next week throughout Southern Nevada, the state's experiment with
using high-tech to fight heavy congestion will kick in. Eleven
message boards will be turned on. The signs will be just one element
in a high-tech system known as the Freeway and Arterial System
of Transportation (FAST).
to the Nevada Department of Transportation, FAST will include
sensors that detect travel speeds, closed-circuit cameras and
ramp meters, all monitored and directed from a traffic control
operational, FAST will collect and furnish information that will
allow faster responses by emergency personnel and diminish the
traffic jams that lead to accidents. The system also can detect
and report accidents to authorities and motorists almost instantaneously.
signs, which cost $1.7 million, first appeared in the spring of
2001 and were scheduled to go into operation last summer. Electrical
and software problems caused some delays. Then officials could
not decide which messages would be most appropriate.
Vegas Area Computer Traffic System will operate the system during
the day, though authorities say they will still rely on state
troopers and transportation construction bulletins until the system
is fully operational within three years.