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Case studies

Predicting roadwork impact for better planning coordination

The prediction of future intensity is a major challenge and we want to predict what will happen to traffic across the city after a road closure or traffic accident, for example, on a key traffic route.

It is obvious that any construction activity on the transport infrastructure in the city has a major impact on transport and we can say that it has a significant impact on the city’s functioning traffic in the city and the movement of its inhabitants.

Road construction activities on the roads can be planned in advance because they are large investment projects. And if more infrastructure managers work together to rebuild roads, the transport impacts can be reduced.

Of course, we cannot avoid exceptional transport situations, such as narrowing the road, closure in the event of accidents or natural disasters. But some events can be simulated in advance (e.g. flood or bridge closure) to find out the real or simulated (predicted or estimated) impact on transport in the city or its part.

Our goal is to improve traffic in the city and develop tools that model uncommon transport situations. The web application will let you see the impact of these traffic constraints on the traffic intensity. The application predicts the traffic intensity at a specific day and hour based on the transport model of the city (Pilsen) and proposed traffic closures.

For example, if the city wants to reconstruct some road and in the surroundings, there are planned another road measures, in the developed application you can visualize impacts of all planned measures on surrounding traffic and decide if postpone reconstruction term. Policy-makers can try different variants of traffic restrictions and make a good decision.
For citizens, the developed application can help them when they travel around the traffic measure and look for a better option of commuting. The predicted visualization of the traffic intensity at a specific day and hour shows the citizens the best way of transport.

Challenges encountered:

The pilot project in 2016 contained two closures – the closure on Mikulášská Street and narrowing of the road on Karlovy Vary street. Map visualization of the transport model allowed the user to move the map section with selected traffic constraints and to compare the changes in traffic intensity in the easiest way possible.

In 2017, a map project visualizing the traffic intensities in the city area was born. It resulted in web visualization of the impacts of 10 large construction works on traffic intensities in Pilsen. The map application called Traffic Modeler is located at: https://intenzitadopravy.plzen.eu/

Traffic Modeller in Pilsen
Example of inserting a traffic restriction into the Traffic Modeller application

Challenges:
– The big one is experimenting with traffic constraints;
– Ability to recalculate the traffic model according to new roadworks and traffic events in a short time;
– Better coordination between investors when planning construction works, mainly by reconnecting roads;
– Creating a list of planned closures (implementation of PUMP actions) and to keep this list up to date. (PUMP is the Sustainable Mobility Plan of City of Pilsen);
– Using Superdio App (city application with information about planned investment actions in traffic) as a source to view the list of closures. Implementing this source as a new module into Traffic Modeller app.

 

Stakeholders:

  • Plan4all association (which brings together organizations working to develop the results of EU research projects)
  • ZČU: Katedra geomatiky – University of West Bohemia: Department of Geomatics
  • IS-practice
  • HSRS s r.o.
  • SITMP – Management of Information technologies of City of Pilsen
    SVSMP – Organization for the management and maintenance of the publicly accessible property of the city
  • UKRMP – The Urban Planning and Development Institute of the City of Pilsen
  • OD MMP – Traffic department of the City of Pilsen
  • UI MPP – Investmant Department of the City of Plsen
  • SUPERDIO – SUPER-Traffic-engeneering-measures association
  • EDIP s r.o.
  • INNOCONNECT s r.o.

Actions steps:

  • Negotiating with the SVSMP to set up cooperation;
  • Functional analysis to build the traffic prediction App;
  • Connection traffic prediction App with city application SUPERDIO;
  • Adding new datasets that support the policy problem: data from traffic detectors.

Lessons learned:

  • It is very difficult to get information about closures in advance – it is necessary to set up organizational arrangements for obtaining this information (e.g. start of the action).
  • Need verification of the impacts of the measures already implemented before starting.
  • Coordination among investors in the reconstruction of roads is possible, as documented this action in 2018, when we managed to bring together three investors: the city of Pilsen, Vodárna Plzeň (water company) and Innogy company, which did the exchange of gas pipeline.
    https://www.plzen.eu/obcan/aktuality/aktuality-z-mesta/konci-uzavirka-opravovane-sedlackovy-ulice-v-centru-vraci-se-tam-doprava.aspx   (only in Czech)

Outcome impact:

Planning and visualization of the impact of traffic closures and roadworks

     – The map application will visualize traffic volumes for each hour and day based on the newly created   traffic model (the darker, the higher volume).

  • Approved closures will be in the map, and the traffic volumes will be recalculated online based on the time limits set and the date selected.
  • The application will allow online simulation of traffic measures impact on traffic volumes for the selected time:
    – – by canceling the line segment (= closing the road)
    – – by adding a new line segment (= building a new road)
    – – by changing the capacity of the line segment (= partial closing of the road)
    – – by entering multiple restrictions at a time
  • The regularly updated list of traffic measures itself is also part of the application.
  • The users will be transport engineers, the city transport department, the SVS (organization for the management and maintenance of the publicly accessible property of the city) and the public (without the possibility of simulation and experimentation).
  • The decision maker can then decide, based on the results of the simulation and impact on traffic, to approve the closure/roadwork or experiment with a shift in time or a merger with another action.
  • The outcome of the experiment can also be saved and presented as an alternative solution to the city or public.
  • The result will be the minimisation of impact on the public, the saving of funds in the coordination of transport structures or the meaningful planning of the development of the city’s transport infrastructure.
  • The presentation of long-planned closures/roadworks will help in planning its activities both to the public and to companies.

Visualisations

https://intenzitadopravy.plzen.eu/


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