration or operating conditions are outside the range of
those addressed in the HCM. However, the use of micro-
simulation models and analyses of trafc using these models
are relatively complex tasks requiring training in the use of
the specific model and experience in traffic engineering to
fully understand the simulation process so that appropriate
inputs are used and the outputs are interpreted correctly. Most
microsimulation software packages also require signicant
time to learn.
Suggested guidelines on when microsimulation is proba-
bly not needed are as follows:
1. Signalized or unsignalized intersections can usually be
analyzed using methodologies in the 2000 HCM unless
exclusive left-turn lane storage area overows are a signif-
icant problem. In such cases, HCM methodologies may
yield optimistic estimates of signal performance, and micro-
simulation modeling may yield more accurate results.
2. Roadway segments having few or no driveways or inter-
secting side roads.
3. Weaving segments with two entries and two exits and a rea-
sonable distance (e.g., at least 500 feet) between the entrance
to, and exit from, the segment, and free-flow speeds of
35 mph or greater.
4. If the use of a simpler techniqueeven if the inputs are
outside of the recommended rangesyields outputs that
are consistent with observed conditions (e.g., trafc seems
very congested, and use of the HCM methodology yields
LOS E or F).
Guidelines regarding when to consider microsimulation:
1. Signalized or unsignalized intersections that have more
than four legs or are oriented in atypical ways. The ana-
lyst should initially attempt to use HCM methodologies
and then consider microsimulation modeling if the inputs
required to evaluate the roadway segments do not corre-
spond to the HCM analysis structure.
2. Airport roadway segments with the number of lanes chang-
ing along the length of the segment and with multiple, and
possibly unusual, orientations of driveways or intersecting
side roads.
3. Weaving segments that do not t the orientation of the
weaving analysis in the HCM. This could mean more than
two entries or exits, dimensions or speeds outside the
bounds dened in the HCM, signals or stop signs within the
weaving segment, etc.
4. If simpler techniques are used to analyze what appear to
be sufciently simple facilities, but the results indicate oper-
ations that are much worse or much better than those
5. When congestion on one roadway section causes queues or
backups that extend back and interfere with operations on
an upstream critical roadway section.
6. When congestion on one roadway section signicantly
restricts the volume of vehicles that can arrive at a down-
stream critical location.
7. When comparing the congestion resulting from different
improvement options for situations where it is not possible
to design sufcient capacity to eliminate signicant conges-
tion. In this case, comparisons are typically made of the
extent of the congestion (duration and length of queues)
produced by the various improvement options. Micro-
simulation modeling is the best available tool for making
these comparisons.
FHWAs Trafc Analysis Toolbox III: Guidelines for Applying
Trafc Microsimulation Modeling Software (FHWA-HRT-04-
040, July 2004) provides additional information on the use and
application of microsimulation. This document is available
at http://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/trafcanalysistools/tat_vol3/index.
Other Performance Measures
At some airports, the adequacy of a roadway or curbside
area has been dened by the length of time a motorist requires
to enter and exit the terminal area. Microsimulation models
can be used to establish a baseline condition and compare the
baseline travel time (or a predetermined acceptable travel
time) with the travel times resulting from different levels of
traffic demand and access and circulation roadway config-
urations. However, it is difficult to accurately estimate these
travel times and queues without the aid of microsimulation
models because of the relative short distances being ana-
lyzed and the difficulty in estimating queue lengths through
other means.
This chapter presents measures of curbside roadway per-
formance, denitions of curbside roadway levels of service,
and a hierarchy of analytical methods for estimating curb-
side roadway capacities and levels of service. It also describes
use of a macroscopic method, QATAR, for analysis of air-
port curbside roadways, and explains the use of this method.
Appendix G documents the queuing theory and assumptions
used in QATAR.
In evaluating airport curbside roadway operations, analy-
ses of both the curbside lanes (where motorists stop to pick
up or drop off passengers) and the adjacent through lanes are
required. As described in Chapter 2, these analyses are neces-
sary because double- or triple-parked vehicles impede or delay
the ow of vehicles in the adjacent through lanes.* As a result,
the capacity of the through lanes decreases as demand for curb-
side space approaches or exceeds the capacity of a curbside
roadway segment, causing double or triple parking.
As described in more detail later in this chapter, the capac-
ity of curbside pickup and drop-off areas depends on the num-
ber of lanes airport management allows to be used for vehicles
to stop, load, or unload. For example, at airports where double
parking is prohibited, curbside capacity equals the effective
length of the lane next to the curb. At airports where double
parking is allowed, curbside capacity equals twice the length
of this lane.
In this chapter, methods of estimating the volumes, capac-
ities, and levels of service of the curbside lanes and the through
lanes are presented separately. However, when estimating air-
port curbside roadway capacities and levels of service, it is
necessary to consider the operations of both the curbside lane
and the through lanes concurrently because the capacity and
level of service of an airport curbside roadway system is deter-
mined by the component that has the lowest capacity or pro-
vides the poorest level of service.
The methods and data presented in this chapter represent
the best available information concerning airport roadway
operations and the consensus of the research team, the Proj-
ect Panel, and other reviewers. It is suggested that additional
research be conducted to rene the estimated airport curb-
side roadway maximum service rates (i.e., the maximum ow
rates at each level of service).
Performance Measures
Curbside utilization is the recommended performance mea-
sure for airport curbside roadways. Curbside utilization indi-
cates the ability of a roadway to accommodate existing or
projected requirements for vehicles loading or unloading at
the curbside. It also indicates if spare capacity is available to
serve additional demand and surges in demand.
Roadway and curbside capacities are typically analyzed for
the peak hour or design hour of a facility. For airport road-
ways, it is suggested that the design hour be a typical busy hour
on the peak day of the week during the peak month. This sug-
gestion is in contrast to planning for aireld and other airport
facilities, which often considers the peak hour of an average
day during the peak month.
Typically, a utilization factor of 1.30 or less (65% of the
capacity of the curbside loading/unloading lanes) is a desir-
able planning target for new curbside roadways. A utilization
factor of 1.70 (85% of the combined capacity of the inner and
second curbside lanes) is acceptable for existing facilities, rec-
ognizing that during peak hours and days of the year, demand
will exceed capacity. However, individual airport operator
policies regarding parking in multiple lanes may dictate differ-
ent utilization factor planning targets.
C H A P T E R 5
Evaluating Airport Curbside Operations
*Throughout this chapter, the term parked vehicle refers to a vehicle that has
come to a complete stop and remains stopped to allow the loading or unloading
of passengers and their baggage. Vehicles on curbside roadways are not parked
in the same sense as vehicles in a parking lot or an on-street parking space
because these parked vehicles may not be left unattended on airport curbsides.
Within the airport industry, vehicles stopped or standing at curbsides are com-
monly referred to as parked vehicles.
Utilization is an indicator of curbside roadway level of
service, which provides an overall indication of the quality of
the experiences of drivers and passengers using the curbside
roadway. LOS C is a desirable planning target for a medium-
or small-hub airport, both for the design of new curbside
roadways and for analyzing an existing facility. LOS D is accept-
able for an existing curbside roadway at a large-hub airport,
recognizing that on some peak days of the year, the level of
service may decrease to LOS E or less. Level of service is esti-
mated separately for through trafc and for curbside loading/
unloading trafc.
When additional performance measures, as described
below, are required to supplement curbside utilization, the
analysis is conducted using a microsimulation model. Such
supplemental measures cannot be accurately determined
without the use of a microsimulation model, either quanti-
tatively or in the field (i.e., they are difficult to quantify
using field surveys). For example, the use of a microsimula-
tion model would help document the ability of an existing
curbside roadway to accommodate future demand, or to
quantify the benefits resulting from alternative curbside
improvement options. These supplemental performance
measures include
Number of vehicles parked in the second and third lanes.
The number of through lanes blocked by parked or park-
ing vehicles (and the proportion of the modeled hour dur-
ing which this blockage occurs) is an indicator of the extent
of roadway congestion. It is also an indirect indication of
the ability of motorists to enter/exit and stop at their pre-
ferred curbside locations since it is difcult for motorists
stopped in the curb lane to exit when triple parking occurs
without the intervention of trafc control ofcers.
Queue length. Queue length is the number of vehicles wait-
ing to enter the curbside roadway or a specic curbside
parking area expressed in terms of the distance that the
vehicle queue extends back from the curbside parking area
or point of congestion. Queue lengths are estimated for
different levels of probable occurrence. The mean queue
length has a 50% probability of being exceeded some time
during the hour. The 95% queue length has a 5% probabil-
ity of being exceeded. The 95% queue length is typically
used for design purposes.
Queuing duration. The queuing duration (in minutes)
indicates how long the congestion will last, and is useful for
comparing two potential design solutions, neither of which
completely eliminates queuing. Ideally, the queuing dura-
tion is zero for a new curbside roadway, and less than one
hour for an existing curbside roadway.
Average vehicle delay. Average vehicle delay consists of
two componentsthrough traffic delay and curbside
loading/unloading delay.
Through traffic delay is the amount of time required
for a vehicle to traverse the entire curb length. To deter-
mine through traffic delay, the unimpeded travel time for
through traffic on the curbside roadway is subtracted
from the actual travel time to obtain the amount of through
traffic delay per vehicle. When designing a new curbside
roadway, the delay to through trafc should ideally be near
zero. For existing roadways, delays of up to 15 seconds
per vehicle may be acceptable, recognizing that the delays
could be significantly higher on peak days of the year. The
acceptable amount of delay for through vehicles must be
set by the airport operator based on the design of the land-
side circulation system and the number of other delays
experienced by through vehicles on other portions of the
roadway circulation system. For example, if through vehi-
cles must pass several curbside loading/unloading areas,
then delays at each curbside area will be less tolerable.
Curbside loading/unloading delay is the amount of time
a vehicle requires to pull into a curbside stall, load or un-
load passengers, and exit. The minimum time necessary to
drop off or pick up a passenger during uncongested peri-
ods (i.e., the average dwell time) should be subtracted from
the total average observed time to obtain the amount of
curbside loading/unloading delay. Curbside delays of up to
30 seconds are acceptable when designing a new roadway.
Delays of up to 60 seconds per vehicle are acceptable for
existing roadways.
As shown by the checkmarks in Table 5-1, use of these per-
formance measures requires different analysis methods.
When curbside roadways are being analyzed using microsim-
ulation models, it is possible to consider the number of vehi-
cles parked in the second and third lanes, the length and
duration of curbside queues, and average vehicle speeds (or
delays). Without the aid of microsimulation models, it is dif-
cult to accurately estimate vehicle parking patterns, travel
times and delays, and queue lengths because of the relatively
short distances on curbside roadways being analyzed and the
difculty estimating queue lengths through other means.
When curbside roadways are being analyzed using the quick-
estimation or macroscopic methods described in this chapter,
the appropriate performance measures are curbside utiliza-
tion and the corresponding levels of service.
Level-of-Service Definitions
for Airport Curbside Roadways
The primary element dening the level of service of an air-
port curbside roadway is the ability of motorists to enter and
exit the curbside space of their choice (e.g., one near their air-
line door or other chosen destination). As roadway demand
and congestion increase, motorists are required to stop in
spaces farther away from their preferred destination. The
motorist is required to either stop in a downstream or up-
stream curbside space, double park, or, in an extreme case,
circle past the curbside area multiple times while searching
for an empty space.
The key performance measures dening the level of service
of an airport curbside roadway are the
Number of vehicles parked or stopped in the curbside
lane, and the percent double or triple parked, or otherwise
stopped, in a position that interferes with the ow of traf-
c in adjacent lanes. This number of parked vehicles is a
function of curbside demand vs. available capacity.
Length and duration of queues at the entrance to the curb-
side area.
Average delay encountered by private and commercial
vehicles entering and exiting the curbside areas.
Curbside utilization ratio, which is a comparison of the
length of the vehicles stopped along the curbside and the
effective length of the curbside (i.e., the total length less
the space occupied by crosswalks or other areas in which
vehicles, or certain classes of vehicles, cannot stop).
As stated, most of these measures are obtainable only
through microsimulation modeling. Therefore, level-of-service
denitions for airport curbside roadways shown in Figure 5-1
and presented in Table 5-2 are based on curbside utilization
ratios. These denitions and ratios were validated using focus
groups of airline passengers, airport landside managers, and
commercial vehicle operators, which were conducted as part
of this research project. (Appendix E presents a summary of
these focus group sessions.)
Estimating Airport Curbside
Roadway Traffic Volumes
Curbside roadway trafc volumes can be estimated using
the same methods used to estimate airport terminal area
roadway trafc (see Chapter 3): the traditional four-step
travel forecasting method and the growth factors method.
The key differences between estimating terminal area road-
way trafc and curbside roadway trafc include, for curbside
roadway trafc, the need to prepare the following:
Separate estimates of vehicles stopping in a curbside lane
and through trafc vehicles. At small airports with a single
terminal building and a short curbside area (e.g., less than
500 feet in length), the volume of through vehicles may equal
the volume of vehicles stopping at the curbside. However,
these volumes may differ at airports having (1) multiple ter-
minal buildings or large concourses served by a common
roadway, (2) a curbside area with inner and outer curb-
side roadways separated by a raised island with midpoint
entrances and exits, or (3) curbside roadways that are used
by non-curbside traffic (e.g., vehicles entering or exiting
parking areas, rental car areas, or other facilities).
Separate analyses of the departures curbside and arrivals
curbside roadways. It is necessary to analyze these curb-
side areas separately because the departures and arrivals
peak periods at an airport (and thus peak periods of curb-
side demand) occur during different hours of the day, and
vehicle dwell times and space allocations (the proportion
of curb length assigned to individual classes of vehicles)
differ signicantly at the departures and arrivals curbside
areas, as described in subsequent sections of this chapter.
At airports with dual-level curbside roadways, separate
analyses of each level are required. At airports with a single-
level curbside roadway, analyses of the peak periods for
originating, terminating, and total passengers (originating
plus terminating) are required.
Separate analyses for each class of vehicle. Private vehi-
cles, taxicabs, limousines, door-to-door vans, courtesy vehi-
cles, and charter buses/vans each have different dwell times,
required vehicle stall lengths, and maneuvering capabili-
ties. Furthermore, each service provided by these vehicles
may have different operational methods and be governed
by different airport regulations. For example, on an arrivals
curbside, an airport operator may permit taxicabs to stand
at the curbside for 30 minutes or more to ensure that waiting
vehicles are available for arriving customers and may allow
charter buses to remain at the curbside for 10 to 15 minutes
to ensure that all members of a large party have claimed
their bags and boarded the vehicle, but may only allow
Performance measure
Curbside utilization ratio
Number of vehicles parked in second
and third lanes
Queue length
Queuing duration
Average vehicle delay
Table 5-1. Recommended airport curbside performance measures.
Source: LeighFisher.
Figure 5-1. Curbside levels of service.
hotel/motel courtesy vehicles to stop while actively board-
ing passengers.
Separate estimates of trafc volumes for each terminal
building or concourse. The peak periods of activity for each
airline serving an airport may occur during different hours of
the day. At airports with multiple terminals or large con-
course(s) dominated by a single airline, the largest trafc vol-
umes (and curbside area requirements) may occur during a
different hour (or different 15-minute period) at each termi-
nal or near each concourse. In addition, motorists prefer to
stop at the curbside area nearest the doors (or skycap podi-
ums) serving their airline (or that of the passenger they are
transporting). Thus, demands are not distributed uniformly
along the length of a curbsideparticularly at airports with
multiple terminals or large concoursesbut are concen-
trated at the curbside areas corresponding to the airlines serv-
ing the largest volume of passengers during the peak period.
As a result, at airports with several terminals or multiple
concourses, the trafc volumes and curbside area require-
ments that correspond to (or are generated by) each termi-
nal or concourse should be estimated. These estimates can
be prepared by allocating the total peak-hour trafc vol-
umes to each curbside area according to the percentage of
total demand served by each area during the peak hour.
The percentage of total demand served by each area can be
estimated by analyzing (in decreasing order of reliability)
the proportion of (1) peak period originating (or terminat-
ing) passengers served by each terminal building or con-
course, (2) the number of scheduled aircraft seats served by
terminal or concourse during the peak period, or (3) the
number of aircraft gates served by each concourse.
If the data are available, it is preferable to estimate the traf-
c volumes generated by each terminal curbside area (by type
of vehicle) separately, as the demographic and/or travel mode
choices of the passengers on each airline may differ. For
example, the curbside operations at a terminal primarily serv-
ing international passengers will differ from curbside opera-
tions at a terminal serving regional aircraft or short-haul
domestic ights. However, as stated in Chapter 3, such airline
passenger data require surveys of airline passengers and are
available at few airports.
Estimating Airport Curbside
Roadway Capacity and
Level of Service
Estimating airport curbside roadway capacities and levels
of service requires analyses of both the curbside lanes and the
through lanes because the numbers of vehicles parked in the
curbside lanes affect the ow of vehicles in the through lanes;
as curbside lanes approach capacity, the capacity of the adja-
cent through lanes is reduced.
The capacity of a curbside roadway is dened as the smaller
of (1) the number of vehicles that can be accommodated in
the curbside lane(s) designated for loading or unloading or
(2) the volume of through vehicles that can be accommo-
dated in the through lanes.
Airport curbside levels of service
Criteria A B C D E F
When double (and triple) parking is allowed at the curbside
Maximum demand for curbside
standing or parking/effective
curbside length (a) 0.90 1.10 1.30 1.70 2.00 >2.00
Maximum service flow rate
5-lane curbside roadway (vph) 3,400 3,280 3,100 2,710 2,400 Up to 2,400
4-lane curbside roadway (vph) 2,830 2,790 2,680 2,220 1,800 Up to 1,800
3-lane curbside roadway (vph) 2,200 1,950 1,580 860 750 Up to 750
When double parking is prohibited at the curbside
Maximum demand for curbside
standing or parking/effective
curbside length (a) 0.70 0.85 1.00 1.20 1.35 >1.35
Maximum service flow rate
4-lane curbside roadway (vph 2,830 2,830 2,800 2,730 2,600 Up to 2,600
3-lane curbside roadway (vph) 2,350 2,250 2,000 1,760 1,600 Up to 1,600
Maximum through lane
volume/capacity ratio 0.25 0.40 0.60 0.80 1.00 1.00
vph = vehicles per hour
(a) The ratio between the calculated curbside demand and the available effective curbside
Source: Jacobs Consultancy, November 2009.
Table 5-2. Level of service criteria for airport curbside roadways.
Establishing Curbside Lane Capacity
Curbside lane capacity is typically estimated in terms of the
area (and the number of lanes) that the stopped vehicles may
occupy while loading or unloading. Since vehicles stop in a
nose-to-tail manner at most airports, this area is described as
the effective length of curb measured in linear feet. Effective
length is dened as the total length of the lane less (1) any space
unavailable for public use because it is reserved for crosswalks,
disabled motorists, or specic classes of vehicles (e.g., taxicabs
or public buses) and (2) space located beyond the ends of the
terminal building or adjacent to columns or other physical bar-
riers that discourage its use by motorists because passengers
cannot easily open their doors or easily enter/exit a vehicle.
The number of stopped vehicles that can be accommo-
dated in the curbside lane(s) (i.e., the capacity of the curb-
side lanes) varies depending on the number of lanes in which
airport operators allow vehicles to routinely stop to load
or unload passengers and their baggage. Airport operators
establish specific policies concerning double parking that
reect the width of their curbside lanes, enforcement policies
and capabilities, customer service, and use by private and/or
commercial vehicles.
Airports Where Double Parking Is Prohibited
At airports where double parking is prohibited, the num-
ber of vehicles that can be accommodated in the curbside lane
is equal to the effective length of a single curbside lane. Some
airport operators restrict curbside parking or standing to a
single lane for operational reasons (e.g., a narrow curbside
roadway or curbsides used exclusively by commercial vehicles
where double parking is prohibited).
This description of the number of vehicles that can be
accommodated in the curbside lane also applies to curbside
roadways with a maximum of three lanes. This is because on
a curbside roadway with three lanes only a single through lane
would be available if double parking were to occur, which
would lead to frequent bottlenecks (e.g., when a double-
parked vehicle or an open door of such a vehicle intrudes into
the third lane). Thus, a single through/maneuvering lane for
a signicant portion of the curbside length is considered
unacceptable and double parking is generally not tolerated on
curbside roadways with a maximum of three lanes.
Airports Where Double Parking Is Allowed
At airports where double parking is allowed on the curb-
side roadways, the number of vehicles that can be accommo-
dated at the curbside is equal to twice the effective curbside
length. At airports where double parking is regularly allowed,
pavement markings typically have been installed designating
the lane next to the sidewalk plus the adjacent lane for pas-
senger drop-off or pickup, or where enforcement policies
allowing double parking have been established.
On roadways where double parking is allowed, if the road-
way were operating at full capacity, the stopped vehicles would
not be evenly distributed along the length of the two curbside
lanes, and some motorists would choose to triple park next to
the most desirable doorways or other locations.
Additional Considerations
At airports with inner and outer curbside areas available
for use by private vehicles, these areas have different effective
capacities, even if they are the same length. Motorists prefer
to stop at the most convenient space available (e.g., the inner
curbside lane), even if they observe downstream congestion
or delays on this roadway. Thus, it is necessary to discount
the capacity of the outer, less convenient curbside area if both
areas are allocated to private vehicles. If one curbside is allo-
cated to private vehicles and the second is allocated to com-
mercial vehicles, such discounting is not required.
For example, motorists approaching the departures curbside
at Salt Lake City International Airport can use the curbside area
adjacent to the terminal building or an alternative curbside area
within the adjacent parking garage. Passengers using the alter-
native curbside are provided with a grade-separated path to/
from the terminal building and are offered skycap service on
Delta Air Lines. Notwithstanding the good access, good direc-
tional signage, and amenities available, motorists are reluctant
to use the curbside area within the parking garage, even when
the curbside area adjacent to the terminal is congested.
Consequently, it is suggested that, when calculating the
capacity of a similar curbside conguration at other airports,
it is necessary to adjust (or discount) the actual length of curb
space within a garage (or other supplemental location) to
determine its effective capacity. This adjustment is necessary
because, if both the primary and supplemental curbsides are
allocated for private vehicle use, the supplemental curbside
will provide less capacity (even though it may be the same
length) than curb space adjacent to the terminal building
because it attracts fewer passengers. This discount factor is
similar to operational factors, presented in the 2000 HCM,
used to calculate roadway capacity and account for population
factors, lane widths, rolling terrain, or unfamiliar drivers.
No published research provides guidance on this discount
factor, but the factor appears to vary according to the trafc
queues caused by downstream congestion, local enforcement
policies, availability of skycap service and dynamic signage,
and the demographics of the passenger market (e.g., the pro-
portion of frequent travelers or those traveling primarily with
carry-on baggage). It is suggested that analyses be guided by
eld observations of existing conditions, which would reect
the unique characteristics of the airport and its passengers. If
eld data are unavailable, it is suggested that the capacity of
the supplemental curb space located in a garage be dis-
counted by 50% and that the capacity of an outer curbside be
discounted by 20% to 30%.
Alternative Curbside Congurations
It is assumed in the above discussions that vehicles stop
in the curbside lane in nose-to-tail configuration. However,
at some airports, the curbside areas are configured with
pull-through spaces or 45-degree stalls. (See Chapter 2 for
illustrations of alternative curbside congurations.) The above
methods are applicable to these congurations with the excep-
tion of the sample vehicle dwell times and through-lane capac-
ities discussed in the following section.
Calculating Curbside Lane Requirements
Quick-Estimation Method
This method is appropriate for use during the early plan-
ning and design stages for a new curbside when little is known
about the details of the curbside design or layout. This method
is used to compute the curb length required to serve a given
demand, but it does not provide specic results on perfor-
mance, such as average delay or queuing probability.
A curbside lane can be considered as a series of stopping
spaces, each capable of accommodating one vehicle. The aver-
age number of vehicles each space can serve during a given time
period is inversely proportional to the average length of time
(referred to as the vehicle dwell time) a vehicle occupies a
space. For example, if the average vehicle dwell time is 3 min-
utes, then each space can accommodate, on average, 20 vehi-
cles per hour. If the peak-hour volume is 160 vehicles, then
(with the assumed average dwell time of 3 minutes per vehicle),
the required curbside length is equivalent to eight spaces or 200
linear feet (assuming an average space length of 25 feet for illus-
trative purposes). This can be represented mathematically as
= the average curbside length required to accommodate
the vehicles stopping at a curbside area.
V = the hourly volume of vehicles stopping at a curbside
= the average vehicle dwell time (in minutes).
L = the average vehicle stall length.
This formula represents a condition where a single class of
vehicles is using a curbside area (e.g., a curbside serving pri-
vate vehicles exclusively), or where the requirements are
developed assuming that all vehicles can be represented using
average dwell times and a single stall length. More accurate
a i
= 60
estimates can be developed by considering, separately for each
class of vehicle, the hourly volume, the distribution of dwell
times (rather than average dwell time), and average vehicle
length. Additional accuracy can result from consideration of
the peak periods within the peak hour (e.g., analysis of the
peak 15 or 20 minutes) and the nonuniform distribution of
demand along the curbside lane caused by a concentration of
trafc at specic airline doors or other attraction points. The
nonuniform arrival rate and distribution of vehicles can be
reected using statistical factors (e.g., a Poisson distribution).
Table 5-3 presents data, gathered at the airports serving
Memphis, Oakland, Portland, San Francisco, and Washington,
D.C. (Dulles), used to calculate curbside lane requirements
by class of vehicle, the application of a Poisson distribution
(or adjustment) factor, and the resulting curbside require-
ments. The table presents examples of average curbside dwell
times and vehicle stall lengths based on observations of post-
2001 curbside roadway operations at the airports, the estimated
curbside requirements (i.e., design length) for ve zones (two
zones on the enplaning curbside and two zones plus a cour-
tesy vehicle lane on the deplaning curbside). A comparison
of the estimated requirements with the available curb length
yields utilization factors for each of the ve zones. As shown,
two of the zones are substantially over capacity as evidenced
by the utilization factors over 2.0.
The quick-estimation method involves the following steps:
1. Determine peak-hour trafc volume from eld survey or
estimates of future trafc.
2. Determine the vehicle mix. If vehicle mix is unknown,
assume that private vehicles represent 70% to 80% of the
total trafc volumes, taxicabs and limousines represent
5% to 10%, courtesy vehicles represent 5% to 10%, and
vans/buses/public transit represent 5%.
3. Determine the average vehicle stall length. Use the de facto
values shown in Table 5-3 or the QATAR model (see Fig-
ure 5-3) or measure representative values, particularly for
unusual vehicles or atypical parking congurations.
4. Determine vehicle dwell times using eld measurements
or the de facto dwell times shown in Table 5-3 or the
QATAR model (see Figure 5-3).
5. Calculate curbside stall requirements that are equal to
the volume multiplied by vehicle dwell times divided by
60 minutes.
6. Determine curbside design stall requirements that are equal
to the curbside stall requirements times a probabilistic
factor applied to the total curbside stall requirements (if a
mixed-use curbside such as a typical departures curbside)
or to an individual class of vehicles (if curb space is allo-
cated to this classication), ranging from 3.0 for require-
ments less than 5 curbside stalls to 1.2 for curbside stall
requirements of 100 or more.
7. Determine curbside design length that is equal to the
number of design stalls times the average vehicle stall
8. Calculate the utilization factor that is equal to the curbside
design length divided by the existing curb capacity (or
effective length) considering whether double parking is
allowed by the airport operator. As dened previously in
this chapter, a curbside utilization factor equal to or less
than 1.3 is considered acceptable for a new design, while a
utilization factor equal to or less than 1.7 is considered
acceptable for existing curbside roadways.
Macroscopic Method
Alternatively, the curbside lane can be considered a series of
processing points (or servers) and traditional queuing analy-
ses can be used to calculate the capacity of individual servers
and the total capacity of the curbside lane. The macroscopic
method (QATAR) described in the upcoming section on Ana-
lytical Framework Hierarchy for Airport Curbside Roadways
uses queuing analysis to estimate curbside capacity.
The following subsections describe the calculations of
through-lane capacity and curbside capacity.
Calculating Through-Lane Requirements
The requirements for curbside roadway through lanes
depend on the areas they serve. At airports with a single ter-
minal building and a short curbside area, the volume of
through vehicles may equal the volume of vehicles stopping
at the curbside. As discussed in previous chapters, factors that
may result in higher volumes of trafc in the through lanes
include vehicles bypassing a curbside area (1) that does not
serve their airline (e.g., a different terminal building or major
dwell time
design stalls
Enplaning level, north
Private vehicles 621 3 31.0 40 25 1,000
Taxicabs 52 2 2.0 5 25 125
Limousines 9 2.5 0.4 2 30 60
Door-to-door vans (b) 38 3 1.9 3 30 90
Courtesy vans (b) 24 4 1.6 3 30 90
Scheduled buses (b) 10 5 0.8 1 50 50
Total 754 1,415 600 2.36
Enplaning level, south
Private vehicles 363 3 18.0 25 25 625
Taxicabs 35 2 1.0 3 25 75
Limousines 6 2.5 0.3 1 30 30
Door-to-door vans (b) 38 3 1.9 2 30 60
Courtesy vans (b) 24 4 1.6 3 30 90
Scheduled buses (b) 10 5 0.8 1 50 50
Total 476 930 830 1.12

