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CDOT's Use Of VMSs Of Late...

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CDOT has been using variable message signs for years now -- at least well over 16 years since I first came out here.

Back then, especially along I-70 between Vail and Denver, when there weren't any major issues on the freeway, many of the overhead VMS listed driving times to 2-3 destinations.

Over time that practice has declined dramatically to where now only generic messages are displayed (Colorado Law -- Fasten Seat Belts).  On my most recent trip out of Denver then heading west, many of the VMS signs in the Metro had NOTHING displayed on them -- including morning and afternoon rush hours -- when driving times via multiple routes would've come in handy.

So why has CDOT gotten away from listing driving times, or not use the VMSs in some areas, while in other areas, they at least put something on the overheads to read while passing by. 

Another bone to pick with CDOT is all the money spent in the Denver Metro area on the smart lane technology on some of the freeways (portions of I-70/I-25/US-36) but for the 3 days I went through there during rush hours, I never saw any of those stretches using the lane markers nor the VMSs).  Is it that much of a drain on operating costs and budgets?

This isn't just a Colorado thing.

About 7 or 8 years ago ADOT in Arizona made a big deal about it's VMSs displaying travel times and even expanded the number of VMSs that displayed travel times. A few years later it even started posting travel times in rural areas.

However, as soon as a highway has a construction project the travel times for the area of construction seem to go away. Even long after the construction project is gone the VMSs where the construction was no longer display travel times.

For example. It would be useful for ADOT to display the travel time on the VMSs in Downtown Phoenix to 59th Ave / I-10 (which it used to prior to the Loop 202 construction). However ever since the construction project for the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway ADOT no longer displays travel times to any destination on W/B I-10 from downtown Phoenix. The only location displayed downtown is I-17 / Peoria Ave (even though the majority of traffic traveling W/B through Downtown Phoenix is going to continue W/B on I-10).

ADOT also used to display travel times along the E/B section of Loop 101 in North Phoenix / Scottsdale. However, after the construction project started, the travel times have gone away. It has several VMSs there displaying all sorts of other messages (or blank) but it refuses to display travel times at all on this stretch of highway.

Honestly, travel times are even more important due to construction but ADOT doesn't seem to care.

I was in Colorado back in June and thought the same thing about the VMSs, travel times would have been very nice to have. Not just in the Denver area too, Colorado Springs could have used some along I-25. I saw a couple of permanent travel time signs along I-25 and thought that those would be nice to have as well around the state, maybe in lieu of using the VMSs. I didn't see any other signs like that in the state. Hell it'd be cool to have the travel times along I-70 perhaps from as far as Grand Junction to Denver.

Meanwhile in my state, Indiana, they have gone all-in on travel time messages on EVERY VMS that doesn't already have a construction message. We might actually have too many travel time messages which seems to be the opposite problem of Colorado.

Best guess is that local municipalities don't like it when the drive times induce drivers to divert to surface streets.


--- Quote from: TXtoNJ on November 21, 2021, 10:22:21 AM ---Best guess is that local municipalities don't like it when the drive times induce drivers to divert to surface streets.

--- End quote ---

Maybe so in the city, but heading west on I-70 towards the Eisenhower Tunnel, Dillon and Breckenridge, there is at most TWO ways of getting there:  I-70 and the old US-6 alignments.

Showing drive-times, especially on weekends, would be beneficial to traffic, as some may sit out and wait until the traffic jams subside which in effect would thin out the peak traffic quicker.


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