Conclusions of the Conference on "The New Culture of Roads"

Madrid, 8 and 9 May 2003
While continuing to build, engage in managing

Madrid, June 2003.- The key infrastructure, not only in Spain but in the rest of the world, remains the Road. Most of the passenger and freight is still done by road, with rates much higher than those of other means of transport, despite there being no, neither public nor private deliberate promotion, to promote it, but even some opposition.

However, despite this, and the White Paper on "European Transport Policy facing 2010" warns that you can not only build but should, increasingly, to manage the road; within civil society there is a feeling that, as a whole, the road is starting to be too expensive, not in economic terms but in social, environmental and temporal terms. The recent survey completed by the Directorate General of Highways of the Community of Madrid users of regional roads, reflects the important fact that the 50,2% of respondents agree that the regional network is sufficient and does not need to build new roads. The 28,2% disagree with this proposition and the rest do not know or no answer.

These meetings have presented different ways of improving the management of the road. The first is to consider Town Planning at regional or national level in the realization of the Plans Roads and the inclusion of infrastructure as the main backbone of urbanism itself. Have thus analyzed the different relationships between the five systems that occupy a territory, ie, housing, transport, social infrastructure, productive activities and the environment, and has proposed the implementation of joint plans covering the five. It has also been proposed reticular performing road schemes, to replace the existing radiocentric systems currently in the urban areas of intermediate development.

It has also proposed an improved management of the road controlling the use that it makes the citizen, leading them to the maximum possible use of the infrastructure. For this purpose have been proposed various ITS systems control traffic flow, control of alternative routes, reversible lanes and lanes Bus-Vao, to reach maximum capacity, which is experimentally observed is obtained with the 50 speed Km / h. Similarly, there have been various forms of dynamic toll, even to the variable tolls each very short time (6 minutes in California) depending on the congestion of the roads.

Germany and Switzerland are to be installed next year tolls for heavy vehicles using the road network controlling its movement through the GPS system. Although Holland was scheduled for the year 2006 an even more ambitious system, replacement of all taxes on the road for this "pay per use" applied to all vehicles, political reasons have deterred the Dutch government lately of this solution as ambitious. the new system London Congestion Charge is also analyzed, although it is still too early for definitive conclusions.

Another system to improve road management is to provide maximum information possible for the user to be directed to autonomously to less congested sites. The 41,5% of those surveyed by the Directorate General of Highways of the Community of Madrid have asked for more information on the network, primarily directed to areas on construction sites and road conditions. General Directorates of Roads and Public Works of the Government of Navarra, Diputación Foral de Álava and Generalitat of Catalonia presented the Integrated Control Centers already operating in Pamplona, ​​Vitoria and Vic, in which is provided in real time such information to user, and control through the main fiber optic network points, so immediately act on it, in case of congestion, as in case of accidents. The success of these Integrated Control Centers, which also owns the Government of New Zealand, as we subsequently reported Robin Dunlop, is such that in the first year in Navarra, with a population of 500.000 inhabitants, were received 400.000 calls from users.

The New Culture of Roads also involves participation in management through periodic surveys in several locations in Spain (Madrid, Alava, Andalusia, Catalonia) are being made. Although the general opinion was that the action the user should be limited to decisions to be taken by the government, in the last lecture of the conference, the President of Transit New Zealand we commented how much this technique is used in that country, to reach consensus Administration-Users to perform a particular variant.

As a result of the concerns expressed by users in surveys of the Community of Madrid was proposed, in parallel with the Environmental Impact Statement, the requirement of a Declaration on Road Safety to ensure the issues that most concern the driver, who was unanimously it was recognized that security, which could well be taken into account already in the design phase.

the concept of risk was also analyzed on the road and concluded that we still know very little about how to react driver during the journey, their reactions to the quality of paths, firm, landscapes; You will need to start decisively in the study of anthropology Driver. Heritage conservation which is a network of roads by various participants discussed in detail and concluded that a more accurate assessment of heritage conservation, and a further development in comprehensive conservation contracts based on quality indicators is necessary.

As a special guest, the last lecture was given by Robin Dunlop, president of Transit New Zealand, the Highways Agency of New Zealand that has been operating since 1989. This Agency is powered exclusively by a special fund, which in turn feeds directly from the share of fuel taxes and transport rates with management Autonomous Agency Public but with a very close inner workings of the company private. Dunlop spoke of the possibility in this context of politics autonomous human resources, conservation contracts by quality indicators 10 year, with management criteria of a property, political preset of suppliers, both of materials and services of intelligent transport systems centralized in a single control center which in turn provides network information in real time and strategies of risk management, which in his case are based primarily on continuous auscultation of the coefficient of transverse friction.

It is expected that some Highway Administration in our country decide to take this path, the results, in the words of Dunlop, you can not get through more than one Autonomous Roads Agency finalist autonomous budget.

Francisco Javier de Agueda Martin
Director General of Highways of the Community of Madrid
rapporteur General

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