Context sensitive multimodal road planning : a case study in Cape Town, South Africa

Edward Beukes, Marianne Vanderschuren, M.J.W.A. Vanderschuren, M.H.P. Zuidgeest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
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Road planning practice relies almost exclusively on parameters related to traffic factors, such as private vehicle speeds and volumes. In many developing countries the requirements for public transport and non-motorised transport are not explicitly integrated into the planning process, despite the fact that these form the primary mode of transport for the majority of the population. This affects the mobility opportunities for these sectors of the population and contributes to poor road safety, especially with regards to pedestrians. The research outlined in the paper posits that, in order to assess the usage and needs of the road holistically, other factors related to the adjacent land uses, socio-economic characteristics of the population the road serves, and the environmental context within which the road is located, factors heavily in how the road is used and should, therefore, be considered within the planning process. The paper describes a methodology to include these factors in the planning of roads. The method attempts to prioritise amongst the five primary road based modes (public transport, car, freight, walking and cycling) based upon a combination of traffic and non-traffic factors. The method employed uses a geographic information system (GIS) based spatial multiple criteria evaluation (SMCE) model with inputs from widely available data sources such as census, household travel surveys, land use and environmental data to arrive at solutions for modal priorities. A case study is conducted along an arterial route in Cape Town, South Africa, providing infrastructure planning recommendations and audit possibilities for the future. Since weighting is an important driver in the SMCE process, a sensitivity analysis is conducted to investigate the effect of alternative weighting schemes on the outputs from the method.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)452-460
JournalJournal of transport geography
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • METIS-284390
  • Spatial multiple criteria evaluation
  • Road planning
  • GIS-T
  • Context sensitive design
  • IR-101448
  • Multimodal


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