DOT: No problems with ramp meters at Hwy. 74/I-85
Red-light ramp meters at the on-ramp for Interstate 85 northbound at Ga. Highway 74 became operational July 1.
The meters are programmed to kick in only when interstate traffic is heavy, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation. The agency is touting the meters as a tool to improve travel times and reduce congestion.
The ramp meters, which are red/green traffic lights, allow one vehicle to “go” from the on-ramp at a time when the system is active. DOT touts that ramp meters installed elsewhere in Georgia have reduced trip times as much as 39 percent by preventing slower merging traffic from mucking up the average speed of motorists already on the interstate.
In addition to the Hwy. 74 location, the meters were also activated for on-ramps further north at Ga. Highway 138, Flat Shoals Road and Riverdale Road, making it possible that Fayette commuters also will benefit from the ramp meter program as on-ramp traffic is restricted to the north.
The DOT recently received a call about the ramp meters being active when they weren’t supposed to be at the Hwy. 138 on-ramp, but DOT engineers sorted out the issue, according to DOT spokesperson Paul Marshall.
“Beyond that we haven’t heard any complaints or received any calls,” Marshall said.
The ramp meters can be monitored via video cameras to determine if they are functioning properly, Marshall said. If traffic becomes significantly backed up on the on-ramp, traffic engineers can turn the signal to a solid green to help eliminate the logjam, he said.