In North Carolina, Smart Work Zone systems increased alternate route usage by 10 to 15 percent when specific delay and alternate route information was posted on roadside dynamic message signs.
Rocky Mount,North Carolina,United States; Smithfield,North Carolina,United States
System implementation included three portable sensor trailers with cameras positioned upstream of the work area to monitor traffic conditions. The sensors collected occupancy data and the cameras provided video images of traffic conditions. Based on traffic condition data that was collected and observed, information was displayed to travelers on three portable message signs upstream of the work area with one of those signs positioned prior to the alternate route. An additional three portable message signs were then positioned along the alternate route to provide route guidance. Three levels of messages were displayed based on the traffic conditions. As an example, when no delays were detected the message might read "Real Time Traffic Info / No Delay Exits 150-141". When there were short delays, but an alternate route warning was not warranted, a typical message might read "Traffic Stopped Ahead / 15 Minute Delay". When the delay reached the point where the alternate route would provide a shorter travel time, a typical message might read "Traffic Stopped Ahead / 20 Minute Delay / Use Exit 141 As Alt.".
Although it was not feasible for the system to be turned off for evaluation purposes, there were short periods of time available when the system was not operating (due to work zone relocation activities) that enabled researchers to conduct "with" and "without" analysis. Other methods for collecting data to evaluate the system included mail-out and road-side surveys, using a portable camera system deployed as part of the work zone system, and hand-held video cameras. The data was logged by the system and examined to determine levels of congestion experienced during system deployment.
Using the portable and hand-held cameras at the work zone, traffic volumes were counted during periods of time when different sign messages were displayed. The evaluation of this data determined that the Smart Work Zone system increased alternate route usage by 10 to 15 percent when specific delay and alternate route information was posted on roadside dynamic message signs.
Author: Bushman, Rob and Curtis Berthelot
Published By: North Carolina DOT
Prepared by the University of Saskatchewan for the North Carolina DOT
Source Date: September 2004URL: http://cms.transportation.org/sites/ssom/docs/EvaluationReport-Final-2004.pdf
Average User Rating
Benefit of the Month for January, 2009 !
Typical Deployment Locations
Dynamic Message Signs, CMS, VMS, Changeable Message Signs, Variable Message Signs, construction warning signs, Portable Dynamic Message Signs, portable CMS, portable VMS, portable Changeable Message Signs, portable Variable Message Signs, Temporary Dynamic Message Signs, Temporary CMS, Temporary VMS, Temporary Changeable Message Signs, Temporary Variable Message Signs, smart work zone systems, smart work zone, smart work zones, Smart work zones, workzone, WZ