Traffic Reports

Since I got to Missoula last week I’ve been listening to Montana Public Radio in the mornings before class. (We have no class today.) This morning I used iTunes and the internets to tune in KQED, the NPR station from San Francisco and noticed one difference immediately between the Montana morning news and the “big city” morning news: If you listen to morning (or evening, or any time, really) radio in a big city you’ll hear traffic updates at least every half hour, and generally every 10-15 minutes during peak commute hours. Those reports always talk about accidents and construction and the family of geese that has slowed traffic to a crawl on I-7692, or whatever big, congested highway is in your area. soon, unless you’re driving on those roads, you learn to tune out the traffic reports; they’re on so often and they always say the same thing—driving in this city stinks.

In Montana? No traffic reports. Ever. Because no one needs them.

Just one of the reasons I’m glad to be here. [tags]moving, montana, radio[/tags]

6 thoughts on “Traffic Reports”

  1. To be fair, Austin Public Radio never had traffic reports, either. In fact, I’d never heard traffic reports on public radio till I was driving through Houston listening to public radio and caught a traffic report. While some of it is a lack of need (e.g., Montana), some of it is, I’m sure, funding related. Because, honestly, Austin could definitely use traffic updates on KUT. (And I mean real traffic updates, not the occassional notices from the station about the incredibly bizarre syrup truck that overturned on the interstate.)

  2. That’s true about the budget; I’m sure it’s expensive to provide those reports. In D.C. they were just on *all the time!* The station I listened to most had recently started this thing where apparently there were sensors on major traffic routes that timed the speed of traffic and could tell you how long a commute would take from A to B and how much faster or slower that time was compared to the average. They could also send you customized traffic reports/commute routes on your email or cell phone. Pretty high tech and very useful if you had to commute by car in D.C. I’m just glad I didn’t and I’m happy to live in a place where no one really would benefit from such services. At least for the time being.

  3. Don’t all the traffic reports on all the different stations come from one central Transportation center in DC? The 501 Traffic Center or something?

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