Effectiveness of Newly Introduced Variable Message Signs in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Recently, Variable Message Signs (VMS) were introduced in Saudi Arabia and their reliability under local environment is being tested. This paper aims to evaluate the possible response of the drivers to VMS when used for messages related to traffic conditions. A major arterial in Al-Khobar city in Saudi Arabia with a massive VMS board was selected for this paper. The evaluation process started by interviewing drivers selected randomly from the study area. About 77% of the interviewed drivers indicated positive attitude toward messages requesting change of route. The drivers’ interviews demonstrated statistical relationship between the degree of response to messages requesting change of route and the reason for such request. The maximum response was for messages related to accidents, roadwork activities, and traffic congestion. A field experiment was also conducted along the studied arterial. It was found that VMS statistically increased the percentage of diverted traffic during specific peak periods.
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