Deplaning level, north
Private vehicles 580 5.2 50.0 62 25 1,550
Limousines 5 5.2 0.4 1 30 30
Total 585 1,580 535 2.95
Deplaning level, south
Private vehicles 345 5.2 30.0 39 25 975
Limousines 4 5.2 0.3 1 30 30
Total 349 1,005 780 1.29
Deplaning level
courtesy vehicle lane
Courtesy vehicles (b) 223 1 4 8 30 240 300 0.80
(a) Represents calculated stall requirements adjusted to reflect random arrival of vehicles and nonuniform distribution of
traffic volumes and demands using Poisson statistical probability factors.
(b) Assumes that this mode makes a single stop at the curbside.
Source: LeighFisher, November 2009.
Table 5-3. Estimate of terminal building curbside requirementssample calculation.
concourse), (2) that is reserved for other classes of vehicles
(e.g., authorized commercial vehicles), or (3) to enter or exit
parking, rental car, or other land uses not related to curbside
activities. As noted, bypass traffic proceeding to another
terminal (as opposed to through traffic proceeding to a
downstream portion of the curbside lane) may represent a
signicant portion of the total curbside roadway trafc vol-
ume. When these conditions occur, it is necessary to use the
methods described in Chapter 4 to estimate the volume of
trafc associated with the alternative land uses and/or to
assign trafc volumes to each curbside roadway section (or
airline) and class of vehicle.
The capacity of a curbside roadway through lane is mea-
sured using methods similar to those described in Chapter 4
for other airport terminal area roadways, adjusted to account
for the presence of double- or triple-parked vehicles. As noted
previously, double- and triple-parked vehicles block or delay
the movement of vehicles in through lanes, because through
trafc must decelerate and maneuver around these stopped
vehicles. As a result, through-lane capacity decreases when
curbside lane demand exceeds the available capacity of a spe-
cic curbside segment (as opposed to the entire curbside
length), and vehicles are double or triple parked.
The reduction in through-lane capacity resulting from
increased curbside lane demand can be estimated using com-
mercially available microsimulation models capable of simu-
lating airport curbside roadways or using QATAR (discussed
later in this chapter). Alternatively, the approximations
shown in Table 5-2 can be used to estimate curbside roadway
lane capacities.
Curbside roadway capacity must also be reduced when at-
grade pedestrian crosswalks are present. The extent of the
capacity reduction is a function of the volume of pedestrians
crossing the roadway since the amount of time motorists
must wait for pedestrians increases with pedestrian trafc.
For example, if a crosswalk is controlled by a trafc signal,
and if the signal allocates 25% of the green time during each
hour to pedestrians, then capacity of the curbside roadway
would be 25% less than if there were no crosswalk. If, instead
of a signal, crosswalk operations are controlled by a trafc
control ofcer, then a similar approximation can be made by
observing curbside roadway operations. If the crosswalk is
uncontrolled, then the behavior of motorists (do they stop
when a pedestrian enters a crosswalk?) and the volume of
pedestrians need be considered.
Additional Considerations in Estimating
Commercial Ground Transportation
Vehicle Curbside Requirements
The analytical methods used to estimate curbside traffic
volumes presented in Chapter 4 are applicable to private
vehicles and commercial ground transportation vehicles,
the volumes of which can be directly correlated to airline
passenger demand (e.g., limousines, taxicabs, and door-to-
door vans dropping off passengers). However, these analyt-
ical methods are not applicable to vehicles that are allowed
to remain at the curbside for extended periods (e.g., taxicabs
and door-to-door vans standing in queues waiting to pick
up passengers) or that operate on a scheduled or de facto
scheduled basis (e.g., courtesy vehicles that generally oper-
ate on fixed headways regardless of the number of passen-
gers transported).
Allocation of Curb Space
Generally, airport operators do not reserve space for com-
mercial ground transportation vehicles dropping off airline
passengers, with the exception of vehicles, such as public
buses, that drop off and pick up passengers at the same curb-
side space. The amount of space allocated to commercial
ground transportation vehicles picking up passengers is gen-
erally determined by airport management considering such
factors as
Customer expectations. Deplaning airline passengers gen-
erally expect taxicabs to be available immediately adjacent
to the baggage claim area, or visible from the exit doors.
Passengers who have reserved luxury limousines expect a
higher level of service than those choosing public trans-
portation (e.g., baggage assistance, shorter walking times,
minimal wait time).
Operational needs. To minimize the wait times of deplan-
ing passengers, taxicabs are generally allowed to wait at the
deplaning curbside area in queues of 3 to 10 vehicles. The
number of taxicabs in the queue is a function of airport
policy, the proximity of a taxicab hold area (where addi-
tional taxicabs may wait until dispatched to the curb), and
the availability of curb space. Similarly, door-to-door vans
are generally allowed to wait at the deplaning curbside,
with the number of vans a function of the number of
regional destinations served, number of van companies,
airport policies, and available curb space.
Space requirements. In analyzing the amount of space to
be allocated to each class of commercial vehicle operator
(e.g., hotel/motel courtesy vehicles), the number of vehi-
cles that will use the space concurrently (which is based on
the number of operators and the frequency with which
they serve the airport), and the permitted vehicle dwell
times and vehicle sizes must be considered.
Vehicle maneuverability. In determining the amount of
curb space to be allocated to each class of commercial vehi-
cle operator, consideration should be given to the maneu-
verability requirement of the vehicles used (e.g., vans,
minibuses, or full-size buses) and, if appropriate, require-
ments of access to baggage compartments or baggage trucks.
For example, a 45-foot-long full-size bus requires about
60 feet to stop parallel to a curb space. If a bus has an
under-the-oor baggage storage compartment, curb spaces
should be congured so that columns, sign poles, or other
obstacles do not interfere with the opening of the baggage
Vertical clearances. The ability of a full-size bus or other
large vehicle to use a curbside area may be limited by the
vertical clearance available (including low-hanging signs or
drainage structures). For example, the minimum vertical
clearances required are 13 feet for a full-size bus, 11.5 feet
for the shuttle buses used by rental car companies, and
9 feet to 10 feet for courtesy vans serving hotels/motels.
These dimensions can vary for those vehicles using com-
pressed natural gas, having rooftop air conditioners, or
having rooftop antennae. Some multilevel roadways can
not accommodate full-size buses or over-the-road coaches
used by charter bus operators.
Competition. Commercial vehicle operators compete
with private vehicles, other operators providing the same
service, and operators providing services that are per-
ceived as being similar (e.g., taxicab and door-to-door
van operators). Each commercial vehicle operator gener-
ally wishes to be assigned space nearest the busiest termi-
nal exit doors or space that is equivalent to or near the
space provided to their competitors to maintain a level
playing field.
Airport management policy. Some airport operators have
policies that encourage the use of public transportation
and, thus, assign public transit vehicles the most conve-
nient or most visible curb space.
Revenues generated by commercial vehicle operations.
Airport operators receive signicant revenues from public
parking and rental car concessions. As such, the courtesy
vehicles serving on-airport parking lots and rental car facil-
ities may be assigned higher priorities than other courtesy
vehicles, including those serving privately operated park-
ing or rental car facilities located off airport.
Number of Curbside Stops Made
by Commercial Vehicles
An additional factor to be considered when estimating the
curbside roadway lane requirements of commercial vehicles
is the number of stops each vehicle makes. For example, a sin-
gle courtesy vehicle or public bus may stop two or more times
along a terminal curbside, depending on the length of the
curb and airport policies. The calculation of curbside lane
requirements for each courtesy vehicle, for example, must be
adjusted to account for the number of stops.
Analytical Framework Hierarchy
for Airport Curbside Roadways
Airport curbside roadway operationsparticularly the
reduction in through-lane capacity that results from increased
curbside lane demandcan be analyzed using the quick-
estimation method described below, the macroscopic method
(QATAR) described in subsequent sections, or commercially
available microsimulation methods used to simulate airport
curbside roadways.
Quick-Estimation Method
The quick-estimation method is used to measure both the
curbside utilization factor (i.e., the ratio between curbside
demand and curbside capacity) and the maximum through-
put rate for ve-, four-, and three-lane curbside roadways.
The level of service for a curbside roadway is dened as the
worst result of these two measures.
Estimates of the maximum ow rates (i.e., service ow
rates) on curbside roadways at each level of service can be
determined using the data provided in Table 5-2. These data
were established from observations of curbside trafc ows
conducted as part of this research project and analyses of curb-
side roadway trafc ows conducted using microsimulation
of airport roadway trafc. Figure 5-2 depicts the relationship
between curbside roadway trafc ow rates and utilization
factors for ve-, four- and three-lane curbside roadways.
Since as used in Table 5-2, capacity varies depending on
whether an airport operator allows vehicles to double or
single park, the policy of the airport being analyzed should be
To establish the level of service for a given curbside demand
and trafc volume, the data in Table 5-2 should be used as
1. Calculate the curbside utilization factor.
2. Select the corresponding utilization factor for the curbside
lane as shown in Table 5-2, rounding up to the next near-
est value, and note the corresponding level of service. For
example, for a four-lane curbside roadway with a calcu-
lated ratio of 0.6, the level of service is C.
3. Calculate the level of service for the through lanes by
(1) selecting the maximum service ow rate row in the
table corresponding to the appropriate number of lanes on
the entire curbside roadway (include all curbside lanes and
through lanes), and (2) comparing this rate to the volume
of trafc on the curbside to calculate the volume/capacity
ratio. For example, the roadway capacity is 2,680 vehicles
per hour for a four-lane roadway with curbside lanes oper-
ating at LOS C. If this roadway were serving 2,500 vehicles
per hour, it would have a v/c ratio of 2,500/2,680 or 0.93.
4. Use Table 5-2 to determine the level of service that corre-
sponds to the calculated v/c ratio for the through lanes. A
v/c ratio of 0.93 corresponds to LOS E.
5. The level of service for the entire curbside roadway (sys-
tem) is determined by the componenteither the curb-
side lane or the through laneswith the poorest level of
service. Considering the above example, if the curbside
utilization factor corresponds to LOS C and the peak hour
trafc volume corresponds to LOS E, the level of service
for the curbside roadway is LOS E.
The maximum service ow rates shown in Table 5-2 apply
to all vehicles on the curbside roadway, including those
stopped in the curbside lane. These ow rates need not be
adjusted for heavy vehicles or driver familiarity because they
were developed from observations of trafc operations on
airport curbside roadways.
Macroscopic ModelQuick Analysis
Tool for Airport Roadways
Developed through this research project QATAR allows
airport planners and operators to determine the ability of a
curbside roadway to accommodate changes in trafc volumes,
airline passenger activity, vehicle mix, curbside allocation
plans, and curbside enforcement levels. QATAR also allows
the user to observe how airport curbside roadway levels of
service are expected to vary as these input factors change.
Appendix G presents additional information on the method-
ology and mathematics used in QATAR.
In the analysis procedure used in QATAR, it is assumed
that (1) vehicles begin to double park and potentially triple
park, if allowed, as the number of vehicles stopping in a
zone approaches the zones capacity (or length), and (2) the
capacity of the adjacent maneuver and travel lanes decreases
as the number of double- and triple-parked vehicles increases.
The propensity of arriving vehicles to double park (reflect-
ing the percentage of occupied curbside spaces) can be
modified by the QATAR user to reflect local conditions and
Using a multiserver (or multi-channel) queuing model,
QATAR calculates
The number of vehicles stopping in each curbside zone to
drop off or pick up passengers. The number of spaces
occupied simultaneously (assuming a 95% probability),
Source: Jacobs Consultancy, November 2009.
Figure 5-2. Curbside roadway capacity reduction curves.
when compared to the number of available spaces, denes
the level of service for the curbside lane.
The number of bypass vehicles proceeding to/from adjacent
zones. The number of bypass vehicles, when compared to
the capacity of the bypass lanes, denes the level of service
for the bypass lanes. The capacity of the bypass lanes is
determined by the number of travel lanes and the level of
service of the curbside lane. As described previously, a
reduction in curbside level of service (i.e., an increase in the
amount of double and triple parking) causes a reduction
in the capacity of the bypass lanes.
The peaking characteristics of the roadways, assuming that
the volumes will not be exceeded 95% of the time during the
analysis period. Traffic volumes on curbside roadways are
not uniform throughout an hour-long period, or other
analysis period, and peak periods of activity or microbursts
of trafc occur frequently.
Figure 5-3 presents an example of a QATAR input sheet
(including the suggested default values for dwell times and
vehicle stall lengths). As shown, the following information is
required to use QATAR:
Curbside geometryThe physical characteristics of the
curbside, including length, number of lanes, and number
of roadway lanes approaching the curbside area. If the user
Figure 5-3. Example of QATAR input sheet.
wishes to divide the curbside into zones, the length of each
zone must be dened rst.
Hourly trafc volumesThe existing hourly volume of
vehicles entering the curbside. If a future curbside condi-
tion is to be analyzed, the trafc volumes should be
adjusted to reect future growth. QATAR allows the user
to apply a growth factor to existing trafc volumes.
Through vs. curbside traffic volumesThe proportion
of vehicles using the roadway that stop at the curbside. If
the user has divided the curbside into zones, the propor-
tion (or volume) of vehicles stopping in each zone is
Vehicle mixThe mix (i.e., classication) of vehicles in
the trafc stream entering the curbside (either the actual
volume or the percent of vehicles by vehicle classication).
If the user has divided the curbside into zones, the propor-
tion (or volume) of vehicles by classication stopping in
each zone is required, or the user can determine that the
proportion is constant in each zone.
Dwell timesThe user can accept the default values in
QATAR or enter vehicle dwell times by vehicle classication.
Vehicle stall lengthThe user can accept the default val-
ues in QATAR or enter vehicle stall lengths by vehicle
Adjustment factorsThe user can enter adjustment fac-
tors in QATAR to reect the effect of pedestrian cross-
walks, regional conditions/driver behavior, and a weight-
ing/calibration factor.
Figure 5-4 presents an example of a QATAR output sheet.
As shown, QATAR yields the following outputs:
Level of serviceA graphic depicting the levels of service for
the curbside areas and roadway through lanes in each zone.
Volume/capacity ratioA tabular presentation of the
volume/capacity ratio for the through lanes in each zone.
Curbside utilization ratioA tabular presentation of the
curbside utilization ratio for the curbside area in each zone.
In some cases, the capacity of the roadway approaching the
curbside may dictate the capacity of the curbside roadway seg-
ment. For example, the capacity of a ve-lane curbside section
with a two-lane approach roadway is governed by the ability
of the approach roadway to deliver vehicles to the curbside.
Limitations of the Analysis Tool
QATAR is used to analyze the macroscopic ow of vehicles
but not the operation of individual vehicles (as would a road-
way trafc microsimulation model). As such, QATAR does not
Figure 5-4. Example of QATAR output sheet.
Replicate or analyze operations, such as individual vehicles
maneuvering into or out of curbside spaces, improperly
parked vehicles, vehicle acceleration/deceleration character-
istics, or how these characteristics vary by vehicle size or type.
Analyze how roadway congestion or queues affect trafc
operations in the zones located upstream of those being
analyzed, or meter (i.e., restrict) the ow of vehicles into
downstream zones.
Represent pedestrians crossing a curbside roadway (prop-
erly or improperly) or vehicle delays caused by pedestrian
activity other than to allow the user to estimate the approx-
imate decrease in roadway capacity.
Evaluate the potential capacity decreases of specic curb-
side geometries. Rather, a single, continuous, linear curb-
side roadway is assumed in the model. If the curbside
roadway consists of one or more parallel curbside road-
ways, QATAR should be used to analyze each parallel curb-
side roadway separately.
Consider any upstream or downstream congestion; rather,
each zone is treated separately. In reality, a very congested
section or loading zone could affect adjacent zones both
upstream and downstream. The model does not capture
any interaction between zones.
As such, QATAR produces an approximation of airport
curbside roadway operations. If more detailed analyses are
desired, the user is encouraged to use a microsimulation model
capable of simulating airport curbside trafc operations.
Interpreting the Results
Certain vehicles (e.g., courtesy vehicles or door-to-door
vans) may make multiple stops along the terminal curbside
area, especially at large airports. Vehicles making multiple
stops can be represented properly (using Option Cone of
the available input sheet options in QATAR) because the total
volumes of vehicles stopping in each zone need not equate to
the total curbside roadway trafc. However, with Option C,
QATAR requires percentages of vehicles to sum to 100% and
vehicles making multiple stops may not be accurately repre-
sented, particularly if they account for a signicant percent-
age of the total vehicles entering the roadway.
Use of Microsimulation Models
Chapter 4 provides guidance on the use of microsimula-
tion models for analysis of airport roadways. Based on research
team reviews of commercially available microsimulation soft-
ware packages commonly used (as of 2008), it was determined
that all are capable of adequately modeling the noncurbside
terminal area roadways and low-speed weaving and merging
maneuvers typically found on airports. However, not all soft-
ware packages available at the time of the research teams
review were capable of modeling parking maneuvers or inter-
actions between vehicles entering and exiting curbside parking
spaces and adjacent through vehicles, or permitted vehicles to
double or triple park.
It is suggested that the capability of a software package be
conrmed prior to considering its use in analyzing airport
curbside roadway operations.
The following guidance is provided on calibrating a
microsimulation model for airport curbside roadways:
If double or triple parking is allowed, verify that the model
correctly predicts the average number of double and triple
parkers during the peak hour (compare one-hour model
simulation to one-hour eld counts).
If queuing occurs on the existing curbside roadway, count
the throughput in the through lanes and the number of
vehicles processed per hour in the curbside lanes under
such congested conditions.
Validate through-lane ow rates. Enter demands into the
simulation model and verify that the maximum through-
lane ow rate for the peak hour predicted by the model
matches the eld counts. Adjust mean headways in the
model until the model through-lane volumes match the
eld counts. A difference of 5% to 10% between model
through-lane volumes and eld counts is acceptable.
Validate curbside processing capacity. Enter demands
in the simulation model and compare the curbside pro-
cessing rate to eld counts. Adjust average dwell times
in the model until the processing rate over the peak
hour matches the eld counts.
This guidance is in addition to guidance published elsewhere
(see FHWA guide on microsimulation model validation).
Curbside Performance Measures for Analyses
Performed Using Microsimulation
The performance measures presented in Table 5-1 are
intended to help select the appropriate curbside analysis
method. When curbside roadways are analyzed using micro-
simulation methods, the performance measures presented in
Table 5-2 can be used to compare curbside roadway alternatives
in the context of level of service.
The measures listed in Table 5-1 do not directly corre-
spond to quantitative values equaling a specific level of ser-
vice. For example, duration of queuing is a potentially useful
measure in the context of comparing alternatives (e.g., if one
curbside roadway alternative would result in 2 hours of queu-
ing, while another would result in 1 hour of queuing), but the
magnitude of the queuing itself could be relatively minor, so
reporting an LOS C result for one alternative and an LOS D
result for the other could be misleading. Similarly, the queue
length measure can provide an easy way to compare alterna-
tives, but a relatively long queue could be a better condition
than a relatively short queue if the rate at which vehicles are
served at the curbside is relatively high for the alternative with
the longer queue.
Together, length of vehicle queues and average speed
two measures that are typically microsimulation software
outputscan provide a time in queue measure that can be
used to compare and evaluate analyses of curbside roadway
prepared using microsimulation models. Because of the wide
range of motorist expectations regarding trafc conditions
when they arrive at an airport curbside, a range of thresholds
for time in queue between acceptable and unacceptable oper-
ations were identied, with unacceptable operations corre-
sponding to the threshold between LOS E and LOS F. For the
lowest of these thresholds, the time in queue was identied as
60 seconds. This time (60 seconds) is consistent with the LOS
E/F threshold for unsignalized and signalized intersections
and considered to be a reasonable lower threshold. For con-
text, consider a small-hub airport, such as Billings Logan
International Airport. Most of the time, there is no queue
leading to this airports curbside, even during peak periods in
bad weather. If a queue did develop such that motorists
would have to be in the queue for 60 seconds, it would seem
unacceptable in that context.
For the upper bound of acceptable/unacceptable thresh-
olds, a comment expressed in at least one focus group con-
ducted for this research projectmoving is acceptable, not
moving is not acceptablewas used. From a motorists per-
spective, it would seem as if a queue were not moving if a per-
son could walk faster than the vehicles were moving. Using an
arbitrary queue length of one mile and brisk walking speeds
of 3 to 4 mph, the time spent in such a queue would be 20 and
15 minutes, respectively. The 20-minute time in queue appears
to be a reasonable upper bound for a threshold between accept-
able and unacceptable (anecdotal experience suggests that
queues of this length likely occur at large airports somewhat
regularly). This time in queue is not intended to represent the
longest queue time during the busiest days of a year, when
delays may be even greater. Also, higher values of time in queue
could be used by airport operators who observe higher thresh-
olds at their locations.
Service thresholds corresponding to LOS A have also
been defined. It is suggested that time in queue should not
be zero, but should seem to a motorist as if it were nearly
zero. A simple way to identify an LOS A value would be to
take 10% of the LOS E/F value, which is close to the LOS
A/B threshold for delay at signalized intersections defined in
the HCM. For the LOS E/F threshold of 60 seconds, a time
in queue of 6 seconds or less would correspond to LOS A
from a practical perspective, that would essentially mean no
queue or perhaps one vehicle waiting, which is consistent
with the original basis for this threshold. With an LOS E/F
threshold set at 20 minutes, the LOS A time in queue would,
therefore, be 120 seconds. Although 120 seconds in a queue
seems high compared to, for example, a signalized intersection
delay, for a motorist approaching a curbside anticipating a
wait of up to 20 minutes, a 2-minute wait would seem remark-
ably short.
Once the upper and lower level-of-service bounds are
identied, the values for the other LOS values can be calcu-
lated using a straight-line projection between the two points.
The results of these estimates, assumptions, and calculations
are presented in Table 5-4. The information can also be pre-
sented in graph form, as shown on Figure 5-5. As noted, the
values of the time in queue can easily be extrapolated upward
from the 20-minute level to any value.
Small-hub and smaller medium-
hub airports (a)
Large medium-hub and large-hub
airports (a)
Given maximum acceptable time spent in queue in seconds (a)
Level of service 60 120 300 600 900 1,200
Maximum for LOS E 60 120 300 600 900 1,200
Maximum for LOS D 47 93 233 465 698 930
Maximum for LOS C 33 66 165 330 495 660
Maximum for LOS B 20 39 98 195 293 390
Maximum for LOS A 6 12 30 60 90 120
*Input data are to be taken from microsimulation modeling output.
(a) Analyst must first select a value for the maximum acceptable time spent in queue for the
subject airport. Then, using queue length and average speed outputs from the
microsimulation model, the level of service can be identified.
Table 5-4. Time spent in queue for levels of service.*
60 120 300 600 900 1800
Maximum Tolerable Time in Queue (sec)




