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Title: Evaluation of the Safety and Mobility Impacts of Variable Speed Limits
Contact: Michael D. Fontaine
Project No.: 88523
Target Date: 03/31/2010
Abstract: In 2006, the Code of Virginia was modified to permit the posting of variable speed limits (VSLs) on interstates in Virginia.  The purpose of this research project will be to assess the safety and mobility benefits of VSLs.  Researchers first will use traffic simulation to assess the impact of different system design factors on the ability of a VSL system to improve safety and mobility.  They then will evaluate a proposed field deployment of VSLs at the Telegraph Road interchange reconstruction project that is part of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.  They will assess changes in traffic operations and safety during this field deployment and document any operational issues encountered.  The results of this project should provide some guidance on what system factors should be considered when procuring a VSL system.  The field deployment will help show what level of benefits could be reasonably obtained under real-world conditions.

     Michael D. Fontaine