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HUPMOBILE project analysed potential implementation of adaptive traffic management in City of Tallinn

The HUPMOBILE project focused on the concept of modern traffic management and sharing of the results with other cities in the Baltic Sea region.

Traffic light control solutions have been known in the world for more than 100 years, it is in recent decades that new, innovative solutions have been found. Most of them are related to new possibilities of collecting real-time traffic data according to users of different modes of transport and of employing these data to optimize traffic management. These solutions are often referred to as adaptability.

In the HUPMOBILE project, the existing practices of the city in the application of adaptability have been analysed (on the road called Reidi tee); a pilot project was carried out at the intersection of the streets Kopli, Sitsi and Tööstuse, where traffic light control priority was applied to the tram; data were collected on the experience of other cities comparable to Tallinn in many ways; and the possible outcome of adaptive management of some potential traffic corridors was analysed.

"It is important to emphasize that the possible priorities and goals of the adaptive solution must support the general mobility policy goals of the city," explained Liivar Luts, project manager of the Tallinn Transport Board. " This means that even if the adaptation of an intersection or corridor does not have an overall significant effect (for example, a total reduction in waiting times for all modes of transport), then, for transport policy purposes (for example, comprehensive promotion of cycling or public transport may be identified as one of those purposes), it may still be expedient to implement an adaptive solution," Luts continued. The pilot carried out during the project showed that with adaptive traffic management it is possible to give public transport a priority to cross the intersection without the other road users suffering to a great extent. "This was a very important indication for us that without major infrastructure works and redistribution of street space, it is possible to increase the average speed of public transport and make public transport more competitive," Luts added.

Adaptability as a modern traffic management concept should definitely be considered as the primary option for traffic management of all new and reconstructed objects. However, in general, the principle of an adaptive solution is that each solution is relatively unique and standard solutions are difficult to design. Therefore, it is always a matter of the so-called “tailoring”, to which analogies can only be applied to a limited extent.

The results of the present study clearly showed that the implementation of adaptive solutions can have a significant effect, depending on the objectives of implementation, either for the priority of some modes of transport or to reduce the overall waiting time. This was confirmed by the results of the present study for the road Reidi tee already in use, the results of the pilot project carried out and the experience of other cities, as well as theoretical calculations for several traffic corridors.

The implementation of the “Tallinn Adaptive Traffic Management Pre-Feasibility Study” was funded by the Interreg Baltic Sea Program within the HUPMOBILE project.