Until 23 August 2021, Americká was one of the most frequented roads with up to 16.000 vehicles passing every day. High traffic density caused slow traffic flow and delays of up to five minutes in public transport, especially in the morning and afternoon rush hours. To deal with this issue, local authorities took a decision to restrict the entry of motor vehicles in the central part of Americká road. Only public transport, integrated rescue system and service vehicles are currently allowed in this segment. Before the measure was introduced, a simulation was done using a traffic model of Pilsen to assess the future impact of the closure on traffic intensity. The model showed that traffic from Americká would move to two primary detour routes: Tyršova and U Trati streets.
After the measures to calm Americká Street were introduced, there was a significant decrease in the number of vehicles in the whole road, not only in the closed segments. Traffic from Americká moved to the expected detour routes and had no negative impact on the traffic flow speed in almost all sections. As for public transport connections, there were only slight delays of up to one minute.
Using the digital twin, policymakers can assess the impact of the closure on traffic intensity, air quality and noise pollution.
Web tools developed for traffic monitoring in the town (TraMod for traffic modelling and GLayer for the monitoring of density and traffic flow speed) make it possible for the city to simulate the impact of future restrictions and analyse their impact on traffic retrospectively.
After the measures to calm Americká Street were introduced, there was a significant decrease in the number of vehicles in the whole street, not only in the closed segments. Traffic from Americká moved to the expected detour routes and had no negative impact on the traffic flow speed in almost all sections. As for public transport connections, there were only slight delays of up to one minute.
Impact analysis of a closure of a part of Americká Street for individual car transport has confirmed the assumptions calculated in the traffic model of the City of Pilsen. The traffic in Americká Street has calmed significantly – the number of vehicles has dropped by 69% (up to 17.000 vehicles per day) in the newly closed section and by 45% in other sections. Overall, the traffic in Americká has calmed down and the previous transit character of the street was eliminated. This has led to a considerable decrease in the delays of trolleybuses and has reduced noise and air pollution caused by car transport. The measures taken also improved the conditions for the movement of pedestrians and cyclists and created a precondition for transforming Americká into a modern city boulevard.
As calculated by the traffic model, the traffic from Americká moved to expected detour routes, especially to U Trati and Tyršova Streets. In these streets, an increase in the number of vehicles during the day by approximately 150 vehicles per hour was detected which had no negative impact on the traffic flow speed in almost all sections. The only segment where the increase in traffic density has reduced the traffic speed is U Trati in the direction from Prokopova to Klatovská. During the rush hour the traffic speed here is slower compared to the situation before.
Not only that traffic in Americká Street has calmed significantly, it is also much easier for the public transport vehicles to pass through which saves several minutes of time to 20.000 passengers who travel here on working days in both directions. Before the closure the public transport was usually delayed by more than 2 minutes during the rush hour and by up to 5 minutes in the peak of the rush hour. The closure of the street has led to a significant decrease in public transport delays. Now, there have been just minor delays (by less than one minute) in most of the connections and there are almost no delays longer than 2 minutes.