AASHTO representatives to the NTPEP subcommittee voted in 1997 to establish a Work Panel Task Force to develop a draft work plan for the evaluation of Flashing Arrow Panels (Arrowboards) and Portable Changeable Message Signs (PCMS). This task force met in Washington, DC in April, 1998 to discuss and draft a work plan that was presented at the 1998 NTPEP annual conference held in Nashville, TN. Members included the NTPEP Coordinator, Mark Alderman, (VA, Chairman), Jim Kellenberger, (NC), Teresa Lewandowski, (DE), Edward Paulis (MD), Doug Tomlinson (PA). Input for this draft work plan was gathered from specifications and general comments submitted from the AASHTO members. Many of the remaining agency specifications were located on web-sites or through other research. The final work plan (see Appendix A & Appendix B ), with revisions from the NTPEP Oversight Committee, was adopted in November 1998. While this final work plan is printed as one work plan there are actually two work plans contained in the document, one for Arrowboards and one for PCMS.
The NTPEP Coordinator made this work plan available to Industry at-large through the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) and solicited vendor interest for Arrowboard and PCMS testing in December of 1998. Arrowboards and PCMS were provided to NCDOT in January, 1999 with the winter tests held in February and April of 1999 and the summer tests held in July and August of 1999. Many logistical and technical obstacles had to be overcome in implementing the work plan for the first time which are discussed in the Data Charts section of this report. All Arrowboards and PCMS tested during the Winter and Summer 1999 cycle were solar powered.
The sight tests described in Section 2 of the work plan for Arrowboards and PCMS were performed in Wilson, NC at the Wilson Industrial Airport (see Appendix C for location specifics). Test sections 3 and 4 of the work plan for Arrowboards and PCMS were performed in Raleigh, NC at the NCDOT Equipment Depot.
Every effort has been made in this document to provide an accurate reflection of information discovered during the implementation of this work plan for Arrowboards and PCMS. This information should be very useful for making purchase decisions. A CD-ROM has been included to allow query and reporting of the data easier for the NTPEP user.
As a State that strongly supports the NTPEP program, it is believed that the information contained in this report will be useful in making decisions about what products or types of products best suit the purchaser’s needs. While it is never recommended to buy any device prior to an inspection of the device, it is believed extended testing by individual agencies can be eliminated by using the information contained in this report. If an agency has any specific questions about the data in this report please feel free to contact Steve Kite at 919-662-4339.