It’s a snowy Minnesota kind of day. I went out for lunch and got back just fine, and having gotten my driving teeth in this kind of climate, I would describe it as “not so bad, just gotta-take-it-easy.” However, delivery driver Jerry, a well-seasoned Minnesota driver came back after finishing half the route saying after 8 cars in the ditch and white-out visibility it’s one of his top bad driving days.
I just showed someone my stand-by reference tool for assessing road conditions and thought a few more might not have found it — 511mn.org. 511 is part of a national effort that began in July 2000, when the FCC designated “511” as the national traveler information phone number. The primary source of data for 511 services originates with the Condition Acquisition and Reporting System (CARS). Mn/DOT and the Minnesota State Patrol staff from dispatch centers, the field and the Regional Traffic Management Center (RTMC) use this system to maintain real-time information about travel conditions throughout Minnesota.
You can find Minnesota’s 511mn.org at http://www.511mn.org
For other states, look at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/trafficinfo/511.htm
Minnesota Department of Transportation was one of the first state DOTs to implement the 511 service. Many of the other states’ web resources are not nearly as well-developed as the Minnesota site.
Here is this afternoon’s map. For southern readers a hint — all that red means it’s a good day to stay home and read a book.
Barbara Misselt, Director