MDOT looking to make your trip to the beach on US 50 a little more bearable

If you’ve traveled to Ocean City on Maryland’s Route 50, you know how congested things can get. The state’s transportation department said they might have a solution.

Maryland’s State Highway Administration plans to invest millions from a nearly $12 million infrastructure grant — in the form of cameras, sensors and software — along the busy thoroughfare.

“Everyone loves Ocean City. We have a lot of other attractions over there,” Jason Dicembre with MDOT said. “But this (is) also about improving the lives of people who drive these roads every day, in places like the rural communities along this road.”

“Because of the commercial popularity, this route seems pretty prime for us to deploy some of these new technology solutions, where we can’t always build a lane to adjust the issue,” he added.

The new technology would feed computer-gathered data into the state’s traffic center and be used to alter things like stoplight times and other traffic signal directions.

“The idea here would be that the technology would be able to look at the traffic patterns occurring and make some automatic adjustments,” Dicembre explained. “A lot of the new technology we’re going to be working on there involves machine learning and predictive algorithms.”

Dicembre says they want to get out ahead of issues rather than react after they’ve happened. The result could save lives and time and maybe make that family vacation drive more bearable.

“Safety is also a big factor here,” Dicembre said, adding that this initiative will hopefully translate to tangible improvements drivers can see and feel on the road.

“You should see less accidents occurring, and you should be spending less time waiting at a traffic light to get through.”

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Matt Kaufax

If there's an off-the-beaten-path type of attraction, person, or phenomenon in the DC area that you think more people should know about, Matt is your guy. As the features reporter for WTOP, he's always on the hunt for stories that provide a unique local flavor—a slice of life if you will.

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