Nearly all modern metropolitan areas are awash in traffic congestion and concerns about safety. Well, it seems the one tool that state roadway planners and legislators have turned to for an effective and financially viable tool to address these concerns is ramp metering. Denver is actually taking the first step with a newer “on-ramp system” that feeds cars onto Interstate 25, when there is an actual gap in traffic and holds drivers back when there isn’t any access gap. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) plans to test out the new system between Ridge Gate and University before implementing the plan elsewhere.
“What they are going to notice on I-25 is that it will be flowing at highway speeds even during the peak hours when we have congestion now,” said Peter Kozinski, Director of CDOT’s Road X Program, adding, “This is a new concept never deployed in North America before.”
What Does the New On-Ramp System Look Like?
The following information about one facet of CDOT’s Road X Program was gathered in local news reports and from the CDOT website. Here is what the new $8 million on-ramp Road X Program will look like at a snapshot:
- CDOT will install software and traffic sensors to the aging segment of highway between the Ridgegate and University exits.
- Devices will be installed every 1/3 of a mile that will shoot lasers across traffic.
- The lasers will register natural gaps in traffic, and then trigger on-ramp signals to green to feed vehicles onto the highway filling gaps.
- The on-ramp lights will remain red when traffic is full, holding cars on the on-ramp, until the next natural gap occurs.
- The timing at the lights will change according to traffic, and won’t be a set pattern.
- Where possible, CDOT hopes to add an additional lane at the top of the on-ramp to help get more cars integrated onto the highway faster.
- CDOT officials say they’ve analyzed the system and don’t expect any delays or backups on side streets. The system has already been implemented in Melbourne, Australia, and has proven to be immensely successful.
- Hardware will be installed this Fall, and the system is expected to go live soon after the first of the year.
- CDOT officials hope the integration of the new on-ramp program will result in the following benefits:
- Fewer collisions
- More reliable travel times and trips
- Decrease in stop-and-go traffic
- More efficient roadway flow without expanding the infrastructure
Action Areas of CDOT’s Road X-Program
CDOT’s new on-ramp metering program is just a sliver of a larger Road X-Program, which is aimed at helping Colorado’s growth boom and already congested highway system. It is estimated that Colorado currently doles out $13 billion a year now for roadway crashes. CDOT’s Road X-Program is poised to assist in the following areas:
- Commuting – Transform Colorado into the most revolutionary transportation hub in the nation by deploying technology and infrastructure to improve and advance travel times, optimize routing, and movement of commutes.
- Sustainability – Develop programs that are energy conservation in nature, and reduce emissions.
- Transportability – Eventually, develop in-vehicle technology to support the infrastructure to improve efficiency of freight transport and safety.
- Safety – Move closer to “ZERO” death counts on Colorado’s highways.
- Connect – Harness data collected from real-life traffic and transform it into actionable intelligence that can be delivered to motorists, smartphones, and autonomous vehicles.
Contact a Boulder Car Accident Attorney at the Cederberg Law Firm
Have you or a loved one suffered an injury as the result of a car accident through no fault of your own? If so, contact a Boulder Car Accident Attorney at the Cederberg Law Firm to fight for your right and any compensation for damages that may be owed to you, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, as well as other losses.
Call us at 303-499-0449 or email us using the contact form to learn more about our services. We offer a free initial consultation, as well as contingency fee options. Our lawyers also make hospital visits to make sure you have adequate access to the legal support you need.
1“I-25 Rush-Hour Traffic to Flow Better with New On-Ramp Metering System, CDOT says” published in The Denver Channel, Sept. 2017.