Automated traffic counting sensors 

Modena (Italy), 30. November 2017 - presentation of pilot action. Pilot actions have significant soft components: they are integrally interrelated to the mobility planning process. The proposed solutions are compliant to other measures implemented to promote sustainable mobility, which include use of public transport, cycling and walking.

Pilot action will be on the issue of sustainable mobility alternative to the use of car. In order to get familiar with the main dynamics of travel demand in an urban area, regarding all travel modes, it is common to refer to traffic counting, manual or instrumental. If specific and relevant section of the transport network are considered, traffic counting, when repeated for a sufficient number of years, can provide precious information on the traffic trends of a city, on its modal split, on the seasonal or daily distributions and on the infrastructure usage.  Further, if counting is available for a sufficient number of years and in a sufficient number of sections, they can be used to build the origin-destination demand matrix, which can be used as a tool for any action and investment plan as a support for decisional processes.

For the City of Modena, cycling (and car) traffic counting are available thanks to two automated instruments placed in two sections of the road network. Two monitoring stations have been installed, which counts motorized vehicles and bicycle’s passages. 

The thematic equipment will be a software that is based on a "Motion Detection On Video (MDOV)" technology which allows to detect, in the frame of different lighting and angle conditions, if pedestrians, or bicycles or other vehicles are moving and to identify and classify them (so to better understand the modal shift). This software can present how many vehicles, pedestrians or bicycles are passing through a "digital measurement line"; this concept of "digital measurement line" is very innovative in comparison with other existing technologies. In fact, it allows to identify a sort of "virtual line" to which refer the count of passages. Usually, other technologies do not make this distinction, but they just give you a general calculation of all "objects" passing in front of the video/camera. The software is based on the "reading" of video images coming from cameras.  

The use of this innovative thematic equipment will contribute to the implementation of the foreseen pilot action, which deals with a fundamental and current theme: the mobility alternative to the use of car that represents one of the major issues in term of sustainable growth and CO2 emissions reduction.

Considering that the area of Modena and of its Region (Emilia-Romagna) is very polluted and characterised by a wide and strong use of motorised vehicles, this kind of action is needed: in particular, studying traffic flows of cars and also of other means of transport and their impact, but also investigating main traffic criticalities are the basis to better understand mobility behaviours of citizens and adopt the potential solutions that could lead to a change in citizens mobility habits towards a more sustainable development of the territory.

Moreover, the activities and results obtained can bring a benefit to the local mobility strategies of the City of Modena and not only to the Workplace Mobility Plan adopted within the project.

Pilot action in Modena (Italy)

Sensori per conteggi del traffico veicolare e ciclistico

IT: Al fine di conoscere le principali dinamiche della domanda di mobilità in ambito urbano, per quanto riguarda tutte le modalità di trasporto, ci si avvale dei rilevamenti di traffico, siano essi manuali o strumentali. Considerando varie sezioni “significative” della rete, i rilievi di flusso possono fornire preziose informazioni sui trend di aumento o diminuzione del traffico – laddove siano disponibili dati ripetuti per diversi anni – sulla ripartizione modale, sulla distribuzione stagionale e giornaliera degli spostamenti e sull'uso delle infrastrutture ciclabili. Inoltre, se i conteggi vengono ripetuti per periodi di tempo sufficientemente significativi e in diverse sezioni di interesse, i dati possono consentire la ricostruzione di una matrice origini-destinazioni, che possa servire come strumento di supporto decisionale in una successiva fase di pianificazione degli interventi e degli investimenti infrastrutturali.