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Deployment and Evaluation of ITS Technology in Work Zones


Traffic safety and mobility is a concern to transportation agencies throughout North America, evidenced by the aggressive goals for reduced accidents and congestion set by Transport Canada, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, and the Federal Highway Authority. Work zones often act as a compounding factor to intensify issues of safety and congestion on the highway system. Recent advances in the use of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and the application of ITS to work zones are providing new tools that can be used for management of traffic in and around work zones. This paper will examine several recent field applications of ITS in work zones, providing a description of the operation of the systems, results of evaluations that have been conducted, and identification of current and future research. One application of ITS in work zones has been dynamic lane merging. Dynamic lane merging creates a dynamic “No Passing” zone in advance of the construction area that advises motorists to merge early, rather than wait until reaching the final taper area. The system changes as traffic condition changes so that it is always relevant to the current driving conditions. A study recently completed by Wayne State University in Michigan showed that the Lane Merger was beneficial in reducing aggressive driving, reducing travel time delay, and decreasing traffic stops and duration of stops. It was also shown to have a favorable benefit to cost comparison. Dynamic lane merging is just one example of ITS in work zones that has been developed, deployed, and proven successful. Other applications have also emerged such as variable speed limit and travel information systems that provide regulations and information that are based on the current conditions and are relevant and believable to drivers.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Bushman, R
Berthelot, C
Klashinsky, R
Road safety