Crashes and crash severity down on OR 217 since ODOT RealTime signs activated

Posted: Tuesday, December 29

The number of crashes on OR 217 dropped by nearly 21 percent in the year since activation of the ODOT RealTime traffic signs while traffic volumes in the region increased.

Data collected by ODOT since the RealTime project was activated in July 2014 shows a drop in the number of crashes, a drop in the severity of crashes and improved reliability in the 7.5-mile corridor.

“These numbers show that the ODOT RealTime system is making OR 217 safer and more efficient,” said Rian Windsheimer, ODOT Region 1 manager.

Crash data collected from driver and police reports showed that in the year ending July 21, 2015:

  • The number of crashes decreased by 20.8 percent over the previous year. In raw numbers that was a drop of 231 to 183.
  • Throughput increased by 5 percent during commute times. Throughput is the number of vehicles passing through the corridor, an indication of improved efficiency.
  • Corridor reliability improved with average delay times decreasing by 10 percent.
  • Crashes dropped on ramps with new curve warning system signs from an annual average of 29.7 to 14.7. The signs activate when detectors sense hazardous wet, snowy or icy conditions. The signs are on three of the ramps linking U.S. 26 with OR 217.
  • The number of crashes that resulted in a fatality or severe injury dropped from five to two.
  • The number of rear-end and side-swipe collisions dropped by 18.6 percent, from 199 to 162.

Over the same period, traffic volumes in the Portland area increased by 6 percent. Traffic on OR 217 has doubled over the last three decades.

“There was a significant reduction in crashes and crash severity as well as improvements in reliability,” ODOT’s report on the first year of the RealTime signs on OR 217 said.

ODOT RealTime system uses automated technologies to improve operations and efficiency of the freeway system. It includes travel times, queue warnings, advisory speed signs, ramp meters, curve warnings signs and weather warning signs.

Active transportation management systems are a lower cost method to improve safety and highway efficiency. The cost of major infrastructure improvements has increased in recent years during a time of limited transportation funding and increasing cost of land for right of way, especially in urban areas.

ODOT is in the process of deploying additional RealTime technologies elsewhere in Washington County, on Mount Hood, on Interstate 84 in Multnomah County and in other areas around the state.

For more information on RealTime, go to www.tripcheck.com/realtime.

To view the ODOT RealTime one-year report for OR 217, go to:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ov5gmp69ipejrq0/OR217%20ATM%20yr1Eval%20122815.docx?dl=0

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