24.–26.05.2023 #polismobility

EN Icon Pfeil Icon Pfeil
EN Element 13300 Element 12300 DE
Cologne as a real-life laboratory

Best Practices and traffic trials

Transport transition, experienced live in the heart of Cologne:

Alongside the many polisMOBILITY trade fair events and the conferences that are taking place, visitors have an opportunity to find out more about various city-authority and private mobility projects in Cologne.

The mobility trade fair offers tangible insights into innovations, data and trends in Cologne. How can city traffic be made more climate neutral? What has been done in the region to improve charging infrastructure? And how does modern roadworks mapping look? From neighbourhood development about the latest developments in cycling to the digitalisation of city traffic – examples of best practice give trade visitors fascinating insights into a broad spectrum of mobility projects and facilitate direct exchange with the relevant responsible experts on site.

Traffic trials

The city’s transport planners are constantly examining how demand for transport in Cologne can be managed in a more human-centred and environmentally friendly way. Following careful consideration and appropriate reviews, their concepts often feed into initial pre-implementation traffic trials, which focus on temporarily redistributing the available transport space without rebuilding work. This can include measures such as restricting or banning particular types of transport or expanding provision by promoting ecomobility.

In cramped yet highly frequented inner-city neighbourhoods, which may be of international significance, the primary objective is to reduce flowing and stationary car traffic and to redistribute space in favour of pedestrians and cyclists. The project managers will demonstrate what this can look like in practice as part of polisMOBILITY.

Information for 2023 coming soon

Best practices 2022 at a glance

Best practices 2022 at a glance

Best Practices

LSA: How the latest traffic light systems work / DiMAP: Digitalisation of municipal map-based junction data

Simulation supply of the trade fair roundabout I Rights: City of Cologne

Simulation supply of the trade fair roundabout I Rights: City of Cologne

Traffic light systems: The roundabout by Cologne’s trade fair grounds is equipped with the latest signalling technology. Here, the team in charge of the project explain how state-of-the-art traffic control systems work and what technical components they require.

DiMAP: The implementation of C-ITS services throughout Germany requires a standard definition of technical specifications for the provision of urban intersection topologies and geometries (map data) and the necessary processes.

Logos City of Cologne, Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport, OCA

As part of the DiMAP mFund project, the specifications for creating maps were defined and the processes for providing map data were established. In addition to data content and data profiles, data management processes were also described. The City of Cologne was actively involved in this project.

Automatic Roadwork Registration Cologne (ABK)

Automatic Roadwork Registration Cologne (ABK)

Construction site Deutz-Mülheimer-Straße, Cologne (Source: City of Cologne)

Around 22,500 building projects that result in traffic restrictions take place in Cologne each year. The points in time of the construction activity often deviate from the planning in practice. Recording of the deviations takes place manually. These information gaps cause traffic jams with the corresponding environmental burdens. Automatic real time verification of the building projects is required for effective traffic control.

Project goal
The aim is to provide chronologically and geographically accurate information concerning building projects. In this way, the exact activation of adequate traffic strategies for the improvement of the traffic flow is enabled.

Partner logos Automatic Roadwork Registration Cologne (ABK)

The project provides for equipping construction site lights with LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) and GPS.

It will in this way be possible to transmit sensor data, such as the location, the date and the time at which the lights are activated, and to compare them with the approval data for the construction site. The data transfer takes place on the geo-information and monitoring systems, as well as at the traffic control centre. Traffic notifications are generated there, are forwarded to the mobility data marketplace and made useable for navigation devices.

Introduction of a ride-sharing app in the public sector: opportunities and challenges

Introduction of a ride-sharing app in the public sector: opportunities and challenges

Protecting the climate is more important than ever! Sustainable employee mobility contributes to a company’s climate targets and actively improves its carbon footprint. Employees can use the goFLUX ride-sharing app to offer or find lifts, forming climate-friendly carpools for short trips and commutes.


Based on a collaboration between goFLUX Mobility and the Landschaftsverband Rheinland (Rhineland Regional Association), the best-practice presentation shows how the app can be successfully introduced in a company and how CO2 emissions can be reduced in the daily commute.

TALAKO – wireless charging for electric taxis

TALAKO – cable-free charging for electric taxis

Image rights: INTIS

Car traffic causes high levels of air pollution in inner cities. Diesel emissions, such as those emitted by most taxis, are considered particularly harmful. Vehicles with an electric powertrain are an environmentally friendly alternative. However, the wired charging systems for currently available e-taxis are unsuitable for daily operation, as the vehicles have to gradually advance along the taxi rank while waiting for customers.

