Approximately two years ago, I suggested installing variable speed limits on the Split as a way to smooth traffic flow and improve safety during periods of congestion. It looks like Seattle is now doing exactly that on I-5. I still think it would be a great option for the I-70/I-71 split, and really any highway that experiences regular congestion. Given the $1.7 Billion price tag, and the dire budget situation at every level of government, why wouldn’t we experiment with cheaper alternatives that can be implemented more quickly first?
Revolutionary new traffic system to “cut injury accidents 30 percent”
By ALEX SILVERMAN
…The system will vary the speed limit between 40 and 60 miles per hour depending on traffic conditions, close lanes when there is trouble ahead, and let drivers know when to merge to avoid bottlenecks before they even have time to develop.
The technology’s been used in Europe for several years, but Seattle’s system, along with one in Minnesota, are the first in the United States. “We’ve learned from them, studied their data,” Rubstello said.
The results across the Atlantic are significant. Injury accidents have been reduced by 30 percent, while minor fender-benders have been cut by 15 percent. Rubstello says she expects the same results here in Seattle.
…According to Lomax, Seattle’s active traffic management system could start a revolution. “If this is successful, every major city is going to go to school on this.”