I know I've bitched about them before... but, after driving through Seattle's horrendous traffic again today, I'm more enraged than ever at the money being spent for these ridiculous "Smart Signs" that are popping up everywhere. They're have got to be one of the stupidest fucking things I've ever seen.
The idea is that "Smart Signs" will slow traffic so that everything flows more smoothly during peak traffic times. But, in reality, the signs are always 10-20 miles per hour faster than the speed anybody can actually reach. This makes them effectively useless...
Here I am going 10 miles per hour in a 30 miles per hour zone.
So what fucking difference does it make if, instead of paying for these very expensive digital signs, there were much cheaper traditional 60 MPH painted signs on the side of the road? I'll tell you what... NO FUCKING DIFFERENCE AT ALL! These "Smart Signs" aren't doing shit. Except costing taxpayers absurd amounts of money. Slow traffic is slow traffic and you'll go however fast the traffic allows. No magical signage is going to change that. End of story.
But the "Smart Signs" keep going up.
Not that smart, Seattle.
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I’ve driven in a lot of states, having been to all 50 and all. But when I saw this in Washington, all I got was frustrated at the unachievable speeds allowed.
We have them over here on some motorways and they work quite well, but that’s probably because the traffic isn’t as bad in the first place. It looks like the powers that be in Seattle are trying to put a band-aid on a black hole – the traffic is too bad for the signs to have any effect.
Just a bit of info from the UK. We have had these signs (Variable Speed Limits) on some motorways for 15 years or so.
They do work (I work at the place that helps evaluate that), but they have to be set up well (the relationship between traffic speed and density specifying the speed limit.)
Also in the UK, a 40mph speed limit on on of these is set any time there is a queue on the road. This is designed to slow down traffic approaching the back of the queue – which is where many accidents occur.
This may be why you are seeing 30mph limits while you are doing 10mph