COLORADO SPRINGS – A traffic control measure associated with big cities is coming to Colorado Springs. “Signalized on-ramps, green, red at 12 on-ramps through Colorado Springs,” said Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Engineer, Jason Nelson. The locations from South Academy Boulevard to North Nevada Avenue were selected based on data showing areas with the most side-swipe and rear-end accidents caused by congested merge spots.
The new high-tech ramp metering will happen when traffic slowing is detected by an automated system. “It’ll be tripped by I-25 average running speed,” said Nelson, “So when that dips to about 45 miles an hour the ramp metering will come on.”
The method is based on traffic science. When a large group of cars on an on-ramp reach heavy traffic in regular travel lanes, most of the drivers end up hitting the brakes as they try to find space to merge. “Ramp metering’s going to break the platoon up, so hopefully people will just find the gaps and merge over and there’s less of the braking,” said Nelson. It prevents pockets of slowing and keeps the interstate flowing at a more consistent pace. Studies show drive time through Colorado Springs will take “15% less time” when ramp metering is in place.
Works starts mid-summer. The install will take six to eight months. The $3.25 million price tag is considered a good deal compared to reducing congestion by adding lanes.