Switzerland: Before and after traffic study

Since the beginning of May, a wide network of traffic counters is being installed around the City of Biel, Switzerland. Its purpose is to identify any changes in traffic caused by the opening of a new ring road and connected arteries. This monitoring project is the result of an intense collaboration between the City of Biel, the equipment installers from ACET and our local partners, SWISSTRAFFIC AG, who will manage the sites and provide data analysis.

Dealing with road congestion

Similar to the City of Fribourg, the roads of Biel have reached their traffic capacity limits. Even in the city center, the streets are always shared and crowded by cars, bicycles and heavy vehicles. This doesn’t only affect travelling time, but also the air quality and road safety. To address these issues, the Federal Roads Office (OFROU), the Berne canton and the local authorities have decided to build a ring road. Its goal is to push the increasing motorised traffic (especially heavy vehicles) outside the city. This will make room for improving sustainable transport conditions and infrastructure.

Monitoring vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians

As the new roads are about to be open, the local engineers and traffic managers are looking to conduct a before-after survey. Thirty-two tube systems – RoadPod® VT and 9 pairs of inductive loop and piezoelectric systems are currently being installed across Biel. The first two sensor types are used to collect short-term and long-term data on motorised traffic, while the latter monitors bicycles and pedestrians.Since building livable cities is highly dependent on strong community engagement, the real impact will be felt in a few years. This is one of the reasons why the Swiss authorities have chosen to install permanent counters. Equally important to them, the FieldPod® remote data services ensures a reliable count on the long-term.

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