Max for LOS E
Max for LOS D
Max for LOS C
Max for LOS B
Max for LOS A
Note: Analyst must first select a value for the maximum acceptable time spent in queue for the
subject airport. Then, using queue length and average speed outputs from the microsimulation
model, the level of service can be identified.
Figure 5-5. Time spent in queue for levels of service, large medium-hub
and large-hub airports (input data to be taken from microsimulation
modeling output).
This chapter presents examples of commonly occurring air-
port curbside and roadway operational problems and poten-
tial improvement measures.
Analyses and evaluations of airport curbside and terminal
area roadways generally involve the following steps:
1. Identify the Problem(s)Problem identication includes
determining the causes of existing congestion, delays,
imbalances in demand, and/or whether the existing (or
proposed) roadway network can accommodate anticipated
future requirements.
2. Document Goals and ObjectivesDocumenting the rele-
vant goals and objectives of airport management (and other
stakeholders) with respect to roadway operations is a key
step in the analysis and evaluation process. The relevant
objectives may include such broad categories as
Providing safe and secure operations for airport users;
Providing desired levels of customer service for airline
passengers, visitors, employees, and other airport users;
Accommodating existing and future requirements;
Accommodating regional mobility needs/encouraging
the use of public transportation;
Supporting regional air quality goals;
Supporting the airports ability to maintain or enhance
aireld capacity by ensuring that changes to roadways
and curbsides do not negatively affect aireld opera-
tions or capacities; and
Maintaining and enhancing the net revenues generated
by the airport.
Detailed descriptions and denitions of goals will allow
the development of airport-specic objectives that can be
used to compare and evaluate alternative improvement
3. Identify and Develop Potential ImprovementsThe
potential improvement measures described in this chapter
can serve as a starting point for improvements that address
commonly occurring airport curbside and terminal area
roadway operations. Tables 6-1 and 6-2 present commonly
occurring problems and potential improvement measures
for terminal area roadways and curbsides, respectively.
These tables also indicate the relative benets resulting
from implementation of the improvement, although the
actual benets will vary signicantly depending on the road-
way conguration and nature of the problem at the specic
4. Evaluate the Potential ImprovementsThe alternative
analytical methods described in previous chapters can be
used to quantify the changes expected to result from the
potential improvements, to assess their advantages and dis-
advantages, and to identify the preferred improvement(s).
5. Reach Consensus on the Preferred ImprovementA key
step in the implementation process is to build consensus
supporting the selection and implementation of the pre-
ferred alternative. An evaluation process that quanties the
extent to which the potential improvement would support
the stated goals and objectives of airport management (and
other stakeholders) provides a foundation for achieving
6. Implement the Preferred SolutionThis step could
involve design and construction activities, operational
improvements, or changes in airport management policies.
Typical Terminal Area
Roadway Problems
Operational and physical problems can adversely affect the
ability of terminal area roadways to accommodate trafc ef-
ciently and safely. In this section, 10 types of deciencies that
may occur in an airport environment are identied. These de-
ciencies typically can result in queues or delays; many airport
roadways exhibit one or more of the deciencies described in
this section.
C H A P T E R 6
Improving Airport Curbside and Terminal Area
Roadway Operations
Table 6-1. Typical terminal area roadway problems and improvement measures.
Table 6-2. Typical curbside roadway problems and improvement measures.
Note: Relative success of an improvement measure may vary significantly depending upon factors unique to an individual airport.
Note: Relative success of an improvement measure may vary significantly depending upon factors unique to an individual airport.
Insufcient Roadway Capacity
A roadway has insufcient capacity if, during the analysis
period, the roadway operates at LOS D or worse (see Chapters
4 and 5 for denitions of levels of service). LOS D refers to con-
gested roadways and is an unacceptable basis for planning air-
port roadways. Specic implications of insufcient roadway
capacity include (1) congested roadway sections with queues
extending to upstream roadways, (2) motorists experiencing
frequent congestion and signicant delays, and (3) a generally
unsatisfactory airport experience.
Insufcient Merging Capacity
Insufcient merging capacity results when a roadway does
not provide sufcient capacity at points where two or more
streams of trafc combine into a single stream. This deciency
results in roadway delays, congestion, and trafc queues
extending back from the merge point. Merge segment capac-
ity is determined by the volume of entering trafc, operating
speeds, and number of lanes upstream and downstream.
Inadequate Weaving Distance
Inadequate weaving distance results when a roadway does
not provide sufcient length or travel lanes to accommodate
the trafc volumes at the point where two or more streams of
trafc traveling in the same direction cross or merge, causing
vehicles to decelerate (or stop) while waiting for adequate
gaps in the trafc stream. This deciency results in (1) vehicle
delays and queues, (2) higher accident rates, and (3) slower
speeds and ow rates. Factors inuencing required weaving dis-
tances are operating speeds, trafc volumes (merging, weaving,
and owing through the segment), and the number of lanes that
vehicles must cross to complete the desired maneuver.
Lane Imbalance
Lane imbalance results when a roadway segment, before a
diverge or after a merge, contains two (or more) fewer lanes
than the combined total number of lanes entering or exiting
the segment. For example, at a point where two three-lane
roadways merge, the downstream segment must consist of at
least ve lanes or a lane imbalance will result. At a point where
a roadway diverges into two two-lane roadways, the upstream
segment (prior to the diverge) must consist of at least three
lanes. A lane imbalance can cause increased delays, sudden
diverge or weave maneuvers, increases in the required roadway
weaving distances (e.g., the number of lanes to be crossed), and
higher accident rates. Proper lane balance helps reduce or avoid
forced merges, weaves, and sudden maneuvers. For example,
when a two-lane roadway splits or diverges into two roadways,
lane balance can be achieved by providing a third lane prior to
the diverge point that allows motorists access to either of the
two downstream roadways (e.g., an either-or lane) or by
extending a lane downstream past the merge/diverge point and
then dropping the lane using design guidelines appropriate for
the roadway speed (e.g., taper distances).
Directional Information Overload
Directional or wayfinding information overload occurs
when more information (or decisions) is presented to a
motorist than the motorist can read, comprehend, and react to
in the available time (and distance). This overload causes driv-
ers to weave suddenly, miss exits, make sudden or erroneous
movements, or, in extreme cases, stop in the roadway (or on
the shoulder) to read the signage.
It is desirable to avoid presenting more than two decisions
or more than four lines of text on each directional sign. If more
than four lines of text must be used on one sign at an airport,
it is necessary to prioritize the information and avoid using
unfamiliar or inconsistent terms.
Insufcient Decision-Making Distance
Insufcient decision-making distance is dened as an insuf-
cient distance (or time) for motorists to read, comprehend,
and react to information regarding a decision that must be
made. This situation causes drivers to weave suddenly, miss
exits, make wrong turns, or, in extreme cases, stop in the road-
way to read the message or back up to the decision point. Fac-
tors contributing to providing the necessary decision-making
distance include travel speed, message content, visibility of the
decision point, and visibility of the directional signage.
Insufcient Queuing Space
Queuing space represents the area required to accommodate
vehicles stopped at an entrance (or exit) to a parking lot or
other facility, trafc signal or turn lane, or vehicle inspection
area so that vehicles in the queue do not interfere with trafc
ow on the adjacent roadway or travel lanes. For example, a
parking facility entrance should have sufcient space to accom-
modate vehicles queuing at the ticket issuing machines with-
out having the queue extend onto the adjacent roadway. (See
Figure 6-1.)
Unexpected Lane Drops/Inadequate
Taper Lengths
Unexpected lane drops and inadequate taper lengths (the
distance required to introduce a new lane or drop an exist-
ing lane) result when a through lane unexpectedly ends and
motorists are required to unexpectedly merge quickly into an
adjacent lane. Required taper lengths, which vary according to
roadway operating speeds, are intended to allow sufficient
distance for lane channelization and vehicle merging. Un-
expected lane drops reduce roadway capacity and travel speeds,
as motorists who become trapped in a lane are required to
merge quickly (interfering with the ow of other vehicles in
adjacent lanes).
Unexpected Transition from High-Speed
to Low-Speed Roadway Environment
Some motorists do not realize they need to slow down as
they exit from a regional roadway (which may operate at more
than 55 mph) and approach a terminal area roadway (which
may operate at less than 30 mph) until they encounter a sharp
curve at the entrance to the terminal or vehicles stopped in
the roadway. This situation is particularly true at airports
where a limited access highway, designed to freeway stan-
dards and capable of accommodating freeway speeds, connects
the regional roadway network with the terminal area roadways
(see Figure 6-2). Motorists may be provided few visual clues
that the driving environment is changing and requires them to
decelerate. Additionally, speed limit signs may get lost among
the many other signs and distractions associated with roadways
approaching an airport terminal.
This transition is compounded by the reduction in roadway
capacity that accompanies the reduction in speed: a three-lane
access roadway operating at 55 mph (or more) has more capac-
ity than a three-lane curbside roadway operating at 30 mph (or
less). If the trafc volume on the access roadway is the same as
that on the curbside roadway, it is necessary to provide addi-
tional travel lanes on the curbside roadway to compensate for
the reduction in travel speed. Often, the volumes are not con-
stant, as some trafc exits for non-terminal area destinations,
such as parking and rental car facilities.
Missing Movements
Missing movements are dened as a desired travel path or
trafc movement that is not provided on an airport roadway
network. If a movement is missing, motorists may need to exit
and re-enter the airport or travel extra distance. For example,
at most major airports, motorists can proceed directly from the
enplaning curbside to short-duration parking and from short-
duration parking to the deplaning curbside without leaving
the terminal area. The absence of roadway segments provid-
ing these direct movements increases trafc demand on the
return-to-terminal roadways and vehicle miles of travel.
Potential Terminal Area Roadway
Improvement Measures
Potential improvements to terminal area roadway opera-
tions are presented in the following categories:
Physical improvements,
Operational measures, and
Airport policies.
Figure 6-1. Insufcient queuing space at parking entry at Tulsa International Airport.
Figure 6-2. Transition from high-speed to low-speed
airport roadways at Baltimore/Washington
International Thurgood Marshall Airport.
A general planning principle for the design and operation
of airport roadways is to separate traffic generated by airline
passengers and visitors from that generated by employees,
air cargo, and services or deliveries. At airports with multi-
ple entrances/exits, this can be accomplished by having one
entry/exit serving airline passengers and the other serving non-
passenger trafc. At airports with one access road, this can be
accomplished by having nonpassenger trafc exit the access
roadway well in advance of the terminal area, and by provid-
ing a separate service roadway for these vehicles.
Appendix B (Bibliography) lists selected references regarding
the design and improvement of roadways and intersections
and relevant design standards and guidelines relevant to air-
ports. These references should be reviewed prior to implement-
ing any roadway improvement, particularly those that require
the design of new roadways or modication or reconguration
of the layout of existing roadways.
Potential Physical Improvements
to Enhance Roadway Operations
Widen Roadways
Additional roadway capacity can result from the following:
Constructing new lane(s). Additional lanes can be con-
structed if sufcient available right of way is clear (or if it can
be cleared) of obstacles, such as existing or proposed build-
ings, underground utilities, aviation limit lines (where FAA
restrictions govern acceptable land uses), or other xed
obstacles. Construction costs and schedules are a function of
the roadway alignment, extent and type of construction,
obstacles to be relocated (if any), need to maintain and pro-
tect other vehicular and pedestrian trafc during construc-
tion, and other factors.
Reconguring existing lanes. Additional lanes can be cre-
ated by reducing the widths of existing roadway lanes to
form additional lanes. For example, ve lanes can be cre-
ated on an existing four-lane roadway by reducing lane
widths (e.g., from 13 feet or 12 feet to 11 feet or 10 feet) and
by simultaneously reducing the width of, or converting,
roadway shoulders or paved gutter strips into travel lanes.
Unless existing drainage structures must be replaced or
relocated, the cost of such reconguration is very low.
Lengthening tapers/correcting lane imbalances. Roadway
construction is required to correct inadequate roadway
tapers or lane imbalances. The length of a roadway taper
depends on the posted speed. For example, a 250-foot-long
taper is required on a 35 mph roadway to add (or end) a
12-foot-wide travel lane. Providing the required lane bal-
ance may require construction of a full lane (upstream or
downstream) for a longer distance. Highway design guides
listed in Appendix B, including those published by AASHTO,
provide additional information on this topic.
Adding exclusive left- or right-turn lanes. The capacity of
at-grade intersections, particularly signalized intersections,
can be improved by providing exclusive left-turn lanes
(thereby eliminating conicting trafc movements from a
signal phase) or adding free-ow right-turn lanes.
Recongure Roadways
Eliminating three-way decision points. It may be possible
to eliminate a three-way decision point without requiring
major roadway reconstruction, by moving one of the deci-
sion points upstream and thereby converting the three-way
decision point into two separate two-way decision points,
which is preferable and easier for motorists.
Lengthening weaving area. It may be possible to improve
an unacceptable weaving operation by closing one exit from
the weaving area and directing trafc to a subsequent down-
stream exit leading to the same destination. For example, at
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, trafc operations on
a return-to-terminal roadway were improved by directing
recirculating traffic toward the airport exit and then to a
path that leads back to the terminal, thereby extending the
length of the weaving area. At Los Angeles International
Airport, a movable gate arm is used to close a roadway to
trafc on the busiest days of the year, requiring vehicles to
follow a slightly longer path, but extending the length of the
weaving area. Such improvements can be implemented for
minimal cost (e.g., replacing a roadway directional sign and
installing a barrier, if necessary).
Improving queuing space. Queuing space can be improved
by either providing additional storage space or increasing
ow rates through the point of constraint. For example at
the entry or exit of a parking facility, queuing space can be
increased (1) by relocating the gate arms at the entry or con-
trol booths at the exit plaza to provide additional storage
space or (2) by increasing trafc ow rates at the control
point by replacing the existing access control technology
(e.g., replacing an existing ticket issuing machine with a
card reader recognizing employee parking badges, or an
automatic vehicle identication [AVI] transponder on
commercial ground transportation vehicles). For example,
with use of a credit card in/credit card out parking access
control system, more vehicles can be processed per lane
than with a cashier, and the need to print and issue parking
tickets may be reduced or potentially eliminated.
Improve Roadway Waynding Signs
It may be possible to improve roadway guide signs by
replacing complex, existing signs with simpler signs that can
be more easily understood by motorists. This can be accom-
plished by attempting to simplify and prioritize the message
content, reviewing the text and font, and using standard
phraseology where possible. The use of dynamic message signs
may also be helpful in certain instances (e.g., parking controls
and space availability).
Construct and Operate Trafc Operations Center
At airports with complex roadway networks and multiple
parking facilities, it may be possible to improve trafc ows by
constructing and operating a trafc operations center, simi-
lar to those in many large urban areas (see Figure 6-3). Using
video cameras, trafc detectors, and other technologies, the
trafc operations center allows airport staff to monitor air-
portwide trafc operations, direct airport trafc ofcers to
congestion points, close or open parking facilities or road-
ways, change advisory signs, and perform other operations to
improve the ow of trafc.
Potential Operational Measures to Enhance
Roadway Operations
Speed Reduction Measures
It may be necessary to encourage motorists to decelerate as
they approach the terminal area, particularly at airports where
a limited access highway connects the regional roadway net-
work with the terminal area roadways.
Measures to encourage motorists to obey posted speed lim-
its and slow down as they approach the terminal area include
Pavement texture. Contrasting pavement textures (e.g.,
brick, cobblestone, or gravel textures) can be cast into strips
of concrete pavement to create a warning signal (i.e., a rum-
ble strip) for motorists as they approach a slow-speed area.
It is possible to increase the frequency and volume of the
warning signal by reducing the distance between successive
Dynamic warning signs. Radar-activated speed limit signs
can be installed to detect the speed of approaching vehicles
and indicate to drivers how fast they are traveling. For
vehicles exceeding the posted speed limit, the display could
ash red.
Automatically activated pedestrian signals. Pedestrians
crossing a roadway can automatically activate signals embed-
ded in the roadway pavement.
Enforcement. Police enforcement measures and tools that
are commonly and frequently used in non-airport environ-
ments can be used to enforce posted speeds, including park-
ing police vehicles in a visible location.
Transportation Demand Management
When used in an urban or regional setting, transportation
demand management (TDM) measures are used to discourage
single-occupant, private vehicle trips by promoting ride-
sharing or the use of public transit, and to encourage motorists
to drive outside peak hours. At airports, the most productive
application of TDM is to encourage airport employees to share
rides or use public transit to reduce the number of vehicle trips.
For example, some airport operators and other employers have
established work schedules that call for employees to work 9
out of every 10 days (e.g., take every other Friday off by work-
ing longer hours on other days). Other airport operators offer
discounted transit passes or partially subsidize the commuting
expenses of employees who agree to use transit and forego the
use of parking facilities.
Intelligent Transportation Systems
A variety of intelligent transportation system (ITS) applica-
tions are available to encourage the efcient and safe use of
transportation facilities. At airports these applications include
pricing mechanisms (increasing parking costs), the use of AVI
and global positioning system (GPS) technologies to monitor
the location and number of trips made by commercial vehi-
cles or shuttle buses, and a variety of systems for distribut-
ing traveler information to arriving motorists (e.g., airline
schedules/delays and parking space availability). Traveler
information can be distributed using the Internet, mobile tele-
phones, highway advisory radios, flight information display
systems (e.g., those located on deplaning curbsides or within
cell phone lots), or dynamic signage presenting parking
space availability information or warning overheight vehi-
cles approaching areas with limited vertical clearance.
Figure 6-3. Transportation operations center at
Frankfurt Airport.
Potential Airport Policies to Enhance
Roadway Operations
Promote Transit
Airport operators generally encourage the use of public
transportation by supporting the construction and operation
of rail transit services and by promoting the use of rubber-
tired public transit services. Specic actions used by airport
operators to promote passenger (and employee) use of bus
service include allocating the most convenient terminal curb
space for bus stops, installing signs indicating bus schedules
and expected waiting times, installing transit ticket vending
machines at visible locations in the terminal building, provid-
ing employees with a guaranteed ride home in the event of
emergencies, and subsidizing selected modes to reduce the
cost to passengers.
Encourage Remote Terminals
with Express Bus Service
An example of a remote terminal is an intercept parking
lot that provides scheduled, express bus service for airport
passengers and employees to and from the airport terminal.
By encouraging the use of efcient access modes, these ter-
minals reduce the number of vehicle trips on airport road-
ways. The operators of the airports serving Boston and Los
Angeles subsidize remote terminals and express bus services
(e.g., the Logan Express and Los Angeles Flyaway services)
and similar privately operated services are provided at
Kennedy, Newark Liberty, and San Francisco International
Airports and LaGuardia Airport. (See Appendix B for addi-
tional information.)
Encourage Consolidated Rental Car Buses
or Courtesy Shuttles
Consolidated rental car shuttle buses used at airports that
have consolidated rental car centers replace the courtesy vehi-
cles operated by individual rental car companies and thereby
reduce the number of vehicle trips on airport roadways. The
consolidated rental car shuttle buses can be operated by a
rental car industry consortium or by the airport operator
(using a third-party contractor) on behalf of the rental car
companies. Some airport operators have successfully encour-
aged hotels/motels to operate consolidated courtesy vehicles
or shuttle buses.
Manage and Control Commercial
Vehicle Operations
Numerous measures are available to manage and control
commercial ground transportation vehicle operations. These
measures, which primarily affect curbside roadway operations,
but may also improve other roadway operations, are described
in the remainder of this chapter.
Typical Curbside Roadway Problems
Operational and physical problems can adversely affect the
ability of airport curbside roadways to accommodate trafc
safely and efciently. Typical problems include those listed in
this section.
Insufcient Curbside Roadway Capacity
Insufcient curbside roadway capacity exists when curbside
requirements (lengths) are greater than 1.3 times the usable
curbside length and/or the through lanes on a curbside
roadway operate at LOS C or worse. When curbside demand
exceeds available capacity, motorists experience signicant
delays and queues, as evidenced by high levels of double and
triple parking throughout the entire curbside, which, in turn,
reduces the capacity and travel speeds of the curbside roadway
through lanes. As noted previously, curbside roadways must
provide both adequate curbside length (stopping space) as well
as adequate throughput capacities. Any deciencies in one area
will adversely affect the other. Factors that contribute to a lack
of curbside roadway capacity are described in the following
Imbalances in Demand
Imbalances in curbside demand occur when the total length
of curbside space available is sufcient to accommodate curb-
side demand, but most of the demand occurs at, and overloads
the capacity of, one segment of the total curbside area. For
example, if one or more airlines on one concourse serve most
of the peak-hour airline passenger activity, then curbside traf-
c will be concentrated at the doors leading to the portions of
the terminal building occupied by these airlines, leaving the
remainder of the curbside areas empty or underutilized. Gen-
erally, it is not feasible to relocate the assigned airline ticket
counter or baggage claim area locations solely to balance curb-
side demand.
Insufcient Number of Travel Lanes
A curbside roadway that does not provide sufcient capac-
ity to accommodate existing or future requirements at LOS C
or better typically has an insufcient number of travel lanes.
Generally, curbside roadways with four lanes or more provide
sufcient capacity because two travel lanes remain available
even when double parking occurs. Congestion and delays may
occur frequently on curbside roadways having three lanes or
fewer as any double parking severely restricts through trafc.
Similar restrictions also occur when vehicles are allowed to
stop on the inner and outer lanes of a four-lane curbside, leav-
ing only the two center lanes for through trafc.
Pedestrian Crosswalks
and Pedestrian Activity
Pedestrians crossing a curbside roadway restrict the vol-
umes of through trafc that can be accommodated. Delays
caused by crosswalks are related to the volume of pedestrians
walking across a curbside roadway, the proportion of time
that pedestrians occupy a crosswalk (properly or improperly),
and the number of crosswalks located at curbside. Trafc
ows and safety also can be adversely affected by pedestrians
stepping into the roadway to avoid columns or other obsta-
cles, hail vehicles, or board/alight from a vehicle stopped in a
through lane.
Driveways Serving Adjacent Land Uses
Driveways serving adjacent land uses (e.g., parking lots or
rental car ready/return areas) may impede the ow of curbside
trafc when vehicles in the lane farthest from the terminal
decelerate (or accelerate) as they enter (or exit) the driveways
serving the adjacent land uses. Vehicle queues formed at the
entrances to these land uses may extend back onto the curb-
side roadways.
Insufcient Curb Length
Insufcient curb lengths result from curbside demand that
is greater than 1.3 times the usable curbside length, which also
occurs when there is signicant double parking.
Inefcient Allocation of Curb Space
Inefcient allocation of curb space results where the total
available space is adequate to accommodate demand, but the
available space has been divided into (or allocated among)
many categories of ground transportation services such that
some categories are allocated more curb space than required
while others are not allocated enough. This situation may
occur when curb space is allocated to vehicles that rarely serve
the airport (e.g., charter buses), demands have changed as a
result of the introduction of new services, or the space has
been broken into small segments that do not correspond to
the operational or maneuverability needs of the assigned class
of ground transportation service.
Similarly, inefcient allocation of curb space results when the
amount of curb associated with a specic airline does not match
the relative share of passenger trafc served by that airline.
Unusable Curbside Roadway Geometry
Unusable curbside roadway geometries exist when vehicles
cannot stop to load or unload passengers because of the curved
alignment of the roadway, narrow sidewalks, or other physical
obstructions. Many terminals have curved curbside road-
ways, but generally the radii of these roads are very large and
motorists do not perceive that they have stopped along a curvi-
linear section. However, some curbside roadways have small
radii or tight curves that hinder a motorists ability to park par-
allel to the sidewalk or to enter or exit this space. Motorists may
be unable to park adjacent to curbsides having narrow side-
walks (e.g., the ends of island curbside areas) or columns (or
other obstacles) adjacent to the roadways. Large bollards,
which are sometimes placed on terminal building sidewalks to
protect pedestrians and the terminal building from vehicles
that may accidentally jump the curb, may interfere with the
ability of motorists to open/close their doors or enter/exit their
Narrow sidewalks also may force pedestrians to step into
the roadway (with their baggage) to bypass columns, queues
of passengers formed at skycap positions, benches, or other
Excessive Dwell Times
Excessive dwell times result when vehicles (either private or
commercial) are allowed to remain at the curbside when not
actively loading or unloading passengers. In the case of some
commercial vehicle providers, excessive dwell times are per-
mitted by airport rules and regulations. Excessive dwell times
may reect insufcient police presence or visibility, or permis-
sive airport policies and may occur even if the dwell times of
most vehicles are within reasonable limits and fewer than 10%
of vehicles remain at the curbside for excessive periods.
Potential Curbside Roadway
Improvement Measures
Potential curbside roadway improvements to enhance
operations are presented for the following categories:
Physical improvements,
Operational measures, and
Policy measures.
Physical Improvements to Enhance
Curbside Operations
Widen Curbside Roadways
Additional curbside roadway capacity can be provided by
the following:
Adding lanes to an existing curbside roadway. Widening a
roadway from four lanes to ve lanes, for example, can
increase through-lane capacity and allow the roadway to
better accommodate double- or triple-parked vehicles as
well as the interruption to through trafc caused by vehicles
entering and exiting curbside lanes.
Constructing new curbside roadway(s) and center island
curbside area. Constructing a second (or third) roadway
parallel to an existing curbside roadway can increase (almost
double) the capacity of a curbside area. The amount of addi-
tional capacity realized from such an improvement is a func-
tion of the resulting effective length and the allocation of
space. Private vehicle motorists are reluctant to use curb-
sides perceived as being less convenient. Customer service
and the attractiveness of a curbside waiting area can be
enhanced by providing weather protection for passengers at
curbside areas not located immediately adjacent to a termi-
nal building or under a building canopy. Similarly, shelters
with benches can improve the service levels for customers
waiting for scheduled transportation services or courtesy
Constructing a new bypass roadway. At airports with mul-
tiple terminals, construction of a bypass roadway can reduce
the volume of through trafc on a curbside roadway and
increase the level of service.
Lengthen Curbside Roadway
It may be possible to extend the length of a curbside area past
the terminal building faade if conveniently located doorways
are available to serve motorists using these extensions. Com-
mercial vehicles can be assigned to extended curbside areas,
particularly infrequent users of the airport, such as charter
vehicles. Private vehicle motorists prefer to stop in front of the
terminal building and are unlikely to use extended curbside
areas unless they are perceived as convenient.
Construct Additional Curbside Level
At airports with a single-level curbside roadway serving a
multilevel terminal building, additional capacity can be pro-
vided by constructing a new elevated curbside roadway. For
example, in 1984, a second-level curbside roadway was con-
structed above the then single-level curbside roadway at Los
Angeles International Airport. A second-level curbside road-
way also was added at Hartfords Bradley International Air-
port. Such a capacity enhancement requires that the terminal
building either have multiple levels or be modied concur-
rently with the roadway expansion.
Generally, it is considered impractical to add capacity by
constructing a two-level curbside to serve a single-level build-
ing or a three-level curbside to serve a two-level terminal
building because passenger terminal building layouts dictate
curbside roadway designs (rather than vice versa). A roadway
that does not match a buildings oor elevation would require
separate vertical circulation elements to allow passengers to
transition between the terminal building and roadway. Con-
sequently, the decision to construct a second-level curbside
roadway, for example, is driven by the design of a new termi-
nal building or planned expansion of an existing terminal
Remove Pedestrian Crosswalks
Additional capacity can result from the following:
Merging crosswalks. Roadway trafc operations can be
improved by merging crosswalks to reduce the number of
locations where vehicular trafc ow is interrupted. Such
changes may reduce the level of service for some pedestrians,
because they would be required to walk farther. In the
extreme case, it may be necessary to install fences or barriers
to discourage jaywalking, and potentially to use trafc sig-
nals or trafc control ofcers to control pedestrian trafc.
Relocating pedestrian trafc. Roadway trafc operations
can be improved and pedestrian levels of safety enhanced by
constructing pedestrian bridges above, or tunnels beneath,
a curbside roadway and removing at-grade pedestrian cross-
walks (see Figure 6-4). Since the path would require pedes-
trians to change grades (while transporting baggage), it
would be necessary to make the new path more attractive
than an alternative at-grade path, or to construct fences or
other barriers to discourage passengers from continuing to
cross the curbside roadway at grade.
Controlling pedestrian activity. Pedestrians crossing a
roadway can automatically activate signals embedded in
Figure 6-4. Elevated pedestrian bridge at
Los Angeles International Airport.
the roadway pavement to improve pedestrian safety and
control pedestrian and vehicular trafc ows.
Provide Alternative Passenger
Pickup/Drop-Off Areas
Alternative or supplemental curb space can be developed
to augment the capacity of the areas adjacent to the terminal
building. Examples of alternative passenger pickup or drop-
off areas include
Curb space within a parking garage. Several airports have
curbside areas within parking garages allocated for commer-
cial ground transportation or private vehicles, or space adja-
cent to the garage that is not directly accessible from a
terminal building. These areas are particularly attractive
when grade-separated pedestrian access is provided between
the terminal and the parking structure. Examples include
A curbside roadway located within a garage allocated to
commercial vehicles (e.g., Seattle-Tacoma International
A commercial vehicle passenger pickup area/curbside
space located at a close-in parking structure away from the
terminal (e.g., Indianapolis International Airport); and
A curbside roadway located within a parking garage
allocated to private vehicles (e.g., Lambert-St. Louis
International, Salt Lake City International, and
LaGuardia) (see Figure 6-5).
Commercial vehicle courtyards. A commercial vehicle
courtyard is a parking area adjacent to or near the terminal
building reserved for use by commercial vehicles picking up
or dropping off airline passengers. These areas are referred
to by various terms, such as ground transportation center
or intermodal center. Courtyards and dedicated curbside
roadways can augment the capacity of a curbside area (or
relieve congestion) by providing additional passenger
pickup (or drop-off) areas. These areas can benet commer-
cial vehicle operations as the operators need not maneuver
through private vehicle trafc to enter and exit their assigned
spaces, and are allowed longer dwell times in these areas.
Commercial vehicle courtyards are provided at the air-
ports serving Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Newark, San Fran-
cisco, and Tampa. The airports serving Denver, Nashville,
Orlando, San Francisco, Toronto, and Washington, D.C.
(Dulles) have three-level curbside areas (see Figure 6-6)
with one entire level reserved for commercial vehicle use.
Although these commercial vehicle areas operate in a man-
ner similar to courtyards, they are not considered potential
curbside improvement measures because, as noted earlier,
their implementation requires the appropriate terminal
building conguration.
Remote curbsides. At Chicago OHare International Air-
port, commercial vehicles pick up and drop off passengers
on a roadway located between the on-airport hotel and the
central parking garage. Underground tunnels link this site
(the Transportation Center) to the terminal buildings. An
enclosed and heated/air conditioned passenger waiting
area with seating is provided in the parking garage adjacent
to the Transportation Center. At San Francisco Inter-
national Airport, a supplemental remote curbside is avail-
able to serve the drivers of private vehicles meeting arriving
passengers. This supplemental curbside is located adjacent
to a remotely located Consolidated Rental Car Facility and
automated people mover station. The station, intended
primarily for use by rental car customers, allows passengers
to easily travel to the supplemental remote curbside.
Figure 6-5. Supplemental curbside inside parking
structure at Salt Lake City International Airport.
Figure 6-6. Three-level curbside at San Francisco
International Airport.
Operational Measures to Enhance
Curbside Capacity
Reduce Curbside Requirements
The following measures are intended to enhance curbside
capacity for certain vehicle modes by reducing the amount of
curbside required by other vehicles.
Restrict curbside use to authorized vehicles. The use of
curbside areas (or portions of curbside areas) can be
restricted to authorized commercial ground transportation
vehicles. Numerous airport operators limit the use of com-
mercial vehicle lanes by posting authorized vehicles only
signs at the entrance to these lanes, or by installing gate arms
activated by AVI transponders, proximity cards, or other
devices. Unauthorized commercial vehicles (e.g., those
without airport permits or AVI tags) cannot gain access to
these areas. As noted in subsequent paragraphs, commercial
vehicles may be required to abide by other airport regula-
tions limiting their use of curbside roadway areas.
Develop cell phone lot. A cell phone lot (also referred to as
a park and call lot) is a free parking area located away from
the terminal where a motorist picking up a deplaning pas-
senger can wait until the passenger has gotten off the plane,
claimed baggage, arrived at the curbside, and called the
motorist to indicate their arrival at the curb. Cell phone lots
enable motorists to use curbside areas efciently because
(1) the airline passengers can tell the drivers exactly where
they are (or will be) located at the curb, (2) if the curbside
area is congested, the passenger and motorist can arrange an
alternate pickup location (e.g., a different curbside area),
and (3) the motorist will avoid being forced to leave the ter-
minal area and possibly recirculate multiple times (e.g., if the
airline passenger was not ready when the motorist rst
arrived at the curbside). The operators of some airports (e.g.,
those serving Phoenix and Salt Lake City) have placed out-
door ight information display monitors or dynamic signs
presenting this information within cell phone lots to assist
waiting drivers (see Figure 6-7). At other airports (e.g.,
Tampa International Airport), such signs have been
installed on the deplaning level curbside to aid waiting
motorists and encourage them to exit the curbside when
ights are delayed (see Figure 6-8). Several airport opera-
tors have or are developing on-airport convenience stores
or retail centers where the parking area can be used as a cell
phone lot (e.g., Denver International Airport).
Provide attractive or free short-term parking. Motorists
can be encouraged to park in a conveniently located short-
term parking lot if they are condent that they can easily nd
an empty, reasonably priced space. Encouraging motorists
to park while accompanying an airline passenger to/from
the terminal rather than using the curbside areas reduces
curbside requirements. The extent of the reduced demand is
a function of the proportion of motorists attracted to park-
ing who would not have otherwise parked. To encourage the
use of short-term parking, some airport operators offer free
parking for up to 30 minutes. However, analyses of before-
and-after data at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport indi-
cate that 30 minutes of free parking had a negligible effect on
curbside requirements.
Encourage the use of public transit. As described in the
previous section on Potential Airport Policies to Enhance
Roadway Operations, by encouraging airline passengers to
use public transit, airport operators can reduce airport road-
way and curbside trafc. Numerous methods are available
to encourage the use of public transit, including allocating
preferential curb space to publicly or privately operated
public transit services.
Figure 6-7. Flight information display system at cell
phone lot at Salt Lake City International Airport.
Figure 6-8. Flight information display system at
deplaning curbside at Tampa International Airport.
Reduce the Speed of Curbside Roadway Trafc
Measures to encourage motorists on curbside roadways to
operate safely or to slow down and watch for pedestrians cross-
ing the roadway include the following (in addition to those
described above under roadway operations):
Use speed humps and speed platforms or tables. These
devices are forms of raised roadway pavements placed across
a travel lane to force motorists to slow down. These devices
are generally used on roadways operating at less than 25 mph.
The key differences between these devices are their length
and the amount of speed reduction achieved. Speed humps
are 6 to 12 inches high, and about 4 to 6 feet long with a
gradual sloping approach. Speed platforms or tables are
at-topped speed humps that are long enough for an entire
vehicle to rest on top, and that can function as raised
pedestrian crosswalks. Speed platforms can reduce traf-
fic speeds, help indicate the locations of crosswalks to
motorists, and minimize grade changes for disabled pedes-
trians crossing the curbside roadway. It is necessary to con-
rm that adequate vertical clearance will be possible prior to
installing a speed hump or platform on the lower level(s) of
a multilevel roadway. The use of speed bumpsraised
devices 2 feet long or shorter with abrupt slopesis strongly
Roadway width restrictions. Narrower lanes or physical
constraints on roadway widths can encourage motorists to
drive slowly. Curbside roadway widths can be constrained
by reducing the number of roadway lanes, or lane widths at
crosswalks, the ends of median islands, and other locations.
Improve Curbside Enforcement
Police enforcement procedures commonly used elsewhere
can be used to enforce curbside trafc operations at airports.
Enforcement of dwell times and unattended vehicle prohibi-
tions typically receive more attention than speeding on curbside
roadways. Some airport operators contract with a tow truck
operator parked at, or near, the curbside entrance to discourage
motorists from leaving their vehicles unattended, remaining at
the curbsides too long, or engaging in other improper behavior.
Some airport operators employ trafc control ofcers
(TCOs) rather than licensed law enforcement ofcers (LEOs)
for curbside operations because of their effectiveness (TCOs
can focus entirely on trafc control and are not dispatched to
other assignments) and cost (TCO wages are typically lower
than those of LEOs); thus, an airport operator can hire more
TCOs than LEOs.
Revise Curbside Allocation
The space allocated for individual categories of ground
transportation services can be revised by
Modifying the amount of space allocated. The amount of
space allocated to each category of ground transportation
service (including private vehicles) can be increased or
decreased to respond to changes in airline passenger activity
or curbside requirements, introduction of new transporta-
tion services, or new airport policies.
Moving assigned spaces. The assigned space can be relo-
cated to a better (or worse) location near a major exit door
serving a major airline or to an inner curbside from an outer
Combining or separating spaces. The curb space allo-
cated to different categories of ground transportation can be
merged or separated. For example, all courtesy vehicles can
be required to use a common curbside area rather than sep-
arate space being allocated for the courtesy vehicles serving
hotels, parking lots, and rental car companies (or these ser-
vices can be separated).
Requiring single-stop operations. Improved utilization of
available curb space can result from requiring commercial
vehicle operators to drop off and pick up passengers at the
same location (e.g., having courtesy vehicles drop off and
pick up their customers on the upper level). This require-
ment reduces the number of stops and amount of spaces
required by these vehicles. Requiring commercial vehicles or
public transit to drop off and pick up customers at a single
location also reduces customer service by requiring more
level changes and longer walks.
Using off-peak areas. Improved utilization of existing curb
space can result from requiring commercial vehicle opera-
tors to drop off and pick up passengers at underutilized
areas of the terminal building. An example would be requir-
ing commercial vehicles to drop off customers at the bag-
gage claim area during the enplaning peak hour or to pick
up passengers at the ticketing area during the deplaning
peak hour.
Modify Commercial Ground Transportation
Vehicle Operations
Airport operators can establish ground transportation
rules and regulations that govern how, where, and when a
ground transportation vehicle operator is allowed to use air-
port roadways. The following section provides additional
Potential Airport Policies to Improve
Curbside Operations
Airport operators can require commercial vehicle opera-
tors picking up airline passengers to abide by airport rules
and regulations governing (1) the roadways each operator
may use, (2) where commercial vehicle operators are allowed
to stop on the airport roadways to drop off or pick up passen-
gers, (3) the maximum dwell times permitted, (4) the speed
limits and other restrictions they must obey, and (5) the fees
they must pay to operate on the airport. Examples of these
policies and regulations are provided below.
Airport operators may require the operators of commer-
cial ground transportation services to pay a variety of fees to
recover costs or manage demand. These fees include those
charged on an annual or monthly basis per company or per
vehicle, and cost-recovery fees typically calculated based on
the ground transportation operators volume of vehicle trips
or volume of airport-related business. Demand management
fees include fees penalizing operators that remain in the curb-
side area in excess of a specied maximum dwell time, exceed
a daily or monthly limit on the number of courtesy vehicle
trips, and violate established minimum time intervals
between successive courtesy vehicles they control. Airport
operators may use these fees to improve curbside trafc oper-
ations, discourage unnecessary tripsincluding those made
by an operator seeking to advertise its product or service
(i.e., operating moving billboards rather than transporting
customers)reduce vehicle emissions and improve air qual-
ity by encouraging the use of alternative fuel vehicles or con-
solidated shuttle vehicles through the use of discounted fees,
or achieve other objectives of the airport operator.
Appendix A, Glossary, is provided herein, and Appendices B through G, as submitted by the
research agency, are available at www.TRB.org. Their titles are as follows:
Appendix B Bibliography
Appendix C Summary of Terminal Area Roadway Trafc Volume Surveys
Appendix D Summary of Curbside Roadway Characteristic Surveys
Appendix E Summary of Focus Group Surveys
Appendix F A Reproduction of Portions of TRB Circular 212
Appendix G Overview of QATAR Curbside Analysis Methodology
Adjusted ow ratesThe maximum rate of ow adjusted
for trafc conditions, trafc composition, roadway geometry,
and other factors.
Air taxiA for-hire passenger or cargo aircraft that operates
on an unscheduled basis.
Aireld licensesLicenses or permits required to operate a
ground transportation vehicle on an aireld at major airports.
Airport curbsideThe one-way roadway located immedi-
ately in front of the terminal building where vehicles stop to
pick up and drop off airline passengers and their baggage.
Automatic trafc recorder (ATR)Equipment, often porta-
ble, that records the volumes of trafc crossing a pneumatic
tube or detector.
Automatic vehicle identication (AVI)Radio frequency
identication equipment (i.e., vehicle-mounted tags or trans-
ponders) commonly used on roadways and bridges to collect
Auxiliary laneA supplementary lane intended to facilitate
weaving or merging vehicle movements between a roadway
entry and exit.
Bypass lanesCurbside roadway lanes intended for use by
vehicles bypassing or not stopping at a curbside section or
Bypass vehiclesVehicles traveling past, but not stopping
at, a curbside section or zone, including vehicles recirculating
past the curbside, vehicles traveling to/from adjacent curb-
side zones, or service/delivery vehicles using the curbside
Cell phone lotsFree parking lots, typically located away
from the terminal area, provided for use by motorists waiting
to pick up deplaned passengers. Also referred to as call-and-
wait or park-and-call lots.
Commercial vehiclesVehicles transporting airline passen-
gers and visitors, including taxicabs, limousines, courtesy vehi-
cles, buses, and vans, driven by professional drivers for which
vehicle passengers pay a fee or for which the transportation is
incidental to the service provided (e.g., a hotel courtesy vehicle).
Cost pathA persons perceived cost that would be incurred
while traveling along a dened path or route, typically includ-
ing the value of time.
Courtesy vehiclesDoor-to-door, shared-ride transportation
provided by the operators of hotels/motels, rental car compa-
nies, parking lots, and other services solely for their customers.
Critical movement analysisAn analysis conducted to cal-
culate the lanes or movements requiring the most green
time at a signalized intersection and, therefore, a method of
estimating the intersection volume to capacity (v/c) ratio.
Critical volumesThe volume or combination of vol-
umes (e.g., conicting movements) that produces the high-
est demand for an intersection lane or signal phase.
Curbside geometryThe horizontal and vertical alignment
features of a curbside roadway, including lane widths, grades,
curvature, and crosswalks.
Customs and Border Protection (CPB)The U.S. govern-
ment agency responsible for, among other duties, inspection
of international arriving passengers and goods to collect
import duties and prevent the import of illegal goods.
Decision-making distanceThe physical distance between
successive decision points.
Decision pointThe physical location where a driver must
select between alternative paths or roadways.
Deplaned passengersPassengers that alighted from an air-
craft at an airport, including both connecting and terminat-
ing airline passengers.
Discount factorAn adjustment applied to reduce the effec-
tive capacity of curbsides with an unusual conguration, loca-
tion, or operation.
Double parkingA condition in which two or more vehicles
are parallel parked or stopped adjacent to one another along
the curbside roadway.
Driver population factorA factor applied to roadway capac-
ities to reect driver behavior and operating characteristics,
including familiarity with roadways, intersections, and trafc
Electronic ticketing kioskA self-serve machine used by air-
line passengers to print boarding passes and other documents.
Enplaned passengersPassengers who boarded an aircraft at
an airport, including both connecting and originating airline
Fixed-base operator (FBO)An aviation business that serves
general aviation aircraft owners and operators, including
fueling, catering, aircraft maintenance, and storage.
Flattening the peakA reduction in the proportion of demand
occurring in a 15-minute or hourly interval as a result of de-
mand management, changes in schedules, demand approach-
ing capacity, or other reasons.
Free-ow speedThe mean speed of trafc under very light
ow conditions.
General aviationAll flights (or aircraft operations) other
than scheduled/commercial or military flights.
GoreThe triangular area between two roadways at the point
they diverge or merge.
Green timeThe duration, in seconds, of the green indication
for a given movement at a signalized intersection.
Growth factorA factor applied to passenger or trafc vol-
umes, for example, to adjust for anticipated future growth.
Heavy vehicleA vehicle with more than four wheels touch-
ing the pavement during normal operation.
Heavy vehicle factorA factor applied to roadway capacities
to reect the proportion of heavy vehicles in the trafc stream.
Highway capacity analysis proceduresAnalytical proce-
dures conducted using the procedures described in the Highway
Capacity Manual.
Highway Capacity Manual (HCM)The Highway Capacity
Manual published by the Transportation Research Board,
National Research Council, 2000 (and subsequent editions,
including the draft 2010 HCM).
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)The U.S.
government agency responsible for, among other duties,
inspection of international arriving passengers and crew prior
to their entering the country.
Intelligent transportation system (ITS)Information and
communication technologies applied to transportation infra-
structure and vehicles to improve operations, safety, and
Intersection Capacity Utilization (ICU) methodAs used
in this Guide, a quick-estimation method for analyzing inter-
sections using the critical movement analysis.
Lag timeThe length of time after a ights scheduled arrival
time that a passenger arrives at the airport curbside.
Landside circulation systemThe airport roadway network
providing for inbound and outbound trafc and the internal
circulation of trafc between airport land uses.
Lane balanceA situation that exists when the number of
lanes entering a roadway is equal to the number of lanes exit-
ing the roadway.
Lane geometryThe horizontal and vertical alignment fea-
tures of a roadway or roadway lane, including lane widths,
grades, lengths, curvatures, tapers, and other physical features.
Lateness distributionThe distribution of passengers leav-
ing an airport after the scheduled arrival time of their aircraft
(i.e., a distribution of passenger lag times).
Lead timeAs used in this Guide, the length of time in advance
of a ights scheduled departure time that a passenger arrives
at the airport curbside.
Macroscopic modelsModels or analytical procedures used
