Did Technology Speed Your Thanksgiving Trek?
Several months ago, I tried out three Global Positioning System receivers that incorporated real-time traffic data. I was less than impressed with their performance and concluded that other forms of technology worked better:
You might still want other sources -- the radio, highway message signs, a passenger with a smartphone running Google Maps -- to make sure you get where you're going.
For this weekend, we went with that option. When I drove, my wife could check Google's traffic data on a Palm smartphone; when she took the wheel, it was my turn to be the navigator. (This mapping software is also available for Windows Mobile and BlackBerry devices.) When in doubt, we went with the directions provided by our car's built-in GPS.
That worked out pretty well for us. On Thursday morning, the New Jersey Turnpike congealed into a mass of barely moving metal just before Exit 7 northbound, and Google Maps showed the highway outlined in red -- meaning an average speed of under 25 mph -- for miles to go. So we bailed out at that exit and enjoyed a much more relaxing, almost traffic-free drive along U.S. 130 until we had passed the congestion.
On Saturday night, as the Turnpike slowed down to the usual crawl at "The Merge," Google reported that the highway was only clogged for a short stretch. On that advice, we stuck to the Turnpike instead of jogging all the way over to Interstate 295. After maybe 15 minutes, the traffic had sorted itself out and we experienced no further delays all the way home.
What sort of technology did you use to avoid the worst of this weekend's traffic?
Posted by: MAW | November 26, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Downtown DC | November 27, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Nick | November 27, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse
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