Work Area Protection | How do you win an ITS Project of the Year award? Have data that proves the impact!
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How do you win an ITS Project of the Year award? Have data that proves the impact!

For those of us in the work zone safety industry, we are often put in situations where we must twist the arms of the powers that be in a respective state to push them over the edge to utilization of a new work zone safety technology or concept. Every once in awhile we are successful and the state implements our designs and puts them into action. However, without seeing or hearing the results of those projects, we never really know if the concept was truly effective. At the end of the day, we just keep plugging along and continuing our pitch across the country. The hope is always that our efforts are truly making a difference in not only making the work zone safer for the contractors but also for the motoring public.

There are also residual benefits associated with work zone safety that are often overlooked. This can include changes in travel times for the public, savings in user delay costs, and just as important, a reduction in the negative impacts on the environment.

Moving forward to the headline topic, New Jersey Department of Transportation recently implemented a pilot project along Route 1 in South Brunswick, NJ. The goal of this pilot project was to study the impact of a congestion management technology called Hard Shoulder Running (HSR). The general concept of the project is to utilize the shoulder during peak traffic hours throughout the week. The results of the implementation of HSR is astounding.

The ITS devices supplied by Work Area Protection Co. and Traffic Plan were Portable Queue Trailers with Wavetronix SS126 Smart Sensors, AXIS Q6052E Network Cameras, INRIX probe data and Waze.

A complete article was written on the nature of the study and the results. However, I’m only going to share the bullet points that really stuck with me. Being a data hungry individual, I love seeing the data. When I first got into the sales side of the industry, I had a colleague make the statement, numbers don’t lie! So, to this day, I love seeing the numbers….

Here they are:

  • Volume along the roadway was rather consistent from previous years comparing to the year of HSR use. Volumes in the mornings decreased by 13% and 4% in the northbound and southbound lanes. In the afternoon the northbound lanes increased by 5% and southbound decreased by 9%.
  • As a motorist, the travel time savings during the peak morning hours was over 4 minutes and the travel time savings during the peak evening hours was over 3 minutes.
  • Looking back to the previous years, 80% of the accidents that occurred were rear-end collisions. Implementation of the HSR reduced rear-end collisions by 50%!!!
  • Side-swipe collisions increased but collisions overall were reduced by 10%
  • User delay savings resulted in $18.63 per hour and taking into consideration the number of users and hours, the total annual savings was an astounding $2.41 Million!

So in the end, how do you win an ITS award, show the data. This project showed you can reduce collisions, cut down the user travel times and show the state how to save money and reduce their negative environmental impact.

For those that would like to receive the full article, feel free to message Work Area Protection at workarea@workareaprotection.com or by calling (800) 327-4417.

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