ITS: Washington DOT pilot program to test local control of dynamic message signs

Initial tests will focus on Clark County; effort could improve transportation communication statewide

February 12, 2013

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) announced the start of a new pilot program to give control of electronic message signs in Clark County to local agencies. The goal is to make the signs more dynamic with information directly relevant to drivers in the area.

At present, WSDOT controls all electronic signs throughout the state. The agency uses the signs to display information on Amber Alerts, bridge lifts and construction or accidents.

Clark County officials hope to use the signs to display local road conditions and travel times, safe driving tips and crime trends in the area.

WSDOT envisions using the local pilot program as a stepping stone to improving transportation communication across the state. One new program already announced is the addition of Blue Alerts to the agency’s own network of signs to notify drivers about suspected cop killers.

WSDOT is also working with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to provide freeway travel times for rush hour commuters.