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1337Delta764
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Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:51 pm

One type of sign that has been growing in popularity in the United States are electronic travel times signs. Such information may be displayed either on a full dynamic message sign, or on a mostly static sign with small LED panels that show the amount of minutes to specific destinations.

Here in the Phoenix area, the travel times program was launched in 2008. Initially only being displayed during rush hours in the peak direction, as of this week ADOT has decided to leave them on in both directions for most of the day (5 AM to 11 PM on weekdays and 7 AM to 9 PM on weekends).

I wonder, does your city have a travel times program for its freeways? I presume they are not just in use in the United States but in other developed countries as well.

[Edited 2015-07-31 09:51:59]
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Fri Jul 31, 2015 6:10 pm

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Thread starter):
I wonder, does your city have a travel times program for its freeways?

Yes, Greater Los Angeles has them. They let me know how late to work I'm going to be.
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1337Delta764
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Fri Jul 31, 2015 6:10 pm

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 1):
Yes, Greater Los Angeles has them. They let me know how late to work I'm going to be.

Are they used 24/7, for most of the day, or only during rush hours?
 
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fr8mech
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Fri Jul 31, 2015 6:11 pm

Ours only rarely show travel time. They refer to the conditions ahead.
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Fri Jul 31, 2015 6:54 pm

We did a cross country road trip last month and in our travels the following cities I remember having these signs. Buffalo, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, St. Louis and I think Oklahoma City and maybe Tulsa. And my home of Albuquerque has them as well. I was assuming that they are fairly commonplace and used all day and all week. I find it odd that ADOT wouldn't have them running nearly 24/7. Especially as on some of the freeways traffic can suck in both directions all day long.
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Fri Jul 31, 2015 6:57 pm

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Thread starter):
I wonder, does your city have a travel times program for its freeways? I presume they are not just in use in the United States but in other developed countries as well.

Yes we have them here in Ireland on both sides of the border. They are quite handy to see if there are any delays etc.. We have had them quite a while now.
 
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1337Delta764
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Fri Jul 31, 2015 6:59 pm

Quoting desertjets (Reply 4):
We did a cross country road trip last month and in our travels the following cities I remember having these signs. Buffalo, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, St. Louis and I think Oklahoma City and maybe Tulsa. And my home of Albuquerque has them as well. I was assuming that they are fairly commonplace and used all day and all week. I find it odd that ADOT wouldn't have them running nearly 24/7. Especially as on some of the freeways traffic can suck in both directions all day long.

Interestingly, the dynamic message signs in Tucson (a metro area comparable to Albuquerque in size) still do not indicate travel times at all. I wonder if ADOT plans on adding it in the future.

BTW, Las Vegas has them as well, but instead of using the overhead dynamic message signs, the ones in Las Vegas are static signs with three small LED panels indicating the minutes.

[Edited 2015-07-31 12:00:47]
 
Ken777
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Fri Jul 31, 2015 7:24 pm

What I really want to see is a warning of an accident up ahead that has traffic stopped dead for hours - and have that sign placed for an exit after reading the warning.

We got caught in dead stop traffic an hour out of Terra Haute and the line in front of us was miles long. We did notice that some cars and trucks were pulling out onto the shoulder and, after a look at the maps on the wife's iPad, realized that there was a road not too far ahead that would take us to a parallel road a few miles north. The truckers were probably the first to see the alternative route because of their radio communications,

That approach, be it in the city or country has the potential to reduce congestion. Of course the major mobile phone companies also have the ability to call travelers with a verbal warning and provide live detours. That would be a blessing.
 
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:00 pm

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 2):
Are they used 24/7, for most of the day, or only during rush hours?

Seems to vary.
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photopilot
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Sat Aug 01, 2015 12:42 am

We are starting to see them here in Canada, specifically on Hwy 401 across the top of Toronto. They show the number of minutes to common intersections across the city. I can't say if they are on 24/7 or not because I commute at pretty specific times. Not sure of the other times. Not a bad idea IMHO.
 
