This week, "Mobility Week" will take place in Brussels, with a special focus on cyclists. The bicycle after all celebrates its 200-year anniversary and how can this be celebrated better than with the installation of a first bicycle counter pole. The pole counts the passing cyclists and indicates the number via a display. The poles have a sensitizing and motivating effect. They show - almost literally - that cyclists also count in a large city like Brussels. In addition, of course, they also provide a lot of useful info about bicycle traffic in the city. This data can be used for improvements to infrastructure and road engineering. It can only be of benefit to the comfort of cyclists. The first pole is located in the rue de la Loi - at the bridge over the main road to Etterbeek - but in the long run, 10 will be installed throughout the city.
"Examples in several other cities show that bicycle counter poles have a sensitizing and motivating effect. They reinforce the community feeling among the cyclists and motorists that there are a lot of people every day, making a conscious mobility choice in Brussels, instead of being stuck in a traffic jam in the rue de la Loi.
In addition, the counting poles also offer a lot of useful real-time information about the bicycle traffic flows in the city, with which we can get to work. This information will also be available via the Brussels capital region open data platform", says Brussels Minister for Mobility and Public Works, Pascal Smet.
Open data platform
The Brussels-capital region called on Siemens' experience for the supply of the hardware and software of the poles. Concretely, Siemens supplied the display, measuring sensors and built-in industrial PC of the posts and the accompanying software. The data generated by the poles are made available via an open data platform. In addition, information is also forwarded to the traffic computer in Brussels that was delivered by Siemens in 2013, and that has controlled the Brussels traffic flow since then. The BESIX Group (an affiliate of Van den Berg) was called on for the ready-to-use compilation of the bicycle counter poles. The work entailed, among other things, drawing up of the plans, applying for the necessary permits, conducting the earthworks, the construction of the fibre optic connection, and testing network connections.
Intelligent transport technology
Ronny Govers is ITS (Intelligent Traffic Systems) Business Unit Manager at Siemens and is of course very satisfied with the commissioning of the first counter pole: "This project in Brussels fits in perfectly with the Siemens philosophy of "Ingenuity for Life". We use our intelligent transport techniques for the mobility problems we face today. With the data generated by our poles and made available via the open data platform, the region can get down to increase the security of the cyclists, and to ensure quality and sustainable mobility in the city."
Ludo De Wolf, Fiber Optic Business Manager at Van den Berg (BESIX Group): "So the bicycle counter pole provides an important contribution to monitoring the cycling policy and ensures positive communication around cycling. With our extensive experience in cable construction, we can offer a high-quality set-up of bicycle counter poles. We are proud to thus contribute to a healthy and pleasant living environment in Brussels."