Speed Limits To Change With The Weather In Seattle

October 6, 2000

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Truckers driving on Interstate 90 across Snoqualmie Pass near Seattle now have help in determining how fast they can drive when it’s snowing.
It’s called Travel Aid, an intelligent transportation system designed to improve safety and reduce the hundreds of accidents that occur every winter on Snoqualmie Pass, just east of Seattle.
Wide-aperture radar (used to track vehicle speeds) and six weather stations combine to gather information that is transmitted to a control center on top of the mountain, where the system calculates safe speeds that are confirmed by Washington State Department of Transportation staff before being transmitted to nine variable message signs on I-90 approaching the mountain.
Travel Aid will begin sending the information to the Internet later this year. A surveillance camera has already been installed on Snoqualmie Pass that will allow Internet users to view real-time traffic at the summit.
Travel Aid’s technology was developed by PB Farradyne. The system, funded by the Federal Highway Administration, WSDOT and the University of Washington, is part of Smart Trek, a partnership of 25 Northwest public agencies and private companies.

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