EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS OF THE QUALITY, EFFECTIVNESS, AND LOCALIZED IMPACTS OF HIGHWAY DYNAMIC MESSAGE SIGN MESSAGES
Fish, Robin Lee Wilson
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The need to convey accurate, real-time travel information to road users has long been recognized by transportation engineers. One of the primary means to accomplish this is the operation of highway Dynamic Message Signs (DMS). Though utilized for over 50 years, the quality of messages used, their effectiveness in influencing traffic, and the localized impacts they have are not well documented. This thesis introduces Bluetooth traffic detection sensors as a new tool for evaluation of DMS message quality and resulting route choice decisions. In addition, highway speed sensors are used to determine whether DMS influence changes in local traffic speeds. The findings indicate DMS messages are generally accurate in communicating prevailing conditions and can influence the route choice behavior of drivers. The speed analysis indicated that certain messages have more influence on traffic than others, though the majority of messages do not negatively affect traffic speeds.