New Freeway Signs…

Today’s edition of The Los Angeles Times covers a new usage of those overhead electronic freeway signs:

Caltrans is posting estimated travel times on 14 electronic freeway signs across the region, part of a pilot program that the agency eventually hopes to expand. …

The information on the signs comes from 15,000 sensors Caltrans has placed on freeways to measure traffic speed. The fiber optic system has a sensor every half mile of urban freeway, transmitting information every 30 seconds. Officials pick key commute markers and calculate the commute time given the traffic flow. Each sign contains commute times for two destinations. …

Jack Gaines, a spokesman for the Caltrans division serving the Bay Area, said the signs have been most helpful in calming drivers by informing them of delays ahead. He said he suspects the tips have helped reduce road rage by giving motorists the option of finding detours before the traffic backs up. …

In the past, Caltrans has hesitated to use the changeable message signs because they create some congestion as people slow to read them, Moore said. Caltrans is reluctant to give commuters instructions, he said, because that might create legal liability. But Moore said he applauds Caltrans’ initiative.

The location of these signs after the jump.

Sign Location First Destination Second Destination
Eastbound Santa Monica at National Blvd. Downtown 605 Freeway
Eastbound Pomona at Indiana St. 605 Freeway Orange Freeway
Southbound Ventura at White Oak Ave. 134 Freeway Downtown
Southbound Golden State at Broadway Long Beach Freeway 605 Freeway
Westbound Santa Monica at Western Ave. San Diego Freeway Pacific Coast Highway
Northbound Hollywood at Melrose Ave. San Diego Freeway Moorpark Freeway
Eastbound San Bernardino at City Terrace Drive 605 Freeway Orange Freeway
Northbound Harbor at Pacific Coast Highway Century Freeway Downtown
Northbound San Diego at Lakewood Blvd. valign=”top”Harbor Freeway LAX
Northbound Golden State at Stadium Way Ventura Freeway Ronald Reagan Freeway
Westbound Century at Lakewood Blvd. Harbor Freeway LAX
Eastbound Century at Van Ness Ave. Long Beach Freeway 605 Freeway
Westbound San Bernardino at White Ave. 605 Freeway Downtown
Southbound Golden State at Terra Bella St. Ventura Freeway Downtown

5 Replies to “New Freeway Signs…”

  1. They do tend to make me tap the break ever-so-slightly and crane my neck up to see what they say.

    I suppose as folks get used to them, that will be less of an issue.

  2. Just started seeing them yesterday. It’s nice to know how long it’ll take and allows me to decide whether or not to take side streets rather than waiting for info AM or XM.

  3. In UK, they use text recognition cameras to record cars’ plates as they drive past predesignated points. With a database of numbers, times, and camera locations, a central computer can work out the average speed of traffic along a road.

    Anybody in LA think that could be an invasion of privacy?

    Of course, you can’t beat the eye-in-the-sky reports on London’s main radio station, along with phone-in reports of local traffic blackspots, breakdowns and accidents.

  4. Tight! I saw one this morning on the 10. It’s not the speed of the traffic that sucks, it’s the reliability. I can put up with traffic if I know that they are gonna happen. I hate the ones that happen at 7 in the morning (and weekends) for no apparent reason.

  5. Saw this sort of system in Chicago last summer. The time estimates are pretty reliable, and it’s nice to have a heads-up to pick a different route if necessary. Thanks, CalTrans.

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