Commute times coming to more Phoenix-area freeway message signs

Commute times displayed on electronic message boards

Commute times are displayed on many of ADOT's electronic message boards.

A commute that takes 45 minutes one day, might only last a half-hour the next. Whether it’s because of a traffic incident, weather, project construction or just a more-than-average number of cars on the road, travel times are rarely consistent…

So, wouldn’t it be convenient to know what to expect, before you’re stuck in traffic and it’s too late to take an alternate route?

Of course it would, which is why ADOT displays commute times on many of its freeway message boards in the Phoenix and Tucson areas.

If you’re a fan of those commute times, we’ve got some good news: the number of electronic message boards displaying commute times is due to increase to 76 by late this year (12 of those 76 will display the travel times during both the morning and afternoon rush hours).

Since the expansion of the travel-times program began in September, ADOT has added commute times to 34 freeway message boards, bringing the total to 65 signs that currently display the information for morning or afternoon freeway commuters.

The electronic signs give drivers an estimate of how long it will take to travel to locations, including major cross streets and well-known points along the freeways, such as the I-10 Deck Park Tunnel near downtown Phoenix.

More about the signs

ADOT operates a total of 193 overhead message boards along Arizona highways, including 108 in the Phoenix area and 15 in the Tucson area (five of those in the Tucson area display rush-hour commute times along I-10). Besides commute times, the boards display information on weather-related hazards, crashes, road closures and restrictions, and alerts from law enforcement (AMBER alerts, along with the new Blue and Silver alerts).

Many of you might be wondering how the signs know the amount of time it’s going to take you to get from point A to point B. Well, the times are not the result of just an educated guess; they’re actually continually being calculated by an automated system that uses traffic data and an algorithm – get a more in-depth look at how the times are calculated in this 2013 blog post.

You’ll also find more information about the Traffic Operations Center, freeway cameras and sign installation in our blog archives and over on our YouTube channel.