WSDOT installs active traffic management on I-5

High-tech signs expected to reduce congestion and collisions and improve traffic flow

August 03, 2010

Washington Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) congestion relief program, Moving Washington, called for the installation of 15 electronic lane status and speed limit signs on I-5, between Boeing Access Road and I-90, in Seattle.

The electronic signs are designed to improve safety, relieve congestion and reduce collisions during the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement.

Scheduled to be activated on Aug. 10, the high-tech signs will detect changing traffic flows and adapt to traffic congestion by adjusting the speed limit accordingly, from 40 to 60 mph. The signs will also provide drivers with useful traffic information on a stretch of highway where collisions account for about 70% of congestion.

Traffic alerts will display information on backups, incidents ahead and alternate route suggestions.

WSDOT crews will also install other intelligent transportation system components as a part of its smart highways approach, or active traffic management (ATM).

ATM has proved to be effective in improving traffic flow in Europe, showing a 30% reduction in collisions and a 22% increase in roadway capacity.

WSDOT expects that the electronic signs will not only reduce collisions, but also reduce collision-related congestion and relieve the congestion caused by the Alaska Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Program.