to consider the ow of vehicle streams (or other objects) rather
than the ow of individual vehicles.
Manual of Uniform Trafc Control Devices (MUTCD)
The principal standard governing the application, design, and
placement of trafc control devices, published by FHWA. See
Maximum service owA maximum ow rate at which vehi-
cles can traverse a point or short segment during a specied
time period at a given level of service.
Merging capacityMaximum ow rate at a merge point.
Metropolitan planning organization (MPO)A policy-
making organization responsible for planning, analysis,
and development of multimodal transportation facilities in
a region or community.
Microsimulation modelsModels or analytical procedures
used to simulate the operation of individual vehicles (or other
objects) on simulated roadway (or other) networks.
Mixed-ow trafc volumesThe numbers of vehicles in a
trafc ow consisting of multiple vehicle types.
Operational characteristicsTraffic flow characteristics,
including speed, density, vehicle mix, and volumes.
Passenger car equivalent (pce)The number of passenger
cars displaced by a single heavy vehicle of a particular type
under specied roadway, trafc, and control conditions.
Passenger load factorA measure of available aircraft seats
that are occupied.
Peak hourThe peak hour is the busiest hour of the year,
month, or day. It is suggested that the design hour, rather
than the peak hour, be used for planning and evaluation of
airport roadways, and that the design hour be a typical busy
hour on the peak day of the week during the peak month.
Peak-hour factorThe relationship between the hourly traf-
c volume in the peak hour and the maximum rate of ow
within some portion of the hour. As used most commonly,
this factor refers to the ratio of the hourly volume to the max-
imum 15-minute ow rate expanded to an hourly volume.
Performance capabilitiesAs used in this Guide, the capa-
bilities of an individual vehicle or group of vehicles, includ-
ing acceleration, maneuverability, and turning radii.
Poisson distributionA discrete probability distribution
that expresses the probability of a number of events occurring
in a xed period of time.
Remote curbsideA curbside located outside of the immedi-
ate area of the passenger terminal building, such as in a park-
ing structure, surface lot, or multimodal facility.
Rental car ready/returnThe parking or storage area(s) to
which rental car customers return rented vehicles or pick up
rental vehicles.
Signal phasingThe part of a trafc control signal time cycle
allocated to any trafc movement given the right of way.
SkycapA porter employed by an airline or airport operator
to provide baggage drop service to passengers.
Steady-state performanceThe trafc ow rates occurring
on a roadway or intersection when the trafc stream is not
disrupted or interrupted.
Terminal area roadwaysThe roadways serving the termi-
nal building and surrounding areas, including access, curb-
side, and circulation roadways.
Through vehiclesAs used in this Guide, vehicles bypassing
the curbside area or zone. Also see Bypass vehicles.
Time pathA persons perceived time incurred while trav-
eling along a dened path or route, including time in motion,
delays caused by congestion, and waiting time.
Trafc controlsDevices directing vehicular and pedestrian
trafc ows, particularly at conict areas, including signals,
signs, and pavement markings.
Transborder ightAs used in this Guide, scheduled ights
between the United States and Canada whose passengers have
typically been pre-cleared by border controls.
Transportation demand management (TDM)The appli-
cation of policies and strategies to reduce travel demand or
redistribute this demand in space or time.
Trip generation rateThe number of vehicle or person trips
generated by a household, zone, land use, or other facility
generally during a daily or peak period.
Triple parkingA situation in which three or more adjacent
vehicles are parallel parked or stopped along the curbside
Weaving areaThe roadway segment in which two or more
trafc streams traveling in the same general direction along a
signicant length of roadway cross one another without the
aid of trafc control devices.
Weaving distanceThe distance from a point on the merge
gore at which the right edge of the freeway shoulder lane and
the left edge of the merging lane are 2 feet apart to a point on
the diverge gore at which the edges are 12 feet apart.
Weaving intensity factorA measure of the inuence of
weaving activity on the average speed of both weaving and
nonweaving vehicles.
Vehicle mixThe proportion of each type of vehicle (i.e.,
bus, car, van, truck) in a trafc stream.
Vehicle occupancyThe number of passengers (including
the driver) in a vehicle.
Vehicle stall lengthAs used in this Guide, the length of curb
space occupied by a stopped vehicle, including the distance
required to maneuver into and out of the space.
Abbreviations and acronyms used without denitions in TRB publications:
AAAE American Association of Airport Executives
AASHO American Association of State Highway Officials
AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
ACINA Airports Council InternationalNorth America
ACRP Airport Cooperative Research Program
ADA Americans with Disabilities Act
APTA American Public Transportation Association
ASCE American Society of Civil Engineers
ASME American Society of Mechanical Engineers
ASTM American Society for Testing and Materials
ATA Air Transport Association
ATA American Trucking Associations
CTAA Community Transportation Association of America
CTBSSP Commercial Truck and Bus Safety Synthesis Program
DHS Department of Homeland Security
DOE Department of Energy
EPA Environmental Protection Agency
FAA Federal Aviation Administration
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
FMCSA Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
FRA Federal Railroad Administration
FTA Federal Transit Administration
HMCRP Hazardous Materials Cooperative Research Program
IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
ISTEA Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991
ITE Institute of Transportation Engineers
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASAO National Association of State Aviation Officials
NCFRP National Cooperative Freight Research Program
NCHRP National Cooperative Highway Research Program
NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
NTSB National Transportation Safety Board
PHMSA Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
RITA Research and Innovative Technology Administration
SAE Society of Automotive Engineers
SAFETEA-LU Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act:
A Legacy for Users (2005)
TCRP Transit Cooperative Research Program
TEA-21 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (1998)
TRB Transportation Research Board
TSA Transportation Security Administration
U.S.DOT United States Department of Transportation
ACRP Report 40
Airport Curbside and Terminal Area Roadway Operations
Appendix B
This appendix presents an annotated bibliography of documents reviewed during
the literature search for this research project on airport curbside and terminal area
roadway operations, with an emphasis on those documents that describe analytical
procedures and performance measures. The documents are organized under the
following topics:
General landside access
Performance measures
Terminal area roadways
Analytical tools
Simulation models
Curbside operations
The following documents provide a general overview of airports including their
planning, design, and operations. They describe the major components of an airport
landside sector, and how they interrelate with each other and with the airside sector.
These documents provide a foundation for the material contained in subsequent
sections of this bibliography as they explain the purpose and function of the airport
landside sector, the general configuration and operations of terminal curbsides, and
the types and functions of terminal-area roadways.
1. Ashford, Norman and Paul H. Wright, Airport Engineering, Third Edition.
John Wiley & Sons, 1992.
References curbside analysis procedures published by Cherwony and
Zabawski (see reference #20 under Analytical Tools).
2. Ashford, Norman, H.P. Martin Stanton' and Clifton A. Moore, Airport
Operations, Second Edition. McGraw-Hill, 1997.
A basic reference on all aspects of airport operations. Airport access
chapter presents nomographs for estimating curbside lengths in terms of
passenger volumes.
3. De Neufville, Richard and Amedeo Odoni. Airport Systems: Planning,
Design, and Management McGraw-Hill, October 2002.
The most recent textbook on airport systems planning, design, and
management. Describes full range of computer-based tools and
methodology. Terminal buildings chapter provides overview of curbside
operation, configurations, and a formula for approximating curbside
4. Hart, Walter. The Airport Passenger Terminal. Krieger Publishing Company,
January 1992.
A general resource textbook that provides information specific to
passenger terminals. Provides case studies of eight airport terminals, with
associated discussions of ground transportation facilities provided at those
5. McKelvey, Francis X. and Robert Hornjeff. Planning & Design of Airports,
Fourth Edition. McGraw-Hill, 1994
A well respected reference covering all aspects of airport planning and
design that briefly addresses circulation roadways.
6. Shapiro, Phillip S., Marcy G. Katzman, Warren E. Hughes, Joseph McGee,
Matthew Coogan, M. Allen Hoffman, Emily Van Wagner, and Peter B.
Mandle. Intermodal Ground Access to Airports: A Planning Guide.
U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration.
December 1996.
Paraphrased from the article abstract: Shortly after passage of the
Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, the Federal
Highway Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration
recognized that very little guidance was available for airport operators and
metropolitan planning organizations to use in planning intermodal access
to U.S. airports. The Intermodal Ground Access to Airports: A Planning Guide
was developed to provide guidance to states, metropolitan planning
organizations, and airport operators on the types of analyses that should
be performed when planning airport access. The airport access planning
process and procedures for performing the analyses are described.
During development of the Guide, relationships were developed between
numbers of originating passengers at U.S. airports and the characteristics
of airport access and landside facilities. The types of characteristics that
were related to originating passengers included public parking, vehicle
trips, terminal curbside design, and mode of access. With respect to
curbside and terminal area roadways, the Guide presents examples of the
sizes, configurations, and layouts of airport curbsides and terminal area
roadways and provides metrics for evaluating their capacities and
forecasting future needs.
7. Transportation Research Board, National Research Council. Special Report
215: Measuring Airport Landside Capacity. Washington, D.C., 1987.
From the Special Report synopsis: Reviews existing capacity assessment
techniques and recommend guidelines that can be used by airport operators,
planners, and others who must measure airport landside capacity.
Congestion at airport terminal buildings, access roads, and parking areas
increasingly threatens the capability of airports to serve additional
passengers and air cargo. Measuring the capacity of these airport landside
facilities and services is becoming critical. No generally accepted standards
exist for gauging the level of service provided by landside facilities and their
operations. The report concludes that current knowledge about the
performance of various airport landside components is inadequate to
support airport landside service standards at this time. Instead, the report
recommends a process for measuring airport landside capacity that takes an
important first step toward developing such standards.
With respect to curbside and terminal area roadways, Special Report 215
provides a suggested model for estimating curbside requirements
obtained from Airport Curbside Planning and Design, by Mandle, Whitlock,
and LaMagna (see reference #25 under Analytical Tools).
Published Articles and Presentations
8. Leiner, Craig, Massachusetts Port Authority. Airport Terminal Roadway
and Curbside Simulation Models: State of the Practice. Annual
Transportation Research Board Meeting, January 2005.
Summarizes the terminal roadway and curbside simulation models and
analytical tools commonly used by selected airport operators and
consultants. Describes curbside level of service measures and case studies
regarding application of available analytical tools and simulation models.
9. Mandle, Peter B., Frank LaMagna, and E.M. Whitlock. Air Passenger
ProcessingFrom Home to Gate. Airport Systems Planning and Design, Tenth
Annual Short Course at University of California at Berkeley. June 1981.
An overview of airport landside operations, including discussion on the
function of the airport terminal, air passenger characteristics, planning for
passenger processing and passenger terminals, design criteria for
selection of passenger ground transportation elements, future airport
planning considerations, and case studies.
10. Shapiro, P.S. and M. Katzman. Relationships between Airport Activity
and Ground Transportation Needs. Transportation Research Record,
No. 1622, Air Transportation, 1998.
Summarizes the Intermodal Ground Access to Airports: A Planning Guide
(see reference #6 above). Describes relationships between originating
passenger activity and airport access and the demand for landside
facilities, including access and circulation roadways, curbsides, parking,
and commercial vehicle facilities. Presents some of the relationships that
were developed, how they were developed, and their importance to
airport access planning. Additional relationships that should be
developed are suggested.
11. Vumbaco, Brenda J., ed. Airport Landside Operations and Air Service.
Transportation Research Record No. 840. Transportation Research Board,
National Research Council. Washington, D.C., 1982.
Includes various articles on landside operations (e.g., an analysis of the
New Orleans airport ground transportation system, guidance for airport
curbside planning and design, and air service (e.g., a time-series analysis
of intercity air travel volumes and economic justification of air service to
small communities).
The following documents describe measures for evaluating the performance and
adequacy (i.e., levels of service) of airport curbsides and terminal area roadways.
Additional measures are presented in references under Analytical Tools and
Simulation Models below.
12. Correia, Anderson and S.C. Wirasinghe. Evaluating Level of Service at
Airport Passenger Terminals: Review of Research Approaches.
Transportation Research Record, No. 1888. Transportation Research Board,
National Research Council. Washington, D.C., 2004.
From the article abstract: Establishing measures to evaluate the level of
service (LOS) at airport passenger terminals is of interest to airlines and
airport operators. Airport LOS has been evaluated at individual airports,
but no standard method or reporting system existsvarious approaches
developed by different agencies and researchers are reviewed. In 1986,
FAA commissioned TRB to study ways to measure airport capacity. The
resulting study recognized that capacity cannot be evaluated without
defining acceptable level of service values, but that little agreement exists
on methods to measure LOS for terminal buildings. This paper reviews
various approaches developed by others to assist professionals interested
in applying one of the methods previously developed but not having
access to all published information, especially the new approaches. The
intent of this review is to motivate new research on the subject, which
would facilitate integration of various existing methods or the
development of new approaches. The paper contains an extensive list of
13. Mumayiz, S.A. Evaluating Performance and Service Measures for the
Airport Landside. Transportation Research Record, No. 1296. Transportation
Research Board, National Research Council. Washington, D.C., 1991.
This paper presents a method for evaluating passengers attitudes and
their perceptions of and satisfaction with the quality of service at airport
terminal facilities. By using this method, levels of service for airport
facilities can be determined for different service measures associated with
system performance. When used in connection with capacity assessment
techniques (e.g., simulation), this method can facilitate evaluation of the
operational performance of airport facilities.
The following articles describe the planning, design, operation, and management of
terminal area roadways, including analytical tools and simulation models. Several
articles describe the causes of terminal area roadway congestion and offer mitigation
measures. The effects of weavingor excessive vehicle movements across traffic
lanes, exclusive of typical merging and diverging operationsare also discussed.
14. Duncan, Gavin. Airport Roadways: Why Congestion Occurs, Mitigation
Tools. Landside Operations Workshop. San Francisco, California,
April 11, 2002.
Presents overview of airport roadway operations, how they vary from
urban and rural roads, the causes and results of congestion, and potential
mitigation measures and their applicability.
15. Gosling, Geoffrey D., ed. Ground Access to Airports. Proceedings of two
workshops sponsored by the FAA. Institute of Transportation Studies,
University of California at Berkeley. December 1994.
16. Iqbal, Muhammad Shahid. Analytical Models of Weaving Area
Operations under Nonfreeway Conditions. Institute of Transportation
Engineers Journal, July 1995, pp. 60-65.
Describes the evaluation of nine analytical models to determine
nonfreeway weaving.
17. McGlashan, Jason and James Krzeminski, HDR Engineering. Weaving
Operations at Orlando International AirportA Comparative Evaluation of
Analysis Methods. Institute of Transportation Engineers, 2001 Annual
Meeting. 2001.
Speed and volume data were collected from two weaving areas to evaluate
the accuracy of analytical weave models used at Orlando International
Airport. The paper provides a survey of five analytical weave models
(2000 Highway Capacity Manual, 1997 Highway Capacity Manual, 1985
Highway Capacity Manual, New Jersey Institute of Technology model, and
Fazio lane shift model) and compares their applicability to Orlando
International Airport. The authors concluded that, while many models
may be applicable to nonfreeway weave sections, none appear to be
universal in their application to different weaving scenarios.
18. Peterson, D.W. Simulation of Airport Land-side Circulation Using Path-
based Vehicle Routing. Institute of Transportation Engineers, 2000.
From the article abstract: Planning and management of ground access is
both important and required in a competitive environment. Airport access
delays have three components: regional access problems (shared use of
principal arterials with other travel destinations or transit based operating
delay), on-airport access problems (shared use of primary and secondary
roads amongst different terminals, frontages, cargo and terminal service
operations by different users such as passenger cars, taxis and limos, rental
car and hotel vans, and various bus operations), and finally, frontage
utilization problems (e.g., space allocation amongst users and modes
interference amongst areas and modes, parking inefficiencies, flight
schedule based surges in demand, bunching, and level of enforcement).
This paper focuses on the second category, on-airport planning, and
touches upon the third, frontage utilization. It describes a series of tools
developed to facilitate access planning at a major multiterminal
international airport in the Northeastern United States planning
undergoing significant growth in terminal capacity and changes in mode
usage due to construction of an inter-terminal and regional rail access
19. Van Burgsteden, Marco C., Paul E. Joustra, Michiel R. Bouwman, Incontrol
Business Engineers, and Mark Hullegie, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
Modeling Road Traffic on Airport Premises. In Proceedings of the 2000
Winter Simulation Conference, ed. J.A. Joines, R.R. Barton, K. Kang, and
P.A. Fishwick, pp. 1,154-1,163.
From the article abstract: This paper describes the development of a
traffic-modeling tool as an Arena template and two applications of it: one
to evaluate alternative designs for the road network on the premises of
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and one to assess the effects of traffic
signaling on a junction. The tool uses discrete event simulation, very
suited for modeling traffic in areas where there are a lot of interactions
other than car-following. Generation of the O/ D matrix was done
automatically by a custom-made application.
The following articles present analytical tools or methods for calculating
requirements for analyzing the operations of airport curbsides and terminal-area
roadways, exclusive of simulation models. The analytical tools presented were most
frequently used in (1) estimating roadway and curbside demand requirements;
(2) evaluating the relationship between aviation demand and curbside demands;
and (3) curbside planning, design, and operations.
20. Cherwony, Walter, Abrams-Cherwony & Associates and Frank A. Zabawski,
Booz, Allen & Hamilton. Airport Terminal Curbfront Planning.
Transportation Research Board, National Research Council. August 1982.
Presents suggested method to analyze transportation supply and demand
characteristics for airport curbside passenger loading and unloading. The
suggested method defines curbfront demand and supply in terms of a
time-distance variable of foot-minutes, which is a composite measure of
vehicle length and dwell time. Describes the computational procedures
for defining transportation demand and capacity. Provides lane utilization
factors considering the number of lanes available and nomographs for
determining the impact of lane utilization as a function of demand and
available length and methods for calculating a volume/ capacity ratio.
21. Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, Terminal Curbfront Demand
Modeling. Tampa International Airport Master Plan Update, Workshop #3,
PowerPoint presentation of curbside model input parameters and results
developed for Tampa International Airport. Describes existing terminal
curbside and roadways, actions of airline passengers at the terminal
frontage, and analyses for curbside assignment and roadway activity.
22. JHK & Associates. Washington Dulles International Airport Main Terminal
Expansion: Technical Memorandum, Curbside Activity and Capacity.
Reviews activity at the Washington Dulles International Airport main
terminal curbside, and provides a method for calculating curbside
23. KPMG Peat Marwick, Airport Consulting Services. Estimates of Terminal
Curbside Frontage Requirements, Newark International Airport, The Port
Authority of New York and New Jersey. August 1989.
Describes the methodology used to calculate terminal curbside
requirements for Newark Liberty International Airport. A spreadsheet
model was used.
24. LaMagna, F., Peter B. Mandle, and E.M. Whitlock, Wilbur Smith and
Associates. Guidelines for Evaluation of Airport Landside Vehicular
Traffic and Pedestrian Characteristics. Fifty-Eighth Annual Meeting,
Transportation Research Board, January 1979.
From the article abstract: Data are presented describing passenger and
vehicular characteristics observed during an extensive study of the
landside sectors of Miami International, Denvers Stapleton, and New
Yorks LaGuardia Airports, and one terminal in New Yorks John F.
Kennedy International. Vehicular and pedestrian flow rates at all
terminal buildings, curbside, parking, and airport entrances and exits
were measured simultaneously and related to the air passenger activity
levels, using enplanements and deplanements as indices, which occurred
during the same time intervals. Additionally, processing time and service
rates were sampled at several locations, including ticket counters, car
rental areas, passenger security check points, parking cashier operations,
and other locations within the terminal. This paper presents a
compendium of these processing times observed at these three airports.
Representative pedestrian and vehicular flow rates per passenger and
processing times are presented for use as planning tools.
25. Mandle, Peter, E.M. Whitlock, and F. LaMagna. Airport Curbside Planning
and Design. Transportation Research Record No. 840, Transportation
Research Board, National Research Council. Washington, D.C., 1982.
From the article abstract: A method of estimating airport curbside
demand and procedures for adjusting this demand for various service
levels and operating conditions are discussed. Data are presented
describing the effects of passenger and vehicular activity at the airport
curb areas. Operational problems that typically occur at an airport curb
are discussed. Factors influencing operational problems at the curb are
addressed, as well as a means of determining curb frontage requirements,
demands, and relating these to levels of service, based on observations at
six major U.S. airports. This approach affords airport planners an
opportunity to measure the degree of use of the curbside area and to
correlate curbside requirements to the effective length of curb. Volumes of
originating and terminating passengers were found to be of prime
importance in forecasting demand as contrasted to total enplanements and
deplanements. The enforcement level of parking regulations and
corresponding vehicle dwell time was found to strongly influence curbside
capacity. Design considerations such as roadway and sidewalk widths
that affect the efficiency of the curb are presented, and criteria are
26. Parizi, M.S. and J.P. Braaksma. Dynamic Capacity of Airport Enplaning
Curbside Areas. Transportation Research Record, No. 1373, Airport Landside
Planning and Operations, 1992.
From the article abstract: An analytical model based on the theory of
time-space was developed to calculate the dynamic vehicular capacity of
the enplaning curbside area at airport passenger terminal buildings. The
enplaning curbside area was considered as a system, and most of the
variables that affect the capacity of this system were taken into account.
To calculate the practical capacity, two distribution functions were
developed. First, the traffic distribution around the doors of the terminal
building was analyzed, on the basis of drivers' parking space preference,
in the form of a binomial function. Second, weighting functions were
developed and calibrated on the basis of users' door preference for
unloading, in the case of more than one door, in the form of a modified
binomial distribution. Using these functions, the percentage of
distribution of traffic as well as the practical dynamic capacity of the
enplaning curbs were found.
27. Piper, Heinz Peter, Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Calculation method for the number of
short-term carpark spaces at airport terminals. Airport Forum, 1993,
pp. 52-53.
The article discusses passenger walking distance as a performance
measure, and provides a method for determining the number of short-
term spacesi.e., spaces along the curbsiderequired in front of an
airport terminal. The Airport Forum editors also provide a description of
the Advanced Landside Performance System (ALPS) model.
28. Tilles, Richard, et al. Curb Space at Airport Terminals, Traffic Quarterly,
pp. 563-582, October 1973.
The article presents methods of curb length computation at airports, an
analysis of factors that determine such lengths, and commentary on
considerations of curb design and cost. Regarding curb length
computation, the author discusses rules of thumb and simulation, and
asserts that a statistical process using queuing theory is better suited to
most airport design requirements. A statistical analysis methodology is
discussed. Factors affecting curb length requirements are presented, as
follows: (a) vehicle arrival rate and (b) total time a vehicle remains at a
curb (mean service time). Finally, design and cost considerations are
described, including the use of one or two levels, width of the roadway,
length of the curb, and imposing charges on users of the curb area.
29. URS Greiner, Curbside Needs Evaluation for Port Columbus International
Airport. undated.
URS Greiner conducted a demand/ capacity needs evaluation of the
curbside conditions at the terminal. This memorandum summarizes the
inventory surveys, specific analyses, and the results.
30. Whitlock, E.M. and E.F. Cleary, Wilbur Smith and Associates. Planning
Ground Transportation Facilities for Airports. Presented at the 48th
Annual Meeting of Committee on Passenger Transportation Economics, undated.
Paraphrased from the article abstract: This article summarizes expected
changes in air travel characteristics. Broad considerations also are
suggested for improving airport utility and ground transportation
systems. The authors evaluated transportation facilities at San Francisco
International, Boston Logan International, and Detroit Metropolitan
Wayne County airports. Correlations were established for modal split,
traffic variation, passenger and vehicle relationships, curb use, and
parking characteristics and needs. The following changes in airline travel
are expected to influence ground transportation requirements:
(a) introduction of larger aircraft; (b) reduction in per capita travel costs;
(c) shift from predominantly business travel by air to more recreational
travel; (d) large increases in goods movements by air; (e) cheaper per-ton
costs of good movements; and (f) more pronounced peak-hour traffic.
The following documents discuss simulation of airport curbsides and roadway
operations, including (1) the presentation of new simulation models; (2) the
evaluation of the effectiveness of existing models; and (3) the discussion of case
studies conducted using curbside simulation models at various airports. The
following documents are organized by model, as follows:
Advanced Landside Performance System
Leigh Fisher Associates Curbside Traffic Simulation (LFACTS)
Mobility Analysis and Simulation Tools (MAST)
Terminal, Roadway, and Curbside Simulation (TRACS)
Other simulation models
Advanced Landside Performance System (ALPS2000)
The JKH Mobility Services division of Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc., developed
the ALPS model to simulate complex multimodel transportation environments,
including airport landside systems. The following documents relate to the models
underlying assumptions, features, and uses:
31. Lott, J. Sam, Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. Hybrid Simulation
Techniques for the Analysis of Landside and Terminal Capacity Issues.
PowerPoint Presentation. FAA/NASA/Industry Airport Planning Workshop.
September 12, 2006.
Describes the holistic methodology of the ALPS2000 model, and presents
methods for hybrid simulation modelingi.e., focusing higher processing
power on locations where significant analytical benefits would result. The
objective is faster, more-efficient simulation of airport ground transporta-
tion systems. Case studies from previous simulation efforts are presented.
ALPS2000 is a set of computer simulation tools used to evaluate the
airport landside operations, especially on the roadways and terminal
curbsides. ALPS2000 allows the modeler to create micro simulations that
encompass the pedestrian and vehicular movements within the terminal
roadway system.
Fundamental to the ALPS concept is the ability to generate passenger
demands based on airline flight schedules. Passenger characteristics,
such as visitor characteristics and trip timing, are applied to the flight
schedules to generate the passenger demands throughout a 24-hour
period. Then vehicular characteristics, such as mode split and vehicle
occupancy, are applied to the passenger demands to generate the
vehicular activity.
Once the vehicular activity is generated, the individual vehicles are
routed through the roadway network and stop at their respective
curbsides. The ALPS program allows visualization of roadway and
curbside operations, including congestion levels, and captures many
quantitative results such as travel times. The model is able to simulate all
airport roads, parking facilities, curbsides, toll plazas, pedestrian ways
and transit systems (such as LRT and APM systems).
One of the major features of ALPS2000 is that it is a highly visual tool.
All of the results can be displayed to show the detailed movement of
people and vehicles. This feature allows for all stakeholders in the airport
environment to better understand the results of the analysis. Additional
features of the model are its ability to (1) evaluate passenger flow aspects
for an entire day (24 hours), (2) differentiate among types of vehicles on
the roadway, (3) coordinate with other transportation models, (4) depict
visualizations of bottlenecks and trapped vehicles, (5) identify forced
vehicle recirculation at the curbsides, and (6) [identify] conflicts due to
pedestrians crossing curbside roadways."
Leigh Fisher Associates Curbside Traffic Simulation (LFACTS)
The LFACTS model was developed by Leigh Fisher Associates (now Jacobs
Consultancy) to simulate traffic operations at airport curbsides. The following
documents prepared by Leigh Fisher Associates' staff relate to the model's
underlying assumptions, features, and uses.
32. Duncan, W. Gavin R. and Hugh Johnson. Development and Application
of a Dynamic Simulation Model for Airport Curbsides. The 2020 Vision of
Air Transportation. Engineering Issues and Innovative Solutions. Proceedings
of the 26th International Air Transportation Conference, 2000., American
Society of Civil Engineers
From the article abstract: The paper describes a proprietary model,
Leigh Fisher Associates' Curbside Traffic Simulation (LFACTS),
developed to simulate vehicular traffic operations on airport curbsides.
The model results can be used to evaluate alternatives and to help airport
operators deal with existing and anticipated airport ground traffic
congestion problems. The basic theory and assumptions behind LFACTS
are provided in the paper. Also provided are examples of how LFACTS
has been used to answer specific questions at four United States airports.
33. Hoffman, M. Allen. Planning and Design of Airport Curbsides.
Conference on the Optimal Design and Management of Airport Curbs,
Airport Ground Transportation Association and BusCon 2001, September 10,
PowerPoint presentation that describes curbside requirements and
analysis, selection of appropriate analysis methodology, and potential
curbside solutions. In relation to curbside analysis, manual/ spreadsheet
procedures and their limitations are listed. The presentation describes
LFACTS simulation modeling, and lists typical simulation applications.
Mobility Analysis and Simulation Tools (MAST)
34. MAST, developed by DMJM Aviation/ AECOM has been used in several
airport ground access studies to help evaluate future ground transportation
improvements. MAST is an integrated set of computer programs that can
be used to model the traffic conditions on roadways and curbs at medium
to large airports, including the time of day variations and complex traffic
variations associated with multiple-terminal airports.
Terminal, Roadway, and Curbside Simulation (TRACS)
The TRACS model is a discrete-event simulation model developed by Trans
Solutions to model airport curbsides and terminal area roadways. The following
documents describe the model's underlying assumptions, features, and uses.
35. Bender, Gloria G. and Kuo-Yang Chang. SABRE Decision Technologies.
Roadway and Curbside Traffic Simulation for Las Vegas McCarran
International Airport. Presented at the American Society of Civil Engineers
International Conference on Airport Modeling and Simulation, May 1997.
From the article abstract: Simulation modeling is a useful tool to study the
capacity and operation of the airport ground transportation access system
(GTAS). This paper compares simulation analysis to other analytical
methods and then provides a case study to illustrate how simulation
modeling was used as an effective GTAS planning tool at Las Vegas
McCarran International Airport. Since most state-of-the-art traffic
simulation models either do not have curbside parking and pedestrian
crossing logic or the logic does not provide appropriate resolution to answer
the questions necessary to support detailed planning, SABRE developed a
stochastic, discrete-event simulation model to replicate the behavior of
vehicles on the airport curbside roadway. The paper describes the
simulation model of the curbside roadways at the LAS main terminal and,
among other things, describes the impacts of curbside control measures.
36. Chang, Kuo-Yang. A Simulation Model for Analyzing Airport Terminal
Roadway and Traffic and Curbside Parking. Dissertation submitted to the
Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Maryland, College Park in
partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree, 2001.
From the article abstract: This article proposes a computer simulation
model that helps airport planners and managers conduct operational
analyses of airport terminal roadway traffic and curbside vehicle parking
activities. The major logic components built into the model include those
for vehicular traffic generation, vehicle movement, lane selection and
changing, curbside parking space selection, and pedestrian crosswalks.
The major output statistics generated by the model, which also
demonstrate the models performance capability, include vehicle system
time, number of vehicles entering and leaving the terminal roadway,
number of vehicles parked along the curbside, number of vehicles queued
at the terminal roadway entry, number of vehicles that cannot find a
curbside parking space due to congestion, and vehicle delays.
37. Chang, Kuo-Yang, A. Haghani, and G.G. Bender. Traffic Simulation at
Airport Terminal Roadway and Curbside. The 2020 Vision of Air
Transportation. Engineering Issues and Innovative Solutions. Proceedings of the
26th International Air Transportation Conference, 2000., American Society of
Civil Engineers
From the article abstract: The paper presents a working simulation
model that can be used as a tool to assist airport planners, decision
makers, and operators to evaluate the performance of airport curbside
parking facilities. The model validation results show accurate traffic flow
predictions for both arrival and departure areas. Also, the results show
that the model can predict both exit flow and vehicles' time spent in the
curbside facilities. This model can easily be embedded in a decision
support system for airport planners and decision makers to examine
different scenarios during planning and design stages.
38. Hargrove, B. and E. Miller. TRACSTerminal, Roadway, and Curbside
SimulationA Total Airport Landside Operations Analysis Tool. Airport-
Airspace Simulations: A New Outlook, Transportation Research E-Circular,
Transportation Research Board, National Research Council. 2002.
TRACSTerminal, Roadway, and Curbside Simulationis a flexible
planning tool that can be linked to other simulation products to provide a
comprehensive assessment of terminal performance and its interaction
with the airspace, airfield, and roadways systems.
39. Siow, B.T., O. Kivanc, G. Bender, R. Evlioglu, and C. Tunasar. Managing
Airport Traffic Disruptions during Construction. Designing, Constructing,
Maintaining, and Financing Todays Airport Projects, Proceedings of the
Twenty-Seventh International Air Transportation Conference, American
Society of Civil Engineers, 2002.
From the article abstract: The George Bush Intercontinental
Airport/ Houston (IAH) has multiple construction projects planned for the
next several years. All of these projects will involve a temporary closure of
roadways or traffic lanes, as well as changing traffic operations in and
around the airport. Two separate, but correlated simulation models are
used to represent the vehicular traffic operations at IAH. The Terminal
and Curbside Roadways are modeled using a discrete event simulation
model, the TRACS (TransSolutions' proprietary terminal, roadway, and
curbside simulation tool), which allowed a detailed representation of
vehicle parking to accommodate passenger loading and unloading,
pedestrian crossing, and vehicle re-circulation. TRACS' trip generator and
model logic is validated through extensive field data. Airport Access
Roadways and Regional Freeways covering 25 square miles are modeled
by CORSIM, a microscopic traffic simulation model developed by the
Federal Highway Administration. This paper presents the methodology in
identifying the critical construction phases to be studied, the modeling
framework, and how it is used to assess and manage construction impact.
40. Tunasar, Cenk, Gloria Bender, The SABRE Group, and Holland Young, City
of Austin. Modeling Curbside Vehicular Traffic at Airports. Proceedings
of the 1998 Winter Simulation Conference, ed. D.J. Medeiros, E.F. Watson,
J.S. Carson, and M.S. Manivannan, pp. 1,113-1,117.
The article describes the use of discrete event simulation in modeling
curbside vehicular traffic at airports. Simulation results are described in
terms of level of service.
VISSIM was developed by the German company Planung Transport Verkehr AG
(PTV) to simulate various ground transportation scenarios, and is known
throughout the industry for its 3-D visualization features. The model has been
applied to airport landside systems. The following documents provide a
comparison of VISSIM and other roadway simulation models and describe airport
applications of VISSIM plus its underlying assumptions, features, and uses.
41. Choa, Fred, Ronald T. Milam, and David Stanek. CORSIM, PARAMICS,
and VISSIM: What the Manuals Never Told You. Proceedings of the Ninth
Transportation Research Board Conference on the Application of
Transportation Planning Methods. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. April 6-10, 2003.
From the article abstract: With the increasing use of microsimulation traffic
software in operations analysis, the need to identify which tool to use and
the ability of the software to provide traditional traffic engineering measures
of effectiveness consistent with the 2000 Highway Capacity Manual
(2000HCM) has become a major area of debate. This paper provides a
comparison of the three major traffic simulation software programs in use
today and the results of the evaluation matrix developed by the authors for
a freeway and interchange improvement project involving unique
geometrics, ramp controls, and weaving constraints. The three simulation
programs considered in the paper are listed as follows: (1) CORSIM,
developed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), is one of the
most commonly used micro-simulation programs for modeling vehicle
traffic operations. (2) PARAMICS, developed by Quadstone Limited, a
Scottish company, is a software program used to model the movement and
behavior of individual vehicles and transit on local arterial and regional
freeway networks. (3) VISSIM, developed by Planung Transport Verkehr
(PTV), a German company, is one of the most sophisticated microsimulation
software programs available and provides significant enhancements in
terms of driver behavior, multi-modal transit operations, interface with
planning/ forecasting models, and 3-D simulation. This paper describes
several key factors that may affect the decision on which software to use for
a specific project involving a freeway interchange and the consistency of the
model output to traditional traffic engineering measures of effectiveness.
42. Siecke, Ronald C., P.E., HNTB. Exploring New Frontiers in the Use of
VISSIM for Airport Simulation. PowerPoint Presentation.
FAA/ NASA/ Industry Airport Planning Workshop. September 12, 2006.
PowerPoint presentation that reviews appropriate instances for using
simulation modeling, the VISSIM model, VISSIM as a component of an
airports simulation toolbox, and challenges and opportunities in
applying VISSIM to airport ground transportation issues.
43. Trueblood, Michael T. Airport Curbside Modeling Using VISSIM. 2006
Annual Meeting and Exhibit Compendium of Technical Papers, Institute of
Transportation Engineers. 2006.
From the article abstract: Recently, VISSIM has added a new feature that
greatly enhances curb modeling at airports. The purpose of this paper is
to promote this feature of VISSIM as a viable tool for analyzing curbside
operations of airport terminals. Airport terminals can be extremely
congested because of the mixture of various transportation modes
(i.e., pedestrians, limos, rental car buses, and passenger vehicles). The use
of VISSIM can be a great tool for showing the benefits of relocating various
activities offsite to improve operations along the curb. The following
VISSIM items and their importance in effectively simulating curbside
modeling will be covered in the paper: (1) link and connectors;
(2) pedestrian interaction; (3) dwell time by vehicle classification; and
(4) selection of lane choice and curb location.
Other Simulation Models
The following documents describe the development, underlying assumptions, features,
and uses of other models developed for or applied to airport landside systems.
44. Hall, Charles A. and Charles E. Dare. A Simulation Model for an Enplaning-
Passenger-Vehicle Curbside at High-Volume Airports. Undated (c. 1976/ 77).
This paper describes how a simulation was used to determine the efficiency
of the airports enplaning curbside. Denver Stapleton International Airport
was modeled, and the model can easily be modified for other airports. The
computer simulation methodology is discussed. The model predicts
effectiveness of the measures suggested to improve levels of service.
45. McCabe, L. and T. Carberry. Simulation Methods for Airport Facilities.
Transportation Research Board Special Report No. 159, Transportation Research
Board, National Research Council. Washington, D.C., 1975.
From the article abstract, The most realistic method of quantitatively
approaching airport landside traffic problems appears to be computer
simulation of airport landside traffic flows. This paper describes how the
simulation of the landside portion of an airport complex can be used to
represent or model the airport landside system to accurately determine
the flow and holding capacity and the associated delays of the airport
landside. A review of existing computer simulation models indicates that
the Bechtel and TAMS models are most suitable for this purpose. They
can produce the required distributions of delay, queue lengths, and
occupancies for the boundaries specified. The major adaptation that
would appear necessary to complete the landside analysis capability
would be including a model of the curbside as a server of finite capacity
rater than representing the time spent at curbside as a dwell time.
46. Mumayiz, S.A. and P. Schonfeld, eds. Airport Modeling and Simulation:
Conference Proceedings. Arlington, Virginia, August 17-20, 1997.
From the article abstract: The subjects covered by these papers range
from air traffic management to terminal design. Specifically, topics such
as curbside traffic simulation, air traffic flow, financial modeling, modeling
applications, travel forecasting, and landside simulation are covered.
Aviation planners, engineers, and managers will find these proceedings of
47. Verbraeck, Alexander and Edwin Valentin. Simulation Building Blocks for
Airport Terminal Modeling. Proceedings of the 2002 Winter Simulation
Conference. Editors: Yucesan, Chen, Snowdon and Charnes. 2002.
From the article abstract: Airports are an ideal application area for
simulation. The processes are in a continuous state of change, are
complex and stochastic, involve many moving objects, and require a good
performance that can be measured using several different performance
indicators. Within airports, but also between airports, the same kind of
questions are answered over and over again. Often, however, new
simulation models are built for each question, if possible copying some
parts of previous models. Structured reuse of simulation components is
rarely seen. This paper shows an approach for airport terminal modeling
that departs from the assumption that reusable simulation building
blocks can form the core of a powerful airport modeling tool, which is
able to answer different questions at airports better and faster than
traditional models. The building blocks have been implemented in the
commercially available simulation language eM-Plant. Several studies
carried out with this library were very successful.
The following documents are related to curbside operations, and discuss
(1) calculation of curbside requirements, (2) optimization of curbside allocation,
(3) management of the curbside, and/ or (4) other measures adopted to improve
level-of-service at the airport curbside. Because these documents provided
background information, and not specific information on analytical tools or
simulation models for airport curbsides and roadways, no annotations are provided.
48. Bianconi, Peter, Airport Professional Services Branch, Transport Canada.
Draft Chapter VOperational Needs of Transport Modes. August 15,
49. Brown, Deborah Ross, Ground Transportation Coordinator at Stapleton
International Airport. Cleaning up the Curb, Airport Planning. 58th
Annual Conference and Exposition, May 21, 1986.
50. Clippinger, Susan E., Massachusetts Port Authority, and Alex Taft,
Cambridge Systematics, Inc. Managing a Scarce ResourceMassports
Recent Experience with Curbside Control. Transportation Research Board,
National Research Council. January 23, 1989.
51. Hall, Richard W. and Marjorie Brink, Peat, Marwick, Mitchell and Co.
Control of Curbside Use, Institutional and Municipal Parking Congress
Seminar, Clearwater Beach, Florida, October 28, 1983.
52. Hunnicutt, James M. Nine Ways to Curb Landside Congestion. Airport
Services Management, September 1986.
53. Hoffman, M. Allen, Leigh Fisher Associates. Airport Curbside Traffic
Operations and Management. International Parking Institute, Airport Parking
and Ground Transportation Operations, Las Vegas, Nevada, December 4, 1997.
54. KPMG Peat Marwick Airport Consulting Services. Analysis of Commercial
Curbside Utilization and Private Vehicle Circulation Patterns. July 17, 1989.
55. KPMG Peat Marwick, Airport Consulting Services. Terminal Building
Curbside Management Study, Boston Logan International Airport, Massachusetts
Port Authority. June 1991.
56. Mandle, Peter B., Jacobs Consultancy. Curbside Planning and
Operations, Airport Ground Transportation Planning and Operations
Seminar, San Francisco, April 5-6, 2006.
57. Mandle, Peter B., Wilbur Smith and Associates. Airport Curb Operations
and Practices at Major United States Airports. 1986. Presentation before
Transportation Research Board
58. Mandle, Peter B. and Jessica Wyatt, Leigh Fisher Associates. Airport
Curbsides, Landside Operations Workshop, April 12, 2002.
59. Meehan, James A. Preventing Curbside Chaos. Airport Forum,
Volume 20, No. 2. February 1990.
60. Rahman, A.K.A., H.O. Al-Bar, and N.A. Al-Zaitooni. Evaluation of
Curbsides Capacity and Service Level at King Abdul Aziz International
Airport (KAIA) Terminals in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Institute of
Transportation Engineers, 1999.
61. Roberts, Bruce, Vice President and General Manager, Airport Service, Inc.
Common Curbside Problems at U.S. Airports. Airport Service, Inc., undated.
62. St. Louis Smoothes Traffic Flow, Boosts Safety with Curbside Redesign,"
Airports, September 3, 1991.
63. Street, Jim. Curbing Curbside Gridlock, Airport Magazine, March/ April 1991.
64. Wilbur Smith and Associates. Suggested Curb Utilization Improvement
Plan for Dallas/ Fort Worth International Airport. February 28, 1986.
65. Yee, Stephen, Airport Manager, Los Angeles International Airport.
Ground Transportation Program at Los Angeles International Airport.
AAAE/ Transport Canada Airport Management Conference, July 30, 1991.
66. Zatopek, Joan C., Leigh Fisher Associates. Managing Commercial Ground
Transportation Vehicles. Airport Ground Transportation Planning and
Operations Seminar, San Francisco, April 5-6, 2006.
67. Institute of Traffic Engineers, Trip Generation, 7
Edition. Washington, D.C.,
68. HCM. Highway Capacity Manual, TRB, 2000. Transportation Research
Board, National Research Council. Highway Capacity Manual.
Washington, D.C., 1987.
70. MUTCD. Manual of Traffic Control Devices, FHWA. Federal Highway
Administration, Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Revision 2.
Washington, D.C., 2007.
71. Institute of Traffic Engineers, Traffic Engineers Handbook, Washington, D.C.,
ACRP Report 40
Airport Curbside and Terminal Area Roadway Operations
Appendix C
As part of Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Project 7-02, the research
team conducted traffic surveys at Washington Dulles International Airport and
Oakland International Airport for a period of 7 consecutive days in each location
using automatic traffic recorders (ATRs), staff observations, and cameras. This
appendix presents a summary of the data collected.
Field Survey Schedule
Sunday, July 22, 2007, through Saturday, July 28, 2007.
ATR Locations (see Figure C-1)
A This location is not shown on Figure C-1. It is adjacent to Daily Garage 2,
along the north section of the terminal loop road opposite the Main
Terminal building, which is the weaving segment that the research team
wanted to monitor. (See camera location 5 described below.)
B This locationwhere the total volume of traffic entering the curbside
roadways was recordedis prior to the point where the curbside roadway
split to three separate roadways one pick-up, drop-off, and commercial
vehicles, respectively and after the entry to the hourly parking area. .
C Upper level (departures level curbside).
D Middle level passenger pick-up curbside used by taxicabs and door-to-door
E Lower level passenger pick-up curbsides used by private vehicles,
limousines, and courtesy vehicles.
F Return-to-terminal traffic volumes.
G Exiting traffic volumes.
Staff Observation Locations
Staff were positioned at the locations shown on Figure C-1 to gather the following
1 and 4 Upper level (Level 3) dwell time measurements
2 and 5 Middle level dwell time measurements
3 and 6 Lower level dwell time measurements
7 Vehicle classification survey of all vehicles approaching the curbside at
the roadway entry
Camera Locations
Cameras were positioned to record traffic volumes at the following locations, which
correspond with the locations of staff positions on Figure C-1:
1 West end of upper level curbsides
2 West end of lower level curbsides
3 East end of middle and lower level curbsides
4 East end of lower level curbsides
5 Weaving area on north side of terminal loop road
6 View of westside of curbside roadways to measure the speed of vehicles
7 View of eastside of curbs to measure the speed of vehicles
Summary of Data
Figures C-2 and C-3 present the variations in daily and hourly traffic volumes
entering and exiting the terminal area. As shown, Sunday was the busiest day of the
week, while the busiest hour occurred between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. The Sunday
peak hour was about 10% busier than the other daily peak hours.
Figures C-4 and C-5 present the variations in daily and hourly private vehicle traffic
volumes on the lower-level arrivals and upper-level departures curbside roadways.
Again, the highest traffic volumes occurred on Sunday, but a pronounced peak
occurred on Friday on the departures curbside. While hourly distributions of traffic
on the entering and exiting roadways and arrivals level curbside were consistent
from day to day, the departures curbside exhibited a less consistent pattern after
4:00 p.m.
These variations reflect the East Coast and international peaks associated with
airline traffic at Washington Dulles International Airport.
Appendix D summarizes the dwell time surveys.

