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Message boards provide drivers with traffic wait times
BOSTON – Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey today unveiled new message boards offering real time traffic information along the Interstate 93 corridor from Canton to the New Hampshire border.
At the same time, MassDOT is also helping Cape Cod travelers by rolling out new traffic resources, including new online cameras showing road conditions on Route 6 Westbound and using message boards to share with drivers the extent of the heavy traffic leaving the Cape on Sundays.
“Just in time for the busy July 4th holiday we are launching a service people have been clamoring for,” said Secretary Davey. “Real time traffic data will better allow people to plan their commutes giving them greater control over their day. These initiatives are further examples of the Patrick-Murray Administration's commitment to improving the customer experience through innovation.”
The Real Time Traffic Management (RTTM) pilot includes I-93 Northbound and Southbound travel time information via 22 signs. The signs display travel times in segments between various interchanges. For example, drivers passing Pelham Street in Methuen see on average a 14 minute travel time to Route 128 in Woburn. As traffic slows, road sensors send updated travel times every minute to the message boards letting drivers know how long it will be until they reach their destination.
“A trial of this real time technology during last summer’s 93 Fast 14 project gave us a confidence in the system and we are proud to be introducing this along the Interstate 93 corridor,” said Highway Administrator Frank DePaola.
Drivers will also notice these boards on highways approaching I-93. On I-95 Northbound before Neponset Street drivers will see the time it takes to reach the Braintree Split. MassDOT is working to link this real time information for customers via 511 and also in the future make it accessible to third parties through its open data initiative.
“This is a great example of how we can use technology to improve our overall transportation experience across the state. Through the Real Time Traffic Management System, commuters will receive timely traffic updates that will keep them as informed as possible to limit any disruptions to their day," said Senator and Joint Chair of the Transportation Committee Thomas McGee. "We must continue to look for creative ways to move our transportation system into the 21st century.”
“This is a welcome innovation that will help individual and commercial travelers make more informed decisions about their routes, improving the experience as well as the efficiency of driving in the Greater Boston region,” said Paul Guzzi, president and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.
“I am pleased to see the introduction of this real time travel information for those commuting to and from the Merrimack Valley. Time lost to traffic has an impact on business; this pilot project will bring a new level of predictability for employees and employers,” said Joseph Bevilacqua, President and CEO of the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce.
“The state has made good on its pledge to improve communications and information to travelers who face unexpected travel delays,” said Peter Forman, President of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce.
This week, MassDOT is also bringing online seven additional cameras for residents and visitors interested in road conditions on Cape Cod at www.mass.gov/massdot (cameras 224 to 230).
The Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority is now hosting two new cameras on its website: www.capecodtransit.org. Six message boards are also being deployed to communicate road conditions. Plans to provide even further resources for Cape Cod travelers are in progress. Beyond I-93 and Route 6, MassDOT is next hoping to bring this statewide real time traffic initiative to Western Massachusetts along I-91.
In addition to the new resources announced today, MassDOT is encouraging Fourth of July travelers to check its interactive Traffic Cameras webpage for live looks at current traffic.
Drivers may sign up for the 511 traveler information service to receive alerts via email, text or telephone by dialing 511 or logging onto www.mass.gov/511 to register and receive personalized updates. MassDOT reminds drivers to avoid using cell phones while driving and to call into the 511 service before they leave.
MassDOT will suspend highway construction projects on major roadways across the state from Noon on Tuesday, July 3 through normal start of business on Thursday, July 5. To be clear, the regular enhanced maintenance closure of I-93 through Boston has been cancelled for Tuesday overnight into Wednesday.
I-90 toll plazas will be fully staffed during the holiday weekend to help reduce congestion.
Free coffee will be served at the 18 MassDOT service plazas from 10pm Wednesday, July 4, through 5am Thursday morning, July 5. The plazas serving free coffee include 11 service plazas along I-90 plus plazas along Route 3 in Plymouth, Route 128 in Beverly, Route 128/I-95 in Newton and Lexington, Route 6 in Barnstable, and the Route 24 northbound and southbound plazas.