Thursday, September 2, 2010
Pre fun Rant – “Smart” Signs ?
Well, at least I FEEL smarter..
As I slog home from work every evening I have watched a newfangled traffic control system get implemented here is Seattle. First came the anchors, then the steel beams overhead, and finally the dot matrix screens. After weeks of testing, the system finally went “live.” The “system” consists of a series of adjustable speed limit signs posted over the individual lanes. They are some distance apart, let’s say a quarter mile. They are designed to “control” the flow of traffic and reduce congestion. Kind of like the controls in place at the freeway on ramps. The concept sounds like it could work. I bet we’re not the first to try it. I sure hope we studied one of these in use somewhere else before we bought ours…
As I approached the first sign on the day it went live the sign said slow down speed limit 50. This would have been cool expect I was going twenty miles an hour. The next sign said speed limit 45. I was now going ten miles an hour. The rest of the signs said speed limit 40, but we never got above fifteen miles an hour. Every day since, my experience has had the same. It doesn’t work.
We paid twenty six million dollars for this well oiled machine. I am sure there is someone, somewhere who decides what numbers to put where; so there is an ongoing expense as well.
I guess I feel a little "Stimulated."