Background Information from City Staff regarding the LED Traffic Signs on Shore Drive

The following is an email from the Deputy City Manager, Dave Hansen, to the Bayfront Advisory Committee (BAC) explaining the LED Traffic signs on Shore Drive and the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) project.  You can also see the 2009 Power Point presentation given by City Staff to City Council regarding this project.  Click here to view the 3Mb file.  ITS Brief 021810

Members of the BAC,

 In November of 2009, DPW Jason Cosby briefed the City Council on the $22M Intelligent Transportation System project in which all but $1.5M was being funded by the Federal Highway Administration.  In this comprehensive briefing he covered the major phases of construction and their specific outcomes.  I have attached that brief and note that on chart #24 we identified the location of 6 sites where the Dynamic Message Boards were to be installed.  Two of those locations were clearly shown on Shore Drive. Following that briefing Mr. Cosby briefed the BAC on 18 February 2010.  I have attached that briefing and ask that you relook charts 21-26.  Additionally I have attached the minutes of that BAC so that you can see who was in attendance when we advised you what the plan was, why it was and what it was to be like.  As Mr. Arnhold made comment regarding City staff in his email below, I note that he was in attendance at the BAC brief on 2-18-10 and that no questions were posed to the staff following the DPW brief.  The lag time between the briefings and the start of construction was the product of contracting, funding, technology, public briefings and increasing the requirement from six to eight locations. Hopefully the board recalls this information briefing in February 2010 and we can proceed to respond to the myriad of questions which are being asked.  To assist you I provide the following description of the ITS project and specific information on the DMS.

 The signs located on Shore Drive are part of The Virginia Beach Dynamic Message Signs and System Detector Project which consists of the installation of 11 motorists advisory Dynamic Message Signs (DMS) at eight locations, overhead sign support structures, equipment cabinets, and communication equipment. The DMS’s have three line displays. This important project was funded by Federal Funds associated with Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality and is intended to provide real time information to the motoring public to keep traffic flowing.  The locations have been strategically selected and approved by City Council in order to maximize the dissemination of essential information to motorists. The DMS’s will be installed at eight locations within the City.

 The DMS’s will be installed at the following locations:

1. Princess Anne Rd and Elson Green Ave, southbound

2. General Booth Blvd at the KOA Campground, northbound

3. Shore Dr and First Landing State Park, westbound

4. Shore Dr and Bayville Rd, back to back DMS’s

5. Northampton Blvd and Bayside Rd, eastbound

6. Northampton Blvd and Shell Rd, westbound

7. Independence Blvd and Wakefield Dr, back to back DMS’s

8. Shore Dr near 83rd St, back to back DMS’s

What follows is a brief summary of the why, what, how, and where:

 1. Purpose:

               -The primary purpose of the signs is to convey traffic condition information to the roadway motorists

                – Signs are especially useful during hurricane evacuation

– Signs can be used to display public safety campaign information (i.e. Amber Alerts, Click-it-or Ticket)

 2. Lighted:

                – signs will not be lighted (no illumination lamps to shine on them); they are LED driven-internally illuminated

                – the sign will be dark unless there is a message to display

 3. Size: 6 feet high by 12 feet long; mounted 17 feet above the ground.  (by comparison our portable signs are 6’ by 10’)

 4. Location: The location on Shore Drive was specifically selected because of the following properties: -38,000 motorists pass this site every day

 -West bound traffic can be alerted to conditions at Northampton Blvd, Chesapeake bay-Bridge Tunnel, and I-264

 -East bound traffic can be alerted to downstream conditions on Shore Drive, Fort Story, Great Neck Road

 The signs are a part of our ITS (intelligent Transportation System) project with the goal being able to disseminate real-time traffic information expeditiously to the motoring public. They can also be used to broadcast Amber Alerts in support of Public Safety.

 Should you require additional information I am happy to respond to your RFIs. Regards, Dave

Dave Hansen

Deputy City Manager

City of Virginia Beach

(757)385-4242

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