TALAKO + Partner logos

In collaboration with energy supplier RheinEnergie AG and five other partners, the Chair for General Business Administration & International Automotive Management at the University of Duisburg-Essen has launched the pilot project “Taxi charging concept for electric taxis in public space” (TALAKO for short).

The project team are integrating inductive charging systems into the vehicles and the taxi rank. Charging is then carried out by transferring energy between a charging plate with an integrated coil installed in the vehicle and the taxi rank. The project duration is three years and it is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economics and Climate Action with two million euros.

To the TALAKO Website

ParkPilot: digital parking management in Cologne-Nippes

ParkPilot: digital parking management in Cologne-Nippes

Right of use: RheinEnergie AG

ParkPilot is one of the world’s most innovative and state-of-the-art parking guidance systems. A total of 27 LED displays have been installed on lampposts to show motorists in Cologne’s Nippes district the exact number of available public parking spaces and where they are located. To do this, 89 sensors monitor around 800 parking spaces in the 0.5 km² project area – in real time.

Partner logos ParkPilot

The digital parking management system significantly reduces both the volume of traffic searching for spaces and the associated emissions. The system takes into account all the data protection regulations applicable to public spaces. The project is being implemented on a section of Neusser Straße, which has been dubbed the “Klimastraße” (Climate Street). There, the project partners are demonstrating and trialling innovative ideas and forward-looking technologies that protect the environment and simplify urban life.

RingFrei – Cyclist-friendly redesign of the Cologne Ring

RingFrei – Cyclist-friendly redesign of the Cologne Ring

Theodor-Heuss-Ring_after I Image rights: City of Cologne

The RingFrei project was initiated by a citizens’ initiative of the same name whose goal is the cyclist- and pedestrian-friendly redesign of the six-kilometre-long Cologne Ring, a semi-circular boulevard running around the inner city. The Ring’s redesign was already part of the Inner-City Cycling Plan, which was adopted in 2016, but it was not prioritised as urgent. The initiative’s core objectives have been adopted by municipal committees over the past few years and implemented by the municipal administration.

The implementation took place in various phases. First, the obligation to use the cycle paths was removed. A 30-kilometre speed limit has now been introduced throughout the Ring. To this end, all the traffic signalling systems were replaced. For the first time in Cologne, one of the two car lanes was turned into a cycle lane. This spatial reallocation has now been implemented along more than half of the route. Construction work on further sections is currently under way. The narrow brick cycle paths on some parts of the roadside are being removed, and these areas will be made available to pedestrians. All the short-stay parking spaces are being converted into loading areas, taxi ranks and cycle parking spaces. The loading areas are available as residents’ parking at night.

Logo City of Cologne

The implementation of the first sections has already significantly reduced the volume of car traffic on the Ring. The RingFrei project has sent an important signal about the reallocation of space in favour of cyclists and pedestrians in Cologne. Numerous plans based on the RingFrei model are now being developed and implemented.

Information about the exhibition on the Cologne rings can be found here:

DIE KÖLNER RINGE – 7 KM NEU GEDACHT. A multimedia exhibition | Stiftung für Kunst und Baukultur | Venloer Straße 19, 50672 Köln. Mon-Fri| 10-17 | Vernissage 19 May 6 pm

To the website '7 KM NEU GEDACHT'

Friesenwall: Traffic space reallocation – Bicycle boulevard sets new standards for pedestrian and cycle traffic

Friesenwall: Traffic space reallocation – Bicycle boulevard sets new standards for pedestrian and cycle traffic

Friesenwall_after I Image rights: verenafotografiert

The first section of the bicycle boulevard on Friesenwall was officially approved in May 2019. The project was honoured with second place in the German Cycling Prize in 2020. Due to various usage conflicts and in order to implement municipal regulations for bicycle boulevards, the traffic space has been reallocated in favour of pedestrian and cycle traffic.

Municipal regulations for bicycle boulevards were applied consistently for the first time on Friesenwall. Removing around 50 car parking bays created space to increase the width of the street carriageway from three metres to four. This has created a comfortable route for cyclists, including for those going against the direction of travel for motor traffic on the one-way street, and they can often ride alongside each other.

