Participatory traffic counts as a basis for traffic and mobility measures
Congestion, air pollution and traffic safety are all on the agenda when it comes to mobility issues. Measurements that register cars, trucks, buses, cyclists and pedestrians are necessary to come up with good measures that aim for better traffic liveability. Traditional traffic counts are usually expensive, limited in time and rarely register all modes of transport.
Therefore, new technology offers many opportunities for innovative measurement methods in a continuous, multimodal, fine-grained and efficient manner. Citizen science or citizen air quality measurements such as CurieuzeNeuzen or Luftdaten are paving the way here.
Citizen science fills a blind spot
Until now, traffic counts were a blind spot. Telraam is firmly committed to this by actively working with citizens to provide high-quality traffic counts. In each case, Telraam provides the research question and the technology, while citizens supply the data. In this way, the participants learn about the traffic on their own street, while at the same time helping local policy-makers to conduct proper traffic counts. With this data, infrastructure, traffic lights and traffic plans can be made more efficient, quicker and better.
“Telraam gives citizens the traffic data they need to amplify their voice, ensuring that decision-makers listen to their concerns and the conversations can move beyond subjective and anecdotal evidence.” Professor Enda Hayes, University of the West of England
How does Telraam work?
The Telraam device is a combination of a Raspberry Pi microcomputer, sensors and a low-resolution camera. It is attached to the inside of a window on one of the floors overlooking the street. In order to be able to immediately transmit traffic count data to the central database, the device must be constantly connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi. As the device is electrically powered, a nearby power outlet is also required.
This smart traffic sensor can distinguish 4 different traffic modes: pedestrians, cyclists, cars and heavy traffic. The sensor not only measures numbers but also knows the direction of travel and the average speed of cars. In this way, Telraam provides reliable measuring material that is made available to interested citizens. They are guided to install their own fully automatic traffic counter. This is then hung on the window and the counting can begin. Telraam is that simple. All the collected measuring data are made available in an open and accessible format via www.telraam.net to policy-makers, researchers, and all residents and interested parties.
For professional users, there is a user-friendly management dashboard that allows administrative and analytical monitoring of the entire network and downloading of data.