Last night on my way home the 91 East was shut down between Lemon and the 57, right where the changeable message sign is. It looked like a very bag accident, fire trucks and ambulances. I have no doubt that the changeable message sign was involved in it.
Going that way earlier in the day I know that the traffic was suddenly slowing down right there so people could read the sign. These signs always slow down the traffic, causing everybody to get on their breaks suddenly. I can imagine somebody reading the sign and not paying attention to the person in front of them slowing down to read the sign and then slamming into one another.
Not only do changeable message signs cause more traffic than they alleviate, they also are a traffic hazard in their own right. I understand the idea behind them, but they clearly don’t work and only make things worse. Sure, it’s nice to know how long it will take to get places, or that there is an unusual amount of traffic on an upcoming freeway, but they don’t help that much. When you include all of the times there is an Amber Alert or other wanted car displayed on the signs, or just a message that say, “Click it or ticket,” they cause much more traffic than they can ever hope to eliminate.