Traffic Reporters – Please Don’t Forget Downtown


At this time of a normal year I often feel sorry for radio traffic reporters. During most holiday seasons there is significantly less traffic volume, leading to traffic reporters trying to fill-in the couple of minutes allotted them, four times an hour. Add to these annual year-end doldrums the current pandemic lockdown, and the streets are essentially abandoned. Good luck coming up with something to say, because the reports must go on – sponsors have paid for them.

Monitoring screens and receiving information from government agencies has provided traffic reporters with a wealth of data from which to craft their reports, assuming there’s traffic.

There was a time when traffic reporters flew over the city’s arteries in helicopters, filing live reports. Now the network of traffic cameras is significant, and reports can be made, particularly while in confinement, from the comfort of the reporter’s home. Monitoring screens and receiving information from government agencies has provided traffic reporters with a wealth of data from which to craft their reports, assuming there’s traffic.

For many years I worked in the downtown core of Montreal. I was able to walk to work. On her way home from teaching at a school in a local suburb, my wife would meet me downtown and drive us home. On countless occasions that drive would be hampered by high volumes of traffic, closed streets, stalled vehicles, or emergency situations such as fires. That’s life in a city, stuff happens.

They let you know what routes are most clogged once out of the city core, but if you are driving in the downtown area you are on your own

What irks me is that radio traffic reporters focus almost exclusively on the highways and bridges leading to and from the city, and essentially ignore downtown traffic. They let you know what routes are most clogged once out of the city core, but if you are driving in the downtown area you are on your own. While sitting in a traffic jam on Sherbrooke Street, I’m really not terribly interested in things on the Trans Canada. Had one of the traffic reporters mentioned that Sherbrooke was chock-a-block, and suggested an alternate route, I would have been better served. But nope, it’s all about ‘into’ and ‘out of’ city routes. While in the city, you’re left to your own devices.

Published by DCMontreal

DCMontreal - Deegan Charles Stubbs - is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

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