TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT: San Diego County employs new “optioning” signage to ease congestion

The new series of signage was designed to give commuters several alternative routes in the face of sudden or expected backups

Transportation Management News November 17, 2015
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New roads signs have made a debut in Poway, San Diego and Escondido, in San Diego County, Calif., as part of an initiative designed to give commuters information and options during their drive. The new signs show a letter system of alternative routes.


According to James Dreisbach-Towle, the principle technology program manager at SANDAG, the signs are part of a pilot program launching in January designed to ease traffic and give drivers options. Dreisbach-Towle said the signs have recently been installed along a 20-mile portion of I-15, from S.R. 52 to S.R. 78.


The signage corresponds with the San Diego-511 app launched in May which gives drivers real-time traffic updates.


“Without even having to touch your phone or log-in, it will speak to you that there's an incident ahead and tell you which exit to exit and then to follow the signs,” said Dreisbach-Towle.


The new signs are marked by letters, and depending which one a driver takes, the driver could end up driving through residential areas.


“If you're used to a 30-minute travel time, what we're trying to do is get that 30 minutes to you every time, even when there's accidents on the freeway,” said Dreisbach-Towle.


According to SANDAG, 20% of commuters already use alternate roads to get away from traffic, but the new sign system will hopefully ensure that drivers will get back on the freeway as safely and quickly as possible.


San Diego is one of only two cities in the U.S., along with Dallas, trying out these alternate routes. 

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