The Kirche-Fluntern streetcar-and-bus stop, which is a part of the busy Vorderberg traffic hub in metropolitan Zurich, is to be expanded to accommodate people with disabilities. The planning for this project is taking place in parallel with the introduction of a bicycle lane at the same busy hub, a measure that is provided for in the city’s Masterplan for Bicycle Traffic. Owing to existing spatial constraints, the realization of these two plans will entail the elimination of a traffic lane for motor vehicles. EBP has now been commissioned by the city to conduct a survey to determine the overall impact on traffic.
Narrow, low-access streetcar-and-bus stop
The Kirche-Fluntern streetcar-and-bus stop at the Vorderberg traffic hub in metropolitan Zurich is to be expanded to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities. The stop is urgently in need of expansion because it is very narrow and is not easily accessible to pedestrians. The expansion can only be realized by eliminating an existing traffic lane for motor vehicles. In addition to permitting an expansion of the stop, the space made available by eliminating the motor-vehicle lane will permit the addition of a bicycle lane, a measure that has been prioritized in the city’s Masterplan for Bicycle Traffic.
Traffic flow survey
But what exactly will be the impact of eliminating the motor-vehicle lane on traffic flow in general at and near the Vorderberg hub? In order to analyze this, EBP first deployed provisional means to shut down the lane in question to motor-vehicle traffic at the hub and along Gladbachstrasse and then proceeded to gather the relevant data.
This traffic survey was based on a pilot project developed by TBF + Partner AG.
Data gathered by EBP
EBP gathered data using the following measures:
- Hub traffic counts
- Interval traffic counts
- Traffic jam measurements at key intersections
- Driving time measurements along the main route
The data collected enabled evaluation of the following factors:
- Changes in traffic congestion
- Traffic diversion to other streets
- Changes in traffic-jam lengths on all streets leading to the Vorderberg hub
- Changes in driving times along the main Rigiplatz-Klusplatz route
The Zurich Public Transport Agency (VBZ) also examined the impact on its ability to honor its streetcar and bus schedules.
The traffic survey showed that eliminating the motor-vehicle lane would lead to no more than minimal changes in traffic congestion and diversion to other streets.
While eliminating the lane for motor vehicles may lead to longer driving times, these can be significantly reduced by optimizing the existing traffic-light-control system.
- The impact on commuting times for people using public transportation in the vicinity is minimal.