TRENTON – Highway signs will soon give you an idea how long it might take to reach your destination. New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner James Simpson today announced a new initiative to provide motorists with information about how long it may take them to reach destinations along the highway on which they are traveling.
The travel-time information, which will be displayed on Dynamic Message Signs (DMS) along New Jersey’s interstate highways, capitalizes on the Department’s investments in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technology. Motorists will start to see travel time displays early next week.
“This initiative alerts motorists to traffic conditions miles down the road, equipping them with information they can use to make decisions about possibly altering the route to their destination,” Simpson said. “At the very least, trip-time information confirms that traffic is flowing well or warns motorists about congestion ahead and helps them approach in a safe manner.”
The Department has completed the testing phase on 15 DMS on I-287 and I-195. The signs display major waypoints, such as intersecting highways or significant roadway features, and indicate how many minutes it will take to reach that waypoint.
By Memorial Day, the Department expects to provide similar information to motorists on I-78, I-80, I-280, I-295 and on a segment of I-95 in Mercer County. About 50 DMS will provide trip-time information. The plan is to initially provide trip times only during the morning and afternoon peak periods.
Trip-time information is continuously re-calculated for accuracy based on information gathered automatically by vehicle progress data gathered by roadside devices or by GPS devices that owners choose to be probed.
Motorists should be aware that the travel times displayed on DMS reflect the experience of motorists who have recently completed travel along a specific highway segment. Traffic conditions and travel times can change from the time a motorist passes a DMS and the time he or she completes that segment.
The DMS that will display trip times are permanently installed signs that are used by the Department to alert motorists of incidents and to provide information such as temporary road or lane closures. The Department will maintain the flexibility to post such information at any time.
The Department is increasingly turning to technology to help maximize the operational capacity of New Jersey’s heavily traveled roadways. Travel-time information is an example of that focus, Simpson said, because when motorists inform themselves of current traffic conditions and divert themselves around pockets of congestion, everyone on the road benefits.
The travel-time messages supplement traffic information available on a variety of platforms, including www.511nj.org, broadcast traffic reports and personalized text alerts available for free at 511nj.org.
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