|Ramp meters will begin operating at four entrance ramps to Interstate 476 in Plymouth Township, Montgomery County on Aug. 22 at 3 p.m., the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced today.|
Ramp meters, which are traffic signals minus the amber caution light, will begin operating at the:
• Chemical Road on ramp to I-476 South;
• Westbound Ridge Pike on-ramp to I-476 South;
• Eastbound Ridge Pike on-ramp to I-476 South; and
• Eastbound Ridge Pike on-ramp to I-476 North.
The ramp meters will be in operation Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. They may also be used during emergency situations.
“Now that the reconstruction of I-476 in Montgomery County is basically complete and travel lanes are in their original configuration, we will activate ramp meters at the Ridge Pike and Chemical Road interchanges to enhance mainline travel during peak commuting hours,” PennDOT District Executive Lester C. Toaso said.
I-476 carries an average of 104,000 to 150,000 vehicles per day between the Chemical Road and Ridge Pike interchanges.
Ramp meters currently operate weekday mornings and afternoons on I-476 in Delaware County at the MacDade Boulevard, Baltimore Pike, Route 1, Route 3 (West Chester Pike) and Route 30 (Lancaster Avenue) interchanges.
A ramp meter staggers the rate at which vehicles enter I-476 so that merging vehicles are less likely to slow mainline traffic, thus improving travel times and lessening the potential for crashes at entrance ramps.
“Ramp meters can help achieve more consistent travel speeds by allowing one vehicle to merge at a time rather than having a stream of vehicles force their way onto the highway,” Toaso added.
A ramp meter works much like a traffic signal. When the light is red, driver must stop and when the light turns green, driver should go. But unlike traffic signals, only one car or truck per lane is allowed to enter I-476 on a green light.
The metering rate for the red and green light at each entrance ramp is based on I-476’s traffic capacity and the number of vehicles on the ramp. Motorists can expect the ramp meter to shine green for two to four seconds and red for two to six seconds in Montgomery County.
A yellow warning light will flash on each entrance ramp to alert motorists when ramp meters are operating.
PennDOT advises motorists to remember the following tips when approaching a metered ramp:
• Wait your turn in line;
• Drive slowly up to the stop line marked on the ramp;
• Stop when the signal is red;
• Wait for the signal to turn green; and
• Proceed onto I-476 and merge safely into traffic.
Motorists are reminded that disregarding a ramp meter is a punishable offense and carries the same penalties as running a red light.
For more information on I-476, visit www.476blueroute.com.
PennDOT reminds motorists they can log on to www.511pa.com or call 511 from any phone to check traffic conditions on I-476 and other major highways before heading out.
For more PennDOT information, visit www.dot.state.pa.us. Follow local PennDOT information on Twitter at www.twitter.com/511PAPhilly.