Road freight transport in urban areas (city logistics) is under study worldwide, especially during the last years, mainly due to its negative impacts to the environment and to the efficient operation of the road network. The modern approach to deal with this rising issue includes the deployment of strategies and measures that take into consideration the conditions prevailing in each study area. In order the decision makers to adopt the proper measures and define the strategy, it is vital for them to have full knowledge of the way an Urban Road Freight Transportation (URFT) system is organized and functions in the field. For this to happen, the decision makers must have under their disposal reliable real time data. After all URFT systems evolve through time and space and it is s crucial that the necessary data not only will be collected correctly but also they will be accessible anytime and anywhere. In this paper a new approach is proposed in order to achieve real time monitoring for URFT systems in order to provide the decision makers with all the necessary data for the case of Greece.
Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece and its transportation system (development and operation) is hampered by the city’s geographical position and surrounding relief. Specifically, the city has been developed and expanded through the years along the coastline, the sea boundary on the southwest, and a second physical boundary, a forest, on the east side. The Thessaloniki Ring Road (divided in western and eastern part) was constructed in the early ‘90s, in order to relief the road network of the city centre from the transit traffic and confront the gradually increasing congestion. The absence of alternatives other than road transport and the increase of car ownership over the years led to an increase of motorized traffic. So even that this Ring Road had been designed to serve 30,000 vehicles daily it became to serve more than triple traffic just before the impacts of the economic crisis on transport and mobility have been made visible.
The Western Internal Ring Road of Thessaloniki (WIRRT) has length of 8.4km. It has three lanes per direction separated by a median and no emergency lanes. The traffic increase and moreover the existence of eight at grade intersections along the WIRRT degrade the provided level of service. For the elimination of these intersections an upgrade project is underway for implementation that includes the construction of five grade separated intersections and several interventions on the adjacent road network. This paper presents in brief the methodology and the results of the project’s Cost-Benefit Analysis, which assessed the expected socioeconomic benefits, emerging mainly from minimising the delays for users due to the elimination of the at grade signalised intersections.