A ramp meter began regulating traffic at the Mill Plain Boulevard onramp to northbound Interstate 205 on Monday.
The meter, which will turn on automatically in response to real-time conditions like congestion and slower speeds that normally happen in the afternoon, is intended to reduce crashes and improve travel times in the area. New signs will also direct travelers to form two lanes on the northbound I-205 onramp from Mill Plain. This is to help keep traffic from backing onto city streets.
Ramp meters, which are traffic signals controlling the frequency of cars entering traffic on the freeway during peak travel times, are a proven cost-effective tool to reduce congestion while improving traffic flow and safety, said the Washington State Department of Transportation in a press release. The meters provide “spaced intervals between vehicles, rather than having multiple vehicles enter the freeway at once, clogging up the system,” read the statement.