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 S, just north of Royal Brougham Way (the street that runs east/west near Safeco and Century Link Fields)
- Above the northbound travel lanes of First Avenue S, 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 S, south of Seattle Boulevard S, where I-90 touches down on Fourth Avenue S, also close to the stadiums.
- Above the southbound travel lanes of Elliott Avenue W at W Harrison Street, the intersection that has long been the home of the Shanty Café.
- Above the southbound travel lanes of Elliott Avenue W, just south of W Prospect Street, the street with the Amgen – Helix Campus pedestrian overpass.
- On southbound Fifth Avenue, a little south of Lenora Street, anchored on the east side of the street, about a block and a half north of the Westin Hotel.
- Above the northbound lanes of Rainier Avenue S at S College Street just south of the intersection of Rainier Avenue S and 23rd Avenue S.
- Above the northbound travel lanes of 24th Avenue E at E Lee Street, a block south of E Galer Street, which has a traffic light.
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.htm