Betabeat has recently gotten into the habit of pulling up Google Maps’ traffic layer to see just how backed up the West Side Highway is when we stay long enough at the office to rationalize grabbing a cab back to Brooklyn. It usually works like a charm, and by using it we manage to avoid the all-red avenues, ratcheting down our fare.
But for those who prefer their traffic information state-sponsored, yesterday Governor Cuomo introduced a New York state mobile traffic app that can keep you up to date on jams in real time.
According to Staten Island Live:
There’s a new way to avoid traffic delays and construction projects on the state’s roadways and bridges — a Web site and mobile app that offer real-time updates and alerts, personalized maps, alternative routes, camera views and weather forecasts….The upgraded Web site and mobile app go hand-in-hand with Cuomo’s NY Works Program, designed to boost the state’s economy by putting New Yorkers back to work rebuilding the state’s infrastructure.
The 511 app will be more robust than Google’s offerings, showing city construction projects that could also cause delays (we’re looking at you, Brooklyn Bridge on-ramp).
Of course, as The Village Voice points out, you can’t actually use the app while driving–ostensibly when it would be most convenient. “Thanks to New York’s draconian ‘texting while driving’ laws, it’s pretty much against the law to even touch a steering wheel and a cell phone at the same time — even if it’s to check a state-run travel app,” wrote The Voice.
Sounds like the 511 app needs voice command technology ASAP.