Traveler Services provides information on highway conditions

Idaho travelers have a wealth of information at their disposal to plan winter travel. Those with access to the Internet are encouraged to visit before leaving home if weather and highway conditions are concerns.

Access to similar information is provided by the 511 Traveler Services telephone system that includes voice-recognition technology and responses using telephone keypad or voice prompts. Motorists are reminded to avoid using cell phones or smart phones while driving – in some Idaho communities such use is prohibited by city ordinances.

Please call or access the 511 mobile web before driving, pull off the highway at a safe location, or have a passenger retrieve information for you.

If you visit the 511 Traveler Services website, here are the options available:

This option is a simplified 511 version suitable for individuals who use either low- or high bandwidth connections. It offers fewer graphic options, but the content is similar to ITD’s more robust “Full-Feature” version. It works well with a variety of web browsers.

The Idaho map is static on the Streamlined version and does not include the level of detail available on other web options.

The robust 511 Traveler Services site requires more bandwidth for faster loading of complex, user-controlled features. It is best displayed on browsers of recent vintage. The volume of Internet traffic can affect loading speeds.

Users control how many and which features to use. The Idaho map is based on Google map technology, enabling users to determine the map size and the option of switching between a standard map, a satellite map that shows terrain, or a hybrid option that shows routes superimposed on a satellite map.

The site offers road conditions, other reports, camera images, mountain pass reports, and links to ITD’s Road Weather Information System (RWIS), which provides extensive reports on specific locations and links to approximately 130 images from 80 highway cameras statewide..

As with the Streamlined version, the Full-Feature site includes routes that are color “painted,” depending on driving difficulty. Several improvements and new features were added this fall.

Mobile devices
Recognizing the limited viewing screen areas of Internet-capable cell phones and smart phones, the mobile web option does not include the extent of images available to computer users. It offers three primary options: route reports (both pre-defined and user-selected), images from about 80 cameras throughout Idaho, and RWIS information.

As with most of the other 511 Traveler Service options, scrolling text at the top of the page provides information on highway closures, blockages or other incidents affecting travel.

The option lists restrictions on major routes that potentially affect commercial vehicles, such as height, weight, length and width advisories. The website links to ITD’s Commercial Vehicle Services site and information about Idaho’s chain-up law. The truckers option also includes scalable Google maps, information on highway grades, mountain passes, winter driving, road reports, camera images and RWIS locations.

Information is available on nine major providers of public transportation services. Some of the links show bus locations on fixed routes using Google Transit technology. The site includes system information such as bus stops, and transit reports, delays and alerts. It also enables users to view a grid of route schedules for the participating public transit providers.

The transit option was introduced to Idaho’s 511 Traveler Services website in 2010 and continues to evolve and expand with the cooperation of local service providers.

Published 11-18-2011