CDOT trip data predicts travel times between here, Front Range
Ryan Summerlin September 15, 2006
SUMMIT COUNTY – The Colorado Department of Transportation recently implemented a system of message boards along the I-70 corridor between C-470 and Copper Mountain.The signs give motorists estimated travel times to specific destinations along the highway.
The signs are aimed at helping travelers make decisions regarding their travels, according to a CDOT representative.The estimated times are calculated within certain mile markers and the time it takes the car to go that distance will be translated into the estimated time you see on the message boards as you drive beneath them.The system collects data from speed input devices including future ramp meters, side-fire radar and toll transponders.
Resent tests were conducted over the Labor Day weekend on the system, which has never been used in a rural area, showing that it was working well but that problems still exist.Currently, there are six message boards on the westbound side and seven on the eastbound side.Higher priority messages will take the place of travel times when it is deemed critical to public safety.
Poor road conditions, safety messages and traffic reports will also be transmitted to travelers, allowing them to chose alternate routes or make adjustments.The message board can be updated instantaneously from the Operation Control Center in Golden, which will allow the system to be used in different ways.The system, though helpful, is not predictive; it simply provides a snapshot of current highway conditions and traffic.