Redesigning the ring road of Leeuwarden

We used DFS TrafficSurvey for our analysis of a large traffic network. We appreciated the possibility of combining footage from several drones into one study as this is not usually achievable with traditional methods.

-Tim Adema, Head of Mobility, Roelofs
1280px Leeuwarden Netherlands panoramio 23 kopie


The city council of Leeuwarden, Netherlands, was concerned about the traffic flow on the local arterial road – the city beltway.  For this reason, they asked our partner Roelofs to conduct a traffic study of the city ring and its problematic areas. Roelofs decided to use an unprecedented approach to the analysis – use of footage from 8 drones, analyzed with DFS Traffic Survey service.

The road ring of Leeuwarden mostly consists of 2×2 lanes. There was a problematic area,  however, where there was only 1×1 road with a narrow bridge, several roundabouts and crossings with thousands of cyclists every day. That particular section of the beltway was suffering from constant traffic jam problems, which the council wanted to get resolved by year 2030. And that very section became the centrepoint of Roelofs’ analysis.

Snímek ze studie

Mastering the drones

To get the big picture of the situation, Roelofs decided to conduct a unique, large-scale aerial analysis using 8 recording drones in total.  >> See details <<

Four crucial areas of interest were pinpointed: a bridge, two roundabouts and a central section, marking a kilometer-long area to be covered simultaneously. Due to limited drone battery capacity, each area was covered by a pair of devices. The recording was conducted twice, during morning and evening rush hours.

The gathered data were further analyzed with DataFromSky TrafficSurvey service, providing Roelofs with merged accurate trajectory data about both cars and cyclists from the recorded videos. Subsequently, Roelofs used the data to analyze the traffic density during different daytimes and to create an O/D matrix of the area.

Leeuwarden ilustrační grafika střední


Roelofs later processed the data in Vissim software to simulate the traffic flow in several possible future scenarios, assessing the redesign options for the ring road and their impact.

Thanks to the rich data output from TrafficSurvey, Roelofs could conduct an accurate simulation and identify the bottlenecks in the examined area. Furthermore, they revealed other potential issues, such as crossing with cyclists, which were not recognized before.

The client was impressed with the results as they clarified the situation and provided him with enough data to justify the investment and make a data-driven decision.

Consequently, the city decided to rebuilt the beltway, add additional road lanes in the problematic section and also address the issues with the bridge and the cyclist crossing to improve the driving experience and prevent delays during rush hours.

Project details

  • Use case: Traffic flow
  • Product: Traffic Survey
  • Vertical: Municipality
  • Location: Benelux
Roelofs bez pozadí

About the customer

Leeuwarden is a municipality located in Friesland, Netherlands. Having more than 100 000 inhabitants and population density of 516/km2, the local traffic situation is becoming a challenge.


Large-scale analysis

To get most accurate results, Roelofs opted to combine data from multiple, simultaneously flying drones. Thanks to advanced DFS tools, the data were merged into a single analysis. 

Data-driven decisions

Thanks to the results provided by DFS and Roelofs, the city decided to rebuild problematic road section to prevent further traffic jams

Keeping an eye on cyclists​

Use of video analysis ensured rich insight about both cars and cyclists, who were posing a major challenge on the roads.

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