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Sat Aug 01, 2015 12:56 am

Quoting photopilot (Reply 9):
We are starting to see them here in Canada, specifically on Hwy 401 across the top of Toronto. They show the number of minutes to common intersections across the city. I can't say if they are on 24/7 or not because I commute at pretty specific times. Not sure of the other times. Not a bad idea IMHO.

They put a bunch of them in for the PanAM games and have put them on the already existing electronic signs. Some look like they are temporary but I hope they end up staying as they are very useful.
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:08 am

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 7):
What I really want to see is a warning of an accident up ahead that has traffic stopped dead for hours - and have that sign placed for an exit after reading the warning.

When there is an accident on the freeways that is more/less what they do. They remove the times and display where the accident is (by which exit), on what side and how many lanes are blocked. Then if its a particularly nasty accident, or if they shut down a freeway for any reason, then they will change all the boards to the warning message for several miles. I have seen I-17 is closed messages as far away as 101-Bell road (which is about 8-9 miles away from the interchange).
 
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1337Delta764
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:29 am

Quoting raventech (Reply 11):
When there is an accident on the freeways that is more/less what they do. They remove the times and display where the accident is (by which exit), on what side and how many lanes are blocked. Then if its a particularly nasty accident, or if they shut down a freeway for any reason, then they will change all the boards to the warning message for several miles. I have seen I-17 is closed messages as far away as 101-Bell road (which is about 8-9 miles away from the interchange).

Speaking of Phoenix, I wonder what will be the time points for the Loop 202 SanTan Freeway once all the DMS are installed along that freeway. Three (two eastbound, one westbound) have been installed between I-10 and Loop 101, although they have yet to be activated. Eight more (four in each direction) are planned to be installed next year between Loop 101 and Higley.

My guesses for time points are probably I-10, Alma School Road, Val Vista Drive, Power Road, and US 60. I-10 and Alma School are currently time points for traffic getting off of the Loop 101 Price Freeway for westbound and eastbound traffic, respectively, so I presume they are a given. Power Road was previously shown on the southbound Loop 101 sign until this week, so I assume it will probably be on the new Loop 202 signage. Val Vista I think is also likely since it is heavily used by Queen Creek residents.

[Edited 2015-07-31 18:39:00]
 
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XAM2175
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:38 am

Vicroads have been using them for at least fifteen years now, in addition to the dynamic message boards:



The arrow on the right-hand side changes colour with traffic conditions and flashes red if that section is closed.
 
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seb146
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:06 am

The Bay Area has them all over. Portland and Seattle are just starting to install them. Portland and Seattle have signs that can change when conditions change. If there is an accident along the route, the sign can alert drivers. Not so around the Bay Area.
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Max Q
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Sat Aug 01, 2015 3:58 am

We have them here in Florida.


They also show 'Amber' and 'Silver' alerts.


(A silver alert is when a senior citizen goes missing !)
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1337Delta764
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:09 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 15):
We have them here in Florida.


They also show 'Amber' and 'Silver' alerts.


(A silver alert is when a senior citizen goes missing !)

Yep, we get both AMBER and Silver Alerts on them, as well as Blue Alerts (police officer attacked and seriously injured or killed).
 
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Sat Aug 01, 2015 9:13 am

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 16):
Yep, we get both AMBER and Silver Alerts on them, as well as Blue Alerts (police officer attacked and seriously injured or killed).

I Think we need a Red alert for when the cops kill innocent citizens, trouble is these days it would be overloaded..
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:10 am

Wellington, New Zealand have had them on the urban motorway for a number of years now with electronic speed signs. Smaller signs are now also used in muitple areas in New Zealand, especially on state highways leading to the bigger towns/citys.

Wellington is also about to get the countries first ever 'smart motorway' with an extra lane added. All speed limits will be controlled by humans in an attempt to cut down traffic delays.
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:04 pm

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 2):
Are they used 24/7, for most of the day, or only during rush hours?

