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Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)

Ohio will have an exemplary Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) program that combines technology and advanced operational concepts to improve transportation decision-making by all partner agencies, while providing unprecedented levels of information to businesses and individual travelers.

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) include multiple common roadside technologies, including the following equipment.

Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV)

cctvClosed circuit television cameras are used to monitor activity on major roadways across Ohio. Most cameras are equipped with pan, tilt, and zoom capabilities, which allow operators in the state's Traffic Management Center (TMC) to rotate the cameras and zoom in for a closer look at roadway activity and incidents.

The cameras are primarily used to view any roadway incidents that occur so a corresponding message can be posted on dynamic message signs (DMS) and information can be shared with the public via platforms like OHGO.

Dynamic Message Signs (DMS)

Dynamic message signs (DMS), also referred to as variable message signs, are the large, electronic signs that overhang or appear along major highways in many Ohio metropolitan areas. The signs are typically used to display information about traffic conditions, travel times, construction, and road incidents.

Travel time information appears as the default message on DMS daily from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. The signs are also used overnight if needed for construction, road incidents, or other relative information.  The signs are not used for public advertisements, weather information, or any other type message unless approved by a statewide or nationwide campaign.


Destination Dynamic Message Signs

destination-dynamic-message-signSome dynamic message signs are dedicated to travel times only. These signs, called destination dynamic message signs (DDMS), look like regular green highway destination signs with small LED screen inserts.

Due to the size of the LED screens in these signs, they can display only travel time information. If a route is closed due to an incident, "CLD" will be displayed in place of the travel time.

In the event that nothing is displayed in the electronic section of the sign, motorists should not think that the road is closed. Blank travel times are signs of a malfunction; ODOT will work to address the problem as soon as possible.

Ramp Meters

Ramp meters are signal systems near the end of entrance ramps onto limited-access highways. The meters detect speed and occupancy of mainline lanes, allowing cars to enter the highway from the ramp at appropriate times to promote the most efficient flow of mainline traffic.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, the proven benefits of ramp metering include:

  • 30% travel time reduction
  • 25% traffic speed increase
  • 25% crash reduction
  • 10% emissions reduction

The Ohio Department of Transportation maintains 38 ramp meters statewide.

How Ramp Metering Works

ramp-metering

Locations

Ramp Meters are studied and evaluated using the principles developed in the Ramp Meter Warrant Spreadsheet following TEM 1303-11. 

Smart Corridors

Smart corridors, also known as managed lane or SmartLane corridors, allow an extra lane of travel on upgraded highway shoulders during certain times to alleviate congestion and aid incident management efforts. This innovative design solution and accompanying technology help mitigate safety risks on limited access highways.

According to the ​Texas A&M Transportation Institute, SmartLanes help frequently congested freeways by delaying the start of congestion and decreasing the crash rates by increasing the capacity and improving the operating conditions. In addition, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has published the Use of Freeway Shoulders for Travel – Guide for Planning, Evaluating, and Designing Part-Time Shoulder Use as a Traffic Management Strategy, which concludes that there is a link between changes in congestion and changes in the safety performance of a roadway when part-time shoulder use is in operation.

Ohio's first smart corridor, the I-670 SmartLane on the east side of Columbus in Franklin County, opened in October 2019. Another smart corridor is in development along I-275 in Hamilton and Clermont counties. See the video below from the I-670 SmartLane project to learn more about smart corridors.

 

ITS Guides, Manuals, and Resources