A comparative study of flows through funnel-shaped bottlenecks placed in the middle and corner

K E Boyce, Hossein Tavana, Kayvan Aghabayk

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Abstract

Upon exiting buildings, theatres, and stadiums, which house a great number of people, egress points can act as bottlenecks, resulting in crowded exits and decreased flows. Most studies investigating flow have been conducted in either narrow bottlenecks (doors) or funnel shape bottlenecks, with the latter investigating bottlenecks placed in the middle of the walkway. This study investigates, for the first time, crowd flow through funnel-shaped bottlenecks placed in the corner of the walkway and makes comparisons with similar bottlenecks of the same length, entrance and exit width placed in the middle of the walkway. The entry width and exit width of the bottlenecks were 3 m and 1 m respectively, with lengths varying from 1 m to 4 m; they continued into a 10 m corridor. Ninety-four participants of various ages were observed moving through each of the configurations. The results indicated that using funnel-shaped bottlenecks in the middle of the walkway increased the flow rate significantly compared to the corner in bottlenecks with 2 m and 3 m lengths. This is contrary to what some other researchers have found for narrow bottlenecks placed in the middle and corner of a wall, although it is recognised that the configuration of funnel-shaped bottlenecks makes the comparison more complex and further work is required in this area. Notwithstanding these results are considered valuable for consideration when designing egress points and corridors in complex buildings such as metro and train stations.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalCollective Dynamics
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • funnel shape bottleneck
  • exit position
  • exit configuration
  • crowd flow

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