Less traffic looking for a parking space, fewer harmful emissions, a better quality of life: three funded smart city projects promise great progress in climate protection in the city of Koblenz. Together, Energieversorgung Mittelrhein (evm) and the city intend to use modern digital solutions to achieve better air quality and air pollution control.
In July 2020 the evm announced the kick-off of the project in the upper Löhrstrasse. The busy shopping street plays a central role in the project: "We are going to test smart parking in the upper Löhrstrasse and want to reduce the so-called parking search traffic here," explains Lord Mayor of Koblenz David Langner.
In the next few weeks, certain parking spaces along the street will be equipped with 44 ground sensors that will provide information on occupancy. "In another part of the street, overhead sensors are used as well, which we install on street lamps," explains evm Board Chairman Josef Rönz. One sensor is able to detect up to 100 parking spaces. Digital display boards around the lampposts use this information to show drivers how many parking spaces are still available. Data protection is fully guaranteed: the sensors neither record videos nor photos, but only pass on information according to the pattern “occupied” and “not occupied”.
One look at the statistics shows why it is important to reduce parking search traffic in Koblenz: between 18-25% of traffic in the city center is due to the search for parking spaces. This is one of the reasons why Koblenz exceeded the NOx (Nitrogen Oxides) limit value determined by the European Union - and thus has access to federal funds. The Federal Ministry of Transport is funding the Smart Parking project with around 170,000 euros from the "Saubere Luft" (Clean Air) program and the associated "Digitalisierung kommunaler Verkehrssysteme" fund (Digitization of municipal transport systems).
On September 30, 2020, the evm published another press release in which they announced that all sensors, which are Cleverciti Sensors, have been installed for the intelligent parking guidance system in the making. The installation covers the Löhrstraße section from the Rizzastraße intersection to Bahnhofsplatz, as well as the Peter-Altmaier-Ufer parking lot. Based on the information gathered from the sensors, drivers will soon be able to see on the internet and on digital display boards how many parking spaces are still free.
By the end of the 2020 project year, traffic counters, air quality meters and a parking guidance system that digitally displays free parking spaces are to be installed. The benefits and effects of the projects will be measured over a period of three years. The projects are being implemented with the help of federal funding and the Thüga, the largest cooperative network of municipal energy and water service providers in Germany.
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