Oh, WBZ, how could you forsake us in our hour of need?

Tai Irwin is pissed at the state of local radio journalism in general, but in particular as practiced on the Traffic on the 3s station last night:

Last night at a little after 7, I found out that a section of 128 was virtually impassable, and had jackknifed tractor-trailers and abandoned cars blocking the traffic. How did I find this out? On satellite radio. I found it because I needed to know what was going on in order to get home safely. I had never listened to the traffic this way before. This bummed me out way more than any steroid scandal. How could WBZ, the region's station of record, just act like nothing was going on and broadcast a Bruins game? ...

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    Comments

    yes, traffic on the 3's

    By on

    yes, traffic on the 3's except during Bruins games, the nighttime talk shows, and other events.
    their logo (branded on mugs, t-shirts, bumperstickers) is a false claim

    Agreed

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    SEEERiously. Of ALL nights to pre-empt a hockey game, last night was the one.
    511 is usually a pretty good source, too, if a bit out-of-date at times.

    The trick is to recognize

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    The trick is to recognize that the local media and news outlets are no longer interested in providing news. In addition to 511, as mentioned above, www.smartroutes.com is a really good source for traffic info. They updated the news about the 128 mess in real time.

    No traffic copters...

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    In the middle of the storm, the traffic helicopters are not in the air and so they can not monitor accidents, tie-ups, and delays as they do during a normal day.

    Without the copters, it is tough to imagine how the news media would have gotten any up-to-date information about traffic. Maybe some anecdotal info from people that might call in. Maybe some info from the stationary traffic cameras,but their view would have been affected by the heavy snowfall too. And any reporters roaming the area in vehicles would have been stuck in traffic, and just like everyone else, would have had a very limited idea of why or how bad it was.

    Traffic copters? Pshaw

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    They haven't been important for traffic reports for years. Even on a normal day, what you mostly hear on The Threes is some guy in a studio, not the Subaru All-Wheel Drive for New England Commerce Insurance Copter Brought to You by the Toyota Dealers of New England (oh for the days of Officer Bill and Kevin O'Keefe). The Boston area is laced with traffic cameras - and, yes, people with cell phones calling in to report traffic. If anything, the need MORE people with cell phones - seems like half the time when they report serious delays on 128, by the time I get there, there's no problem (and don't get me started on how they seem unable to tell people getting on 128 south from the turnpike that they can expect LENGTHY delays at the toll plaza thanks to a tieup on 128 north).

    Traffic on the 3s! (except...)

    When I first moved to Boston and was stuck in traffic at night after rush hour, I turned to WBZ "Traffic on the 3s!" for info. And there was some interminable talk show that did not break for traffic.

    In DC, WTOP has traffic on the 7s, even when they have syndicated shows on. Same deal for 1010 (on the 1s) and 880 in NYC.

    I strongly feel WBZ is advertising falsely. Just like Blockbuster's "no late fees" (except if you're more than 7 days late).