They generally show travel times during the day (it's always rush hour). They're also used to warn of upcoming closures, missing children, wind conditions, and the like.
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jetwet1
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Sun Aug 02, 2015 2:36 am

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 6):
BTW, Las Vegas has them as well, but instead of using the overhead dynamic message signs, the ones in Las Vegas are static signs with three small LED panels indicating the minutes.

Where abouts? The only ones I see are the boards that carry the Amber alerts, the boards with the LED numbers are hospital emergency room wait times.
 
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Sun Aug 02, 2015 3:02 am

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 2):
Are they used 24/7, for most of the day, or only during rush hours?
Quoting Max Q (Reply 15):
We have them here in Florida.


They also show 'Amber' and 'Silver' alerts.


(A silver alert is when a senior citizen goes missing !)

In Philadelphia, we have them on I-95 US-1, and I **think** the PA Turnpike has them in some areas. They are in use 24/7. By law, they cover Amber Alerts as well, but I've never heard of a Silver Alert.

They use cars with EZ-Pass to track time from one point to another.

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seb146
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Sun Aug 02, 2015 4:11 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 15):
They also show 'Amber' and 'Silver' alerts.

Amber Alerts for all of California are shown on our reader boards when no travel times are needed. Sliver Alerts are only posted on the CalTrans traffic web site.
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Sun Aug 02, 2015 9:02 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 15):
We have them here in Florida. They also show 'Amber' and 'Silver' alerts.

Pretty much the same thing in the DFW area. Travel times, accidents, construction, and amber/silver alerts as needed. When none are justified, some are dark, others display PSAs like "Click It or Ticket."

They are also used in special circumstances, such as warning of upcoming NASCAR-related congestion or, in 2003, a somber "Check For Shuttle Debris In Backyard" when Columbia disintegrated over Texas and Louisiana.

I've always wondered whether Amber and Silver alerts are displayed state-wide or only when and where they think it most useful. I can't say I've ever paid much attention to one for a city so far South/West that it would be two states over if Texas wasn't so big!
 
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:09 pm

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Thread starter):
I wonder, does your city have a travel times program for its freeways? I presume they are not just in use in the United States but in other developed countries as well.

Motorways/Freeways in France have them too and the news (time indication to destination) is generally good ) Reason being, you have to pay Toll/maut to use them, so I guess a lot of People stay on the sidestreets rather than pay for the motorway! I do a lot of travel from Belgium to France and it is always a pleasure to reach the French motorways, even if I gotta pay
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Sun Aug 02, 2015 5:32 pm

I like MoDOT's signage and was impressed when I moved here. That's a wise investment of my tax dollars at work: letting me know when/where there's a car accident, which roads to take, and how long to get to a certain point.
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CplKlinger
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Sun Aug 02, 2015 6:42 pm

Indianapolis has a ton of these, and Indiana as a whole has been adding both the dynamic message boards, temporary dynamic boards for construction areas, and cameras along the interstates. I know the travel time signs are 24/7, and the dynamic signs show amber and silver alerts as well as other info. As far as the cameras go, I seem to recall that eventually they want to have at least one camera at every interchange, and some at points along the interstate that INDOT know can be trouble in bad weather, prone to accidents and what have you. They even have a nifty site that shows all of the cameras, message boards and dynamic signs across the state along with traffic flow.
 
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RE: Electronic Travel Times Signage On Freeways

Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:14 pm

Quoting cougar15 (Reply 24):
Motorways/Freeways in France have them too and the news (time indication to destination) is generally good&nbsp Wink Reason being, you have to pay Toll/maut to use them, so I guess a lot of People stay on the sidestreets rather than pay for the motorway! I do a lot of travel from Belgium to France and it is always a pleasure to reach the French motorways, even if I gotta pay

I'm French but I don't think I've ever seen the kind of signage he describes, have you ? Signs with just a small screen indicating the time, not full on overhead signs with capability to show any message.

I mostly drive around Paris though, where the freeways are really free, thus less money for such signs.
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