Raleigh-Durham International Airport: Roadway

Roadway Signage and Variable Message Sign (VMS) Program

Apple Designs led the design team tasked with updating the airport’s roadway sign system as part of a Vision 2040 goal to build smarter roadways and increase connectivity. A key component of the new system is the network of VMS displays: large digital signage that can be used to provide real-time parking information in advance of key decision points, thus improving traffic flow by keeping travelers to the airport informed throughout their journey. Supported by enhanced static signage, this smart parking guidance and informational system features a network of 14 ground-mounted LED displays. Through this network of dynamic signs, the airport can display custom messages, on-demand pricing, and notify vehicular traffic about changes to curbside operations, roadway/traffic conditions, inclement weather, and emergency situations. This robust sign solution gives motorists accessing the airport campus along any of its four entry points advanced and continuous notice of parking options with the opportunity to select or change their preferred route and destination.

The project also included an upgrade to the comprehensive network of static roadway signage. For this effort, our team evaluated the conditions and effectiveness of more than 650 existing roadway and parking signs throughout RDU’s campus. As part of the documentation process, and in order to provide RDUAA a tool whereby they could manage the complex roadway signage system for maintenance and messaging updates in the future, Apple Designs developed a full signage inventory database with metadata including photos, dimensions, condition notes, and GIS locations. Together, the new VMS and updated static signage create a comprehensive roadway and parking sign system that improves the passenger experience and their wayfinding journey.

RDU VMS and Roadway Signage Before/After