Work zones, traffic incidents and high traffic areas during major events are often places where drivers can become confused or drive aggressively. Such an environment can cause congestion and endanger workers. During the summer months, SDDOT operates many work zones where drivers need to reduce speed, merge, and take extra precautions. These same characteristics are true for arrival and departure traffic at major special events.
ITS solutions are available to provide drivers with advance warning of work zones and traffic congestion. These systems can also provide project and traffic engineers real-time information necessary for timely traffic control. The Indiana Lane Merge system gives motorists instructions such as when to merge to prevent congestion at "bottle neck" areas. Products are also available for warning workers when errant vehicles breach the work zone.
While ITS technology has been researched and evaluated by many agencies, research is needed to inventory SDDOT and other state agencies to determine what traffic control needs exist for work zones and special events, and whether existing equipment can be utilized as a part of an ITS solution such as an early lane merge system or a traffic management system.