HomeAtlanta NewsAtlanta removes 167 variable speed limit signs amidst failures

Atlanta removes 167 variable speed limit signs amidst failures

Atlanta, Georgia – In Metro Atlanta, Georgia authorities are spending over $400,000 to take down 167 variable speed limit signs. The decision to install these signs on Interstate 285 was made in 2012, and they began appearing on the northern part of the interstate around that time, as reported by various news outlets. The system, however, was not activated until around October 2014.

At that time, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) noted that the northern 36-mile section of I-285, often referred to as the Perimeter, saw about 50,000 more vehicles daily than the southern part of the interstate and had twice as many interchanges.

The signs were designed to adjust the speed limits based on factors like traffic congestion, but they faced several issues. They often failed to show the correct speed limits or showed no speed information at all, and drivers frequently disregarded the limits that were displayed.

“We are replacing them with what we would call static speed limits,” John Hibbard, director of the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Operations Division, told The Center Square.

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While it is unclear how much was initially spent to install these signs, which were once touted as “low-cost, cutting-edge technology,” it is believed that the cost was above $4 million. Problems with the signs started being reported as early as 2015, leading to an upgrade in 2016.

The Federal Highway Administration has indicated that variable speed limit signs have been utilized by states for a variety of reasons, including managing traffic congestion, safety in work zones, and adapting to different weather conditions.

Calliope Hargrave


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