Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Traffic and Weather Together
About the same time weather radar became the fashion on television, traffic broadcasts from a helicopter were added to broadcast radio. Now, they have all sorts of enhancements, including stationary CCTV cameras that broadcast freeway congestion to central monitoring stations or even your laptop, if you know where to look. Google can even show you the level of congestion on the major thoroughfares - which is handy, since it allowed me to figure out which roads were passable when one of those Nor'easter snowstorms hit in January. People still drive like maniacs in the snow, but at least you can get a little advance warning.
Those early traffic copters were little helicopters that looked like bugs. They were annoying as bugs, and I'm not talking about the sound of the rotors. Occasionally, you'd get a traffic jock who'd feel like bantering with the DJ, and that meant that they would tell you nothing about the wreck that was causing the backup that you had been sitting in for the last twenty minutes. Not much has changed on that front...