Logo City of Cologne

Pedestrians’ needs were taken into account in all the measures to improve cycle traffic, and they were involved in the redesign. In addition to a wider carriageway, the reallocation of the traffic space has created a “multifunctional lane”, which integrates various elements. As a result, 120 new bicycle parking spaces were created, benches with combined planters installed, and signposts and parking ticket machines moved. By integrating these elements into the multifunctional lane, the pavements could be decluttered, and illegal parking physically prohibited. The first post-implementation traffic count showed that the share of cycle traffic has doubled within two years following the creation of the bicycle boulevard and now predominates over car traffic.

The reallocation of the traffic space described here has now been applied to other sections of Friesenwall as well. A further section covering 1,100 metres is in the pre-implementation stage.

Cycle lanes on Aachener Straße

Cycle lanes on Aachener Straße

Aachener Straße_in implementationI Image rights: City of Cologne

The section of Aachener Straße between Rudolfplatz and the main railway lines around Cologne’s city centre has been characterised by conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians up until now. In particular, the section between Brabanter Straße and Moltkestraße had a cycle path that ran close to busy outdoor food service outlets. Restaurant visitors’ chairs often intruded onto the cycle path, or waiting staff had to step onto the cycle path to serve visitors due to the high volumes of pedestrians. Deliveries in the crowded area were made across the cycle path.

Logo City of Cologne

Transferring cycle traffic onto the carriageway significantly increased traffic safety for all road users. Cyclists now share a comfortable, 2.50-metre-wide cycle lane. Pedestrians and outdoor food service outlets now have all the pavement at their disposal. To achieve this, one of the previously two lanes for motor vehicles was converted.

The short-stay parking areas on the roadside were turned into loading areas. At nights and weekends, residents are allowed to use these areas as residents’ parking. In addition, space was created for (cargo) bicycle and e-scooter parking.

Plans to construct a continuous cycle lane of a comparable width along the entire inner-city west-east axis between Innere Kanalstraße and the Deutz district are currently in development. This type of cycling infrastructure was already created on the section of Aachener Straße running from the vicinity of Aachener Weiher into the inner city in 2021.

Fleischmengergasse bicycle boulevard

Fleischmengergasse bicycle boulevard

Bicycle road Fleischmengergasse I Image rights: City of Cologne

Fleischmengergasse forms part of the crucial cycleway running on the north-south axis through Cologne’s inner city. The route was defined as a bicycle boulevard in the Inner-City Cycling Plan. It was created in late summer 2021.

One of its special features is the centrally positioned loading area, which residents are permitted to use for parking after 6 p.m. In preparation for the implementation, access to Fleischmengergasse from Cäcilienstraße was permanently closed to car traffic back in October 2019.

Logo City of Cologne

Prohibiting access and introducing a combination of parking lanes/loading areas has created two lanes, both of which are signposted as bicycle boulevards:

  • The southbound lane from Neumarkt is signposted as a bicycle-only boulevard. Car traffic is no longer permitted.
  • In the direction of Cäcilienstraße, the bicycle boulevard is signposted as “access only” and serves as a one-way street for car traffic.

In addition to installing the corresponding traffic signs, large bicycle boulevard pictograms were applied to the carriageway, and the parking and delivery areas were laid out with innovative markings.

Prior to this, extensive road resurfacing was undertaken, and the signalling systems in the Neumarkt/Fleischmengergasse area were replaced. The new signalling technology means that pedestrian and cycle traffic can cross Neumarkt in one traffic light phase, thereby eliminating waiting times in the vicinity of the track crossing. In addition, the crossing was widened around the traffic signals with the aid of markings, and the advanced stop lines for pedestrian and cycle traffic adjusted to enclose a larger area.

Bicycle boulevard on the north-south axis – Priority measure to improve the Neumarkt crossing

Bicycle boulevard on the north-south axis – Priority measure to improve the Neumarkt crossing

Cäcilienstraße_after I Image rights: verenafotografiert

The creation of a bicycle boulevard running on the north-south axis between Weidengasse/Eigelstein and Eifelplatz was approved with the Inner-City Cycling Plan. The axis runs across Neumarkt, a square that acts as a large barrier to cycle traffic.

A new signalling system was therefore installed as a priority measure to improve the Neumarkt crossing in the southbound direction in 2018. This has created a new set of priorities and shorter routes for cyclists. While westbound car traffic on the Neumarkt carriageways stops at the red light, cyclists have sufficient time to cross the car lanes safely when the green light shows and proceed to a large bike box area, which is signposted with markings and pictograms.

