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Pioneer work in spatial planning and transportation

 Did you know that until recently Austria was a kind of island? An island in the sense that traffic planning only occurred in isolation within its own national borders. In order to predict future traffic loads using complex calculation and estimation methods, for decades a great deal of demographic and statistical data has been added to computer models, but until recently it has not been possible to gather information from neighbouring countries on border traffic or structural data. Even if it could be obtained, this data did not match national data. Especially the larger region of Vienna-Bratislava has a considerable stream of commuters, making an encompassing traffic plan indispensable. Cooperation between Slovakia and Austria has brought forth pioneering work in this field.

ERRAM SK-AT is a planning tool aimed at communities close to border regions in Slovakia, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Hungary which helps select suitable locations for different uses. For example, if the construction of new settlements is being planned, the model analyzes the traffic connections, the proximity to shops, medical care, and many other factors.

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The Traffic Model VKM not only simulates street traffic in Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary, but also displays public transportation according to a precise timetable. This extensive model predicts future traffic flow, and thus assesses the potential effects of expanding the transport network. Communities and operators of public transport are employing such models for every major project, such as the expansion of subways or the creation of train timetables. 

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BRAWISIMO takes care of the database that is needed not only for traffic models but also for spatial planning as a whole. A data collection method concerning the mobility of individual households has already been established in German-speaking countries and now, for the first time, is to be conducted simultaneously in Slovakia. So far, different countries’ data have had to undergo conversion to make comparisons possible. Now we will obtain a consistent, uniform database.

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Ever since the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 and the Schengen Agreement between Slovakia and Austria came into effect in 2009, cross-border traffic has been on the rise. The nearly 100-year  division is slowly fading in people’s minds. However, even the transportation systems have developed differently and road users are not always familiar with rules and regulations in the neighboring country. In this respect, cars are the most dangerous mode of transportation. This is why the ROSEMAN project commissioned traffic safety experts to analyze the most critical areas in border-region communities such as Hohenau, Malacky, and Kostolište – for example pedestrian crossings close to kindergartens and schools or town entrances. Constructional measures such as signalling systems, lane narrowing or installing speed displays have considerably improved pedestrian safety. Communities wishing to optimize their current traffic situation can profit from the know-how the project has developed, which is documented in a catalogue of traffic safety measures.

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