Figure C.1
Hourly Traffic Volumes
Washington-Dulles International Airport
July 22, 2007 to July 28, 2007
Airport Entrance Roadway
0:00 2:00 4:00 6:00 8:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00 0:00
Time of Day


Daily Traffic Volumes
Washington-Dulles International Airport
July 22, 2007 to July 28, 2007
Airport Entrance Roadway
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Day of the Week


Figure C-2

Daily Traffic Volumes
Washington-Dulles International Airport
July 22, 2007 to July 28, 2007
Airport Exit Roadway
*Does not include exits from parking lots
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Day of the Week


Hourly Traffic Volumes
Washington-Dulles International Airport
July 22, 2007 to July 28, 2007
Airport Exit Roadway
*Does not include exits from parking lots
0:00 2:00 4:00 6:00 8:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00 0:00
Time of Day


Figure C-3

Figure C-4
Hourly Traffic Volumes
Washington-Dulles International Airport
July 22, 2007 to July 28, 2007
Lower Level Arrivals Curbside Roadway
0:00 2:00 4:00 6:00 8:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00 0:00
Time of Day


Daily Traffic Volumes
Washington-Dulles International Airport
July 22, 2007 to July 28, 2007
Lower Level Arrivals Curbside Roadway
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Day of the Week



Daily Traffic Volumes
Washington-Dulles International Airport
July 22, 2007 to July 28, 2007
Upper Level Departures Curbside Roadway
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Day of the Week



Hourly Traffic Volumes
Washington-Dulles International Airport
July 22, 2007 to July 28, 2007
Upper Level Departures Curbside Roadway
0:00 2:00 4:00 6:00 8:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00 0:00
Time of Day


Figure C-5
Field Survey Schedule
Thursday, August 2, 2007, through Wednesday, August 8, 2007
ATR Locations (see Figure C- 6)
A Inner curbside lanes in front of Terminal 1 used by private vehicles for
dropping off and picking up passengers
B Middle curbside lanes used by some commercial vehicles
D Inner curbside lanes in front of Terminal 2 used by private vehicles for
dropping off and picking up passengers
E Outer curbside lanes used by some commercial vehicles
F Terminal recirculation roadway
G Terminal exit roadway
H Terminal exit roadway, including traffic from Neil Armstrong Way
Staff Observation Locations
Staff were positioned at or near the locations shown on Figure C-6 to gather the
following data:
1 Inner curbside dwell time measurements
2 Middle curbside dwell time measurements
3 Outer commercial vehicle lane dwell time measurements
4 and 5 Vehicle classification survey of all vehicles approaching the curbside
Camera Locations
Cameras were positioned to record traffic volumes at the following locations shown
on Figure C-6:
Curbside entrance roadways
In front of Terminal 1, to record curbside and crosswalk interactions
In front of Terminal 2, to record curbside and crosswalk interactions
On the inner curbside at Terminal 2 to record private vehicle operations

Summary of Data
Figure C-7 presents the variations in daily and hourly traffic volumes on the
roadways exiting the terminal area. As shown, Sunday was the busiest day of the
week, but the busiest individual peak hour occurred on Friday evening. Whereas the
counts at Washington Dulles International Airport exhibited three to four distinct
peaks throughout the day, the counts at Oakland International Airport exhibited a
slight peak in the morning followed by a sustained busy period through the
remainder of the day.
Figure C-8 presents the variations in daily and hourly traffic volumes on the
curbside roadway (which serves both departing and arriving airline passenger
vehicular traffic). During the three surveyed days, the highest total volume as well
as the highest peak hour volume occurred on Saturday. Similar to the pattern
observed for traffic exiting the airport, the curbside traffic exhibited a slight peak in
the morning followed by a period of sustained activity through the remainder of the
day. However, the curbside traffic also exhibited a second peak in the late morning,
followed by a third peak in the late evening.

Hourly Traffic Volumes
Oakland International Airport
August 2, 2007 to August 8, 2007
Airport Exit Roadway
0:00 2:00 4:00 6:00 8:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00 0:00
Time of Day



Daily Traffic Volumes
Oakland International Airport
August 2, 2007 to August 8, 2007
Airport Exit Roadway
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Day of the Week


Figure C-7
Daily Traffic Volumes
Oakland International Airport
August 2, 2007 to August 8, 2007
Airport Curbside Roadways
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Day of the Week


Counts for Sunday - Wednesday not available

Hourly Traffic Volumes
Oakland International Airport
August 2, 2007 to August 8, 2007
Airport Curbside Roadways
0:00 2:00 4:00 6:00 8:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00 0:00
Time of Day


Counts for Sunday - Wednesday not available
Figure C-8
ACRP Report 40
Airport Curbside and Terminal Area Roadway Operations
Appendix D
As part of Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Project 7-02, the research
team conducted roadway traffic volume, dwell time, and vehicle classification
surveys at Washington Dulles and Oakland international airports. This appendix
summarizes the surveys of curbside dwell times and vehicle classifications (traffic
volume data are presented in Appendix C). Additionally, the survey data used to
determine the propensity to double park at two other airports (Seattle-Tacoma and
Portland international airports) are summarized herein. Also, validation of the
weaving module contained in the Quick Analysis Tool for Airport Roadways
(QATAR) model using video captured at San Francisco International Airport is
presented at the end of this appendix.
Dwell time surveys were conducted at Washington Dulles and Oakland
international airports. A summary of the data collected at these airports, as well as
additional data collected by the research team through other efforts at Memphis,
Austin-Bergstrom, and Portland international airports, are presented in Table D-1.
Table D-1
Upper Level
Middle Level
Lower Level
Arrivals Level
Airport Mixed
and Arrivals
Year 2007 2007 2006 2006 2007 2007 2006 2007
Number of Observations 464 193 107 65 559 529 177 568
Private vehicle 2.40 1.68 2.03 1.57 1.60 1.53 1.21
Taxicab 1.88 1.87 1.73 1.98 0.97
Limousine 0.62 1.58 5.52
Door -to-door van 3.71 3.10 2.72 4.50
Off Airport parking van 0.58 1.48 0.50 2.41
Airport parking bus 4.18 0.72 1.27 2.35 2.07
Employee parking bus 1.38 0.63 2.60 0.15
Hotel courtesy van 1.15 1.12 1.38 2.13 0.58 2.18 1.67
Rental car bus 0.52 0.58 3.62 2.00
Charter / tour bus 0.67
Public transit 1.08 3.49 0.42
Source: Jacobs Consultancy, December 2008
Summary of Dwell Time Surveys (in minutes)
Deplaning Curbside Enplaning Curbside
To determine the propensity of drivers to double and triple park in curbside
loading and unloading areas, snapshots of the number of vehicles stopped in each
lane of a curbside were recorded for several time intervals throughout a peak
period. The data presented below were previously collected by members of the
research team at Seattle-Tacoma and Portland international airports. The average
percent of vehicles double parked at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport did not
change significantly based on time of day; however, at both airports, the number of
vehicles double and triple parked changed frequently within short time intervals.
Furthermore, the percent of vehicles double parked at Portland International Airport
accounted for only 20% of vehicles stopped at the arrivals level curbside compared
to 54% at Seattle-Tacoma International, indicating that this characteristic varies
significantly between the airports.

Vehicle classification surveys are conducted to identify 100% of the vehicular traffic
on a roadway according to one of several classifications (i.e., private vehicle, taxicab,
hotel shuttle bus, etc). These data were collected at the same locations as the dwell
time and traffic volume surveys presented above.

Volume Percent Volume Percent Volume Percent Volume Percent
Private vehicles 2740 74.2% 2996 78.2% 1828 68.6% 3151 79.9%
Taxicabs 238 6.4% 259 6.8% 210 7.9% 220 5.6%
Limousines 99 2.7% 112 2.9% 98 3.7% 89 2.3%
Door-to-door shuttle (SuperShuttle) 96 2.6% 79 2.1% 74 2.8% 89 2.3%
Off-Airport parking courtesy shuttle 120 3.2% 123 3.2% 111 4.2% 117 3.0%
Airport parking bus (Red Lot, Employee) 119 3.2% 128 3.3% 120 4.5% 116 2.9%
Hotel/motel courtesy shuttle 47 1.3% 40 1.0% 60 2.3% 42 1.1%
Rental car bus 47 1.3% 36 0.9% 42 1.6% 34 0.9%
Public buses 39 1.1% 36 0.9% 39 1.5% 40 1.0%
Charter/tour bus 7 0.2% 5 0.1% 5 0.2% 7 0.2%
Other (Airport vehicles, police, etc.) 143 3.9% 18 0.5% 76 2.9% 37 0.9%
Volume Percent Volume Percent
Private vehicles 2319 70.2% 1971 84.8%
Taxicabs 396 12.0% 242 10.4%
Limousines 121 3.7% 8 0.3%
Door-to-door shuttle (SuperShuttle) 29 0.9% 19 0.8%
Off-Airport parking courtesy shuttle 82 2.5% 16 0.7%
Airport parking bus (Red Lot, Employee) 125 3.8% 0 0.0%
Hotel/motel courtesy shuttle 42 1.3% 32 1.4%
Rental car bus 32 1.0% 1 0.0%
Public buses 116 3.5% 9 0.4%
Charter/tour bus 21 0.6% 2 0.1%
Other (Airport vehicles, police, etc.) 19 0.6% 23 1.0%
Source: Jacobs Consultany, December 2008
Traffic Surveys conducted by WILTEC Inc., July/August 2007
Departures Level
Summary of Vehicle Classification Surveys
1:30pm to 4:30pm 7:00am to 10:00am
Oakland International Airport
Washington Dulles International Airport
Friday Thursday
Arrivals Level
12:00pm to 3:00pm 5:00pm to 8:00pm 6:00am to 9:00am 4:00pm to 7:00pm

