Mike McKay

Mike lives in Tucson, Arizona and is your primary contact if you are located West of the Mississippi River. Mike has a 12-year history of working with DOTs and contractors in both roadway construction and ITS industries. He will help you find the right solution with the right approach and will support you from the design stage all the way to the end of product life. Mike loves a good joke and is always open for a friendly chat, so if you have a question or want to check in, don’t hesitate to give him a call! Mike enjoys spending his free time chasing golf balls, biking great distances, and flicking a fly rod over a calm river. Mike can be reached at mike.mckay@sesamerica.com or on his cell phone at: (401) 316-3341.
Find me on:

Recent Posts

Blank Out Signs: Trends for 2018

Posted by Mike McKay on Jan 31, 2018 2:00:53 PM

Blank Out Signs (BOS), due to their cost efficiency, design, and speed to market have long been employed, mostly in a MUTCD regulatory or warning sign capacity.  Nationwide, there is increased attention to more situational traffic issues such as wrong way driving.  Customizing designs whether in the message or actionable symbols, specialized Blank Out Sign applications are more rapidly moving up the ladder in importance with several manufacturing companies focused on furthering product development to fit industry trend for safer and simpler roadway information

Read More

Topics: Mobility, Blank Out Signs

SES America in China: A Visual Peek into DMS Signage in Shanghai

Posted by Mike McKay on Jan 31, 2018 12:36:05 PM

On a recent trip to China related to my wife’s business, I was able to do a quick tour of ITS like Traffic signage in and surrounding the City of Shanghai, now the largest metropolitan city in the world at 24 million people.

Read More

Topics: Mobility, Blank Out Signs, Dynamic Message Signs, Truck Parking Signs

ITS DMS Trend 2018:  Truck Parking Information Systems That Will Save Lives

Posted by Mike McKay on Dec 12, 2017 12:23:20 PM

The evolution of intelligent transportation systems has experienced in a very small window of time, the interactive communication of smartphones, more efficient data collection and tolling technologies, the better use of detection devices for warning systems as well as for transportation planning, and the early onset of market implementation of autonomous vehicles. Going back to core visceral beliefs, it is still the driver and the resulting decisions to the current transportation experience over the road that impact all of our safety.  Trucking transportation best illustrates this experience.

Read More

Topics: Mobility, Dynamic Message Signs, Truck Parking Signs

Managed Lanes: Optimal Application for DMS with Custom Options

Posted by Mike McKay on Nov 7, 2017 7:42:05 PM


With the continued burden of finding funding sources for US urban roadways construction and maintenance, state agencies and regional transportation commissions are employing segmented toll opportunities which often require little infrastructure adjustment- converting urban freeway High Occupancy Lanes to income producing toll lanes,  commonly known as managed lanes. The challenge faced by DOT is to inform drivers of the rules applicable to the managed lanes. Are the lanes open? What is the toll rate? The only way to inform all drivers is to use Dynamic Message Signs,

Read More

Topics: DMS Messenger 5000, Managed Lanes

5 Energy Conservation Opportunities for Intelligent Transportation Systems

Posted by Mike McKay on Dec 8, 2016 1:19:06 PM

Energy, in whatever form, is a key element
all civilizations require in order for its citizens to not only grow, but thrive. Since the 1850's, the world (especially North America) has developed and capitalized on the opportunity of nature’s abundant resources. Over time, new tools for the extraction of assorted resources have been created and the ensuing applications have revolutionized the world’s overall quality of life, emphatically typified in the United States of America.

Read More

Topics: Solar Signs, Solar

Let the Message Guide the Size of Your Variable Message Sign

Posted by Mike McKay on Nov 14, 2016 9:00:43 AM


Over the last forty years Dynamic Message Sign (DMS) or Variable Message Sign (VMS) technology for U.S. highways has evolved from mechanically operated florescent dots forming letters to present day color (Light Emitting Diodes) capable of bold, high definition images and text set on static green backgrounds and much more.  In the evolution, ITS engineers have meritoriously continued the selection process of size of the sign while abetting MUTCD mandates.  

Read More

Topics: Dynamic Message Sign design

VMS Pricing vs Value: 7 Considerations When Assessing Your Priorities

Posted by Mike McKay on Aug 15, 2016 2:00:00 PM

In the last 40 years, since dynamic messaging signs became an integral part of the U.S. highway’s persona, the industry has gone from flipping mechanically iridescent orange dots to advancing fiber optic designs, and now, LED lighting.  With continued advancements  in solar due to greater energy efficient design and product with ventilation or cooling systems are no longer necessary.  Trending along with LED advancements is the critical need for agencies to maximize their purchasing power while still acquiring ITS devices that truly match their most recent concerns in the field and on paper.  As a result agencies are looking towards value versus finding the lowest VMS pricing in contract assessments.                                                                                                               

Read More

Topics: Grid-Powered DMS

Hacked Road Signs - What's Really the Message Here?

Posted by Mike McKay on Jun 9, 2016 10:58:31 AM

Over Memorial Day Weekend, several states made headlines when mobile DMS were hacked.  These temporary construction warning signs on the highway displayed hacked messages ranging from political statements, to “Party Hardy Yall!”.  A week later, another sign was hacked that displayed a comment referencing the recent  Cincinnati Zoo gorilla incident. While these altered messages may serve as harmless entertainment for daily commuters, tampering with these signs are problematic and a dangerous display of recklessness.  With regards to the later, traffic operations professionals are challenged with life or death consequences - funny it is not.

Read More