During German holidays a lot of shops in Germany are closed and our Eastern neighbors will travel on a large-scale to visit the Dutch cities in the border region. In the fall of 2016, the municipality of Venlo and Technolution have successfully collaborated towards a solution for traffic flow management for visitors to Venlo. Evaluation showed that the delays and queues have significantly decreased.
Quality of life in the town center
The queues that occurred at the entrance of parking facilities during German holidays often caused traffic jams and delays. This affected the quality of life in the town center of Venlo. The visitor’s experience was also affected in such a way that a future visit was often not enticing. One of the reasons that Venlo wanted to deploy dynamic traffic management at a strategic level was to limit the negative effects of this peak traffic to a minimum.
Vision, mission and resources
Technolution has won the bid for supplying a Network Management System in combination with the travel time measuring system. Technolution offers her own traffic management system: MobiMaestro.
During working sessions we have assessed with the municipality of Venlo how to deal with traffic flows in different scenarios. This has resulted in a so-called control approach custom-made for Venlo. This method was implemented, evaluated and adjusted during German holidays. During the exercising of the control approach, we have used an increase of the inflow with traffic lights at the edge of the center and the implementation of text vehicles in order to direct the traffic along the routes with the best traffic flow. In addition, in order to efficiently use the scarce parking capacity during these peaks, the current occupancy rate of the available parking locations is directly involved in the control approach scenarios in MobiMaestro.
The implementation has resulted in a better regulated inflow of German visitors in Venlo. As a result, the so-called gridlock in the town center of Venlo was avoided, limiting traffic jams to a minimum. The first estimate based on the available measured data shows that the queues and delays are reduced by 15% to 20%. A deeper analysis required more data of similar German holidays.
The first experience with MobiMaestro does provide incentive to continue with the actions regarding traffic flow. City council member Stephan Satijn: “Last year we have done tests during busy German holidays with regulating the amount of traffic on the three access roads to the town center. MobiMaestro STATS and the Bluetooth travel time system offer us insight in current and historical traffic data with which we can control traffic. Based on the first results, the scenarios are modified and extended, therefore not only the inflow but also the outflow can be regulated better during busy days. In addition, we also want to improve the traffic flow on the main roads in the town center during the normal traffic rush hour. MobiMaestro NMS not only enables us to direct, but is also our tool for better Traffic signal management and maintenance”.