Thursday, April 06, 2006

Get it right RUSH!

Today's post is sort of a Dear Abby column....but seriously, it's killing me!

Dear Abby:

As a daily commuter in and out of Ottawa, I pay close attention to the traffic reports in the morning and on my way home from work. We live in Embrun, which is about a 20 minute drive to Ottawa, but the ride can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 45 minutes, depending on how traffic is running. I listen to the traffic report because I want to know what areas to avoid, or what I can expect when I enter downtown Ottawa.

I am a faithful listener of the Hot 89.9's morning show, with Mauler, Rush, Laura and Josie - and while I generally find their show funny and entertaining, I want to scream at Rush every morning when I hear his traffic report. About every 20 minutes, Rush gives his little recap about how the roads are running. Generally he says something like:

'slow downs in your usual spots, it's running moderate to heavy from the split to Vanier Parkway...etc.'

The split to the Vanier Parkway is the area I am most interested in -- so this is where I pay the most attention, however there is probably only 1 of out 5 mornings where Rush's report is accurate.

In the last little while there have been a few days where traffic is backed up to Walkley (Walkley being the first exit as you enter the capital city heading West bound). If traffic is stop & go at Walkley....there is no way in hell that traffic is running moderately from the split to the Vanier Parkway.

Can you say FRUSTRATING?

What I want to know is, where in the heck does Rush come up with this traffic report. I realize that each radio station relies heavily on its listeners to call in and report accidents or slow downs on the highway, but why is it that every other radio station gets the traffic report right, while Rush continues to read the same report every morning?

If I listen to Hot 89.9 I would think I could reach downtown in 25 minutes, but when I switch to Bob FM or Y101, their traffic people are telling me there is stalled car in the right hand lane, or just high volume traffic near Walkley or Innes -- all the things a morning driver is interested in.

There is also the contrary, Rush will say its heavy from the split to the Vanier Parkway, when in fact you are travelling at 120 km/hour, while never having to think about slamming on your breaks. I don't know what kind of research is done in order to compose the morning traffic report, but in my opinion Hot 89.9 does a brutal job. I know that it is not Rush's fault personally, because Kenny B has a tendancy to screw up the report on the drive home at 4, but the behind the scenes person who complies this dang report needs to get some better sources. Thank god for Hot 89.9's Josie & the City Hollywood gossip section or I may have switch stations all together.

Maybe this is only something that happens to us East-enders, as I know that Hot 89.9's station is physically located in the West end, but seriously, does anyone in Ottawa know how Hot 89.9 manages to consistently get the traffic report wrong?

Yours Truly,
Frustrated in Ottawa