Traffic study recommends changes on base

A German engineering office recently completed a comprehensive traffic
study for Ramstein. The current traffic situation was investigated and
analyzed and short-term measures and recommendations were suggested.

Traffic experts studied the mobility of base which has a street net of
58 kilometers and a total of about 133,000 km driven on it each day.
This amounts to 45 million km per year.

“Motorized traffic is one part of mobility, but also the most important one,” the study said.

Pedestrians, bicyclists and bus users make up the rest of mobile traffic.
The analysis took into account many of the changes to Ramstein, all of
which affect traffic on base. These include the adoption of
Rhein-Main’s mission, increased NATO tasks as well as the construction
of the KMC-Center.

These changes create different traffic patterns, increasing traffic in
some areas while decreasing it in others. The KMC-Center will be a new
destination with high traffic – more traffic will come from off-base
and traffic on base will be newly routed.

Parking changes were recommended to bring the base into 2010 – parking
lots will be needed in different locations and capacities.
The traffic plan considers all traffic participants and vehicles.

One of the recommendations was to stress walking, biking or taking the
bus instead of driving. This shift could compensate for reconstructing
streets and parking lots.

To accommodate this shift, the study recommended expanding current bike and walking paths as well as changing base bus routes.

The base has about 10,000 parking spots (not including the spots in
housing). Throughout the day, about 7,000 spots are used and 3,000 are
open. The study recommends changing incorrect signs and to fine illegal
Park-and-ride lots could be further away from central parking areas or
off base lots could be installed where people could use shuttle buses
to reach their final destinations.

The study showed that the future developments on base and in the City
and County of Kaiserslautern will affect traffic on base. Expanding
affected intersections, shifting traffic onto public transportation and
deconcentrating traffic flows by establishing an additional gate in the
north of the base would ease traffic created by Kaiserslautern

To judge traffic safety, experts looked at the number of traffic
accidents from January 2002 to August 2004. The average number of
accidents ranged from 30 to 50 per month.  

The study determined traffic areas on base are limited and alternative
transportation should be considered because it is needed to keep a
capable infrastructure without having to deal with extensive expansions
and new construction measures for traffic.

(Excerpts from the Traffic Master Plan Ramstein Air Base 2010)