Work Zone Mobility and Safety Program
Photo collage: temporary lane closure, road marking installation, cone with mounted warning light, and drum separated work zones.
Office of Operations 21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Best Practice

BEST PRACTICE:

J2−2: Providing Real−Time Traffic Information via Changeable Message Signs

DESCRIPTION:

Portable traffic monitoring and messaging systems are designed to keep drivers informed of current traffic conditions on the road ahead. These traffic−responsive systems are used in work zones to continuously monitor real−time traffic conditions and automatically respond with appropriate and dynamic messaging, such as travel time information; delay time information; alternate route information; stopped traffic warnings; dynamic speed displays; and lane merge and other motorist instructions. These messages are usually displayed to motorists using changeable message signs. The systems detect traffic volumes and/or speeds at various locations using sensors and send the data to a computer that can use the data to determine the most appropriate message to display. Traffic information systems can run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, keeping motorists informed of traffic conditions, the need to be cautious, or take an alternative route, during work zone projects.

REASON(S) FOR ADOPTING:

Traffic conditions can change frequently in work zones. Real−time systems better enable monitoring of current conditions and providing up−to−date messages to motorists.

PRIMARY BENEFIT(S):

Reduced crashes, providing travelers with information on which to make alternate route decisions, and reduced motorist frustration and user costs.

MOST APPLICABLE LOCATION(S)/PROJECT(S):

Any work zone exposed to traffic. May be most useful in areas with high traffic volumes and highways with limited sight distance.

RELATED BEST PRACTICE(S):
Portable ITS Technology for Work Zone Traffic Management (Practice J1−3)
Work Zone ITS for Traveler Information (Practice J2−3)

Work Zone ITS for Traveler Information (Practice J2−3)

STATE(S) WHERE USED:

Illinois, Ohio

SOURCE/CONTACT(S):

Robert Utz, Construction Engineer, Illinois DOT District 7
Phone: (217) 342−3951
E−mail: Robert.Utz@illinois.gov

Office of Operations