Meet Tim Claeys, traffic manager for the City of Ghent
Meet Tim, who recently joined the ranks of Traffic Control Centre Ghent. Tim enjoys it when carefully planned actions and communications result in traffic running smoothly. Recently, one of Ghent’s busiest traffic hubs was closed for 24 hours for maintenance purposes, something that’s rarely seen! Let’s see how Tim and his team managed this adventure..
When you close a main road..
Tim: “You need to make sure that you communicate this well in advance to your citizens and visitors of your city. Communication plays a key role in traffic management. For example, last Sunday we closed off one of Ghent’s most busiest roundabouts. We started putting signs up informing the travellers about the closure and alternate routes approximately two weeks in advance. We also used the City of Ghent’s social media accounts as well as our own twitter feed to communicate the situation. On the day of the closure, we requested for national news updates to be sent out via radio and the City of Ghent’s social media channels. We were really aiming for top notch customer service!”
Were there any problems?
“Not really, I was lucky to be able to see the traffic live from my office that day (the TMaaS team works from Co.Station, a co-working space right next to the Dampoort station). However we did see some problems occur at the bus stops. Buses were not scheduled to run that day on their usual routes and this was unfortunately not communicated on the information panels. Luckily, we identified the problem early in the day and after consulting with the bus authorities, extra man power was put into place to inform the travellers personally at all bus stops.
Launch of the traffic management dashboard
Last week we launched an online mobility dashboard that we developed in partnership with Waylay. We’ve been testing the dashboard for several months now and it’s nice to finally publish it for the public and see their reactions.
Our team uses several online tools to have a 24/7 overview of the city and instantly identify traffic disruptions. When we notice an irregularity, we identify it and take action if necessary. We work closely with the local police and our colleagues at the other departments of the mobility department.
How do you go to work?
My usual route to work is by bicycle. It’s a beautiful city and thanks to the circulation plan it is nice to live and work here in the center.
Tim works as a project officer at the Traffic Control Center Ghent. Before joining the world of traffic, Tim worked a a hydrographic surveyor at an international dredging company.
Visit the online mobility dashboard by Traffic Control Centre of Ghent
Read the article in Het Laatste Nieuws (in Dutch)
Read the article in De Standaard (in Dutch)