Smart Pedestrian Crossings at Villanueva de la Serena (BADAJOZ)

STEPVIAL puts into operation in the town of Villanueva de la Serena (Badajoz) 12 Intelligent Pedestrian Crossings connected to a Smart City platform which transmits in real time information on different parameters related to mobility.

With this initiative included within the framework of the Integrated Sustainable Urban Development Strategy (EDUSI) of the Functional Urban Area of ​​the Surroundings of Villanueva de la Serena, co-financed by the FEDER through the 2014-2020 Multi-regional Operational Program of Spain and the Badajoz Provincial Council , the aim is to improve the use and quality of information and communication technologies and the access to them within the specific objective of installing smart cities with innovative citizens and governments.

The SLI is an intelligent system that extremely improves road safety, exponentially multiplying its effectiveness in relation to current reflective paint, since it converts passive horizontal signage (reflective paint) into active (SLI).

The objective of this project has been based on the implementation of INTELLIGENT PEDESTRIAN CROSSINGS and the Statistics of use and integration of the electronic transmission of information through the SMART CITY platform. Connected through the open portal of the municipality, they give in real time Information of aspects as important as the reorganization of traffic, they also analyze the flow of people and vehicles that transit through these enclaves and other data that are of interest. It also has big data capabilities. These allow analyzing the data of each of these services and obtaining predictive analysis of their evolution to make decisions accordingly.

Smart signage technology is an integrated lighting system that combines sensors and LED panels, which has been designed with the aim of minimizing pedestrian accidents on public roads and generates information with updated quantitative variables that provide data and help to characterize mobility and road safety guidelines in the main pedestrian intersections of the city.

This information of the signal reported by the sensors of the pedestrian crossings has been integrated in the Provincial Platform of intelligent public services of the Badajoz County Council and in the VVA Serena Smart City Platform through the vertical solution of the intelligent pedestrian crossings system.

Thereby, this project joins the one already carried out in the town of Torrent (Valencia) with this type of technology and fully integrated into a Smart City Platform, which allows to take advantage of the full potential of the connected city, enabling the environment developing digital services for the citizen and helping the governing bodies of the City Council in decision-making with the aim of improving pedestrian safety in the municipality.

Smart zebra crossings show exemplary citizen’s behavior during confinement

In the first fortnight of April, the traffic of people and vehicles decreased significantly

People’s habits have changed significantly in more than two months of alarm. On different times, the citizen’s good behavior in general has been highlighted, which has allowed the curve to decrease and, slowly, the data of fatalities and infection have been more positive with fewer deaths and fewer daily infections.

In the case of the municipality of Villanueva de la Serena, one element that has made this clear is the installation of the 12 intelligent pedestrian crossings that the city already has and the development of the Smart Mobility platform, which has been completed by the beginning of this year, allowing  the activation of the luminous active signage infrastructure in the pedestrian crossings and the mobility data collection since February 2020. Thanks to the technology implemented, various indicators have been detected, accordingly tracing the use of the infrastructure and being able to obtain very important data on urban mobility during confinement due to the pandemic caused by COVID-19.

The results collected by the different sensors installed in the intelligent pedestrian crossings and analyzed by tools for large volumes of information (Big Data) show the exemplary behavior of the citizens of Villanueva de la Serena during the different periods of confinement.

The level of information provided by this project to analyze the mobility of the city is living up the expectations, due to the high number of data provided by the Smart Mobility platform. This information will help future decision-making and the design of strategic city plans based on real and continuous statistics, allowing the evolution of traffic to be known over time.

The platform has been very helpful to know about citizen’s mobility in these months, paying special attention to the confinement phases and mobility restrictions that have been established. These phases of confinement have been perfectly collected by the platform, which has provided fulfillment rates in different urban areas, helping to manage mobility control. It has even been possible to trace the degree of compliance with the established mobility schedules.

Regarding the provision of direct services to citizens, the alert system accompanied by real-time video viewing has been useful for detecting points where there has been high traffic during the confinement phases, or for knowing incidents on the road. In this way, the City Council has been able to respond quickly to these needs by sending the appropriate resources each time to the designated area.

All these data are clearly reflected in this tables. In I, the average of the daily intensity registered in all the pedestrian crossings is shown for each of the available types of transport: vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians from the beginning of February to the middle of May. We can see how on March 15th there is a drop for the three types of transport, which lasts until May 2nd. In addition, there is an even bigger drop in the first fortnight of April.

Table II, related to pedestrians, shows the evolution of the average daily pedestrian intensity common in all the pedestrian crossings. There is an upward trend in the number of pedestrians who use the facilities deployed together in the initial period from the project start-up since the beginning of the confinement phase at the national level.

Table III also reflects the average daily pedestrian intensity. In this case, the data collected in the pedestrian crossings located in industrial areas, neighborhoods and more central areas are shown separately. This table outlines an upward trend in the use of infrastructure by pedestrians, regardless of the area where the crossings are located.

In addition, in data obtention, a specific day is analyzed: Wednesday. Table IV shows the analysis of the hourly intensity recorded during a working day throughout the different phases of confinement. The first reference is March 11th, the previous phase to confinement with complete freedom of movement; on April 1st, confinement phase with high restrictions on mobility; and on May 13th, phase 1 of relaxation of confinement measures with time restrictions.

In short, this project has adequately addressed the needs established in its design phase, improving the efficiency, speed of response and quality of the services provided to citizens, as well as bringing information to citizens through new communication channels.

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