Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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Real-time traffic information - East Washington Ave.

Traffic condition cameras and dynamic message signs are being used along Madison's East Washington Avenue to ease congestion and disseminate travel information during construction. The equipment will continue serving the corridor after construction is complete in 2009.

This traffic management and travel information project is the first step in reconstructing the busy thoroughfare, which on average carries at least 39,000 vehicles a day. Reconstruction started in spring 2004, with the first phase of work taking place between Blair Street and Thornton Avenue.

As well as helping travelers, the electronic signs and cameras provide important information to traffic engineers and the Dane County 911 Center. Dispatchers are able to use the signs to alert drivers of crashes or other hazards. They are also able to direct emergency vehicles around traffic jams, preventing delays in response time.

Specific elements of the project include:

  • Five dynamic message signs stationed along the avenue and other major streets that feed into the corridor.
  • Five cameras to supply data to traffic engineers and public safety agencies.
  • Wireless controls for key traffic signals to prevent disruption during construction.

The system encourages the continued use of East Washington Avenue during construction by maximizing green lights and controlling turn movements in order to limit traffic through local neighborhoods. The traffic management equipment also maintains access to local businesses and pedestrian-friendly crosswalks.

The electronic signs will be placed between the sidewalk and curb and will be slightly taller than electronic signs seen at other construction sites. The system is consistent with the public's desire to have a community sensitive design with aesthetic signal and camera poles and sign structures.

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Southwest Transportation Region, swr.dtsd@dot.wi.gov
Last modified: August 1, 2012

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