By guest blogger Meagan McFadden
It’s that time of year when the smell of corn dogs, elephant ears, and cotton candy fills the Yakima Valley. It must be time for the Central Washington State Fair. This year if you go to the fair in Yakima, which starts on Friday, (Sept. 25 through Oct. 4) you may be caught on candid camera because WSDOT in South Central Region (SCR) has a new addition to our outside fair booth – a Webcam!
This year we are featuring a portable Variable Message Sign with a Smart Zone Camera. The reason we are so excited about this is because it will not only be broadcast on our South Central Region Webpage, but the Central Washington State Fair’s home page as well. Fair-goers can check out the weather and see how big the crowd is before they make their way to State Fair Park.
For those of you who don’t know what a portable Variable Message Sign with a Smart Zone Camera is, it’s a new tool in WSDOT’s bag of tricks, and SCR is the first in the state use it.
Typically, in work zones, WSDOT uses the portable VMS to let drivers know what is going on ahead of them. With the camera, WSDOT Traffic Engineers can actually see what is going on and change the message accordingly. SCR bought six of the Smart Zone Cameras with the portable VMS to use on the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East project, which starts next year. Until the project starts, we are using them in other projects and now we are featuring it in our fair booth.
Each year, we choose a theme for our fair booths. This year our outside booth focuses on work zone safety. You may have seen these Smart Zone Cameras on the road in our work zones. We use these cameras to monitor how well traffic is moving at our construction sites. Now fair-goers can check out conditions and crowds at the fair. We have a second booth inside the Yakima Sundome that focuses on highway improvement projects and how they benefit our community. You’re invited to visit our booths to find out more about work zone safety and highway improvements.
We hope to see you at the fair!
Editors note: Now that the fair is over the cameras at the fair are offline and being moved to a workzone.