Nearly 300 additional electronic message boards and traffic cameras have been installed along major traffic corridors in New York state.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo says the new highway cameras and Variable Message Signs are part of his ambitious initiative to improve communication with the traveling public, enhance safety and promote greater situational awareness among motorists and traffic system managers — particularly during heavy snowstorms, extreme weather, vehicular crashes and other events that impact travel.
"Severe weather events are happening with increasing frequency and these new electronic message signs and traffic cameras will give motorists the most up-to-date information on road conditions and traffic," Cuomo said. "Creating a 21st century transportation system isn't just about building new roads and bridges — it's about giving drivers timely information so they can make informed decisions and arrive at their destinations safely."
As part of the initiative, the state Department of Transportation installed and activated an additional 125 cameras and 143 VMS units at critical locations along major traffic corridors. With the new equipment in place, there are now 1,150 NYSDOT cameras and more than 550 NYSDOT VMS boards in place.
The Thruway Authority also deployed an additional 25 new portable Variable Message Signs across its 570-mile system ahead of the snow and ice season. The portable VMS boards have been distributed across the Thruway's four divisions statewide and will be strategically redeployed as necessary.
The Thruway Authority now has 78 permanent and more than 120 portable VMS across the state that can display urgent real-time messages during severe weather or other emergencies and traffic incidents.
"Variable Message Signs are a vital tool that display critical messages directly intended for motorists during an emergency or weather event," Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said. "By adding more of these boards across our system, drivers have increased access to essential real-time travel information within seconds."
The Thruway Authority also encourages motorists to download its mobile app which is available for free on iPhone and Android devices. The app provides motorists access to real-time traffic and navigation assistance while on the go.