The regional business community supports the scaled implementation of “SMART freeways”, which call for the Systematic Management of Adaptable Roadways through Technology to improve our metropolitan freeway network in a cost-effective, scalable manner.
Summary. We are hopeful that area freeways including I-40 and I-885 between Raleigh, Durham, Cary, and Chapel Hill can become “SMART freeways” to link us closer and better together through the use of technology and innovation, including targeted expansions of on-ramp signals and the activation of transit priority shoulders over time. Others cities in the US and beyond have successfully implemented smart freeways; our region can also leverage technology and innovation to keep us moving as we grow.
RTA appreciates the leadership of NCDOT and our two area metropolitan planning organizations on this issue.
Background. The approved RTA action plan for 2023 includes five focus areas, one of which is rapid relief for freeways. A key component of our freeway focus area is to use technology to make the most of our existing road infrastructure in addition to targeted freeway expansions and improvements. Other names for smart freeways include managed freeways, managed motorways, smart roadways, and active traffic management along freeways.
RTA remains a strong supporter of the on-ramp signals on I-540 in north Raleigh that NCDOT successfully implemented a few years ago. Smart freeways can include on-ramp signals, variable speed limits, and dynamic lane and interchange management; these and other techniques can help manage and protect traffic flow on our multimodal freeway network for all users.