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                      Personal Traffic Channel
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Your Personal Local Traffic Channel

 

The other day, I was enduring what is seemingly a much more common event these days...the traffic jam or as I like to call, Hell, 7th level.  It's was the worse kind of traffic jam.  I can't see anything up ahead.  The cars aren't moving at all.  It's close to where I'm trying to get.  Like I said...7th level.  The frustrating part is the not knowing.  Is it going to 5 minutes or 30 minutes.   Did the cause just happen or is it almost resolved?  In today's world, how is this lack of knowledge tolerated?  Hopefully, we can shed some light on this black box of traffic confusion with the Zipper local news app. 

Having just watched the Ted conference speech on Google's automated cars, I look forward to the future when there are fewer accidents and less traffic in general.  I'm all for it and any loss of driving pleasure or control is lost on me.  I would much rather be napping, reading, or writing than making those small corrective motions on a steering wheel back and forth.  It's Chinese water torture of the hands via motion.  Unfortunately, that's a few years off and we have traffic today.  Some sites are able to give general guides (red is bad, green is good) to current traffic conditions but they won't tell you what happened 3 miles up ahead on the freeway to bring it to a complete standstill.  We need more local information in real-time.  If it's a really bad wreck, I turn around and go back.  I might take back streets or let my friends know I'm going to be late for our game.   I need information to this.   Detailed info.  Enter the Zipper smart phone application for local traffic.

The whole point is that the Zipper is local and by local, we mean where ever you happen to be.  If you're travelling in another city, just switch to "Current Local" to pick up it's info.  There's even a Traffic category pre-built so you can quickly find what you need.    Most people follow the same general commutes on most days so you can go a step further by creating your own public (does not require a passcode to access) traffic channel for that particular area.  It could be freeway or general area.  For example, say you live in South Pasadena and work in Long Beach.  You might create a 710 Hwy Location for anyone to comment on and read.  This handles the big part of your commute.  In case you're wondering, yes...I've meant many a God-forsaken hours on that freeway in that said commute.  How would this  "Location" when combined with the Traffic channel (essentially, we're applying two filters to all the local news and local traffic information on the Zipper) be used?

For every major traffic issue, there's someone (or a few people) that see exactly what the deal is followed by 100's if not 1000's of people who do not.  The goal of the Zipper is to given those few that know the ability to "pass on" the information to anyone interested back in that long snake of semi-parked cars.  Is the jam the result of a traffic accident or just too many cars (both of which are equally possible on the 710?  If a wreck, when did it occur?  Just happened is quite different "they're letting people through now".  At least this way, you can plan your route accordingly.  Otherwise, you're stuck in the netherworld of not knowing, a very bad place to be. 

So run a quick search on the Zipper in your local area.  Someone might created an existing thread for the 710 (in my example).  Fine, you can access it and even make it a favorite.  If you have information, make sure to add it for others and this is the grand Zipper social contract.  Information (traffic in this case) from everyone to everyone.  Of course, make sure not to post or read while driving.  Of course, it's you're stuck in traffic, there may be no where to go anyway.  For other situations, we'll have to wait for robotic cars so we can post/read with impunity.  In between naps.   

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