In addition to automated traffic recorder counts and manual traffic surveys, video
was recorded at San Francisco International Airport for a weaving section on the
entrance roadways during peak traffic periods. From video observed during the
15-minute period beginning at 8:45 p.m. on August 3, 2007, the vehicles weaving
from northbound and southbound US 101 to parking and curbside roadways were
counted (see Figure D-1). It was noted that some conflicts occurred between
weaving vehicles, although this effect was slightly obscured by downstream
queuing on the arrivals curbside roadway. The weaving module of the QATAR
model indicates that the weaving section operated at level of service (LOS) C, which
is consistent with observations in the video, thereby validating the module results.
Figure D-1
NB = Northbound
SB = Southbound
vph = Vehicles per hour
ACRP Report 40
Airport Curbside and Terminal Area Roadway Operations
Appendix E
This appendix presents the results of focus groups conducted with (1) airline
passengers, (2) airport ground transportation staff, and (3) commercial ground
transportation vehicle drivers and owners. These focus groups were conducted to
obtain opinions regarding the airport curbside levels of service and the operations
and physical factors that define those levels of service.
At the beginning of each focus group, the moderator welcomed the participants,
explained that the results of the focus group were to be used to support a federally
funded research project concerning airport roadways and curbside operations
nationwide, not the operations at a single airport. The moderator assured the focus
group participants, particularly the commercial vehicle drivers, that their comments
would be presented only in summary form and would not be attributed to specific
A moderators guide prepared specifically for these focus groups, which included
suggested questions, was used during all of the focus group sessions. Jacobs
Consultancy slightly modified the guide after conducting the focus group sessions
during the AAAE workshop to reduce the number of questions to be asked during
the focus group sessions conducted at the AGTA meeting. The list of questions was
also provided to JD Franz Research, Inc., and incorporated into the moderators
guide used to conduct airline passenger focus group sessions.
Unfortunately, the photographs of curbside levels of service that were used
successfully during the airline passenger focus group sessions were not incorporated
into the focus group sessions of airport ground transportation staff or commercial
vehicle drivers. The airport ground transportation staff focus groups were scheduled
for 90 minutes, with some lasting longer. The commercial vehicle driver focus
groups were scheduled for about 60 minutes, with a few lasting about 75 minutes.
The research findings presented below were derived from four focus groups that
were commissioned by Jacobs Consultancy on behalf of Airport Cooperative
Research Program (ACRP) Project 7-02 and conducted by JD Franz Research, Inc.
The focus group sessions were held on July 11 and 12, 2007, in California and on
July 24, 25, and 26, 2007, in the Washington, D.C, metropolitan area.
The first focus group session, held the evening of July 11, 2007, in Sunnyvale,
California, was attended by 11 people. The second and third sessions, held the
evening of July 12, 2007, in Fremont, California, were attended by 7 and 10 people,
respectively. The fourth, fifth, and sixth focus group sessions, which were held the
evenings of July 24, 25, and 26, 2007, in Bethesda, Maryland, were each attended by
10 people.
All six groups consisted of airline passengers who travel at least four times per year.
In recruiting potential group members, every effort was made to obtain a cross-
section of passengers in terms of gender, numbers of trips, familiarity with area
airports, types of travel, and age. Specific screening criteria were as follows:
A mix of males and females
A mix of numbers of annual trips in the ranges of 4 to 6, 7 to 9, and 10 or
Familiarity with at least two area airports (Oakland, San Francisco, and Mineta
San Jose international airports in California and Baltimore/ Washington
International Thurgood Marshall, Washington Dulles International, and
Reagan Washington National airports in the Washington, D.C. area)
Users of curbsides and curbside facilities
A mix of national and international travelers
A mix of business and leisure travelers
A mix of ages in the following ranges: 18 to 24, 25 to 34, 35 to 44, 45 to 54,
55-64, and 65 and older, with the understanding that the youngest and
oldest age groups would be less likely to be eligible for participation in the
focus groups
Those working in the marketing profession; those employed in the travel industry,
by airport operators, or by airlines; recent focus group participants, and those
expressing extreme or uncaring views were screened out.
The primary purposes of the focus groups were to determine what airline
passengers want regarding airport curbsides as well as what they like and dislike
about existing facilities. Specific areas of inquiry included the following:
Introduction of participants and study
How people usually get to the airport
The extent to which they use curbside facilities (screening and introductions)
Impressions of the curbside facilities at various area airports
Likes and dislikes about existing curbside facilities in the area
Particularly good facilities at other airports
What the ideal curbside would look like
Impressions of various curbside service levels
As needed, further inquiries focused on:
Attitudes about double and triple parking
Attitudes toward multiple curbsides
Opinions about reserved spaces for public transportation
Feelings about lighting levels
Issues regarding air quality
Attitudes toward law enforcement personnel
Opinions about cell phone lots and free short-term parking
Because this research was qualitative rather than quantitative, it is not possible to
generalize the results to the population from which the participants were selected.
Thus, although this appendix does contain conclusions and recommendations, they
should be viewed as tentative rather than definitive and subject to confirmation via
quantitative research.
From the results of these focus groups, it would appear that airline passengers are
remarkably consistent with respect to their desires and expectations regarding
airport curbsides. Neither geography nor travel characteristics seem to play a role;
the findings are essentially the same regardless of group location and type of
passenger. Following are the research team's conclusions regarding how airline
travelers view the curbside of the future.
1. Curbside Sidewalk Layout
Curbs should be wide and spacious for four reasons: to provide a reasonably
pleasant atmosphere, to prevent crowding that impedes mobility, to facilitate
pedestrians ability to walk both between and into terminals, and to ensure that
passengers are not at risk of being pushed into traffic. Curbs should be covered at a
minimum, and ideally climate-controlled. Signage should be clear and prominent,
including directions to parts of the curbside, areas within the terminal, and various
types of ground transportation. Lighting should be adequate to ensure safety.
A curbside layout should be available on the Internet where travelers buy tickets.
Such a diagram should also be available other places for those who do not have
Internet access.
2. Curbside Roadway Traffic Flow
Although passengers understand that airport traffic will be dense, they expect it to
be organized rather than chaotic. Ideally, two law enforcement officers would be
present at the curbside: one to direct traffic and one to guide vehicles in to the
curbside spaces.
Law enforcement should be strict but not unreasonable. In addition, law
enforcement officers should be polite and not arbitrary.
To improve traffic flow further, passenger drop-off and pickup should be organized.
Those individuals picking up airline passengers would appreciate the following: cell
phone lots, free or reduced-rate short-term parking, and dedicated passenger pickup
lots. Doorways or pylons at which passengers can be picked up should be near exits
and baggage claim and should be clearly marked with numbers, letters, or colors.
Arrivals and departures should be on separate levels; there might even be a third
level for public transportation vehicles. If there are only two levels, there should be
a separate island for buses, shuttles, taxicabs, and the like.
Multiple traffic lanes would ensure that drivers who want to pull over can do so and
that drivers who need to pass can do so as well. If double parking is permitted, it
should be controlled by traffic officers; triple parking should not be allowed.
3. Pedestrian Access
Although there was almost universal agreement among the focus group participants
that a separate curb should be provided for the broad array of public transportation
vehiclesfrom buses to hotel courtesy shuttles to taxicabsthere was also
widespread concern about pedestrians crossing multiple lanes of traffic. Signals and
traffic officers were viewed as providing a modicum of safety, but at the same time,
impeding traffic flows; overpasses and underpasses were viewed as being
particularly safe, but also potentially difficult to navigate.
As a result, no consensus emerged on this topic. Perhaps the most intriguing idea,
which is similar to the design of some railroad stations, was for stairwells and
escalators to be connected to moving underground walkways that would deliver
people to the correct island.
One other request was that all rental car companies be in the same facility, ideally
across the street from the airport. Although the latter seems particularly suited to
smaller airports, it was requested at larger ones as well.
Finally, participants suggested that rental car shuttle buses be targeted to airlines
rather than being specific to rental car companies so that multiple stops could be
avoided. The practicality of this suggestion may merit further consideration.
4. Handicapped Access
At present, the number of designated spaces for private vehicles transporting the
handicapped is inadequate. There are also too few curb cuts for wheelchairs.
Finally, it is not always clear from curbside signage where wheelchairs are available.
The ideal curbside would be substantially more accessible to the handicapped.
5. Baggage Check-in
Curbside baggage check-in facilities should be adequately staffed with competent and
knowledgeable personnel. Lines should not be too long, and there should be neither a
charge nor the expectation of a tip. Electronic check-in kiosks should be installed
outdoors as well as indoors. Finally, one somewhat futuristic participant suggested
that bags should simply be chipped so they could be dropped off and forgotten.
6. Amenities
Helpers should be available at curbside to provide assistance with baggage, the
elderly, and children for departing passengers and to provide transportation
information and guidance for arrivals. Curbside personnel should also be available
to make sure that access to public transportation vehicles is organized.
Baggage carts for those preparing to depart should be available at the curb, and they
should be free. Besides being an amenity, it would improve the flow of passengers.
Pay telephones should be available for those whose cell phones have died and who
need to call drivers or public transportation providers. There should also be
adequate seating for those who are waiting to be picked up. Activities for children
or playgrounds should be available. Finally, several people suggested a free nicety,
such as water or coffee (or in a few cases, wine or liquor).
7. Electronic Signage
A number of suggestions were made for electronic signs on approaches to the curb
and at curbside. These included departure gate listings, flight status reports, level of
traffic congestion advisories, and wait times for check-in. Any or all of these may
have sufficient merit to warrant further study.
8. Exemplary Airports
Airports that were viewed by multiple groups as having exemplary curbside
operations included Denver International, Las Vegas McCarran International, John
Wayne (Orange County), and Phoenix Sky Harbor International airports. Reasons
for these selections were as follows:
Denver International Airport
Not congested
Flows well
Designed for growth
Good signage
Multiple islands for mass transit
Two lanes between islands, one for drivers to pull over and one for
drivers to maneuver around those who are pulled over
Cell phone lot that is easy to get to
Doors for pickups clearly designated
Las Vegas McCarran International Airport
Simple design
Flows well
Connectors make it easy to get around
Two levels
Good signage
Staff present to give directions
Good curbside check-in with no lines
Different exit doors for different transportation modes
Dedicated passenger pick-up lot
Reasonably priced metered parking
Short-term parking garage
All rental car companies are in the same area
John Wayne Airport
Two levels
Drivers can dwell at the curb to pick passengers up
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Large and well-designed
Wide roadways
Each airline has its own facility
Good shuttle pick-up
All rental car companies in a single place
Those considering the curbside design of the future may wish to tour these airports in
order to determine in more detail why these features are so appealing to passengers.
To maximize the number of participants in these focus groups, they were conducted
during two conferences that regularly attract many airport ground transportation
staff. These conferences were the:
American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) Ground
Transportation and Landside Management Workshop held in Phoenix,
Arizona, on November 6-7, 2006
Airport Ground Transportation Association (AGTA) Spring Meeting held in
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on March 21, 2007.
At each conference, the conference sponsor introduced a representative of the research
team who explained the purpose of the Airport Cooperative Research Program in
general and ACRP Project 7-02 in particular, and then invited the conference attendees
to participate in the focus groups. Over 90% of airport ground transportation staff
attending each conference agreed to participate in the focus groups.
More than 25 airport ground transportation staff participated in the focus groups
held during the AAAE workshop. These staff included representatives from the
airports serving Atlanta, Calgary, Charleston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit,
Greensboro, Houston, Las Vegas, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Memphis, Orange
County, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Francisco, and Seattle, with several airports
represented by more than one staff member. These individuals were assigned to one
of three concurrent focus groups by airport sizelarge, medium, or small hub. Each
group was moderated by a Jacobs Consultancy staff member who led the participants
through a series of open-ended questions and tape recorded the discussions.
More than 30 airport ground transportation staff participated in the focus groups
held during the AGTA meeting. These staff included representatives from the
airports serving Asheville, Atlanta, Birmingham, Charleston, Chattanooga, Chicago,
Dallas (Love Field), Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Fort Myers (Southwest
Florida), Halifax, Little Rock, Miami, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New Orleans,
San Francisco, Tampa, Toronto, and Winnipeg, with several airports represented by
more than one staff member. These individuals were assigned to one of three
concurrent focus groups, generally, but not rigorously, by airport size (e.g., large,
medium, or small hub). Each group was moderated by two Jacobs Consultancy staff
members who led the participants through a series of open-ended questions and tape
recorded their responses. Two of the participants in the focus groups at the AGTA
meeting had attended the focus groups at the prior AAAE workshop and these
individuals were asked to assist the focus group session moderators rather than
participate in the focus groups.
The findings and conclusions from the airport ground transportation staff focus groups
are provided in combination with the findings and conclusions from the ground
transportation vehicle drivers and owners focus groups presented in the next section.
A focus group of the owners and senior managers of airport ground transportation
service providers was conducted during the AGTA meeting in Fort Lauderdale on
March 21, 2007. This focus group consisted of 10 participants (two from one
company) whose companies operate at the airports serving Chicago, Dallas,
Fort Myers (Southwest Florida), Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New York (Kennedy and
LaGuardia), Norfolk, and Washington, D.C. This focus group was moderated by
four Jacobs Consultancy staff with support from an airport operator.
Focus groups of the drivers of taxicabs, parking shuttle buses, and on-demand
shared-ride vans (SuperShuttle) and traffic control officers were conducted at
Washington Dulles International Airport on July 23 and 24, 2007. Focus groups of
the drivers of taxicabs, on-demand shared-ride vans, and courtesy vehicles serving
hotels/ motels and off-airport parking lots were conducted at Oakland International
Airport on August 30, 2007.
Five separate focus groups were conducted at Washington Dulles International
Airport with the participants organized by type of ground transportation service.
One focus group was held with airport parking shuttle bus drivers (seven
participants; not all participants were able to remain for the entire session), two
groups consisted of SuperShuttle drivers (one group with eight participants and a
second group with six participants), and two groups consisted of taxicab drivers
(each group had eight to ten participants). Informal meetings were also held with
three traffic control officers. Each commercial vehicle driver focus group at
Washington Dulles International Airport was moderated by a Jacobs Consultancy
staff member who tape recorded the results and comments.
Four separate focus groups were conducted at Oakland International Airport. Again,
the participants were organized according to the type of ground transportation
service they operated. The first group consisted of five hotel/ motel courtesy vehicle
drivers, the second group consisted of five off-airport parking lot courtesy vehicle
drivers, the third group consisted of nine on-demand shared ride van drivers, and
the fourth group consisted of six taxicab drivers. Each of these focus groups was
moderated by two Jacobs Consultancy staff members who led the participants
through a series of open-ended questions and tape recorded their responses.
1. What is the purpose of an airport terminal curbside?
Most airport ground transportation staff indicated that the primary purpose of an
airport terminal curbside is to serve as the transition point between surface access
modes and the airport terminal, namely the point where customers enter or exit a
ground transportation vehicle. Others indicated that the curbside should (a) facilitate
the movement of passengers and visitors into and out of the terminal area (including
the movement of pedestrians, private vehicles, and commercial ground
transportation vehicles), and (b) welcome visitors and returning residents to the
community and accommodate private vehicles and commercial vehicle operations.
Airport ground transportation staff also stated that the purpose of a curbside was to
serve as a point of sale where commercial vehicle drivers and other company
representatives greet arriving customers and help them select a travel mode. Thus,
visibility and proximity to the exit doors were mentioned as key considerations by
drivers and owners.
2. What does the traveling public expect when they approach a
departures (drop-off) curbside? An arrivals (pickup) curbside?
Airport ground transportation staff indicated that travelers expect efficiency,
courtesy, timeliness (relative to on-time performance by scheduled ground
transportation providers and minimal waiting times for on-demand transportation
providers), accessibility, security, and friendly service. Some airport staff felt that
travelers expect increasing levels of congestion at busy airports such as LaGuardia.
Other airport staff felt that travelers expect to (a) readily find the desired ground
transportation service (good signage and visibility), (b) encounter short walking
distances, and (c) have weather protection. On the departures level, it was stated
that travelers expect to find skycap service and open curb space that is not
reserved for specific vehicles or transportation services. On the arrivals level,
travelers expect to find space near their baggage claim area and to be able to quickly
get in and out of the curbside area.
Commercial vehicle drivers and owners also felt that travelers expect to find the
desired service easily and quickly enter (or exit) the airport terminal area roadways.
Many comments were made about the need for good signage. It was also
recommended that there should be clearly designated spaces for buses (and other
large vehicles).
3. What do commercial vehicle drivers expect when they approach a
departures or arrivals curbside?
Airport ground transportation staff felt that commercial vehicle drivers expect
fairness (i.e., a level playing field), clear guidelines (rules and regulations) describing
how they are allowed to operate, curb space reserved for their use (particularly for
passenger pickup), and accurate flight information displays. Some airport staff
indicated that commercial vehicle drivers/ owners expect the airport operator to
make their business successful.
Commercial vehicle drivers and owners also described a need for reserved curb
space locations, sufficient operational space for large vehicles, safe areas (no
pedestrian crossings in front of commercial vehicle zones), covered boarding areas,
easy (congestion free) access and egress, and clear signage. Some drivers requested
that the airport operator inform them of the rules and regulations and enforce these
rules and regulations fairly.
4. What do [you think] airport operators expect (or need) from a properly
functioning curbside?
Airport ground transportation staff expect traffic to move efficiently, few queues of
vehicles or pedestrians, and no drivers out of their vehicles (no unattended
vehicles). At least one participant felt that airport management places a higher
priority on parking and considers ground transportation operations and curbsides
to be a lower priority.
Few airport ground transportation staff addressed this comment. It was not included
in the moderator guidelines for the focus groups held during the AAAE workshop.
Commercial vehicle drivers and owners indicated that airport operators need to
provide more curb space and to provide a separate but consolidated area for
commercial vehicle passenger pickup where vehicles can enter and exit easily.
5. What are the characteristics or metrics that indicate that a drop-off or
pickup curbside is operating satisfactorily?
Airport ground transportation staff had difficulty identifying the characteristics that
indicate that a curbside is operating satisfactorily. They were unable to reach
consensus on the amount of delay or length of queues they considered acceptable
(or unacceptable) as both vary by customer and type of ground transportation
service. Several staff indicated that the key indication of satisfactory operation was
not receiving any (or few) complaints from senior airport management or others.
Other staff indicated that they relied on comment cards, looking out the window, or
the number of people waiting at the curb to determine satisfaction.
Commercial vehicle drivers addressed topics such as clear signage for customers,
allowing shared-ride and taxicab starters to be positioned in a location to greet
potential customers, and not requiring commercial vehicle passengers to cross a
Taxicab drivers discussed control of line-jumping by taxicab drivers, placing the
taxicab hold lot closer to the terminal (to improve response time), and allowing
drivers to leave their vehicles unattended while they assist elderly or disabled
passengers. They also suggested posting signs showing fares to major regional
6. What are the characteristics or metrics that indicate that a drop-off or
pickup curbside is not operating satisfactorily?
Similar to the response to Question 5, airport ground transportation staff did not
identify specific characteristics or metrics that indicate when a curbside is not
operating satisfactorily. Some airport ground transportation staff indicated that
they relied on the number of complaints they received to determine dissatisfaction.
Others suggested that long vehicle queues that prevent or severely delay motorists
from getting to their drop-off (or pickup) point are a good indication that a curbside
is not operating satisfactorily. There was no consensus as to the amount of delay
that is unacceptable, as it varies from airport to airport, by type of ground
transportation service, and from departures to arrivals curbsides.
One airport ground transportation staff member indicated that loading of passengers
in the third lane is an indication of unsatisfactory curbside operations. Another
indicated unsatisfactory conditions occur when police prevent motorists from
stopping at the curbside and require them to recirculate or enter a parking facility.
Another staff member confirmed that the Highway Capacity Manual does not apply to
curbside areas and suggested that a combination of length of queue, delay, and
dwell time could be used as a metric. However, this staff member also stated that
few passengers complain about curbside congestion and expect to wait (particularly
at large airports).
Commercial vehicle drivers discussed their preference to separate private and
commercial vehicles on the pickup curbsides and a dislike for narrow sidewalks.
They also discussed the problem with illegal solicitation or hustling of passengers.
They indicated a preference for passenger waiting areas that provide shelter from
the weather and wind protection.
7. Which airports have the best curbsides?
Among the airports that were considered to have the best curbsides were those that
(a) physically separate private vehicles from commercial vehicles through the use of
multiple levels or separate zones or courtyards, (b) provide good signage, and
(c) provide a sense of openness. Those that were frequently cited as being the best
were Denver International Airport (frequently mentioned) and the airports serving
Atlanta, Orlando, Pittsburgh, and Toronto, which are among the newest airport
terminals in North America. The Denver airport was mentioned as having good
signage. Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood international airports were
mentioned as having good operations, and being clearly laid out, particularly
considering the volumes of passengers served at Los Angeles International Airport.
Other airports mentioned more than once included those serving Charleston,
Terminal D at Dallas/ Fort Worth International Airport (compared with the other
four terminals at this airport), Las Vegas (particularly the taxicab queues), Ottawa,
Sacramento, and Barcelona.
Commercial vehicle owners cited the City Bus Center at Chicago OHare
International Airport as an example of a good commercial vehicle curbside. Taxicab
drivers in the focus group at Dulles preferred Baltimore/ Washington International
Thurgood Marshall and Reagan Washington National airports because the hold areas
are closer to the terminal buildings and the passenger boarding areas are covered.
Courtesy vehicle drivers in the focus group at Oakland International Airport cited
Lambert-St. Louis and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta international airports as examples
of airports with good curbsides because hotel/ motel and off-airport parking courtesy
vehicle operators can lease curbside space and these airports have designated spaces
listing the names of their services. The Oakland International Airport taxicab drivers
focus group also mentioned Portland International Airport (Oregon) because of the
availability of numerous customer service agents employed by the airport operator.
Taxicab drivers also referred to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport as a good
example of a taxicab passenger boarding area and queue.
8. Which airports have the worst curbsides?
Among the airports that were mentioned as having the worst curbsides were those
that were perceived as being cramped or dingy (e.g., Miami International Airport),
having poor or confusing signage, mixing private and commercial vehicles, and
having poor pedestrian circulation. The airports mentioned included Washington
Dulles International Airport (because of the limited number of exit doorways
leading to the arrivals/ pickup curbside, narrow sidewalks, and crosswalks leading
across the commercial vehicle lanes), Chicago OHare International Airport,
Edmonton International Airport, Bush Intercontinental Airport/ Houston, and
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Las Vegas McCarran and Pittsburgh
international airports were mentioned as being among those with the worst
curbsides, as well as among those with the best curbsides.
Commercial vehicle owners referred to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (because
the pickup area is in the garage and requires multiple level changes) and
Dallas/ Fort Worth International Airport (because of the number of terminals and
confusion). Both the commercial vehicle owners and drivers cited Bob Hope Airport in
Burbank, California, as an example of poorly configured and undersized curb space.
9. What is your perspective of [the following topics]:
Many of the focus groups were unable to address all of the following topics because
of time constraints.
a. Double or triple parking along the curbside?
Airport ground transportation staff responded that: (1) motorists will
double or triple park when they are delayed finding a curbside space, and
(2) commercial vehicle owners dislike double and triple parking because it
prevents them from accessing designated passenger boarding areas.
b. The publics preference for the inner versus outer curbside?
Airport ground transportation staff responded that having inner and outer
curbsides is expensive because it requires more real estate (and wider
structures at airports having upper and lower level roadways). Commercial
vehicle owners and drivers would prefer to be able to pick up customers
near the terminal entrance and allow their customers to avoid having to
cross roadways.
Taxicab drivers in the Oakland International Airport focus group felt that
providing a convenient walk between the terminal and taxicab boarding area
was more important than if the boarding area is at the first, second, third, or
fourth curbside. (Oakland International Airport has five parallel curbsides.)
c. Reserving space for high occupancy vehicles or public transit vehicles?
Some airport ground transportation staff felt it was okay if all commercial
ground transportation vehicles are treated fairly. Another commented that
curb space for public transit vehicles should be located in areas that no
other commercial vehicle is using. Only one focus group participant stated
that preserving space close to the terminal doors was important, but this
individual also felt that this space should be at the end of the curb rather
than in the center.
Instead of just discussing reserving space for high occupancy vehicles or
public transit vehicles, two focus groups discussed factors they considered
when allocating curb space. These factors included consideration of
revenue generated to the airport, vehicle size, volume of passengers
transported, who complains the most, response to requests from local
transit agencies, amount of pollution/ emissions generated by the vehicles,
and first in/ first out provisions.
d. Pedestrians crossing curbside roadways
Many airport ground transportation staff described pedestrians crossing
curbside roadways as a problem. Use of traffic control officers was a
concern because of labor costs. Some stated that pedestrians prefer not to
use underground tunnels unless they are forced to do so. Pedestrians do
not always obey signals and frequently jaywalk.
Pedestrians walking across the roadway near the taxicab stands is a
significant issue at Washington Dulles International Airport because of the
number of exit doorways and the contractor responsible for traffic control at
the time the focus group sessions were held. (This contractor has since been
replaced.) The commercial vehicle drivers discussed their concerns with
safety and with pedestrians not obeying signals or traffic control officers.
e. Use of traffic control officers versus signals to control pedestrians?
Airport ground transportation staff indicated that it is hard to find the right
balance between being nice (lax enforcement) versus improving traffic
operations (stricter enforcement). Communicating with passengers,
appearance/ uniforms, and the appropriate level of customer service were
other issues mentioned.
Commercial vehicle drivers discussed their concerns with the lack of
enforcement of hustlers and the need for vehicle inspections (to ensure that
limousine drivers have manifests). At Dulles, the comments offered by the
commercial vehicle drivers reflected the poor performance of the then-
current traffic control officers (or flaggers).
ACRP Report 40
Airport Gurbside and Terminal Area Roadway Operations
Appendix F
This resea.rch was conducted by JHK & Associates as
National Cooperative Highway Researeh Program
(NCHRP) Project 3-28, Phase I. the Traffic
Institute at Northwestern University served, as
sucontractor on the project. I\,fr. William R. Reilly
of JHK & Associates was hincipa.l Investigator, and
the prineipa.l pnofessional for the Traffic Institute
s,as to. Ronald C. Pfefer.
Other key team meqnbers were James H. Kell, RueI
H. Robbins, Richard A. Presby, artd Iris J. Fultrerton
of JHK & Associates. Technical editor of these
materials was Ir. vid A. KelI of JIII( & Associates
--who also served as production superwisor during
ffua1 layout and paste-up. For the Tbaffic Institute,
Jack Hutter, Alex Sorton, and Rober.'.t Seyfried
provided valuable input to the work. Other
personnel in both agencies also.contributed to the
research effort. -
Appreciation is extended to the Tra.nsportation,
Research Board's Csmittee on Highway Capacity.and
Quality of Service for their cooperation in
surveying users, for conducting workshops at the
1978 Annual Meeting of the Tranq)orttion Resesxeh
Board and for reviewing these-interim materials
prior to publication.
Special acknowledg-rnent is d.e
individuals. Mr. Herbert l-evinson of Wilbur futh,
and Associates served as
principal. a.uthor of the
lransit section,, nd Mr. Jeffney Zupan of the
Regional Plan Association contributed the ba.sic wrk
leading up to. the Pedestrian seetion of these
iterim nteria1s.
The NCIIRP Prcject 3-28 Pane1 played an irortant
part in guiding the research, and took an a"etive
role as
in providing insights and
suggestions on the contents and format of the
iterim sections included in this vohrp.
sections, Transit, ad Pedestrians.. Develom.ent of
these:sections,has been carried out a.s part,of NCIRP
Project 3-28
of an lrproved Highway
Capacity [anual:" .Froject 3-28 wa.s stated t t977,
and the final report on Phase;I of the Project-vas
submitted to NCHRP in August, t979. The',fihal
report d,scribris the..tser surveys; the assesgnt of
reSeanch and literature,..'the proess usd for
devetr-oping t.te interi-m Ea;terials incLuded her, and
the' proposed research, program needed to prioduce,
docr.uentation for a new Higbrrayr Gipacfty fanul.
Ea.ch of the interim materiatrs in ttris report is
introduced with a "DISCUSSIONU
wtrioh eplains the
background and, the conceptual framework..for the
teehnique. The technique itself is explained'and
references are cited. The
section then leads.the user through a step-by-step
description of the calculation; aQd several
numerica.l examples are .provided... Completed
calculation forms are.provided: and shown'for eah
example. AIso, a blank fom is provided in each
section, except for the
material, which
does not utilize a calculation form.
CrtcI Movement AnIyeis .
, -l
Cr.itical Mgvement Analysis.is based on wark
conducted in the 1960's and 19?O's by various
researchers and praetilioners-. .Of part-cu1ar'
irryortance are ttre
of !clner.ney and Peterden,
and of Messer and Fambro. The project team did,
however', make major changes in previously reported
methods to devise the final technique as presented
herein. Mr. Willian R. Reitty, Principal
Inqestigator of. NGBP Project 3-28; had'primary
responsibility fqr derivilg the final proced,ure,.'
Critica.L Mo-vement Analysis a.lloup ;the,I{Cld,user
to analyze the wban signalized intersecttotr,&s ,nr
.entire uni!:.:. The overall,;intersee.tion,::LeveL of
service and. the effects on, Ievel of.serviqe of
desi-gn and operational cllanges':cg4 be deternined
A1so, guidelines on .ranges, of vehiele-.delay eNpeoted
under dif ferent
of .servce
are included:,The..
technique is divided into P[-l,lNIlG applications for
relatively simple and quick computations; and
OPBATIONS ND DESIGN applications for a more
detailed solution. Both epplications ae similar in
concept and both allow the user to analyze
intersections operating with pretimed signqls..,'
vetricle actueted signals, and multiphase signals
with pfuse .oveflap."
.r.ii.. ,r ,:.
For detenination of . capaity orr lev.e1.,,.gf
senvice of.,, a sigJ.e intersection
HCI remains the pr;ingipal tool until:te en,,HO is.
: : .. : :
UnsEnalzed Intersectons : r :, :.
i : .; -:
The procedr:r for capa.city analypis,of qlsiepalized
intersections"is an adaptalio.n, in content
f ormat, of a Germa.n
in ,the
Organisatiq+.for Econ'omi-c Co-Operatj-on and,
Develoxrent .
(OECD), repor,t,
. "Cap4-eity of At{rade
Jrntions." Mr. Jnes
qf,'the GIRP koject
3-28 team, was most directly-'repo.ns.ible .for
revising and adapting..
tecnique tq; the ,point
where it can be oJ use

the H0[;user.
This report comprises the first se of interin
materials which will be distributed prior to the
publication of a new
Capacity anral" in
the nid 1980rs. These interim materials are
intended for application by HCM users in the
1980-1982 period. A user resporse fom is included
at te end of this dLtent to permit users of these
mterils to corrnunicate their comments to the
Transportetioo Reseach Board directly. This trser
response will be vital in identifying desirable
revisions to the interim materials prior to their
inclusion i the new maual. Users are encouraged
to send to TBB thej observations, including actual
data and analyses.
- )
The interim materials provided i this section
are C?itical
Unsignalized Inter-
Only those unsignalized intersections that are
controlled by two-way SIOP signs or by YIH.,D signs
can be analyzed by this technique. The procedure is
vetricles in,passengr .car equivalents..is calculated.
for eah minor approach npveurent. These values are
to the xisting demand for each
mov.ment and the probable,delay and level of service
is estiqiated
The assunption is rpde that trajor street traffis
is r,ot aff,ected by ttre snor street rrcvdnents. trft
turns from the major: street to'the ninor. street are
influenced orly by the opXosing.najor street through
flov. Minor street flovts; however, a.re impeded by
all other conflicting rnovments. The proceduire
inc1udes..,adjustinents fof mutual interference to the
Itrinor. stret traffic streams,. such as the additionaL
adverse,...effect oif main str:eet vehicles waiting to
maker.left turns.
. In order to tt@t these potential
is necessary,to,structure the computational.
proced'ures and deal. with individual traffc
ttre foLlowilg order,:
1. Right turns into the
nqjor road;
2. I-eft turns frr the major i<xn;
Though traffic cross'ilg the r-rajor road; a-nd.
4. Left turns into tlre maior rcad.'
In,addition,. the method tkes into account the
Iane configulation on the minor street'and inludes
appropriate. djustmenis for movements that u5e the
san lane (Strared, lan).
The.apptri,cetion of this tecbnique and subsequent
rser com{ts rr Ieztd to, e linking of
to. stndrd warrabts for traffic signal
insts.l.Ition"1 However, at this tire no attempt has
been,nuide to relate the t{o procedures.
Development of the pedestrian section was
initiated with l{r. Jeffrey L. Zupan's presentation
of hi-s discussion par,
Fb.cilities," at
the 1978 TRB Annual Meeting. ltfr. Zupan, of the
Regional Plan Association, worked with the NCXIRP
3-28 project team during 1978 to expand ad finalze
the materials. Mr. Ruel Robbins of JHK &
Assciates and Mr. Alex Sorton of the Traffic
Institute werie instrumental in developing this
section for the project team These materials
provide the HCM user with ari analytical tool to
analyze the flow characteristics of wal[:ways (e.9.,
sidewalks) a.rd intersection crosswalks. The section
does rot address other
facilities (such
as steirwayS, escalators, and elevators), although
standard reference documents describing such
facilities ae cited.
The alalysis prccedure is based on the a.rpunt of
space rvilable per person and walking speed, with
space being the prineipal determinant of level of
service. The
width" of a walkway is
detemried by using width adjustments based on the
effects of vaxiors fixed objects. The technique can
be used to either analyze the flow characteristics
ad levels of service of an existing facility, or to
dete:mie a walkway. design for a given design level
of Service.
concept of
flow" is
itroduced and car be applied by the HCM user for
condtions where peaking is $rbsta^ntial over short
Sor crosswalks,, a method is presehted for the
analis of'both ttre. intersection reservoir area and
for the crrcsssalk itself; The adeq:acy of either a
planned or a existing crosswalk and reservoir are
also determined by applying the technique.
not aoolicable to uncontrol
ty or maximum flow of
Bus transit on rrban streets and expnesswa]s'andi to
a'Iessr e)ite'nt, .r:ai1:'transit, i.s descri-bed in the
Tr.nit::secti(x, of this' drrerit;: This nate:iial vias
developed-'by,,ldr. Hrbert S. Levl.nson, ofi Vilbur
Smith and Associates. The I.ICIIRP 3-28 Project'Team-
participated with Ir. Ievinson in the final review
of the material.
' :
The HCM user will be able to apply these
materidls t-o the arialysi-siof 'cpaclty and level of
service of bris tanes, bSwys, and ril transit
li.hes.' AnatysiS techiques for dqteinining the'
nrnber of birs berthS needtl; glven bs flows'and
pessenger service.:tmes, a_re described. AIso,
considerable' dat: on chafd.cteristics of existi,ng
tfansit'systms are lncludd; to' il.lustrate tlie
olrating ,xperine'of transit piopgrties.
Although caleulatin foi"m$ e"e''not included in
this section, several oraq>Ie problems do indicate
the application of the <!,oncepts and nrrprical values
involved with transit cap.city.
Critical Movement Analysis
Critical Movement Analysis is a procedure
allows for capacity and level of service
detemination for signalized intersections. The
analysis incorpora.tes the effects of geometry
traffic signal operation and results in a level of
service determination for the interseetion as a
whole operating unit.
The ability of a line of vehicles to discharge
past a point
is the key principle
involved. Rarely
cn a discharge rate of 2@O passenger
cars per hour
of green be s:rpassed. Because of tir losl due to
start up and signal chang intervals the
mximun discharge of a single lane at signalized
itersections typicalty varies from 1500 1o 1g00
cts per hour of green. The 1965 Highway
Capacity lbnual (IIC\,) ( states that a. single 1ane
at a traffic signal c&n accorrrnodate 2000 ad 1500
assenger cars per hour of green
rspectively, for a
coordinated signal urhere all vehictes nass
stopping, and for a sigrral wtrere al1
vhicles mtst stop.
. .
The portion
of an intersection leg
which is used by traffic approaching th
The naximn nr-mber of vehicles that
ha.s a. rea.sonable expectation of passing
over a given
or section of roadway in one direction
during a given
ti_rre period
under prevailing
ad traffic conditions.
Chage Interval
tme ptus all red time
curring between two phases.
Clitical Volu
A vohme (or combination of
street which produces
utilization of capacity (e.g., needs the
greatest green
time) for that stret. Given in
tqms of passenger
cais or mixed vehicles per hour
perr lane.
The period
in seconds required for
one coqlete sequence of signal indications.
Stof'ped tire delay per approach vehicle,
in secods pe:r vehicle.
Ti -
The length of a green phase plus
its ffige-Fterva1, in seconds.
Hourly Vo].rB
The nuober of (mixed) vehicles
that pass
over a given
sectio of a lane or.roa.dway
during a t'ime period
of one hour.
Ievel of Seivice
A measure of the mobility
cnaGiisffir-an intersection, as deiermined by
ve_hic.le. delay and a secondary f,actor,
vohme/capcity ratio.
. tr?l
A bus having a scheduled
stop a.t
tlre intrseCtion under enalysis.
e.:given vehcle,
the nrmber of through moving passenger
cars it is
equiva.lent to, based on its headway and delay
cneating effects.
Pass-enger Cer Volrres
The voh.utes expressed in
terts of pssenger
cars, follow-ing the epplication
of, passengen
carequivatency factors to vhicular
Period Vohre
A design volune, based on the
flrffiIffi-tne peJ< 1 ri""t"u, t-*-o*.,
converted to an equivalent bourly vohme.
Peak Hour Factor
A measure of peaking
crrarEiltEG-wltnin-the peak nu",- equar to :
Peak Hour Volume
A part
of the cycte allocated to any
traffic movsnent or cdnbination of traffic novements
receiving right of way sirnrltaneously dwing one or
more intewals.
Phase -
A phase
withn the probable
sequence of phases
which represents the sequence of
a multi-phase signal entroller sst 1ikely to occur.
under given
traffic conditions.
, .Ihrougb
A bus not having a designated stop
at the intersection under analysis.
A veb-tcle having six or more tires on
the pa.vement.
G/C = Green time/Cycle time ratio
HV = Hourly Vo ume
LB = Local Bus (Number per hour)
LOS = Level of Service
LT = Left Turn
PCE = Passenger Car. Equivalency
= Passenger cars per hour
PCV = Passenger Car: Volume, in pch
PHF = Peak Hour Factor
PV = Period Voume
RT = Right Turn
T = Truck and Through Bus
of HV)
TH = Through Traffic
U = Lane Utilization Factor
v/c = Volume/Capacity ratio
V, = Left Turn Volume, in vph
VO = Volume Opposing a V,_, in vph
= Vehicles per hour (mixed
W = Lane Width factor
The develornent of Critical Movement (then called
"critical laneu) Analysis
first reported in 1961
by Capetle and Pinnell (2) in a study of diamond
tercbanges. In 1971, blnenney d.nd
explained tbe technique as applied to traffic
pla.nning work. In 1975, Trout and Ioutzenheiser (4)
reported on field tests and-questtonnai_re resulG
lelted to
of the nethod. Messer a.nd
Fambro (5) proposed
a detiled procedure
critical movement analysis to assess design
a.lterna.tives. In 19/8, it was determined by HCIIRP
Pnoject 3-28 (6) tat many planners
and engineers
vere usng the method, both for detailed traffic
signal and geometric
design, and for planni.ng
studies. The tecbnique seems to be
gaining gxeatei
acceptence, not only in North America. but also
o-verseas. For exa.qrle, the Sq,edish Capacity lta^nual
(fl contai-ns a foru of critica@
its chapten m intersections.
Critioal Movemenl Ana-lYsis
Figure 1. Critical Movements, PLANNING Applications

