You may have noticed some of the new signs that have gone up recently on I-5 through South Seattle and on places such as the Columbian Way approach to the I-5 on-ramps. These are part of the new Smarter Highways active traffic management system that is going live on Tuesday, August 10. The electronic signs will help improve highway safety by alerting drivers when they need to change lanes because of blockages ahead, or when they need to reduce their speed before reaching a traffic backup.
The Smarter Highways website has an animation to show how the system will work. Here’s a longer video about the system. According to the video, systems such as this have been used in Europe with success, reducing traffic-related collisions by 30%.