Redesigning the ring road of Leeuwarden
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 – spatial merging of the footage gathered using 8 drones for complete trajectories from 1,2km long road, that was then analyzed with DataFromSky DataFromSkyTrafficSurvey service. This has produced very impressive results that would not otherwise be possible with manual counting or static cameras.
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 centerpoint of Roelofs’ analysis.
Mastering the drone analysis
To get the big picture of the situation, Roelofs decided to conduct a unique, large-scale aerial analysis using 8 recording drones in total. In the image below you can see the 4 areas that were each covered by a drone. The reason there were 8 drones used in total is that they the drones needed to be switched mid-flight due to limited longevity of the drone batteries. You can also notice in the image that the areas overlap which is necessary to be able to connect the footage and provide complete trajectories for this whole location.
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. The entire project is described in more detail by Tim Adema from Roelofs in the webinar below:
Roelofs later processed the data in PTV Vissim (check video on how to use TrafficSurvey with PTV Vissim). The software was used 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.
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.
To get most accurate results, Roelofs opted to combine data from multiple drones simultaneously flying over 1,2km long road. Thanks to advanced DataFromSky tools, the data were merged into a single analysis.
Thanks to the results provided by DataFromSky 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.