NY updates travel information site for drivers

AP News
Posted: Jul 11, 2012 10:57 AM
NY updates travel information site for drivers

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York is updating its online travel information for motorists, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo firmly cautioning never to look at it while driving.

The website contains what state officials describe as real time information about a few hundred road and bridge construction projects, major bridge and tunnel crossings, traffic incidents, special events, weather alerts, forecasts, traffic speeds and camera views. It also has border crossing times between New York and Ontario.

"Do not text and drive," Cuomo said. "It's not a good thing."

It is also, he pointed out, illegal in New York.

State Police have had crackdowns.

Administration officials said Tuesday that the revamped 511NY website, apps for iPhone and Blackberry, social media links to Twitter and Facebook and other features will update trouble spots around the clock with information from the Thruway Authority, Transportation Department, Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Port Authority.

Users will be able to personalize electronic maps to avoid repeated searches for specific updates.

Clicking on the state map Tuesday afternoon quickly sprouted dozens of orange cones and yellow signs, icons showing construction and traffic incidents, each connecting to a short description.

According to transportation officials, the website has already drawn 3 million visits and there have been 23,000 downloads of apps.

"We're seeing travel on the rebound in New York state," said AAA's John Corlett, noting that gas prices declined for 77 straight days until a week ago. He said the information, with advance notice of construction, closings and poor weather, lets travelers pursue alternate routes or schedules to avoid delays.