What’s Wrong With Post4TrafficOnline.com?

Post4TrafficOnline.com is the 800-pound gorilla in St. Louis traffic reporting sites. Put together just in time for the Highway 40 closure, this site should combine the in-depth reporting of the Post-Dispatch with the visually appealing videos from Channel 4 KMOV. Endless commercials on KMOV bill it as “the ultimate source for traffic information online in St. Louis”.

In reality, though, this “site” is just a single page that mushes all of the Post-Dispatch and KMOV content into one snapshot. It doesn’t behave as a single site. If you click on the button to play the highlighted video, it opens a new window on the KMOV site (with the video about 1/4 of the size on the home page). Want to click on an accident on the traffic map? Sorry, that pops up a new window as well and then loads the “real” traffic map, where you have to click on the accident again. In the end, you’ve got all kinds of browser windows open and no coherent view of traffic.

This set up might be forgivable, but the content is just wrong.

Here’s three examples:

There’s a mapping tool on the site that’s supposed to route you around the construction. When I asked it to get me from University City to Town and Country, the generated directions routed me onto the closed Highway 40. C’mon, this is basics folks!

Another neat looking feature gives you drive times and congestion reports. The problem? Around the lunch hour today, several areas (I-270, and 40 west of I-270) were reported as “gridlocked”, even though Gateway Guide cameras showed clear sailing throughout.

Well, at least they reported the closed section of Highway 40 as “gridlocked”!

(In fact, as I write this post, the “Drive Times and Congestion” feature is now missing from the Post4TrafficOnline site)

Finally, I found it odd that the featured video this afternoon was the afternoon weather forecast. Is this a traffic web site or a weather web site?

Looks like the Post-Dispatch and KMOV have a little bit of work to do.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008 at 6:38 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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