Logo City of Cologne

Prior to improving the Neumarkt crossing, the right-hand traffic lane on Cäcilienstraße in the direction of Rudolfplatz was converted into a cycle lane. As part of this measure, an indirect left-turn lane was also installed on the recently created Fleischmengergasse bicycle boulevard.

To increase traffic safety (by removing non-light-controlled right-turn lanes) and to improve the Neumarkt crossing for cyclists and pedestrians heading north, access to Fleischmengergasse was prohibited for motor vehicles in 2019. In 2021, Fleischmengergasse was redesigned as a bicycle boulevard.

Traffic trials

Old Town Traffic Routing Plan – attractive streets instead of cars

Traffic control concept for the Old Town – attractive streets instead of cars

Quatermarkt after the implementation of the Old Town Traffic Routing Plan | Image rights: Cyclomedia

The traffic routing plan for Cologne’s Old Town provides the basic framework for the development of transport options in that area of the city. The objectives behind the plan are to make the Old Town a more attractive place to visit and live in, to promote cycling and walking, to reduce the overall amount of parking in the area’s public spaces and to decrease motor vehicle traffic in the district. In addition, the situation for pedestrians will be improved significantly, as the amount of pedestrian traffic in this area is particularly high.

Logo City of Cologne

The plan is being implemented gradually. In a first step, pedestrian zones were set up in places where no structural changes were necessary. They can also be used by cyclists and are only open to delivery vehicles between 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., or until 2:00 p.m. in some cases. In addition, all short-stay parking spaces on public streets have been removed, making room for attractive uses of the urban environment. There is sufficient capacity for short-stay parking in the Old Town’s underutilised car parks. Bicycle racks, cargo bike parking, car-sharing and disabled parking spaces and loading areas have been set up in the areas that have become available.

The public space has also been enhanced by high-quality, mobile design features, such as planting, street furniture and, where possible, outdoor dining.

Ehrenstraße under the magnifying glass – attractive streets instead of cars

Ehrenstraße under the magnifying glass – attractive streets instead of cars

Ehrenstraße under the magnifying glass I Image rights: City of Cologne/nordmannFotografie

Street furniture and plants, more space for pedestrians and cyclists, fewer cars – this is how we are currently improving the situation in Cologne’s so-called “Lupenräume” (spaces under the magnifying glass) in a short period of time through quickly implementable and simple measures.

The spaces we are putting under the magnifying glass are central areas in the Old Town and inner-city commercial centres where, in addition to convenient routes for pedestrians and cyclists, we want to create high-quality spaces where people can enjoy spending time. We are therefore pursuing the following objectives:

  • To upgrade urban spaces
  • To make the areas more enjoyable to visit
  • To promote walking and cycling
  • To reduce the traffic load
  • To convert parking spaces into public spaces

Logo City of Cologne

Ehrenstraße and Breite Straße are busy shopping streets in Cologne’s city centre. They were characterized by parking search traffic and a lot of activity on narrow pavements. In the urban development master plan for Cologne’s inner city, Ehrenstraße was identified as one of the areas requiring urgent intervention to enhance the quality of the area.

With pragmatic solutions, we created a quick improvement for pedestrians at the end of April 2022. We have designated Ehrenstraße and Breite Straße as pedestrian zones in a short term. A traffic concept for the district ensures accessibility for motor vehicle traffic. We are also upgrading Ehrenstrasse visually with mobile design elements.

Parallel to these measures, the planning process for the structural redesign of Ehrenstraße is under way. It is drawing on the experience gained from the first stage, which was recently implemented within a short time.

I/D Cologne

I/D Cologne | Image rights: Art-Invest Real Estate

I/D Cologne | Image rights: Art-Invest Real Estate

I/D Cologne marks the creation of a new office park in the city’s Mülheim district. Right from the beginning, it has followed the philosophy of giving its future users a space for ideas and the scope to contribute their individual input to its design. An attractive business campus that offers a new standard of work and life is emerging on the grounds of the former goods station.

Logo I/D Cologne

Mobility also plays a crucial role in this vision: with the campus’s car-sharing service, provided by KINTO (Toyota), and additional elements in the form of a bicycle highway serving the office park and an overview of local public transport in the campus app, users have a variety of options for their daily commute to and from I/D Cologne.

Any questions?