Smart Signs to Help Improve Safety Activated on I-25

ADAMS COUNTY—The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is field testing its Smart Signs system on Interstate 25 this week.

Located on southbound I-25—from 120th Avenue in Northglenn to I-76—the overhead signs will help drivers anticipate and prepare for congestion, and lane closures caused by accidents, disabled vehicles and other obstacles.

The testing period started at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 30, and continues through 9 a.m. Friday, Dec. 2. During this period, when an incident occurs, the traveling public will be provided with real-time information.

In addition, CDOT will be observing driver behavior when the signs are activated, and also making sure the equipment is working properly and displaying correct information.

Closed lane due to accident message advises drivers to merge to open lane (below right)

Smart Signs

Advisory speed limits to slow drivers as they approach congestion (above left)

I-25 is one of two corridors in Colorado to have this system. The Smart Signs have operated on U.S. 36 between Federal Boulevard in Westminster and Table Mesa Drive in Boulder since July 2016.

In other states where similar traffic management systems have been employed, crashes have been reduced by an average of 30 percent and the road capacity has increased approximately 22 percent.

The Smart Signs system uses input from cameras and vehicle detectors to collect and process information about current traffic conditions, 24 hours a day. Information is then posted on the overhead digital signs, displaying whether a lane is open or closed, or provide advisory speed limits to avoid the need for sudden braking that can lead to secondary accidents.

Advisory speed limits will be used to incrementally slow drivers as they approach congestion. The lowest advisory speed will be 35 mph, even if traffic is moving slower. Just like a static speed limit sign, adverse traffic conditions may require slower speeds than the posted limit.

If a lane is closed, the status signs will direct drivers to merge into an open lane in advance of the closure.

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