I’m going to O’hare airport today to pick someone up, so as usual I check the Chicago area traffic page. I noticed something new in the upper right hand corner that stated IDOT free email alert system is available at http://www.iltrafficalert.com.
What you’ll find on that site is a rather revolutionary tool that allows you to set a custom alert for the expressway of your choice based on traffic speed. If the data is accurate this could be highly useful. Let’s say you normally leave to go somewhere at 6:45AM based on normal traffic. This tool apparently allows you to set up a 6:15AM alert if the road was moving below 20MPH so you could start your trip earlier. Sure this tool could still be more granular in both speed and in picking the exact section of road you want on that expressway but this trend towards a self-service, but a micro-controlled alert is nothing short of revolutionary compared to the traffic radio mass distribution model.
Chicago area commuters can now set up their own alerts here. I’d be interested in hearing about people’s usage stories and potential suggestions in the comment section, perhaps IDOT is listening. 🙂