Unique radar test with smart traffic light for cyclists in Utrecht City
Thanks to a new application, Utrecht City currently carries out a unique radar test with a smart traffic light for cyclists. The traffic light turns green earlier or stays green longer, as the radar recognises approaching cyclists and measures the number of cyclists and their speed. It is the first time that a radar is being used for this purpose. Recently, two other smart traffic light tests for lorries and road inspectors successfully took place in Utrecht Region.
The radar test performs at the Pythagoraslaan-Archimedeslaan intersection at the business park in Rijnsweerd, Utrecht City.
A smart traffic light usually communicates with vehicles and cyclists through an app, internet connection, and the ‘Talking Traffic Cloud’. Many bicycle couriers already use this technology to enable their customers to track their order in real-time. However, the average cyclist in Utrecht doesn’t have a specially designed app to communicate with traffic lights. That is why the radar is used, which simulates that the cyclists are already provided with an internet connection and an app. This way it is in the future also possible to test how cyclists can cycle faster and safer.
Regional collaboration for optimal results
The radar test is a collaboration between Goedopweg, Cycledata, supplier of the bicycle radar, and Monotch, provider of the link to the ‘Talking Traffic Cloud’. The Municipality of Utrecht programs the traffic lights. The test aims to establish whether the technology is working as it should, whether the data on the bicycles is reliable, and what the effects are on waiting times for cyclists and other road users. If the results are positive, Goedopweg will look for more locations in the region to roll out the radar throughout the city and region.
More smart traffic lights in the region
The Utrecht region now has 40 smart traffic lights at various locations, for example on the N201 provincial road. Two tests recently took place here. The first, concentrating on lorries, activated the traffic lights earlier and kept them on for longer. This not only decreased CO2 emissions and noise pollution but also saved time for the lorry drivers themselves. The second focused on road inspectors, who could use Be-Mobile’s WISMeister app on their work phone to request right of way at the smart traffic lights. As a result, they could provide assistance faster in the event of emergencies, meaning the road was unobstructed and safe again sooner after an accident.
Goedopweg aims to ensure that the Utrecht Region remains accessible and liveable as the city grows over the coming years. They will achieve this by encouraging less travel, travel at different times, and a variety of means of transport. Goedopweg is a collaborative set-up between the Municipalities of Utrecht and Amersfoort, the Province of Utrecht, Rijkswaterstaat Midden-Nederland (Rijkswaterstaat branch for the central Netherlands), and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.