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Traffic control in Bonn: LED boards lead the way to free parking spaces

Traffic control in Bonn : LED boards lead the way to free parking spaces

SWB employees maintain the new display panel at Belderberg for the parking guidance system in Bonn.

Anyone looking for a parking space in downtown Bonn in these pandemic times should be able to quickly find a free space in one of the city parking garages, even without a guidance system. But - hopefully - better times will come, the stores will open and people will be drawn back to the city to shop. Then the new parking guidance system in the city center of Bonn and in the center of Beuel will help customers who come by car to find a free parking space without a long search. City planning officer Helmut Wiesner and Peter Esch, head of the civil engineering department, officially switched on the new guidance system on Monday.

They are LED light panels that can do more than indicate free parking spaces in a total of eleven garages. "The parking guidance system is modular and has new guidance functions. This means that not only are the occupancy status of the parking garages in downtown Bonn and the Beuel district center displayed, but traffic-guiding measures can also be initiated if necessary," Wiesner explained. However, some garage operators did not participate in the system, regretted the city's building councilor. The LED panels can also refer to parking areas in the outdoor area and provide information about bus and train services. In general, fully programmable systems are used. The new guidance system can be used, for example, to reroute cars in the summer when pollution levels are too high. Or can be displayed when the fire department is on duty and the fire-fighting and rescue vehicles have to get across the intersections as quickly as possible using a green light wave. The boards can even indicate high water and closed banks of the Rhine. Esch said that it still needs to be clarified internally how these notices can be incorporated into the program. In any case, the responsibility lies with the civil engineering office.

Old technology in a new guise

And because the wheel does not always have to be reinvented, the new guidance system is based - naturally in more advanced technology - on the previous, almost 30-year-old system, which showed the occupancy rate of six parking garages and became increasingly unreliable with increasing age, sometimes even failing altogether. The new parking guidance system, which has been installed at 30 locations, is now designed to direct car traffic specifically to the parking garages. He said the new parking guidance system is an additional project to improve air quality by directing car traffic specifically when looking for a parking space. It is also a digital building block on Bonn's further path to becoming a smart city, Wiesner made clear.

According to Wiesner, the parking guidance system cost the city of Bonn 3.57 million euros. It is being funded with 1.72 million Euro from the federal government's "Digitization of Municipal Transportation Systems" program, which was launched as part of the "Clean Air" emergency program. The funding is only possible because the measure is also included in the city's "Sustainable Mobility Master Plan."

(Original text: Lisa Inhoffen / Translation: Mareike Graepel)