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Sofia Attempts to Ease Traffic Congestion with Dutch Help

Date: 09.12.2009

The Dutch Ambassador to Sofia, Karel van Kesteren, officially handed to the newly elected Mayor of Sofia, Yordanka Fandakova, a study focused on ways to ease the city's traffic congestion. The study is financed by the Dutch Transportation Ministry and has been carried out by the Dutch DHV, and Vialis Traffic and the Bulgarian Setra. The project for introducing an intelligent system for the capital's traffic management was presented in Sofia. The estimated necessary funds are EUR 13,8 M while the time period for the project's realization is nearly four years. Fandakova says she will apply for EU financing.

The system will require appropriate software, cameras and radars to account for the number of passing vehicles and to organize green waves, deemed crucial for eliminating the congestion.

Sofia already has a software for traffic control on 12 major intersection while most of the traffic lights can be managed remotely.

The Dutch experts recommend that the intelligent green wave system includes 13 of Sofia's busiest boulevards while intersections are monitored by cameras and electronic panels to inform passengers about congestion and public transportation delays.

In the long term, the system will save Sofia EUR 18,1 M a year from fuel, lost time, and reduced harmful emissions. Its 10-year maintenance will cost EUR 19 M.

A pilot intelligent traffic control system is already in place on one of Sofia's major boulevards - Todor Alexandrov with four different green waves, according to the time of the day. The study shows that the pilot project has reduced travel times on the boulevard in half.

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