ADOT nearing completion of project to display commute times on more freeway message signs in Phoenix area

PHOENIX – Many Phoenix-area drivers have benefited from the display of commute times on freeway message boards since the Arizona Department of Transportation first introduced the program in 2008. ADOT is nearing completion of a project to add more rush-hour commute times on overhead message signs along Valley freeways.

The number of electronic message boards displaying commute times is due to increase to 76 by late this year. Since the expansion of the travel-times program in 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 provide drivers with estimated commute times to locations ahead, including major cross streets and well-known points along the freeways, such as the I-10 Deck Park Tunnel near downtown Phoenix.

Twelve of the 76 message boards will display the travel times during both the morning and afternoon rush hours.

The goal is to increase both efficiency and safety along Valley freeways, according to Reza Karimvand, an ADOT assistant state engineer.

“Having more signs showing travel time information can result in a smoother flow of traffic, since drivers have a better idea of freeway conditions up ahead,” said Karimvand. “National studies have shown that providing travel times reduces the likelihood of rear-end collisions or secondary crashes when an initial crash or other incident has occurred.”

When commute times are longer, drivers can use that information to make decisions about using alternate routes.

Five message boards also show rush-hour commute times along I-10 in Tucson.

ADOT operates a total of 193 overhead message boards along Arizona highways, including 108 in the Phoenix area and 15 in the Tucson area.

ADOT worked with the Maricopa Association of Governments, the metropolitan planning organization in the Phoenix area, in launching the commute-times program along Valley freeways six years ago.