【FOCUS】Focus on Urban Traffic Problems, Alleviate Traffic Congestion
With rapid economic growth, urbanization has accelerated. The growth of transportation demand is driven by the process of urbanization. At the same time, the raising number of motor vehicles in large cities makes the road in cities with heavier load, traffic congestion, noises and so on. SDG9 refers to develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and trans-border infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all. This week’s IN FOCUS features five innovative urban solutions to transportation problems.
Intelligent Transport System
Moscow is the capital city of Russian Federation with a population of 12.5 million citizens. Most places of employment are concentrated in the city center, within the 3d Ring Road, while most citizens live near or further towards Moscow Automobile Ring Road. This causes a large daily migration 77% of them are daily commuters.
The Intelligent Transport System(ITS) allows for monitoring and regulating traffic, predicting traffic situations, and balancing road capacity with actual traffic flows. The system consists of 2048 CCTVs and 1402 still cameras installed at various places throughout the city. The video surveillance cameras are connected to a central control and monitoring room at the Moscow Traffic Management Centre, where a large digital screen displays real-time images of traffic movements and information on road conditions. Besides improving traffic regulation, to help improve the environmental impact and to reduce polluting emissions, only trucks conforming to the emission standard Euro-3 or higher are allowed to enter Moscow’s downtown. More than 900 road cameras monitor truck traffic on a daily basis.
Marketplace for Mobility
As one of the largest logistic hubs in the world, Rotterdam is facing serious traffic congestion problems, especially during rush hours. Reducing car traffic at peak times has become a priority for the municipal government.
To improve accessibility in the Rotterdam Region, the Marketplace for Mobility brings together supply and demand at one place and helps to create a larger range of mobility alternatives. The marketplace brings together a range of different ‘peak traffic avoidance services’ to encourage commuters to leave their cars at home. The services can include shuttle buses, traffic information apps and fitness schemes, promoting walking or cycling instead of driving. The city was particularly in favour of services that address issues besides accessibility and that improve quality of life for citizens.
Oslo’s Traffic Agent app
Oslo is keen for its 44,000 primary school children to walk or cycle to school. Yet parents were increasingly concerned about the speed of traffic and the safety of crossings. Many were asking repeatedly for safety improvements or choosing to drive their children to school. The city decided a comprehensive review of traffic security for children was needed so that it could develop a plan to make streets safer and walking to school more popular.
The Traffic Agent is a mobile app to determine road maintenance needs. It targets primary school children, who are some of the most active walkers in Oslo. Using a ‘gamification’ approach, children can report dangerous spots or problem areas on their way to and from school. This data is fed into the Agency for Urban Environment’s traffic and technology section, which uses it to prioritise road maintenance needs for the next year’s budget. The app allows children to input anonymously, although data can be filtered by class, school and district. It uses a voice and animations to guide them through the process. The data can be used in class to discuss the safest route to school.
Pop-up bike lanes
During the pandemic, the demand for individual mobility options changed dramatically in Berlin. While overall traffic declined noticeably, an ever-growing number of Berliners decided to choose bicycles as their preferred mode of transport – allowing an active and contact-free way to travel.
The city of Berlin had been planning and conducting the rollout of dozens of kilometers of bicycle infrastructure before the COVID-19 outbreak. Nevertheless – with the strict distance requirements that were put in force, to reduce the risk of infection, with a view to the rising number of cyclists, and to relieve congestion on streets and public transport – an urgent need for quick improvements arose. This is why the Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection – in close collaboration with Berlin’s boroughs – took immediate action and set up “pop-up bike lanes” (or: temporary cycling infrastructure) in a number of corridors that promise fast and considerable benefits for cyclists.
Vision Zero Boston
Boston, United States
Between 2010 - 2014, 79 people were killed in a motor vehicle, bicycle, or pedestrian crash on Boston roads. To identify high crash areas, the City of Boston’s Department of Innovation and Technology created crash cluster maps for each mode of transportation (pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists). Through this crowdsourced mapping system, citizens can report safety concerns in real time to the city administration. The objective is not only to help local government identify problem areas in the city, but to create civic engagement for the strategy and awareness for the road safety issue. Six months after the map was launched, more than 11,000 citizen safety concerns had been registered on the platform, helping to identify new safety priority zones. Common safety concerns reported by citizens include obstructed views or chronic speeding. Vision Zero Boston prioritizes safety and takes a people-first approach to transportation and community building with an aim to make the city more walkable, bikeable, transit friendly and safe for drivers.
Originally published on use: urban sustainability exchange. use is an open knowledge exchange platform dedicated to sustainable city making.
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