SDOT, like other transportation agencies throughout the nation, is using technological advances to better inform motorists of road conditions, giving drivers information they can use to consider the best route to reach their destination, or just how long it may take to get there.
Dynamic Message Signs, are large overhead message boards that inform motorists of traffic problems ahead. These signs can also recommend alternative routes, limit travel speed, warn of duration and location of problems, or simply provide alerts or warnings. Strategically located traffic cameras throughout the city are monitored in SDOT’s Traffic Management Center, and inform staff of conditions and issues that warrant a sign message.
While dynamic message signs are probably more commonly visible to motorists on I-5, SDOT has two dozen already constructed at key locations throughout Seattle and will soon be adding another seven. Needing to be big to be visible to passing motorists, the new signs will be approximately 17 feet wide, seven feet tall, and placed about 19 feet above the roadway.
The seven signs are slated for construction in the summer of 2015. Each location will take about a month to complete, although construction is likely to occur in spurts as different crews complete different aspects of installation. The seven locations for the next grouping of these dynamic message signs are at:
- Above the northbound travel lanes of First Avenue South, just north of Royal Brougham Way (the street that runs east/west near Safeco and Century Link Fields)
- Above the northbound travel lanes of Fourth Avenue South, south of Seattle Boulevard South, where I-90 touches down on Fourth (also close to the stadiums)
- Above the southbound travel lanes of Elliott Avenue West at Harrison Street (the intersection that has long been home to the Shanty Café)
- Above the southbound travel lanes of Elliott Avenue West just south of West Prospect Street (the street with the Amgen-Helix Campus pedestrian overpass)
- Above the southbound travel lanes of Fifth Avenue a little north of Lenora (about a block north of the Westin Hotel)
- Above the northbound travel lanes of Rainier Avenue South at South College Street (just south of where Rainier intersects with 23rd Avenue South)
- Above the northbound travel lanes of 24th Avenue East at East Lee Street a block south of East Galer Street, which has a traffic signal
The dynamic message signs and traffic cameras are key components of what is commonly known as Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). To find out more about how SDOT is taking advantage of the Next Generation ITS, visit our webpage located at www.seattle.gov/transportation/its.hmt.