Single Lane Approaches
rTwo Phase Sgnal

Cri ti cal Movements:
500 and 600 vPh
Sum of Critical Volumes:
+ 6oo = 11oo vPh
o Two: and' Three Lane APProaches
oTwo Phase Signal
oCritical Movements, bY lane:
400 and 460
+ 50 vph
oSum of Critical VoluqeS:
400 + 510 = 910 vPh
oTwo and Three Lane APProaches
oFive Phase Actuated
' For the.east-virest
street, the critical '
urt is 300 vph. For the-north-south
iiteet the greatest demand for green time
ittr tt'e conflicting
800 vph (600 + 200-LT)'
iiitin movement totating 500 vph.(400
require esi-green time and
wiil- iisr'ied
if the 8oo vph critical
volume is satisfied
Sm of Critical Volumes:
+ 8OO
ttOO vPh.
The. above examples rel,ate to PLANNING applicatons
of critical
sIGN appr ications of the method :us r,tor*tri'tei. iro"ur-i"=.ttui-ning
exprss vornes in rerms of passenser.u"r"ii
perr hour
Analyticsl Base
There is t each signalized
f conflicting Pvements
which must be
isbows sevenal exanples of
Rpgardless of the
of the intersection
nd its traffic
ttre critical vohnes
(wtren placed
p" r"ou basis) cannot
physically be
bey@d the 20OO passenger cars Ir
(pcne) limit, aqq-1n.or9'9!i^ce
cannot be
lqr about 1500 to 1800
pchg' the
letter vlues take into aicount the tine headway
t*o sccessive
vehicles, the
delay for
;-ue i verricles, ad the lost tie due to signal
cbange. itervals.
(average heailway, once the
queue start-up ds tns been exlrienced), sta'rting
r"V,-* ttt" urcunt of lost time due to yellow and
red itervals must be considered in order to assess
ttt *p".iW of a single lane. Nrrencus researchers
formula'e for calculating capacity of a
i"gi" iane based on these factors' Tabre 1 g'ives
sevra1 of the more
prominent formule for
Critical Movement Analysis
Iable 1. Capacity Calculation Techniques
Reference Formul a Calculated Capacitya
1. Berry-Gandhi (9)
3. Messer-Fambro (
4. Bellis-Reilly (11,
13) Method
5. British ($) Method
6. i965 Highway Capacity
Manual (!)
Cap (in
vph) =
wh re :
C = Cycle length, in seconds
CaP (in
Pch) = SG/C
whe re :
(in pcn) =
G = Length of grcen indication, in seconds
C = Cycle length, in seconds
H = Average time hearay, in seconds
cap (!n p.r')
Uidth of lar, in feet
G = Ef,fective green time, in seconds
. 3
- 4.0 seconds
C =
Cyce length, in seconds
= 3600t40 + (0.5)(4)
- 3 + 2.l
= 881 vehicles per hour
2.. Capelle-Pinnel (2)
Critical Lane Method
cap (in
Cap = Capacity of the signalized appmach.
D = Strting time delay, in seconds, eapsng from beginning of
green indication to the instant the rear wheels of the first
vehice cross the reference ine (usually; the stop line)
H = Average hea{ay t8, in seconds, for all vehicles in a com-
pact platoon that cross the reference ine.
= Proportion of the length of ye'low indication, for a I'oaded
cycle, which is utiized up to the time the'last vehice in
a compact patoon crosses the refernce line
C = Length of signal cycle, in seconds
G = Length of gneen irdication, in seconds
Y = Length of yellov|indicat'ion, in seconds
vph = Vehicles per hour
pch .
Passenger cars per hour
whe re :
,40 - s.0
= 840 vehicles
D: Starting delay--the tiE for the first two vehices to enter
= Average tme hea{ay for the third, fourth, fifth, etc.
vehicles to enter
G = length of gren indication, in seconds
= t1800(40
= 900 oassen
4.0 - 4.0)t/t801
r cars i hour
C = Cycle ength, in seconds
S = Saturation fw, in passenger cars per hour of green, Easured
emprically as in the Australian f'lethod (9,
and assuned as
1800 passenger cars per hour of gyen in
-thi-exampl (a typi.
cal val for a through lane)
G = Effective green time, in seconds
gten + yellow - 4.0 seconds
,3600\,40 + 3.
= 921
= 1000
USE: Figure 6.8, p. 135. Use a 24 ft. width to pace the anaysis in a more
rpresentative section of the charts. Assunre no turns and no trucks or
through buses, and no local buses. Also, assume PHF = 0.85 and Metro
Area population
= 500,000.
TIIEN: Cap (in pch)
( 2100 vphg)
(G/c) (pHr/pop) ( Locati on) ( Left Turns) (Right Turns) (Trucks
and Buses)
( 2100
(40/80) (
1.c6) ( 1. 25
( 1. 10
( 1. 10
( i.05)
= 1610 passenger cars per hour oer approach
g05 passenqer
Y - D + H)
based on
for first vehicle
traffic flovfiert
suburban arterial street with 12 ft. lanes, headway average = 2.1 seconds, starting delay
ony = 3.0 seconds, G/C = 40/80 seconds, ye]low tire = 4 seconds, with 2 seconds used for
A1L results are on a per-lane basLs. (1
foot = .305 meter)
Critical Movement Analysis
estimating ca.pacity, and includes a numerical
ihe computations
in Tabte 1 indicate that very
Iittle varition exists in the val-ue used for
capa,city of a standard 12 foot wide (3'7 m) Iane at
an'urban- signalized intersection with ideal traffic
(no trucks, buses, or turning motions)'
Three of th models shown
give capaeities of
approximately 900 pch for a green tlLne/cycle tire
.atio oi o.s. The British method, which has
mo*n to give considerably higher computed
values for capeity than North America methods,
shows a compuled cpacity 12 pereent higher' The
1965 HO vieds a capacity value of 805 pch (G1C =
O.5O), or about 10% betov/ the other rethods'
Bcto=. of the close agreement between
(B), Capetle-Pinnell
(?^l L{esser-Fambro
to establish a, capacity value for any intersection
approach or lane without explicitly defining each
modifying factor.
I. Ie Width. The critical rrcverent
profns-6FTesser ad Farbro (9) fncludes a reduc-
lion in calculated capacity of I0 percent for lae
widths between 9.0 and 9.9 feet (2.7 m and 3'0 m)'
For lanes 10,0 feet (3.O m) or wider, no adiustment
in capac,ity is nade. ldote that these adjustnents
icrease the
passenger car volure (PCrQ rather tlran
reciui,e capa,city.
Usinf the Australan
procedures (9,-
are rnade for lanes not falling
in the io.o to 12.0 foot (3.0 m to 3.7 m) range'
Adjrrstments for the value of capacity a're:
Lane tlidth
Lane t,l'idth
Acijustment Value: -l2T' -7% +31 +4';/" +6%
rtrrplication oi the 1965 HCM,
uith the assrmed
ol,iiti"* used ilI Table 1, gives adjustrnent values
{- zW for the equivalent of a I ft (2'7 m) lane
if for ttre
of a t4 foot
(4'3 rn)
lane. Table 2 cmbines these concepts into a
rea.d:i1y applied set of values. Ttrese a$ustrents
refy prindipally on the Messer-Fambro work, but
inciue upward adjustments in capacity for wide
traffic tanes as included in npst other methods'
Oe i.ryortant concept to note is that under peak
traffic corditions, Iae widths irr the 10 to 13 foot
(3.O to 4.0. m) range have little e.f f ect on
aturation fiow or capacity. Howeven, it is likely
that if corfort and safety wene to be considered in
intersection leve1 of service
(fOS), lane width
differences would have a grete -WacJ on l-OS than
they w'ilI in-T-proposed new HCr{; wit}r its erphasis
on rnobility rather than qratity of flov.
2. Buses and Trucks. Trucks, and buses not
at the intersection under
arialys-ls (called
buses), reduce eapacity
treca:use ie tie hea'dway of these vehicles tends to
be longer than ttre 2.0 second average implied by a
capa.city set at 18OO
theie are tro means.available for including the
effects of trucks and buses. First, each t!:uck or
brs can be converted to an equivalent number of
pessenger crs, and the voh used in th analysis
8.0 9.0 13.0 14.0 15.0
2.4 2.7 4.0 4.3 4.6
fi!i--911 no trucks, buses, turns, or pedestriart
interference--can be used as a base value for
calacity in the critical- movement a'nalysis
It should be noted that the British
procedures use-for a 13 foot (4'o n) wide
lane-a capacity of 1950
The fctors which are considered of prime
i.nqnrtance in sdifying the capac'ty- value of 1800
pc-hg for a single 12 foot
(3.7 m) lane are as
1. l-ae Width
2. Buses and lrucks
3. Brrs StoP Operations
4. l-eft lurns
5. Right TurDs and Pedestrian Activity
6. Parking Activity
7. Pekig Characteristics
(Peak Hour fbctor)
Otlrer factors-such as vertical
grade aud type of
driver usjg the intersection-aay
be of imnrtance
i mityirrglthe cpacity value, but little resea,rch
tas Uee acomprisneO in these aeas. A1so, field
. mea,surement of satumtion floqt allows the HCM user
Table 2. Lane Width Adjustments
1. r0
(Suggest use of ustralian factors)
l.o0 1.00 1.00 1.00
1.00 1.00 1.00 0.97
1.00 1.00
0.96 0.94
8.0-9.9 feet
10.0-12.9 feet
denotes data not available.
16-foot wide approaches, tvro 8-foot lanes would be assumed'
or use in Critical Movement Analysis
Step 8)
13.0-15.9 feet
As cited a.bove and w.R. Reilly
(NCHRP Project 3-28)
(I foot
.305 meter)
stated i tenns of passenger cars per hor:r rather
than (mixed) vehicles per hour. Second, the
<npacity of ttp 1ae car be reduced and the analysis
carried out using vetricles
hour. For PLANNIIG
applications of Cfitical cvenent Anaysis, average
gecaretrc and traffic conditions are assned and the
work is carried out in terms of mixed vehicles per
hour (vph). For OPEHATIO{S AND DESIGN applications,
the analysis is perforned in terus of
pen hour (pch).
The pssenger car equivalency (PCE) for trucks
and through buses in the 1965 HOvf Cah be inferred
from the adjusfurcnt factors used. The .pproximate
PCE value is 2.O. In essence, this nreans that the
tine headway for ttrese vehicles is twice that for
passenger ca:ns, or 4.0 seconds if the assurqrtion of
a.2.0 second average headway for passenger cars is
The recmnended ayergge PCE value for converting
trucls ad throqh buses is 2.0 (recall that six or
nore tires on the pavercent is the working definition
3. Bus Stop Operations. As with trucks and
through buses, the effect' of bus stops in or
edjacent to a traffic lane is to increase the
average time headway. In the development of the
1fr65 HC:\, PCE values for loca1 buses ranged frqn 1.0
to 7.0 (16). F\ture research is expected to result
in a clear definition of the impacts on delay and
capacity of bus stop operation. For an averge
value to apply in the critical movement analysis
pr:ocedure, a PCE value of 5.0 for eaeh loca1 bus
appears to be reasonable. 1is iqplies
an average
headway of 1O seconds
bus, and viould be applied
to all buses having a designated stop at the
For exaryle, .if 30 buses per hour stop et
a nearside bus stop, crith 33 percnt of them
stopping on red, and 67 percent on gr9en, a total
time headway for aJ-l buses is assumed to be (3O x
5.0 x 2 seconds), or 300 seconds. The 30O seconds
of headway night principally be used by only 2O
buses liavig'to stop
the green for an average of
13 seeonds ea'ch. The reuraining 1O buses, stopping
@ the red interral, uould'create only 4O seconds of
tinre teailway; or about 4.0 seconds per bus.
latter figure relates to the recnded equivalency
of 2.0 PCE for through brses and trucls.
The actr:a1 effects of a stopping bus wil- vary
coisrcienably depending r.pon bu.s dtop locatiod, bus
dwell time', parking activity, lane configuration,
etrd traffic volumes. Hwever, until further
Critical Movement Analysis
Table 3. PCE Values: Left Turn Effects
research is acccrnplished, the figure of 5.0 PCE per
Iocal bus appears to be rseful average value.
4. Left Turns. Left turning vehicles are
tred- i-erabte detail- in mos' capacity
conputttion techniques. The reason for this is
simple--Ieft turns (unless removed from through
traffic lanes by prrcvision of exclusive turn lanes)
have a large i-mpact on capacity and on vehicula
delay, wtrich wiII be the principal determinant of
level of sewice in the ns HOil.
The npst direct reans of taking into account the
delaying effects of left turn vehicles is to convert
thsn to pch rsing PCE values. It is anticipated that
futrre reseaxch will lead to a range of PCE vaJ-ues
for various corbinatiors of georetry, traffic voh.ureg
opposirtg traffic volunes, and signal phasg forleft
Different methods use va.rying PCE vatues for
left brrns. The British method sets 1.75 PCE as ttre
average vIue for lanes vith left turning and
throqh movements. The 1965 HCM uses adjustment
fctors which show an approxinate PCE value of
between 4.0 ad 2.0 for rrow and wider approaches,
respectively. For a single lane, the typical effect.
can be on the order of 3.0 PCE per left turn
operating from a left-through lane. The actual
effect vaies depending on geometric and traffic
factors and especially on the vohme of opposing
The Messer-Fambro method describes a detailed
procedrue for considering Left turns iu critical
movement calculations. Three distinct factors re
described for left turn a.ljusfunts. Included are a
PCE adjustment to all traffic for appnoaches cithout
Ieft turn bays, a PCE adjustment to left turn
traffic for approaches with left turn bays, and a
PCE adjustment to non-Ieft turn traffic for
&pproaches with left turn bays of inadequate length
(thus creating blockags in the through lane).
Although this latter factor has not been included in
the critical nrcvnt procedure, the user may wish
to refer to Messer and Fambrots research (5) for
details on the effects of left turn storage bay
Table 3 gives the PCE values for left turns for
use wtren aplyrng the critical novemerit procedure.
These va.Iues are to be considered as
vahes for a bnoad range of traffic and geometric
conditions. Future research ma.y lead to a more
precise formula.tion of left turn PCE values by
incorporating other variables, in addition to
Left Turns A'llwed from Left-Through Lanesa
1. No Turn Phase
2. }{ith Turn Phase
Opposing Volume, in vph:
1 left turn equals:
1 left'furn equas'1.2 PCE
600-999 1000 +
4.0 PCE 6.0 PCt
1.0 PCE
2.0 PCE
Left Turns Altowed from Left Turn Bays Onlyb
3. No Turn Phase
4. tlith Turn Phase
Opposing Volume, in vph:
1 left turn equals:
1 left turn equas 1.05 PCE
1.0 PCE
2.0 PCE
600-999 1000
4.0 PCE 6.0 PCE
Values are used in Step 5, PLANNING applications, to develop a distribution of volumes among several
traffic anes. PCE Values'are also used in Step 7,OPEMTIONS AND DESIGN applications, to convert left turn
volumes to passenger car volumes prior to addng them to through and right turn volumes' in pch.
Vulu"r are used in Step 7, OPERATIONS AND DESIGN applications, to convert left turn volumes (operating
from a turn bay) to passenger car volumes, in pch.
Source: ll. R. Reilty
Project 3-28), based on a synthesis of various data, including Ref. (!).
Critical Movement Analysis
5. Risht lurns and Peqqslr44--Aclirly. For
simpticit the adverse effect of right turns on
ijrtersection c.pacity can be considered as zero if
Iittte or no pedestrian interference occurs in the
conflicting crosswalk. If considerable
pedestrian activity exists, then a right-tuining
vehicle has a similar effect as a local bus,
creating a greater average time headway and
prriiucing greatei vehicular detay.
A study of the Austratian documents (9' l0)
indicates that taes with rigbt turn activity nright
strow a reduction in vehicle capacity of frcrn fifteen
to thirty-five
The 1965 IlO,f (!) indicates
a PCE value of approximately 1.5 for right ttrns on
e two-lane approach. However, for one:Iane
approaehes this value may rise to 4.0. The British
(14) use a PCE value of 1.25 for right turning
vehictes (actually left turDs in Britain) when the
right rrns conprise greater than 10 percent of the
total traffic. In AGtralia PCE vafes of 1.25 and
2.50 are used for right turns of autonobiles and
heavy vehicles, respectivelY.
In ttre lsser-Faibro (q) technique, e right turn
adjustment is made, based on the radius of the
corner and the percentage of traffic making the
turn. Also, an adiusunent is nrade for the vehicles
which may turn right on red; Such adjustments are
not of prime importance ard have not been included
in tle critical tDvqnent
pnccedure presented herein.
the PCE values for right turs recdmended for
use CTrtrcal ovsnent Analysis are giveri in Table
4. The values listed are.considered as
for a broad range of traffic and geometric
conditions and are based on a synthesis of
infomation fro many sources. Future lesearch may
Iead to a more definitive set of PCE values for
rigtrt turns relative to pedestrian activity.
Table 4. PCE Values: Right Turn Effects
Type of Activity
PCE Val ue for
Right Turning
6. Parking Activily. Little or no definitive
resarc--wiE on parking and its capa.city effecls
tus been cornpleted. However, the British do use a
fornula to conpute these effects, as follows:
Loss in Approach Width, in feet,
q q
0.9(z - 25)
Z = Clear distance, in feet, from stop line to
parked car
K = Green time, in seconds
( 1 foot = .305 meter)
1. Lttle
pedestrian activity
to 99 peds. per hour) in
paral I el conf'l i cti ng
crosswal k
2. Moderate pedestrian activitY
to 599 peds. per hour)
in parallel conficting
crosswal k
3. Heavy pedestrian activity
(600 t 1,199
peds. per hour)
in paralle confTictng
crosswal k
4. Extremely heavy pedestrian
(1,200 or more
per hour) in para'lel
conflicting crosswak
determined from local conditions.
Source: t.l. R. Reilly
(NCHRP Project 3:28)' based
on a synthesis of various data.
The Bnitish fornula, a.qsuming a green time of IJO
seconds, infers that there is no effect on the
approach capacity if parking is approximately 20O
feet (61 m) or rnore away fran the stop line.
l,tost North Arnerican techniques do not explicitly
consider a redction in calacity due to parhing' if
the parking encls 250 feet (76 m) before the
inteiscction. For a curbside lane where parking is
allowed; 8 feet (2.4 n) should be allowed for the
parking lane and its friction effects, with the
iemainie sidth beig assigned to the rcving lane
the capcity computations. For parking which
extends ilto ttre 25O foot (76 m) area' the HCM user
must use
judpent on the value or la.ck thereof of
the additionat wittt
gained et the point where
parking is prohibited. Because of the lack of
efinitive reseach on parking effects, this factor
has nt been included in the critical movement
7. Peakine Chara'cteristics. To convert
peak 15
s tYPe of
factor m:st b applied. I\'fesser and Faolcro indicate
that the peak 15 ninute flow along urba a.rterial.s
consistenaly exceeds the average 15 minute flow
during the peak hours by twenty to thirty
In the 1965 HO ( a "&verage"
condition at urban
intersections il assrmed to be that the peak 15
miute flow will .exceed the average 15 rninute flow
by ebout 15 percent. This resrlts. in a peak bour
factor (PtlF) of 0.85.
Secause tJre HCI rser may wish to use either a 15
nirte paJ< flow rate or the peak t horr volume for
design or analysis, a relationstrip between the t$o
is needed.
Generally, PHF,will vary with such factors as
voltme/capacity ratio, size of city, and type of
adjacent activity. The da'ta leading to the
of th 1965 HC indicated (16) that the
Lverage value for PHF at all sites was O.85. Thus,
the "venage'
$tlF (if no additional information is
avilable).which can be assrmed for analysis is
0.85. the HCM user can easily develop a set of
Peak Houf Factors by taking a linited
amount of field data on different classes of
1. 50
2.00 or-
Critical Movement Analysis
The importance of PHF is that the base figure of
18OO pchg per lane is based on the asswnption tt
the PHF is 1.0 (i.e., flow in the peak hour
uniform b5r 15 mlnute period) . If we assume orle
hurdred percent green tjme in an ideal traff,ic lane,
the maxinn flow rate in a 15 rnirrute period would be
450 (i.e., 1800 + 4) passenger cars. If a PHF of
O.85 is used, the correspondirg flow rate exrressed
in terre of hourly volune would be:
Hourly Volume (llV), in pch,
(PHF)(4)(Highest 15 mn. Flow)
= 1530 pch
This represents a fifteen percent reduction in
voluoe on 8.n hourly ba.sis when compared w'ith
conditions wtrere PHF is equal to 1.0.
Lane UtIzaton
Cfitical l\4ovidnent Analysis is based on
voh.mes. Thus, for movencents (e.9., left turn,
ttrrough, and right turn) wtrich take place from more.
than one lane, it is necessary to estimate the
volume in each of the lanes affected. In this
manner, the highest lane volume can be identified
and used i the rnalysis.
Reilly and Bel}is (71
, ,
p) indicate that a
traffic movement carried in two lanes could break
down ito a 55%
45% slIit, by lane. A treffic
movenent canied in three lanes might divide into a
2% sp]..t.
In the critical movement analysis proposed by
!esser and Fa:lcro () a late utilization factor is
applied. For two lanes, a 55%
45%. split in
vohme is assumed. For three Ianes., 4O% of the
total movement is assumed to occui in the most
heavily used lane. Ifany HCnl users haveusedanalyses
based on the assumption that volune is distributed
approxirnately equally by lane, especially under peak
Lane utiljzation factors
( U) were developed by the
NCERP3-28 hoject Team, based on the researchcited
above, and modified according tooperational
experience. The value for U whn 2 lanes re
utilized represents a 52.5%
47.51a split. The
value for U when 3 lanes ae utilized assumes. that
approximateLy 37% of the volume is carried in
the nost heavily used lane. This representsa
compromise between the IiCM and Messer-Fambro
Table 5 contains the afiustrent fa,ctors to be
applied for lne utilization. For use in OPffiATIOI{S
AND DESIGN applications, average austtnts for
lane utlization of 1-05 ad 1.10 are recommended
for twp lae and three lane situations. Ttese ad-
juslmts icrease the passenger car vohme for ve-
hicles in the'turo or three laes due to volu
ibalances by 1ae.
Table 5. Lane Utilization Adjustments
An e:ranple of the effects of lane distribution
can be seen by assuming two ppproach lanes, each
capable of carrying 900 pch with a G/C ratio of
0.50. When a vohime of 900 pch is reached in the
nost heavily traveled lane, a vohne of only 814 pch
will be using the second lane, assr-uning. a 1.05 lane
utilization factor. Thus a tota.l capacity o1. I7l4
pch (five percent less than the ideal 1800 pch) can
be achieved by two laes.
Levels of Service
As part of the critical movement technique, a set of
guidelines on volune/capacity (v/c) ratio, average
delay values, and sum of critical volumes is
presented for ue, review, and cdfinent by HO users.
Table 6 gives the reconnrended thresholds for the sun
of critical vohnes for Levels of Service A through
E for both the PLANNING and the OPERATIONS AND
DESICN applications.
Table 6. Level of Service Ranges
PLANNING Apptications (i.n vph)
Maximum Sum_of
Servi ce
Three Four or
Phase more Phases
1 140
---:-----not appl i cab l e----r----
OPERATIONS AND DESIGN Applications (!n pch)
Maximum Sum of Critical Volumes
Two Three Four or
Servi ce Phase Phase more Phases
1 140
1 100
16 50
Source: 'r.l. R. Reity (NCHRP Project 3-28), based
on a synthesis of various data.
---------not app i cabl e--
Source: hl. R. Reil'ly (NCHRP 3-28) and Ref. (5)
In coqnring ttre v/c ranges used in Table 6 with
those iplied fiorn the 1965 HO (1), the following
can be noted (using the example conditionS
given in
la.b1e t): I-evels of Serice (tOS) , B, C, D, and E
are represented by v/c rati of approxinately 0.71,
O.75, 0.81, 0.92, and 1.0O; respgctively. Thus, tfie
recormended values in Table 6- closely follott the
1965 HOI for defining I- C, D, and E, b]rt produce
me arqrle ranges of v/c vhes for levels and B.
the thrshold volune levels of Table 6 are exprssed
in vehicles per hour (vph) for the PLANNING
application aJd in assenger cers per hour (pch) for
the oPERATIOI{S A}tD D'-qIGN applieation. The leyels
of serrice defined in Table 6 relate to the critical
approaches and/or lanes at the intersection.
laes will tend to operate at better
Lanes Uti lized
Util ization Factor
(u) 1.oo
1.05 1.10
Critical Movement Analysis
Because delay will be the principa.l determinat of
signalized itersection level of service in the new
HCM, Table 7 is included. The detay values gven
are not yet an integral
part of the Cri:tical
Movement Analysis
procedure but are presented as an
iitial step in developing a range of delay values
which can b.e related to intersection level of
serviee. The values of Table 7 do not take into
account the offset relationship between adjacent
signIs. Synthesis of data fron a nrober of sources
has been used to produce Tab1e 7. HCM rsers may
find it useful to compare the table with locally
cbtained delay data.
In thebe.applications,
an i.tportat reference work
is tlrat of MInerney and Petersen (3). the only
tabutar material rsed is that found in lab1e 6 vhich
gives a single vaLue for the maxjrnn srn of critical
ane volums, in vehicles per hour, assuming
traffic, signa-' a gecrnetric conditions'
and Table 3, which is used to apportion traffic
among several Iaes.
ihe fo"* of this tool is to allov for a rapld
approximation of level of service. None of the
dia.ilea individual adjustment factors need be
applied to obtain a solution. The solution is for
tibicaf average conditions end should not
ne-cessarily be used for detailed design or
operational decisions.
A principal source used for developing this more
aeiite pp[cation of Cbitical Movement Analysis
is lsser and Farnbro's 1977 paper (5). Utrany of the
concepts and values frtrn this work bave been revised
or extended to reflect work found in other source
Table 6 gives the level of service standards
which apply to this detailed application.
sections contain descriptions of various adjustment
procedures and factors used. Table I provides a
s1ary of ttrese factors.
An explanation and exanples of the step-by-step
prcedur- is giver under the heading of
ApPLICATIO6" later in this section.
Table 7. Delay and Level of Service
Level of
Se rvi ce
Typi ca1
v/c Ratio
Del ay Rangea
(secs. per veh.)
0. 7i-0.80
0 . B1-0 .90
0 .9 1- 1.00
0 .0- 16 .0
35. 1-40.0
40.1 or greater
as "stopped
deay" as described in
Delay values relate to the mean
Jtopp-etay inurred by alI vehicles.entering
the' interseciion.
Note thFtraffic signal
ordination effects are not considered and could
drastically alter the delay ran(F for a given
v/c ratio.
Table 8. Summary Factors for
Critical Movement Analysis
Source: t^1. R. Reitly
(NCHRP Proiect 3-28)' based
on a sYnthesis of various data'
El ement Val ues
Table 8 contains L surmary list of values used in
the concepal and applied aspects of the critical
morement technique.
Critical Movement Analysis: Strategy
Critical Movement Analysis ceh be irsed in two
general categories ot nrgb-l9gt-:
pf,ticatfon" and OpEnAtfOm 'D DBSIGIT applications'
I' each case the fundamentals are the same'
Ilowever, the leve1 o{ detail is greater for
fritical Mov@t Anal]'sis is a tool to be used
tor strl-ot ttle intersectidl
a,s an operating whole'
t p"iric
analysis of a single approach' the
p"*-i,r* outlined by the 1965 HClli'l (!) remains a
vahabte tool.
key Ssr:mption in the teehnique is that
ttee G
of la^ne volrneS which m'st be
in t hour through the niddle of a
The sun of these volrups'
voltle" by Capelte and Pne1l
caruot exeed the satrration floc/ characteristics
itr. itersection.
In essence, 1800 pchwould be
itle ma.ximrn value under ideal conditions for the
volume, with 1500 vph being an average
value for tYPicaI corditiors.
1. Capacity,
ideal conditions
2. Capacity, Per
uvtan conditions
3. Green time
4. PCE values for
vehicle tYPe
5. Peak Hour Factor
6. PCE val ues for
left and right
7. Lane Utilization
8. Lane Hidttt
1800 pch
1500 vph
Assumd as actual
tine plus chan interval
ti re
1.0 =
passenger car or
2.0 = trck or through
5.0 = local bus
0.85 = typical, or use
actual field
Left turns
(see Table 3)
Right turns
(see Tabte 4)
Two lanes, voluE divides
52.5% I 47.5%
Th ree I anes , vo urTE i n
heaviest. lane is 36.6%
of total
8.0-9.9 feet' l'l = 1.1
13.0-15.9 feet, tl=0.9
Source: tl. R. Reilty
(NCHRP Project 3-28)
Critical Movement Analysis
The intent of this section is to set forth the
procedures, with exarirple
problems, to be
used in Critical Movement Analysis' The exarples
are divided into two groups: PI'ANNII{G applications
with quick rd siq>le solutios, and OPERIIOIIts AND
DESIG applications with more complex detailed
solutiong.- A Calculatiolq lglm has been developed
for each ot ttte-two-ercGf applications. These
forrs are shown the following
pages. Detailed
definitions, the enalytical franework, and
refernces rsed i CYitical Movement Analysis' are
deqcribed in the prece.eding section entitled
PLANNING applications are carried out in terts
of nixed veh-ictes per hour (vph). OPERATIONS AND
DESIGN applieations are carried out in tems of
pa.ssenger ca"rs
hour (Pch)
TH = Through Traffic
U = Lane .Util ization Factor
v/c = Volume/Capacity ratio
: V,-
Left Turn Vol,ume, i4 vPh.
v = volrt. opPosing a vL, in vph
Vhles per hour (mixed traffic)
W = Lane Width factor
PLANNING Apptications: Procedure
The PLANNING applica.tion of Critipal Movenent
Analysis is based on average or better conditionS of
geletry ad traJfic. The solutions ca resolve the
following questions:
1. What is the operating level of srwice for a
signalized interection as a vtrole?
2. If a design level of service is set, wlrat
lne geretry or demand volume will
be necessary to achj.eve that level?
3. lhat changes in lane corrfiguration or signal
phasing will have the greatest impact on
operating level of service?
Step-By-Step ApProch
The steps followed in solving a problem bv thls
teclique.are described below.Fgure 2 contains an
ilhstrtion of the steps followed, which are:
Step 1. Identiiy lne Geonetri
the asswed or
known lane configuration for each approach is
identified, by type of lane.
Step 2. Identify Volures
the assned or knoc,n
traffic vohmes for the design hour or analysis'hour
are identified in'vehicles per hour'. Left turn
through, and right
vhmes are
identified tor ea.n i-ntersection appioach.
Step 3. Identify Phasng
the signal phsing
to be used for utlysis is identified.
The abbreviations and synbols. used in critical
movement analysis are defined below. A more
deta-iled set of definitions of concpts and te:ms is
found in the preceeding
G/C = Green time/Cyc'le time ratio
HV = Hour'ly Volume
LB = Local Bus (Number per hour)
LOS = Level of Service
LT =
Left Turn
Pas'senger Car EquivalencY
= Passenger cars
PCV = Passenger Car Volume, in
PHF = Peak Hour Factor
PV = Perod Volume
RT = Right Turn
T = Truck and Through Bus
(Percentage of HV)
Figure 2. Procedure for Critical Movement Analysis, PLANNING Applications
Slep 8. Intersecton
Level ol Service
Critical Movement Analysis
Steo 4. Left Turn Check
for an assumed
pnas@es, a check is made on
the probabilif of clearing
identified left turn
volume. On the change interval, 2.0 times the
nunber of cycles
pe'r hciur gives the maximum
the charge interval. Use
90 left turns
horr if no
on number
of cycles
per hour is available. Additionally' the
ntunber of vetricles per hour that can clear through
opposing traffic during'the
green intervl is
.^{inte y:
v' =
(G/c)(1200) - vo ,,
V, = Left Turn Volume, in vPh, that can clear
through opposng traffic on the green in-
G/C = Green time/Cycle time ratio for opposing
(V"). If no other design informa-
tion isYavai'lable, estimate by. lane vol-
ume rti:O. . .
Vn = Volume of Opposng through plus right turn
traffic, in vph.
Note that the
green time in the G/C ratio is
considered as the green i-nterval
plus the change
interval. If the srn of the tro left turn volumes
described above is tess tha the arialysis volur, a
sDarate left turn
phase can be considered, by
returnig to Step 3. If the si.rn is greater'ttran the
leftr urn anaiysis'volune, no spec1al feft' tur'n
phasing needs to'te conside-red and threnalysis
moves to'Ste 5.
The prpose of the left turn check is t9
determin whether aII left turn movements not
ontrolled by an exclusive turfi phase
aocor.nmodated. If npt, the agSumption on signal
phasing can be..changed to- provide for left turn
In nwr-y cases (.e.9:, analysis of existing
corditions), ro .change-in ph4sing is assrned and the
analysis continues, with the analyst knowing that
the non-satisfied left tuTns will
difficulties and b'subjt to xessive delay.
Step 5. aseip Ie Volures -
the vohnes are
If no left turn
laries exist, the left tunr vohre is converted to a
pctr vol (Table 3)'and the rerm.i-ning through
t,r"o vohlre is asswBd tobein
pch units. The
the sun of these two pch vohres is then dlvide
equafly armn all alp.roacb lanes, Hctlt/ever, in all
cases. the ixrtire left ttrn rolr.ule mist be assigned'
io the lane(s) from ichttreturns
are nmde, andtte
remaining pch volume for through and right turn
traffic is distributed equally among the remaining
Ianes. Foltowing this distribution, the pch volwte
is converted back to.vehicles
per hour for the lane
canying the left tqr-n.
If a left turn lane exists, the left turn vohne
in v@gned
to that lane arrd
the through blus
right turn volume is divided
equally among the through and through'right lanqs.
f'or tte special ca.se of a double left turn lane,
percent of the totl left trn volune is
assigned to on left turn lane and forty-five
percent to the other.
Sten 6. Critical Vohnps -
for eacll signal
per'lane basis) is ldentified' For a. two
siaL, the
total of the through
plus right turn if no excluslve right tur
Ue xits)
plus.:the opposing left turn volturp" is
selected. For a three-to-eight
phase. ("nn:ltiphase")
signal, ea.ctr
phase listed in thetypical
(i.e., npst
proaffe) phase sequence has one critical volume'
phase sequence represents the se-
quence of a narltiphase signal rpst 1i}e1y to occur
under the volume conditions assigned in step 5'
Ihere an exclusive rigt tu:n lane exists, such a
lane is often not includd in the critical analysis
if right turns on red are permitted. However, such
a lan can be included if ttre analyst believes that
it mieht carr'y the rmst critical olune for that
approach. Sore reduction (30 percent is tylical) in
t assigned right turn ro1une
(Step 5) may be rnde
to allorp for right turns madeonred. If right turns
on red axe not permitted, an exclusive r:ight turn
lane is included in the analysis. ldcte that Ca1cu-
tation Form I contains Step 6a, urtrieh is used for
phase signals, and Step 6b, which is used for
nnrltiphase signals. .In
,Steps 6a ad 6b, astreet
ope"ating witj:out separate turn
phases mlst have the
oposing left tuins added to tJxe thrbueh volur to
obtain the critical volure for that street'
Steo 7. Sum of Citicat Vohrs-the critic1
volunes, for each
phase, are sumct.
Siep 8. Intersection Level, o{
FeIIige 1
of c@
with Table 6, and an
trsection level of service is ldentified.
Step 9. Recalculate- dependingonthe
tound in Step 8Arange in geonetry, dernand volue,
o" sigDal phasing can be made, and a recalculation
throueh 9(R)--is
' Calculation Form,1 is used for PLANNING
Critical Movement Analysis:
Calculation Form
Design Hour ,Intersection
Problem Statement
Step 4. LeJt Turn Check
a. Number of
change intervals
per hour
b. Left turn capacity
on change interval,
in vph
d. Opposing volume
in vph
e. Left turn
capacity on
green, in vph
f. Ift turn
capacity in vph
g. Left turn volume
in vph
h. Is volume ) capac-
itv (s
> ?
Step 6b. Yolume AdjustmentJor
MukIwse Sgnal Overlnp
Possible Volume. Adjusted
Probable Critical Carryover Critical
Phase Volume to next Volume
in vph phase in vph
Step 7. Swn oJ Crtcl Volumes
Step 8. Intersecton Level of
(compare Step 7 with abb 6)
Step 9. Recalculote
Geometric Change
Signal Change
Volume Change
Step 5. Assgn Lone Yolumes,
n vph
A1 .-.>
A2+ A4

ezJ e
Step 6. Crtical Volumes, invph
(two phse sgnal)
Example I
Lltqolru eN Cantee"r
Critical Movement Analysis:
Calculation Form
Design flsu
PfOblem Statemef
Frru errsrur- L05.
Ce,r L1- BE HNDLeD w rrtt Z

