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Arizona Improves Travel-Time Signage on Phoenix Freeways

July 31, 2008

PHOENIX --- The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has begun the second stage of a year-long pilot project to provide drivers with estimated travel times. In the newest phase, the estimated times displayed on signs will be more precise.

In January, ADOT launched a pilot program that uses data from traffic flow sensors to estimate how long it would take to reach various parts of the Valley during weekday peak commute periods, rounded to the nearest five minute increment. Six overhead message boards on select metro Phoenix freeways displayed these travel time estimates during both the morning (6 a.m. to 9 a.m.) and afternoon (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) peak commute periods.

Although the program started with displaying the more conservative five minute intervals, public feedback (encouraged at helped guide the decision to show more precise time displays during the next six months. As part of this project, ADOT is studying the accuracy of the estimated travel times and looking for any effects on freeway speeds, congestion and safety.

ADOT launched the travel times program on January 22. Data from traffic flow sensors along the freeway is used to estimate how long drivers can expect a trip to take between key freeway locations in the Phoenix area.

Travel times might not be displayed if a higher priority message needs to be conveyed, such as Amber Alerts, roadway closures, safety issues or special events.


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