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Brussels Mobility and TomTom

Using historical data to improve a city's mobility.
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Brussels Mobility and TomTom
Reliable historical traffic information makes all the difference when developing mobility solutions of the future.
Brussels Mobility is responsible for the administration of roads and public spaces in the 19 communes of the Brussels-Capital Region. In recent years, it has increased its use of innovative mobility solutions to foster economic growth, sustainable development and better quality of life.

In its quest to effectively develop, renew and maintain the region’s public spaces, roads and public transport infrastructure (including taxis), it often looks for fresh insights and expertise through external partnerships.

Small steps with a big impact

The administrative body’s traffic management efforts include introducing various changes and experiments in the road network of Brussels.

In April 2020, Brussels Mobility announced 40 km of pop-up cycle lanes in the city in order to give cyclists and pedestrians more space for social distancing, preventing the spread of COVID-19. In the notoriously car-centric city, this meant sacrificing car lanes on several busy roads.

Another big decision entailed the closure of urban public park Bois de la Cambre to car traffic, taking away 6 km of road that served as a link between the city and its southern suburbs.

Decisions of this nature can be politically sensitive, and often polarizing for various concerned parties. Grounding them in data is far less likely to invite criticism. To be able to make an informed decision and leave no room for error, Brussels Mobility sought out reliable historical traffic information which could help predict and evaluate the impact on travel times and congestion. After carefully considering several traffic data providers, it chose Geo Mobility traffic improvement tool ODIQ, which relies on TomTom’s Move portal for access to Traffic Stats and Origin Destination (O/D) data.
Brussels Mobility is responsible

Foolproof mobility decisions rooted in data

This easy-to-use data solution, with its select-date ranges feature, helped compare mobility data from both the past and the present quickly. Having been automatically collected for all open roads before, during and after the changes, it ensured a high degree of objectivity and absence of bias. This made traffic data accessible to Brussels Mobility wherever and whenever needed, reducing both time and error in decision making.

Since September 2020, Brussels Mobility has used TomTom data to inform before/after analysis of some of its most impactful changes to the city’s mobility system. Using highly detailed data collected from each road, for instance, the administration is deciding which pop-up cycle lanes work the best and which ones are given back to motorists.

Brussels Mobility also used TomTom data to analyze different routes around Bois de la Cambre, which would serve as alternatives for motorists once the park was closed to them. The value offered by large sample sizes enabled detailed insights, helping the park become more livable and recreational for pedestrians and cyclists, while also mitigating possible increase in congestion due to the closure.

Following up on the success of these measures, Brussels Mobility is now using TomTom Traffic Stats to evaluate the impact of reducing the speed limit on key roads around Brussels to 30 kph. Backed with this information, they are able to make data-informed decisions that improve road safety and reduce accidents and fatalities. Looking at traffic and learning from it is making Brussels greener, cleaner and safer.
From ODIQ and TomTom we gain insight into historical traffic data prior to 2020. This means we can also analyze years before the COVID-crisis. Brussels Mobility is using TomTom data to do representative origin-destination analyses, among many other traffic analyses.


Brecht Debusschere
Brussels Mobility

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