TrafficTV is a traffic and traveler information resource available on cable television (UWTV2 Channel 76). It began operation June 1, 1998, as part of the SmartTrek Operational Deployment under the name Traffic Channel. The SmartTrek evaluation of May 2001 identified several problems with Traffic Channel and recommended some improvements. This project made those changes and renamed the application TrafficTV.
A series of meetings was held in June 2003. These meetings involved personnel from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Northwest Region, WSDOT Advanced Technology Branch, WSDOT Olympia office, the University of Washington’s UWTV, and the UW Intelligent Transportation Systems Research Program. From these meetings came a set of recommended changes. These changes were made to TrafficTV and are documented in this report.
Battelle Institute conducted a focus group in May 2004 to evaluate the resulting program. This focus group concluded that TrafficTV is a useful traveler information tool but has not had sufficient public exposure to make it widely known to the traveling public.
A market penetration audit conducted by Media Audit in June and July 2004 indicated that when viewers were asked about TrafficTV, over 94,000 had seen the program within the last week. This was deemed surprisingly high, given the lack of external exposure and that viewers would have found TrafficTV only by word of mouth or by “channel surfing.” Again, a conclusion of the audit was that additional exposure would make TrafficTV more valuable as a traveler information tool.
As a result of the publicity recommendations, a banner has been added to the North West Region’s traveler information page to alert users to the availability of TrafficTV.