9 Nov 2009, 12:30pm
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New TransGuide website coming down the pike

TransGuide’s¬†website, which won national accolades when it first debuted, is now over¬†a decade old.¬† As an aside, yours truly had a small role in its development: I was¬†asked by the¬†programmer to design some elements for the maps, namely the highway shields and compass rose.¬† My original highway shields were replaced some years ago, but the compass rose still remains–but not for long.¬† Later this month, TxDOT will retire the venerable site and replace it with a more robust one with a slew of updated and improved¬†features.¬† The new site will¬†include a scalable map, allowing users to zoom in or out on any area of interest.¬† Users will also have the ability to toggle the various icons (cameras, signs, incidents, etc.) on and off and will finally have snapshots from all of the system’s cameras available rather than just the 30 or so cameras¬†being accessed by TransGuide operators at any one time.¬† The new site will also provide the foundation for future improvements to include much-needed mobile phone/PDA capabilities, personalized traffic information, and a map-based view of planned lane closures.¬† You can preview the new site here.
New TransGuide website

New TransGuide website

System repairs and upgrades also coming

In addition to the website improvement, TxDOT also has awarded contracts for long-overdue maintenance of TransGuide’s field equipment.¬† I can’t tell you how many lane control signals and dynamic message signs are out of order, so news of these contracts is welcome.¬† Once the initial repair backlog is cleared, which is expected by the end of the year, the contractors will focus on preventive maintenance, upgrades to older and obsolete equipment, and maintaining a 95% uptime for all equipment.¬† TxDOT has budgeted $1.5 million annually for maintenance, although that amount will vary depending on needs and funding availability.

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