How do you spell congestion relief?

| 12/1/2009

Drivers of all vehicle types rely on more than just their wits to navigate traffic congestion these days. Electronic signs, satellite radio, Internet, GPS and cell phones are all keeping drivers informed about the traffic in real time.

Land Line Magazine wants to hear from you about how you get your traffic information. Go to and answer the poll on the right side of the page.

The topic of real-time traffic information and its effectiveness was the subject of a U.S. Government Accountability Office report to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in November.

GAO researchers studied well-developed systems in California and Florida and found that while coverage continues to expand, “there are gaps in coverage and variations in aspects of real-time traffic information.” Researchers cited concerns with quality of the data collected and the extent to which state and local agencies share information.

The primary question GAO posed to experts interviewed for the report was whether the U.S. Department of Transportation’s proposed development of a federal traffic information system would help shrink those information gaps.

The answer was not a clear “yes” or “no.”

Back in January, the U.S. DOT issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to create the Real-Time System Management Information System to “monitor, in real-time, the traffic and travel conditions of the major highways of the United States and to share that data with state and local governments and with the traveling public.”

GAO researchers stated in the report that experts could not reach a consensus about the role the federal government should play in the information process.

GAO did acknowledge the work of states, local governments and the private sector in bringing ideas and technologies to the table.

“Like the public sector, the private sector faces limitations to its coverage and data quality,” the report authors stated.

So how do you get your traffic information? Answer the poll.

– By David Tanner, staff writer