Step l. Identfy. Lne
Step 2. Idenljy Volumes, n
Approach 3.
slel el
n =
s= !?
rn =
ll ll ll
F cc
Approach 4
Step 6b. Yolume Adjustmenttor
Multiphase Sgnal Overlap
Possible Volme Adjusted
Probable Critical Carryover Critical
Phase Volume to next Volume
in vph phase in vph
Step 7. Sum oJ Crtcal Volumes
Step 8. Intersecton
(compare Step 7 with Table 6)
Step 9. Recalculate
Ceometic Change
LT LlNrs
.'ppD^Rr e lso.*
Signal Change
Volume Change
Step 6a: Crticl Vt
(two phase sgnal)
Step 4. Left Turn Check
a. Number of
change intervals
per hour
b. Left turn capacity
on change interval,
in vph
c. G/C
d. Opposing volume
in vph
e. Left turn
capacity on
green. in vph
l. Left turn
capacity in vph
g. [-eft turn volume
in vph
h. Is volume ) capac-
it) (E
lb 6o o
.55 .45 .
l59o 91o )3o
1o21 o
1o 4o
Step 5. Lane Volumes,

n vph
Approach 4
Approach 3
l-. l
or* As+
A2+ A4

ezJ e
TH^T LEF-' ruN D.=lA
Fo PPo-H 3 4{/ALs
Critical Movement Analysis t7
PLANNING Applications: Example 1
Lane configuration and peak tour volumes a.re shown
on Calculation Form I for an existing urban
itersection. The following three questions must be
1. What is the intersection leve1 of service?
2. Can left turrs be hndled without installing
an e>cclusive phase?
3. If left tun lanes are added on
3and4 what chriges, if any, nay be expected. in
the Ieve1 of service?
Step 1. Identify l.ne Gewptry. Existing lane
configuration is strown on Calculation Forn 1.
Step 2. Identify Vohss. Existing peak hour
volumes (vph) are shown on Calculation Form 1.
Approaches are numbered L, 2, 3, and 4, from the
west, east, north, and south, rspectively.
Step 3. Identify Phasing. A two phase signel
operation exists.
Step 4. LeftTurn Chech. A 90 second peak hour
cycle length ijs used. Forty cyclas per hour tfures
2.0 left turns per cycleresult in 80 left turrs per
hour nade on thechangeinterval. Addi-tional1y, left
turns made throug'opposing tra.ffic on the green
interval, assr.uning a 0.55 G/C ratio for Approac,hes
I and 2 and a O.45 G/C ratio for Apprrcaches 3 arrd 4
ae calculated by the. forrrula:
vL =
For all directions, the capacity for left turns
is equal to or greater than left turn demand.
Therefore, the two phase signal operation is
adequate. l.Io rt for left turns frun Approach 3,
dsnand and cpacity ar"e equal at 9O vph.
Assign l-ane VoIurEs. For Approaches. 1
and 2, left turn volumes are assigned to the left
tur lanes and tirough plus right turn volunies are
divided equally between the rnaining lancs.
For Approaches 3 and 4, factors frqn Table 3 ae
used to cqrvert 90 ad 1Z) left turns (with 530'vph
and 330 vpfr opposing, respectively) to 180 and 240,
pch, respectively. Thus, a total pch volure of 51O
(from Approach 3) and 770 (from Approach 4) i
cornputed. On a per lane baSi-s, 25 pch and ll85 pch',
from.Approaches 3 and 4, respectively, are ccxnputed.
PLANNING Applications (in vph)
of Critical Volumes
Two Three Four or
Phase Phase more Phases
Servi ce
900 855
1050 1000
1 350
1 100
t37 5
---------not app l i cable--
OPERATIONS AND DESIGN App'licatns (in pch)
The right lae is also assigned 385 pch, comprised
of through'and right tura traffic; Thus, the left
Iane carries 265 p (120 left turns plus the
difference between 24O and 385) and the right lane
carries 385 wh.
The per lane volumes are entered in Step 5 of
Calcultion Forrn 1.
Step 6. Critical Vohunes. C?iticalvolures for
phase AlA2', onAppnoaches I and 2, is 795 + 40 LT or
455 + 50 LT.. Use 835. Citical Volrres for phase
A3A4 on ApproachS3--and 4 is 255 + I20 LT or 385 +
90 LT. Use 475. These roltres are graphically sbown
ii step-'-the form.
Step ?. Srm of Critical Volumes. The sum of
critical vohmes is 835 + ig76 or 1310
Step 8. Interseetion l-evel of Service.. Using
Table 6, this value falls.within the range of 1201
to 1350 vph or Level of Srvice D for two phase
signals. The left trns can be handled using the
geometry shown and a two phase signal.
Step 9. Reclculate. To.deternine the effect
on leve__1F6f addihg lft turn lanes on
Apraches 3 and 4, rer:r to Step 1 and reconpute.
For Approach 3, the left lane is assigned 255
pch, of nhich 180 pch is due to left turn vehicles.
The right lane is a"Iso a.ssigned 255 pch, ccmprised
of through and right turn traffic. Therefore, the
left lane carries 165 vph (90 left turns plus the
difference between 18O ad 255) and the rj-ght lane
carries 255 vptr.
For Apprcach 4, the left lane is assigned 385
pch, of which 240 pclr are due to left turn vehicLes.
Table 6. Level of Service Ranges
Example 1
Critical Movement Analysis:
Calculation Form
L,t.ot* AND Connel.c-
Desiqn Hour
PfOblem Statement
Frro crlruae
ru LoS Y Apprsa u FFr-Iay'
Step 1. IdentJy Lane Geometry
hl{ l\ll
o L--
3l .1---

Step 4. Lett Turn Check
a. Number of
change intervals
per hour
b. I-eft turn capacity
on change interval,
in vph.
c. G/C
d. Opposing volume
in vph
e. Left turn
capacity on
green. in vph
f. Left turn
capacity in vph
g: [.eft turn volume
in vph
h. ls volume ) capac-
itv (e
) 0?
o o 0o
,55 .55 .1 .45
lo 5)6 33o
Bo 9o 2?o
o o u{ t}o
lo 4o
Step 6b. Volume Adiustmentfor
Multluse Sgnal Overlap
Possible Volume Adjusted
Probable Critical Carryover Critical
Phase Volume to next Volume
in vph phase in vph
Step 7. Sum of Crtcal
*_Zb *
Step 8. Intersecton Level of
(compare Step 7 with Table 6)
Step 9. Reclculte
o1 Ne<e9e\p
Geometric Chnge
Signal Change
Volume Change
2. Idently Volumes, in vph
rn =
Lr= fu
Step 5. Assgn Lne Volumes,
in vph
A1+ A3+
A2<-- A4
,\ D+ or A43

ezJ a L
(two phse sgnl)
?L-/_ .
* as
-- ->F
-:- -
) -=1

" otE
uert tur. oeuAtD
Fo PPocH 3 QoALs
(Bxample 1)
Note: "(R)" denotes recalculation.
Step 2(R). Identify Volures. Voluntes, in vplt
on the
Step 3(R). Identify Phasing. The existing two
phase signal rvill be analyzed.
Step 4(R). Left Turn Check. Step 4(R) is
identical to the preceeding Step 5.
Table 6. Level of Service Ranges
PLANNING Applicati'ons
(in vph)
900 855 825
1050 1000 965
1200 1140' 1100
1350 1275 L37s
1500 1425 1225
---------not aPP i cabl e-=
Critical Movement Analysis
step l(R). rctentfy l,ane Geometry. Left turn
Maximum Su[' of critcal voluJnes
lanes are added on eplractre-s 1l and +.
of Two Three Four or
Service Phase .Phase
more Phases
Step 5(R). Assign l,ane Volwes. lft turns are ::
assi!-l*TT-Trn lanes and thrrcugh plus right OPERATIONS AND DESIGN Applications
(in pch)
turn volumes are distributed equally to thc
rqnaining lanes.
( del eted )
Step 6(R). Cfitical Volurps. Critical vo]rFs Step 8(R). Intersection Level of Service.
A1A2 on Approaches lad2 ar.e 795 + 40 LT Using Tab1e 6, the value of 1190 vph fal1s within
or 455 + 50 LT. Use 835. C?iticat voluns for phase
the range of 1051 to 1200, or Leve1 of Service C for
A3A4 on Approacfes
are 165 + 12O LT ot %5 +
two phase operation.
90 LT. Use 355.
Step 9(R). Recalculate. No recalculation is
Step Z(R). Sum of Critical Volunes. Tle surn of neceffied that left turn lanes
tne . a"lter the intersection l-evel of Service D to C.
Example 2
xr u esrr.r
Movement Analysis:
Calculation Form
AND t\ pr-e
Design Hour
PrOblem Sttemef
Step 4. Left Turn Check
a. Number of
change intervals
i'Ji't'"'*'*'. I
b. Left turn capacity
on change interval,
in vph
d. Opposing volume
in vph
e. l-eft turn
capacity on
green. in vph.
f. Left turn
capacity in vph
g- Left turn volume
in vph
h. ls volume ) capac-
iry (s
Step 1. Idently Lane Geometry
Step 5. Assgn Lane Volumes,
n vph
Approach 3
Step 7. Sum of Crtical Volumes
Step 9. Recolculate
I Tt{u Lte
Geometric ctrange
I LT LlE-rPFEac$eSt
Signal Change
Volume Change
(two phase sgnal)
Step 6b. Volume Adjustmentfor
Multphase Sgnal Overlap
Possible Volume Adjusted
Probable Critical Carryover Critical
Phase Volume to next Volume
in vph phase in vph
rzcB) -lzo-t*t) lzo:
lo (sr)
o-r=zto{*\ 16o'\
I6t) o tot) 13o
z1ffi) 2Ja't=t/6)
bo() Atrr'$o(xq)
og 3to
(M) 7+"
2. Identfy Yolumes, in
Approach 3

A2+ A4

ezJ e
wlLL NoT
e2,f.2 \/lr+ouT vE.( LNCl
Qoeors AUD excEsslu
PLANNING Apptications: Example 2
Iane'configuraticjn and design hour volumes (with
left turn lanes on a1l approaches) are shown on the
calculation form for a major new suburban
intersection. The fotlowing information is needed.
1. The wtlole intersection level of service if
an eight phase signal operation is used.
2. Ckunge i level of service if an additional
through lane is added to Approaches 3 and 4, and
a right turn lane to Approaches 1 ad 2.
Step 1. Identify Lane Geometry. The assumed
Iane configuration is shoun on the form.
Step 2. identfy.Traffic VolurBs. Design hour
volunes are shown on tle font.
Step 3. Identify Phasing. An eight phase
signal is planned, with left turn arrows for each
direction. The left turns are allowed only on the
anow (in a. protected mode).
Steo 4. Left Turn Check. Each left turn
Therefore, the left
turn check is not needed.
Step 5. Assign Lane Volume. Left turns ere
assi!red to left tu:o lanes and though plus right
turn volumes are distr'ibuted equally to the
ranaining lanes.
Step 6. Cfitical Volumes. Using Step 3, ihe
ptrase sequenie which rcst likely will appear under
the volrnes of Step 5 is: 8281, AZB1 ,
4142, 8483,
A483, and 43A4. For.exarqrle, since left turn voltne
from Approach 2 (81) is greater than left turn
volume from Approach 1 (82), Bl will continue
receiving & gr'een a.rrow after 82 has been
Table 6. Level of Service Ranges
PLANNING Applications (in vph)
Maximum Sum of Critical Volumes
1 350
1 140
I 100
------r--not aPPl icable--
(in pch)
terminated. Thus, 4281. is selected as the most
rather than 4182.
Using the most probable phase sequence, the
plus right turn volume which moves during
the concurrent display of a left anzow is subtracted
frpm t,tre total through ptus right turn volume and
the remaining volume is carried over to the next
prase. Th-ls calculation is listed irr Step 6b on the
Stp 7. Sum,of Critical Voh.nes. The
critical lane vohmes for all phases is 120 + 1@ +
736 + 2O0 + 60 + 34O, or 1610 vph.
Step 8. Intersection Level of
I-evel of Serrice E- (1375
for eight phase eontrol.
leerefore, ttre iritersection witl not-operate without
rmacceptable delays.
Step 9. Recalculat. Return to Step 1 and
recalculate to determine the effects of adding a
tbrough lane on Approaches 3 and 4, and a right turn
lane on Aprooches 1 and 2.
Critical Movement Analysis
of Two Three Four or
Service Phase Phase more Phases
U r rv ers
Movement Analysis:
Calculation Form
Aso |4lpr-r.
DeSign Hour
4'.3o -St3 p.rh.
Example 2
PfOblem StAteme1
Euo H.Nae rN LS
\or,.q J\DDIINAL
Ab RT LA}.]Es
Step 4. Lett Turn Check
a. Number of
change intervals
per hour
b. Left turn capacity
on change interval.
in vph
c. G/C
d. Opposing volume
in vph
e. Left turn
capacit-v on
green. in vph
f. Left turn
capacity in vph
g. Left turn volume
in vph
h. ls volume ) capac-
iry (s
Step I. IdentJy Lne Geometry
Step 5. Assgn Lane Volumes,
n vph
Step 8. Intersecton Level oJ
(compare Step 7 with Table.)
Step 9. Recalculate
Geometric Change
Signal Change
Volume Change
Step 6b. Volume AdjustmentJor
Mukhase Sgal Overlp
Possible Volume Adjusted
Probable Critical Carryover Critical
Phase Volume to next Volume
in vph phase in vph
tzc(B) zorzo= 6($1
314-rbo=\?4LA) 16o/\
orLllUrL) 5++
2 \4\
boW) 7,
b&z) Z'*6o,7.0?@4)
or- blLAA\
2. Identity Volumes, in vph
Approach 3
l\dl eJl
F- n
nr =
ta =
n =
Step 7. Sum of Crtcol Volumes
AzBtor A*03
Step 3. IdentJ

I =]
l I
A1 +tA3f
A2+, A4

ezJ e
Step 6. Crtcl Vt
(two phase sgnal)
(Example 2)
denotes a recalculation.
Step 1(R). Identify Lane Geometry. The new
1are gecrnetry
be analyzed is shoc,n on the form.
Step 2(R . Identify Votumes. Design hour
volunes ae sLovm on the form.
Step 3(R). Identify Phasing. An eight phase
signaf isssumed, with left turn arrows for each
directiou. lft turns are allowed only on the arruw
(in a protected rnode):
Step 4(R). Left Turn Check. Ea.ch left turn
movsnent ha.s a protected phase. Therefore, the left
turn check is not needed.
Step 5(R). Assign Lee Volwes. lft turns are
assigned to left turn lanes and right turns are
assigned to exclusive right turn 1anes, on
Approaches 1 and 2. Remaining volumes are
distributed eq:aIly to the remaining lanes.
Step 6(R). Cfitic.i Vo1lnls. Using Step 3, the
phase sequence which most likely will appear under
volunes of Step 5 is; B2Bl
B1A2 ,
, A3B4 ,
and 4344. For example, since the left turn vohne
from Approach 2 (81) is greater than l-eft turn
volume from Approach 1 (BZ), 81 will continue
receiving a green arrow after 82 has been
terminated. Thus, A2B1 is selected as the most
p:rotrable phase, rather than 4182.
Usiag the nnst prcbabte phase sequence, the.
throqgh'plus rieht tu::n vol.rp (except where right
turns have an e><clusive tane) vhich roves durilg a
arro is sribtt:acted frm the total through plus
right turn volure and the reraining volur is camied
over to the next phase. Note that exclusive riebt
able 6. Level of Service Banges
PLANNING Appications (in vph)
Maximum Sum of Critical Volumes
Two Three Four or
Phase Phase more Phases
Servi ce
855 900 825
1 100
t37 5
1050 1000
1200 1140
1350 L275
1500 74?5
---------not app l i cabl e--
0PERATIONS AND DESIGN Applications (in pch)
tunr laes are not icluded in the critical volrre
alalysiswtren right turns on ned ae pernritted wless
the analyst considrs this lane to be critical. In
this exanple, right turns on red ae pe:mitted.
Step 7(R). Sum of Citical Volwes. The stm of
critical volrmes for all phases is 120 + L@ + 577 +
200 + 60 + 2L7, or 1334 rph.
Step 8(R). Intersection Level of Service.
Using Table 6 1334 vph fa.lts trithin the ra^uge of
L226 t 1375, foi Level of Service E for eight phase
Step 9(R). Recalculate. Recalculations could
be nade to determine the improvement in leve1 of
service.frm other geornetric
or signal changes, such
as addition of double left turn ladres.
Critical Movement Analysis
ACRP Report 40
Airport Curbside and Terminal Area Roadway Operations
Appendix G
Vehicles queuing to drop off passengers at airport terminal buildings are a good
example of a queuing system in general. The vehicles arrive at the terminal area at a
certain rate, wait to secure a desired drop off slot (if other vehicles occupy those
spaces), drop off passengers, and then leave. Queuing theory provides
mathematical approximations of such a process to predict the length of queues
formed and the time the vehicles (or other entities) spend in the system.
Figure G-1

A queuing system is usually divided into three components: (1) the arriving entities
or vehicles in this application (sometimes referred to as the "calling population"), (2)
the service facility or server, and (3) the queue. In Figure G-1, the curbside spaces in
front of the terminal represent the service facility (server), vehicles 1 through 6 are
vehicles stopped at the curbside and vehicles 7, 8, and 9 (approaching the terminal)
represent the queue.
The capacity of such a system is influenced by the rate at which vehicles arrive, the
order in which they are served, and how quickly they are served. In formal queuing
theory, the arrival rate is modeled by assuming the vehicles arrival pattern follows
a specified probability distribution. The order in which the vehicles are served is
referred to as the queue discipline. For example, if drivers secure slots strictly in the
order in which they arrive, the queue discipline is referred to as first-in-first-out.
The service rate is a function of the capability of the server. In the example above,
the curbside space is the server. The service rate is the average time it takes
passengers to disembark, their baggage to be offloaded from the vehicle, and the
vehicle to depart from the curbside space. The time spent by motorists waiting to
secure a drop-off space is not included. The service rate can be modeled either as a
constant value or based on an assumed probability distribution.
The performance of the whole system is measured in terms of the length of queues
formed and the time spent in the queue. In the example above, the level of service of
the system will be influenced by the number of vehicles dropping off passengers in
the lanes adjacent to the curbside lane, and how long the queues in those lanes last.
Systems with shorter queues and queues that last for short durations represent a
better level of performance and thus are desirable.
Mathematical equations of queuing systems can be solved either analytically or by
developing simulation models. Solutions to analytical models are limited by the
assumptions made about the arrival rate, service rate, probability distributions,
nature of the calling population, and the assumption of steady-state conditions.
Analytical models can provide a fairly accurate representation of a queuing system,
especially for planning purposes. However, for detailed and complex systems
(e.g., where movements of individual vehicles at the curbside need to be captured),
simulation models can provide a more accurate representation. The downside of
most simulation models is the large amount of input data and extensive run times
required compared to analytical models. The QATAR model presented below is a
simple analytical queuing model with carefully selected assumptions of arrival and
service rates of vehicles at airport curbsides.
Queuing Model Structure
The basic assumptions used in developing the QATAR curbside queuing model are
presented below. Several excellent texts exist on queuing theory. For a primer,
readers can refer to Operations Research (Hillier and Lieberman) and Applications of
Queue Theory (Newell). (Please refer to the references at the end of this appendix for
full citations.) The field of queuing theory is well developed with standardized
terminology. The following paragraphs introduce the standard queuing theory
terminology and the assumptions used in constructing the model.
A queuing system consists of a facility providing some form of service to a defined
population. The key values used to define a queuing system are the arrival rate,
service time, number of servers, system capacity, calling population, and queue
discipline. The time between arrivals (inter-arrival time or arrival rate) of members
into the queuing system is modeled as a probability distribution.
The roadway in front of the airport terminal represents the service facility. It is
modeled as a multiserver facility, with each curbside space considered a server. The
system capacity is assumed to be infinite. The size of the population can be either
finite or infinite, but for analytical models, it is usually defined as infinite because of
the difficulty of deriving analytical solutions for finite systems. The queue discipline
is specified as first-in-first-out.
Model Equations
The variables below are the key inputs into any basic queuing model (Hillier and
s - Number of servers in the service facility

- Mean arrival rate of customers
- Mean service rate of the overall system
The output variables of interest from the model are:
- Number of customers in the queue
L - Number of customers in the queuing system (customers in the queue and the customers
being served)
- Expected waiting time in the queue
W - Expected waiting time in the queuing system
- Probability that exactly "n" customers are in the queuing system

It should be noted that queuing models are derived assuming steady-state conditions.
For example, at some airports, there are relatively few early morning flights and,
consequently, few vehicles driving through the terminal curbside area. The system
is in a transient state and queues form and disappear quickly or sporadically. As
more flights begin to depart (or arrive), there is a more steady flow of vehicles in
and out of the terminal area and the condition during those times is more analogous
to a steady-statecondition.
Another restriction for queuing models is that the utilization factor () is less than 1.
Rho is defined as = /(s*). The terms !, s, and have the same meaning as defined
above subscripts have been dropped for convenience. In addition, it should be
noted that, for any model, if the mean arrival rate () is greater than the mean service
rate (), the queue would grow indefinitely.
It is well documented in operations research literature, and commonly assumed in
transportation applications that customers randomly arriving at a service facility
have an arrival pattern similar to a Poisson distribution process. The assumption of
a Poisson arrival process yields an exponential inter-arrival time distribution.
Detailed derivations are provided on pages 386 through 391 of Hillier and
Liebermans text. Assuming an exponential service rate for an airport terminal
curbside is realistic because, although drop-off and pickup times vary close to a
mean, in some instances passengers take a long time to disembark, either because of
a large party size, large amount of luggage, or other reasons.
Based on the above, a multiserver queuing system with a Poisson arrival process, a
mean service rate that follows an exponential probability distribution, and an
infinite calling population are assumed. If the queue discipline is first-in-first-out,
the following analytical results for the basic outputs can be derived. Please refer to
Hillier and Lieberman's Operations Research text for a step-by-step derivation of the
= [P
*] / [s!(1-)
L = L
+ (!/)
= L
W = W
+ (1/)
= [(!/)
* P
/n!] if 0 ! n ! s
= [(!/)
* P
if n " s

QATAR Model Inputs
The model is set up as a series of 10 zones. Each zone represents a designated area at
the airport terminal curbside. To analyze each zone, the model requires inputs to
estimate the equivalent number of servers, information on the characteristics of
approaching traffic, and the curbside behavior of drivers. The inputs to the model are:
Length of the zone
Number of lanes in the zone
Dimensions of each vehicle type
Number of vehicles approaching the zone in an hour (arrival rate)
Vehicle mix of approaching vehicles (taxicabs, buses, etc)
Estimate of the propensity of drivers to double park (the input in the model
is number of vehicles in first lane when next car uses second lane, and
number of vehicles in second lane when next car uses third lane).
Number of Equivalent Servers per Zone
The available curbside length divided by the average vehicle stall length provides an
estimate of the number of equivalent servers in each lane within a zone. The
number of equivalent servers multiplied by the number of available lanes provides
an estimate of the total number of equivalent servers per zone. Because drivers may
choose to park in lanes not intended for loading or unloading, the calculation of
equivalent servers uses the total number of lanes on the roadway. The formulas are
shown in Equations 1 and 2 below.

Equivalent Parking Spaces = (Number of Lanes * Length of zone)
Weighted Vehicle Length


Weighted Vehicle Length = (Parking Length of Vehicle Type
* Volume of Vehicle Type
Volume of Vehicle Type

The number of vehicles arriving at the zone per hour is the sum of the volume of all vehicle
types approaching the zone, as shown in Equation 3 below.

The service rate is computed as the weighted dwell time, as shown in Equation 4 below.
QATAR does allow the modeling of individual vehicle types. In such a situation, the service
rate is equal to the dwell time assumed for the specific vehicle type.

Vehicle Arrival Rate = #
Volume of Vehicle Type

Service Rate = #
(Dwell Time of Vehicle Type
* Volume of Vehicle Type
Volume of Vehicle Type

The utilization factor is determined by the formula shown in Equation 5 below.

The utilization ratio is determined by the formula shown in Equation 6 below.

It should be noted that a utilization factor greater than 1 will result in an error
message. In such a situation the number of vehicle attempting to load and/ or
unload exceeds the number of servers in a zone (i.e., every lane is fully occupied by
vehicles attempting to load and/ or unload).
Using the results from the above equations, it is possible to then estimate the
probability of having N vehicles in the system. In this model, probabilities are
computed for N going from 0 vehicles to 170 vehicles. The formula for computing
the probabilities is shown in the Model Equations section above. A cumulative sum
of the probabilities from zero generates a cumulative density function (CDF). The
percentile from the CDF is an estimate of the maximum number of vehicles in
the system 95% of the time. The number of vehicles at the 95
percentile is the value
used when determining the level-of-service on a curbside. The number of vehicles
in the queue is the difference between the number of vehicles in the system and the
number of equivalent servers.
The outputs from the model provide estimates of the level of parking congestion at
the curbside and the effects of congestion on the outer through lane (the lane(s)
farthest from the terminal building).
Parking activity in each lane is estimated based on the curbside utilization ratio. The
utilization ratio is calculated by comparing the total length of vehicles assumed to be
parked within a zone simultaneously (based on the 95
percentile from the CDF for
that zone) with the curbside length available for parking in that zone. The model
then uses two inputs to determine the tendency of drivers to double and triple park
(if the zone has only three total lanes, the model assumes that parking only occurs in
the first and second lanes).
Utilization Factor = Arrival Rate________
Service Rate * Number of Servers
Utilization Ratio = Arrival Rate
Service Rate
The user inputs are defined as TLane2, the proportion of the first lane that is filled
before drivers start to park in the second lane, and TLane3, the proportion of the
second lane that is filled before drivers start to park in the third lane. The suggested
default value for both inputs is 80%, which means that drivers park in the first lane
until 80% of the first lane is occupied and that drivers will park in the third lane
once 80% of the second lane is occupied. These values are based on observations at
multiple airports with multiple attraction points (e.g., doors, skycap positions)
within one curbside zone.
For curbside zones with three parking lanes (i.e., zones with four or more total
lanes), the proportion of lanes 1, 2, and 3 used for parking (P 1, P2, and P3) is
calculated as follows:
For v/c ! T
= v/c
For T
< v/c ! (1 + T
), and while P
! 1.0,
= T
+ (v/c - T
= (v/c - T
For T
< v/c ! (1 + T
) , and while P
> 1.0,
= 1
= (v/c 1)
For v/c > 1 + T
, and while P
! 1.0,
= 1
= (v/c 1) + (v/c (1 + T
= (v/c (1 + T
For v/c > 1 + T
, and while P
> 1.0,
= 1
= 1
= v/c - 2

For curbside zones with two parking lanes (i.e., zones with three total lanes), P 1 and
P2 are calculated as follows:
For v/c ! T
= v/c
For v/c > T
, and while P
! 1.0,
= T
+ (v/c - T
= (v/c - T
For v/c > T
, and while P
> 1.0,
= 1
= (v/c 1)

The through-lane capacity of an airport curbside roadway is affected by curbside
activity (vehicles stopping to load or unload passengers). As the curbside lanes
become more congested, double and potentially triple parking will block the
roadway through lanes. These complex, nonlinear interactions can be described by
the curves shown on Figure 5-2. It should be noted that roadway capacity decreases
continuously as curbside utilization increases. The decrease is more prominent
when curbside activity reaches a level at which additional lanes are blocked, which
justifies the nonuniform slope of the curves.
The curves shown in Figure 5-2 were developed using a combination of
microsimulation testing of hypothetical airport curbsides and actual field
observation. A VISSIM model was developed to determine the curbside volume
stopping in the pickup and dropoff lanes, which corresponds to various curbside
utilization levels. By holding that level of curbside activity constant and increasing
through-traffic volumes during multiple simulation tests, a progressive collapse of
traffic flow was observed, and a queue formed upstream of the curbside section.
When the queue became persistent or continuously increasing, the roadway section
was said to have reached capacity.
The curves were validated using field data collected at Washington Dulles,
San Francisco, and Oakland international airports. The data were difficult to obtain
as the only observable time when the roadway reaches capacity is when a persistent
queue exists upstream of the curbside section. However, in such situations, the
roadway capacity was assumed to be the throughput on the roadway, measurable
by standard industry traffic counting techniques.
Hillier, F. S. and Lieberman, G. J. Operations Research. Holden-Day Inc,
San Francisco, 1974.
Newell, G. F. Applications of Queue Theory, Chapman and Hall Ltd., London, 1971.
Trani, A. A., Class Notes: Principles of Queuing Theory, Civil Engineering Department,
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University,
http:/ / courses/ cee3604/ cee3604_pub/ queueing_theory.pdf, 1999.

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