Optimizing the Layout of the Town of Davidson Farmers’ Market
The aim of this project is to optimize the layout of vendor booths at the Davidson Farmers’ Market to reduce congestion of pedestrian traffic and increase connectedness between the two parking lots of vendor booths. The Davidson Farmers’ Market, open Saturday mornings in the spring and summer months and every other week in colder weather, offers a wide variety of local goods and produce to the Davidson community. Unfortunately, the market has high amounts of pedestrian congestion that can negatively impact visitors’ experiences, and the market can feel fractionated to vendors in either lot. To address this problem, we first collected data on pedestrian traffic through the market to calculate distributions of visit times and queue lengths at booths. We then used these data to inform various models of the market, which employed techniques such as Monte Carlo simulations, queueing theory, and agent-based modeling. We evaluated the pedestrian congestion levels resulting from different booth layouts and modeling techniques, and drew final conclusions based on which market layouts fit the necessary space constraints. While our modeling process made a number of simplifying assumptions, we intentionally designed our models such that they would not obscure important traffic factors.