The Rhode Island DOT has begun using Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) to make driving go more smoothly on major state-owned roads around Providence. The Transportation Management Center, which is responsible for monitoring the operation of state roads, has installed 130 cameras on major Providence highways and roads to keep track of traffic flow in real time. These cameras are accessible to the public through the DOT’s website, so commuters can see traffic conditions and plan their routes accordingly. DOT has also installed digital highway signs which post travel-time estimates and information about construction, crashes, or other incidents.
Together, both technologies are helping relieve congestion on the newly constructed Iway, a $610 million highway project that redirected Interstate 95 away from downtown. The project has worked to reduce traffic delays, but there are still problem spots that regularly jam up. According to Joseph Bucci, head of the Transportation Management Center, the state “can’t build [itself] out of congestion. We need to try to do things better to manage [congestion] using technology.”