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 @http://www.twitter.com/cpmadera


"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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