NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Call 511 on Highway 49?

Have you noticed the Call 511 signs on SR-49 just West of the Dorsey Drive over crossing? The signs are posted on both the East and West bound lanes. Call 511 is a traveler information system, that will give you highway status through out California. In fact it is a nation wide system, available in most states. The Federal Communications Commission designated 511 as the national travel information number in July 2000. The first service was launched a year later in Kentucky, and systems are now in place in San Francisco, Sacramento and apparently along Highway 49. More information here.

However, when I call 511 on Highway 49, I get a recording from the Nevada Department of Transportation. I can find out the status of I-80 East and West of Reno, Highway 395, North and South of Reno, but no information about Highway 49 or 20. I wonder how many travelers on Highway 49 find that interesting and useful information?

Tell me what you think

UPDATE: Dan Landon, NCTC Executive Director, contacted David Young at SACOG, who is the 511 Coordinator. "He said that he didn't know why we were getting Nevada DOT instead of California." wrote Dan in an e-mail. " He guessed that it could be "bleed over" from a Nevada cell site or that our cell calls are routed through Nevada switches. I am dubious about either of those ideas." Me too. My cellphone is is great, but it is not so great it can reach across the mountains to Nevada. David said he would look into the situation and get back to Dan. More here when we get the details.

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