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Smart Travel minimizes travel time, congestion, and accident delays by monitoring vehicle movement and roadway conditions and relaying that information through a communication network to VDOT personnel “in the field” and in central locations, as well as to law enforcement and emergency services providers. Prompt incident response, in particular, improves mobility as rapid detection and clearing of accidents and incidents reduces initial congestion and the secondary collisions that frequently result and cause additional delays.

This “raw” information can be processed into useful messages that are passed on to motorists via Dynamic Message Signs, Highway Advisory Radio, the Internet, and other communications tools. By providing real-time information about traffic congestion, flow, and road conditions, The Smart Travel Program enables Northern Virginia travelers to select alternate routes, times, and travel modes to reach their destinations more quickly and safely.

According to a study by George Mason University’s Center for Transportation Policy and Logistics that focused on the Northern Virginia area, “The combination of Variable Message Signs, a certain degree of intersection signalization, traveler information services, loop detectors, and surveillance cameras have had a profound impact on reducing congestion. The average [morning] peak period travel time for trip making within the I-66 corridor would be 25 percent greater today if such systems were not in place.”

The study goes on to say, “Further deployment of Intelligent Transportation Systems…could enhance the effectiveness of highway and transit improvements planned for the study area. Average travel times under the heavy ITS investment are significantly lower than those associated with the scenario assuming only minimal additional deployment of ITS”.

To read the full study, please go to:

Page last modified: Oct. 14, 2012