If you drive through towns like Chicago, ones with notoriously horrendous traffic, you'll see LED billboards posted on bridges and interchanges that might tell you how long it might take you to get downtown, or to the lake, or to the corner where a drunken and shirtless Cubs fan will yell at you.
The high-tech traffic monitoring systems in big cities give commuters updates about delays, accidents, traffic flow, and ETA's on destinations, which is pretty damn useful when trying to navigate around in a timely and orderly manner.
Cleveland and other Ohio cities will be getting similar tech soon. Come October, the $22 million monitoring system will give real-time updates on BuckeyeTraffic.org and display similar information to that mentioned above on signs posted around highly-trafficked highways around the region.
And yes, signs for I-480 eastbound will always say: "Some idiot crashed again and way too many people use this highway, you are never getting where you're going." Or something to that effect.
Details after the jump.
The Ohio Department of Transportation's Intelligent Transportation System will include online views transmitted from cameras mounted high above the interstates, sensors to measure speed and volume and message boards.
"We are providing real time information to motorists to make decisions," said George Saylor, an ODOT senior engineer.
The $22 million regional system will debut in Cleveland in October on Interstates 480, 71, 77, 90 and Ohio 2 and 176 about 10 miles from the city. It will be expanded to Lake, Geauga, Summit, Medina, Portage, Stark and Summit counties by fall 2011. Eventually it will be in the Dayton, Youngstown, Toledo, Columbus and Cincinnati metropolitan areas.
So now you don't have to wait to get pissed off as W. 25th, where 71 tends to slow down, or anywhere on 480, the single most maddening highway in the entire state. You can log on before you leave your house and know, if you didn't assume already, that your drive is going to suck and you should pop a Xanax lest you end up in a road rage-related event, one that would surely screw up traffic even more than it already was. See, you're just being kind to your fellow drivers.
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