Benefit

Evaluation of Variable Message Signs in Wisconsin: Driver Survey


May 2002
Statewide,Wisconsin,United States


Summary Information

In December 2001, the University of Wisconsin surveyed drivers in Wisconsin to assess the impacts of traveler information made available on a freeway dynamic message sign (DMS) system. Mail-back questionnaires were sent to 428 random drivers residing in 22 counties subject to major freeway traffic. To encourage residents to complete and return the questionnaire, two 34-cent stamps and a letter explaining the intent of the survey and its importance to Wisconsin were included with each mailer. Each participant who completed the questionnaire and returned it by December 28, 2001, was promised ten more 34-cent stamps.

The questionnaire included 38 multiple choice questions (and a comments section) designed to gauge drivers' opinions of travel conditions, investigate drivers’ knowledge on general freeway issues, and determine user awareness and perception of active incident management programs in Wisconsin.

A total of 221 questionnaires were returned and analyzed. The following data derived from the report, highlight general findings associated with the driver use and satisfaction.
  • Approximately 68 percent of respondents reported adjusting their travel routes based on the travel time or traffic information provided by the DMS system during the winter months (December – March). About 12 percent of respondents adjusted their travel routes more than 5 times per month using this information
  • Approximately 72 percent of respondents reported adjusting their travel routes based on the travel time or traffic information provided by the DMS system during non-winter months (April – November). About 18 percent of respondents adjusted their travel routes more than 5 times per month using this information.

Respondents were asked to rate the helpfulness of the following categories of DMS traveler information on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being very helpful and 1 being not helpful. Each category had an average score of greater than 2. The following are listed in descending order of helpfulness (higher to lower scores).
  • Current road work.
  • Warning about road hazards.
  • Recommended alternate routes.
  • Emergency situations (natural disasters, etc.).
  • Accidents affecting traffic.
  • Traffic congestion.
  • Future road work.
  • Current travel times.
  • Weather information.
  • Special event information (fairs, sporting events).

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Source

Evaluation of Variable Message Signs in Wisconsin: Driver Survey

Author: Ran, Bin et al.

Published By: University of Wisconsin

Source Date: May 2002


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Notes

Benefit of the Month for January, 2005 !


Keywords

DMS, CMS, VMS, Changeable Message Signs, Variable Message Signs

Benefit ID: 2004-00279