No longer do you have to buy a crappy navigation device and suction-cup it to the wrong part of your windshield only to get stopped by cops for obstructing your driver's side view.
Caltrans this week announced that it's helping to put TomTom out of business with a new traffic website called Quickmap that gives you detailed, up-to-the-minute data on where the logjams, construction closures and accidents are. Sure, TomTom and other nav systems offer traffic updates, but this is the source.
And, yes, there is an app for that:
Caltrans developed a Quikmap app for Android phones (QR below). For iPhone users there is a mobile-detect website.
Who knew these hardhats were so high-tech?
This system taps into the CHP, Amber Alerts, 1,000 freeway cameras and more than 700 electronic message signs statewide, according to a Caltrans statement.
Caltrans director Malcolm Dougherty:
This exciting innovation delivers real-time data so travelers can adjust their routes to get where they're going as quickly as possible.
When's the last time your state government did something this cool? (Jerry Brown dating Linda Ronstadt back in the day doesn't count.)
Of course, the usefulness of such a map in the L.A. Basin is questionable. Look it up as the clock winds up to 5 p.m. and you pretty much see solid red (slow traffic) on nearly every major freeway. Breaking news, that.
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(Caltrans warns you not to use the app while driving although, if you use your phone nav-style, in the proper, lower-left-hand mount on your windshield, what's the difference?)
In any case, it's probably good to know if there are lane closures or catastrophic accidents en route to the O.C. or I.E.
You'll be plugged in on the road.