Chart of the Day: Time and Space Required for Movement of Modes

Anyone who’s led a tour probably knows the rule: the bigger the group, the slower you go. This is true for bicycling or walking, that it will generally take more time to cover the distances, to get through the intersections.

While not technically a chart, this animation from a German logistics company called PTV has some chart-like qualities, and illustrates well the relationship between transportation mode, complexity, space and time.

I don’t know the specifics of this model, but the basic equation is that the number of individual agents, where each agent is assigned individual qualities, things like reaction time or acceleration rates. Then you let them react to each other, and you can model a traffic environment.

It turns out that cars require a lot of space! Combined that with the sheer number of vehicles, and you get a sense for why [cars + density] = congestion. is a non-profit and is volunteer run. We rely on your support to keep the servers running. If you value what you read, please consider becoming a member.


One Response to Chart of the Day: Time and Space Required for Movement of Modes

  1. Alex Cecchini
    Alex Cecchini August 23, 2016 at 12:16 pm #

    This is pretty cool and a good way to put a little more oomf to the much-used still-shots of space requirements.

    I think it’s fair to criticize the tram and bus ones since you usually don’t run transit with 5 second headways like that. In practice, 200 people wanting to hop on a bus will need to wait 5-15 minutes between each one. Minor point, and less applicable the higher the capacity of transit (3 car LRT could easily board all 200 at once, etc).

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