Table of Contents
- RUMBLE STRIPS
- CHANNELIZING DEVICE SPACING REDUCTION
- FLAGGER STATION ENHANCED SETUPS
- WORK ZONE SPEED LIMIT REDUCTIONS
- POLICE ENFORCEMENT
- VARIABLE MESSAGE SIGNS
- DRONE RADAR
6. VARIABLE MESSAGE SIGNS
EI 91-05 permits the use of variable message signs to supplement standard highway signs, especially where real-time information is needed, or added conspicuity is considered important. Most Regions already own a number of VMSs, and additional units can be obtained by contractors on a rental basis for use on construction projects. For maximum effectiveness, VMSs used in work zones should provide current information regarding work activities that may require drivers to stop or change travel paths, as well as other important real-time information.
VMSs are for use to provide added advance warning to drivers on high speed roadways where work activities will require stopping, slowing, merging, or other maneuvers that require a specific reaction. Priority use of available VMSs is to be as follows:
- Advance warning on high-speed expressways and rural arterials where workers are exposed to traffic.
- In addition to stationary sites, VMSs may be used for slowly moving and mobile operations if available and if there is adequate shoulder width to permit a truck-mounted VMS at least one km behind the operation.
- Because they are easily transported, VMSs may be used to protect short-duration maintenance activities where workers are exposed on high-speed roadways.
- VMSs may also be used to provide information on work schedules, alternate routes, anticipated delays, and other time-related information when not needed at locations where workers are exposed to traffic.
- Department-owned VMSs not in use for incident management and other operational purposes should be assigned to maintenance projects as needed. Any remaining available units should be made available to construction. Additional units needed for construction are to be obtained by order-on-contract on ongoing projects.
The following guidelines are to be followed in the use of VMSs:
- Refer to the NYSDOT Draft Policy and Guidelines For Variable Message Signs available from TE&HS for general use guidelines and developing appropriate messages.
- When used in conjunction with active work operations, the messages are to state the specific roadway condition ahead, following the guidance in the Draft Policy and Guidelines for VMSs.
- VMSs are not to be used to provide generic messages or safety messages such as “Please Use Caution” in or upstream from work zones. When not needed to relay specific information, they are to be turned off.
- VMSs should generally be positioned well upstream of the advance warning signs. Two km or more from the actual work activity is normally appropriate, depending on travel speeds and roadway conditions. The VMSs must be moved as necessary to match their location to the actual location of the work activity.
- If available, VMSs with radar-speed readout may be used to encourage speed reduction prior to work activities. These units should be used only on roadways with low to moderate traffic volumes.
- The Regions will anticipate the need for VMSs in upcoming contracts and add payment items to contracts when an adequate supply of units is not available in the Region to address the priority uses listed above.
VMSs are to be in use according to the above criteria by June 1. For projects where additional units must be obtained by order-on-contract, VMSs should be in place by June 15. VMS items will be added to contracts as needed starting with the Letting of July 22, 1999.
By June 15, each Region is to confirm that VMSs are in use according to these criteria. The number of units in place for maintenance and construction projects will be reported.
This document was contributed by the New York State Department of Transportation. If you have any questions, please contact Charles Riedel.
Last verified: 7/28/1999