Pedestrian behavior at bottlenecks

This article discusses experimental findings of microscopic pedestrian behavior in case of bottlenecks. Results for both a narrow bottleneck and a wide bottleneck are discussed and compared to the results of an experiment without a bottleneck. It is shown how pedestrians inside bottlenecks effectively form layers or trails, the distance between which is approximately 45 cm. This is less than the effective width of a single pedestrian, which is around 55 cm. The layers are thus overlapping, a phenomenon which is referred to as the “zipper” effect. The pedestrians within these layers follow each other at 1.3 seconds, irrespective of the considered experiment. For the narrow bottleneck case (width of one meter) two layers are formed; for the wide bottleneck case (width of two meters), four or five layers are formed, although the life span of these layers is rather small.
Serge P. Hoogendoorn and W. Daamen
Reference #:
doi: 10.1287/trsc.1040.0102
Date Published:
May 2005
Publisher Email: unknown
Netherlands Location: unknown
Country (exc. NZ): 

About Us

Living Streets Aotearoa is the New Zealand organisation for people on foot, promoting walking-friendly communities. We are a nationwide organisation with local branches and affiliates throughout New Zealand.

We want more people walking and enjoying public spaces be they young or old, fast or slow, whether walking, sitting, commuting, shopping, between appointments, or out on the streets for exercise, for leisure or for pleasure.

JOIN US and help with our campaigns