A Smarter Way to Manage Traffic

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A Smarter Way to Manage Traffic

Central Ohio freeway signs. New smartlane technology is being utilized on 670.

Central Ohio freeway signs. New smartlane technology is being utilized on 670.

Central Ohio freeway signs. New smartlane technology is being utilized on 670.

Central Ohio freeway signs. New smartlane technology is being utilized on 670.

Jake Miller

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Ohio opened its first “smartlane” on October 23rd to help ease traffic on I-670 East. The idea is to utilize the smartlane during times when traffic is at its heaviest to alleviate traffic flow. “The new smartlane will save commuters time and tax dollars by using existing infrastructure,” said Lt Governor Jon Husted.

 Ideally, smartlanes use technology to improve the life of Ohioans. After conducting research, the Ohio Department of Transportation determined the 8 mile stretch of I-670 East would be a good location to test the technology. “This project represents a shift in the way we think about traffic congestion, not only will it get central Ohioans home faster, the new technology will allow us to truly manage traffic, not just monitor it.” said ODOT director Jack Marchbanks.

 It uses technology to manage access to the speedlimit, as well as communicate with drivers on the route. Using cameras at the traffic management center, ODOT will be able to choose when to open the Smartlane and change the speed to 45 to keep traffic flowing. “Right now, even though the speed limit is 65, if you drive through this area through evening rush, you don’t get anywhere up to 65 or even 45 for that matter.” Said Brooke Erersole, ODOT district 6 Public Information Officer.

The route contains nine electronic overhead signs that help communicate to drivers when the SmartLane is open by displaying a green arrow over the shoulder. It also consists of 37 high-definition cameras that ODOT’s Traffic Management Center will consistently monitor. The $60 million project is said to be done by the end of 2019.

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