Caltrans study aims to reduce commute times on SR-78

Posted at 12:55 PM, Mar 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-19 22:23:40-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Caltrans Friday unveiled a new study aimed at reducing delays on freeways throughout San Diego County.

The study is being held on State Route 78 between Vista Village Drive and Interstate 15.

In order to reduce stop-and-go traffic, the study will use seven electronic speed limit signs that will tell drivers the speed that will optimize their commute.

“The aim of synchronizing traffic is to gradually slow traffic in advance of a bottleneck in order to keep traffic moving and avoiding stop and go traffic,” said State Route 78 Corridor Director Allan Kosup. “Essentially we are asking motorists to slow down to go faster.”

Kosup equated the idea to pouring water into a funnel. Pouring it fast causes it to overflow, while pouring it more slowly gets all the water through efficiently. 

The signs will display advisory speeds at increments and decrements of 5 miles per hour based on traffic conditions.

Drivers expressed skepticism at the program working.

"Even if I was to go that speed, the other people would be honking their horns behind me," said Michael Ciuzak, who said he tries to avoid the 78 on his commute to San Marcos. 

Caltrans noted that the speeds are not enforceable, but should help reduce delays. The six-week long study begins on Monday, March 19.

Those interested can view real-time results of the study here.

The study is being conducted in partnership with the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California Berkley.