Celebrate freedom of movement this weekend

RTA members, partners, and friends,

This week marks the 243rd anniversary of America’s declaration of independence. We chose self-direction as nation, and have worked to fulfill that promise since 1776.

As Americans, we travel in droves during various holidays, heading north, south, east, and west, celebrating our freedom to move around our communities and each of these United States. Traffic congestion can be a challenge, depending on where and when we travel — and on a degree of luck regarding weather, construction, and other conditions and circumstances.

To keep our RTA members moving well and free on the 4th, here are a few quick tips:

  • Fuel up ahead of time – both your vehicle, and yourself – to minimize time on the road
  • Hydration is great for health and my sense is it helps with alertness too, so have plenty of water on-hand
  • Share the driving with your spouse or other passengers — it does not need to be a 50:50 splitting of responsibilities to create a benefit
  • Review and understand your favorite online mapping tool ahead of time

Regarding the latter point. I often use Google maps for travel; I also use a variety of other excellent options, including NCDOT’s traffic conditions tool. When Google maps shows a congestion level of brown, that means that the freeway is essentially at a standstill. Red is congested, but not at a standstill. Orange is slow but moving .

So the online mapping colors are what they are, but how do they relate to potential actions you might take? For me, I rarely deviate my route when I see Orange on Google maps, but I almost always at least look for alternatives when I see brown. Red depends on the length of the backup. Having a passenger scout for congestion ahead on Google maps or another online tool, to enable you to (potentially) deviate routes before it’s too late, can save you and your companions an incredible amount of time and aggravation.

So pick your favorite mapping tool, celebrate self-direction as Americans, and help you and your family travel freely.

Have a safe and happy holiday.


Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director

RTA is the voice of the regional business community on transportation

post reference: th3.2019.27

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