Kimber, R.M., McDonald, M. and Hounsell, N.B.
Passenger car units in saturation flows: concept, definition, derivation
Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, 19, (1), . (doi:10.1016/0191-2615(85)90028-1).
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Passenger car units (pcus) are traditionally used to represent the effects of changes in traffic composition (the mix of cars, goods vehicles, buses, ad so on) on the saturation flows at traffic signal junctions. This paper describes in the results obtained by the two main methods of derivation of pcu values, regression analysis of asynchronous vehicles counts (asynchronous regression) and headway ratio methods, when applied to data from two large public road studies. The relationship between the various methods of derivation used is investigated. Regression analysis of synchronous vehicle counts, Webster's method, and headway ratio methods are seen to agree, but asynchronous regression necessarily gives lower results so long as there is variability in the headways of vehicles of a given class (e.g. in car-to-car headways). Alternative method of regression analysis of asynchronous counts is investigated but found to be biased, although les so than the existing method. Conventional asynchronous regression gives unbiased saturation flow estimates if unbiased prior pcu values are used. The effects of assumed pcu values on signal settings and consequent delays in subsaturation conditions are examined. Value corresponding to delay-minimising settings are close to the ratio of the mean headways of the appropriate vehicle classes.
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