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State Will Expand Signs With Travel Time Information

Jimmy Emerson
Flickr Creative Commons

The state is expanding the display of "travel time" information on its major highways.

“We're going to completely modernize over one hundred traffic signals, and the state is going to take over maintenance responsibility for that,” says Assistant State Traffic Engineer Steve Hunnewell. “Because a lot of the smaller towns really didn't have the expertise available on their staffs to make them run the way that they should."

Hunnewell says that in addition to specially-designed signs, the information is now being sent to the larger signs that flash travel information, and the smaller, portable signs often deployed near construction areas.

Hunnewell, at Thursday's State Transportation Conference in Augusta, says that travel time information can be a tool to combat climate change.

"If we can prevent people from taking the wrong route and getting stuck in traffic, obviously that's good for the environment,” he says. “They're not sitting in traffic, idling and wasting fuel, so that obviously is a huge benefit."

Another session at the conference featured two Massachusetts officials who discussed how that state is adapting transportation infrastructure to be more resilient to the effects of rising sea levels and severe storms.