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Mermaid will tell cyclists how to catch the green light

New technology for cyclists in Warsaw

It’s getting easier and easier to move on the capital’s bike paths. New devices tell cyclists how to ride to the green light. This is the result of the cooperation of Warsaw road engineers from the Municipal Roads Management with the Yunex Traffic company.

The first prototype device from Yunex Traffic was installed last year on Okopowa Street near the intersection with Anielewicza Street. Before that, it was tested in factory conditions. Before implementing the system on a large scale, Yunex Traffic employees and representatives of City Roads Management monitored and calibrated the device, so that it could serve cyclists in the best possible way. We were also open to comments from Warsaw citizens. Based on the residents’ suggestions the messages on the totem box were additionally translated into English.

After successful testing, the time has come to implement the project on a wider scale. As of today, Yunex Traffic totems are in operation at the intersections on the bicycle path along Towarowa-Okopowa streets (on the section from Grzybowska to the traffic circle of Zgrupowania AK “Radosław”).

Part of a larger whole

The devices will appear along six popular cycling routes in the capital. Apart from the Towarowa-Okopowa route, these will include the following streets: Świętokrzyska, Wybrzeże Gdańskie, Powsińska-Wiertnicza-Przyczółkowa, Czerniakowska and Dwernickiego-Szaserów. A total of 53 totems will be placed at 30 intersections with traffic lights.

Their installation is part of the development of the Integrated Traffic Management System. The system will be operated by Yunex Traffic until 2025. As part of the project, traffic lights will be systematically modernized along with their accessories such as lanterns, masts, and detection cameras. The introduction of devices informing cyclists about the recommended speed in order to receive a green signal at the nearest intersection was an additional criterion in the tender for the development of ZSZR. This means that Warsaw is not paying extra for this functionality.

explains Warsaw Municipal Road Authority

How does it work?

The radar installed on the totem measures the speed of the cyclist and transmits it to the traffic light controller. The controller analyzes this information and determines whether it is possible to cross the intersection without stopping. The controller then sends this information back to the totem with instructions for the cyclist. The message is displayed in the form of one of four “Warsaw Mermaid” shaped signs.

  • “You may slow down” – A red signal is currently being broadcast at a bicycle crossing. By maintaining speed, the cyclist will stop at the intersection. If he slows down, he will cross smoothly on a green.
  • “Maintain Speed” – A green signal is currently being broadcast at the bicycle crossing. By maintaining speed, the cyclist will cross the intersection smoothly.
  • “You may accelerate” – A green signal is currently being broadcast at the bicycle crossing. By maintaining speed, the cyclist will stop at the intersection. If he speeds up, he will cross smoothly on the green.
  • “You won’t get passed.” – Regardless of your speed, a cyclist will stop at an intersection.

The signs show what driving style to adopt in order to pass smoothly at the next intersection and to use one’s strength sparingly. This is the first such solution in Poland. Our technology will improve the safety and comfort of cyclists.

says Dariusz Obcowski, CEO of Yunex Sp. z o.o.

Warsaw Totem from Yunex Traffic

Each new element of small architecture should be introduced in a planned way and with respect for the city landscape. That is why the Office of Architecture and Spatial Planning participated in the works on the visual side of the totem.

Above all, we wanted the symbols to be simple and legible. At the same time we managed to introduce a motif clearly associated with the capital. The animated figure of a mermaid gives the device a uniquely Warsaw character. The result is a successful combination of functionality and aesthetics.

says Wojciech Wagner, deputy director of BAiPP.