YouTube Exposing Cities' Traffic Problems

The video website YouTube is home to a growing number of clips that document traffic conditions in cities around the world.

2 minute read

May 21, 2008, 5:00 AM PDT

By Christian Madera @

"Things have gotten to the point that it's possible to type in the name of virtually any major city and the word "traffic," and it's likely that someone has posted a video showing traffic in that city. Take a bow, Winnipeg -- and boy does it look cold and miserable.

The obvious question such videos pose is: What's going on here? Is it technology run amok? Proof that mankind is doomed? Or is it humanity's way of coping with sitting in traffic?"

One example:

"A motorcyclist, [Rich ] Allen no longer could tolerate the potholes, crevices and lunar landscape he encountered on his daily commute on the 60 Freeway near his Moreno Valley job.

With a tiny video camera wedged between his face and helmet visor, Allen drove the route one day while talking into a microphone. He posted the video on YouTube, the popular video-sharing website, so viewers could see the choppy pavement Allen is talking about.

One of his best lines on the video: "When you see what I'm about to show you, you're going to fall off your chair, and hopefully I won't fall off the motorcycle."

The Riverside Press-Enterprise subsequently ran a story about the video, attracting the attention of two television stations that did stories on Allen's novel campaign. Within two weeks of the video hitting the Internet, Caltrans -- one of the agencies Allen had been badgering -- repaved that part of the freeway.

"That's how you get things done in the 21st century," Allen now says."

Monday, May 19, 2008 in The Los Angeles Times

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