The changing face of traffic (the car and truck kind)

We’re on our way home from Seattle (we are driving home from Oakland International Airport) and stuck in a traffic jam. All lanes of 92 are closed due to an accident. Major one, based on how many fire trucks and ambulances have passed us.

In past years one might turn on the radio. KGO and KCBS here in San Francisco area are two that come to mind. We did that (KCBS has traffic and weather every 10 minutes) but after a few of those reports said the same thing, I pulled out my laptop to answer some email and check on traffic. In Seattle the traffic sites are very accurate and even have good cameras where you can see what’s happening to traffic. San Francisco area is WAY behind Seattle in this regard. In Seattle I can even see where each bus is located and approximately how long it’ll be before it gets to my stop.

Now that more of us are getting portable phones that are Web enabled, we’ll expect even better services.

Who has the best traffic info sites, particularly for mobile phones? And what impact does that have on things like housing prices? I remember thinking in Bothell that having lots of alternate routes to the freeway was good and it did impact our decision on where to live.

Anyway, follow along and see if we get home anytime tonight. We’re stuck on the San Mateo bridge on HWY 92. SF Gate gave best traffic report. Others still don’t show the accident.

Oh, I do love having a Verizon Wireless card. Makes traffic jams a whole lot more productive. This is the first time I’ve setup office on a bridge, though.

UPDATE: we got home OK after being delayed about half an hour. Turns out we were a few hundred cars back, and it, indeed, was a bad accident. A car was destroyed the way you can destroy a piece of paper by crimpling it up in your hand. Sure hope it turns out OK for everyone inside.

UPDATE 2: this points to a new opportunity: a “news near me” URL. Put in “San Mateo Bridge” and mark that you only care about things that happened in the last hour and such a service would have pulled up all the latest stuff within 10 miles. I haven’t seen anyone do anything like that, have you?

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30 thoughts on “The changing face of traffic (the car and truck kind)

  1. Boy you are going to love our navi systems and cell phones when they come out robert 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I do know everyone/everything related to traffic data and who’s providing what, so ping me about it!

    Ajay

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  2. Boy you are going to love our navi systems and cell phones when they come out robert 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I do know everyone/everything related to traffic data and who’s providing what, so ping me about it!

    Ajay

    Like

  3. I think you post says more about how relevant technology is becoming to us every day. I have noticted that I am using my web enabled cell phone more and more often. I have even started using it to read feeds. One can only imagine where this will go in 5, 10 or 15 years. We will be using these services to do things we can’t even imagine today!

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  4. I think you post says more about how relevant technology is becoming to us every day. I have noticted that I am using my web enabled cell phone more and more often. I have even started using it to read feeds. One can only imagine where this will go in 5, 10 or 15 years. We will be using these services to do things we can’t even imagine today!

    Like

  5. robert – google maps mobile overlays traffic. even on my crappy little samsung clamshell phone, it works great. nationwide coverage, too, on the traffic — i was presenting in DC last week, called up gmaps and there was the traffic on the beltway. it works pretty well.

    also for us, 511.org is decent. but the best site for coastside traffic is barry parr’s coastsider:

    http://www.coastsider.com

    check the links on the right sidebar. this is my fave:

    http://lcp.sanmateo.org/trip/current.html

    real-time scrollng traffic times over the hill and up to montara.

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  6. robert – google maps mobile overlays traffic. even on my crappy little samsung clamshell phone, it works great. nationwide coverage, too, on the traffic — i was presenting in DC last week, called up gmaps and there was the traffic on the beltway. it works pretty well.

    also for us, 511.org is decent. but the best site for coastside traffic is barry parr’s coastsider:

    http://www.coastsider.com

    check the links on the right sidebar. this is my fave:

    http://lcp.sanmateo.org/trip/current.html

    real-time scrollng traffic times over the hill and up to montara.

    Like

  7. Last time I was out in Ottawa I recall their system being literally years ahead of anywhere else I had encountered. Nothing to do with the housing market; the fact that it’s the national capital and they’ve got all that federal money and a big tech concentration is what drove that. No idea if they’re still ahead of the curve, tho.

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  8. Last time I was out in Ottawa I recall their system being literally years ahead of anywhere else I had encountered. Nothing to do with the housing market; the fact that it’s the national capital and they’ve got all that federal money and a big tech concentration is what drove that. No idea if they’re still ahead of the curve, tho.

    Like

  9. I think the topic interesting, but for a different reason. Basically, we can use one form of technologically to confirm the failure of another. If Seattle had been successful with the engineering and urban planning aspects of traffic, consumers would not be spending so much time downloading data about the mess they’ve made of it.

    Like

  10. I think the topic interesting, but for a different reason. Basically, we can use one form of technologically to confirm the failure of another. If Seattle had been successful with the engineering and urban planning aspects of traffic, consumers would not be spending so much time downloading data about the mess they’ve made of it.

    Like

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