Traffic: Do NOT re-route and take local roads!

 

ugg.. i made the mistake yesterday of listening to my Garmin and going on local roads instead of sticking to I95.

there was a car accident. 1 of 4 lanes was blocked during beginning of rush hour.

i knew from past experience that local roads is NOT faster since the GPS doesnt take into account traffic lights. it only calcs by speed limit.

but i figured during rush hour, the hwy will become more congested as rush hour progresses so local roads would be faster.
ugg.. boy was i wrong.

my advice:
Stay on the hwy (unless ALL lanes are blocked).

/rant

Listening?

What did the Garmin tell you to do, exactly?

Turning on trafic avoidance

jgermann wrote:

What did the Garmin tell you to do, exactly?

ok, i made the mistake of turning on Traffic avoidance. its usually off.

but because of the accident, i decided to turn it on and see how much shorter the trip will be.

it would save me 15min if i went on local roads to reach my destination 10miles away.

saving 15min sounded good enuf to gamble.

i lost that gamble. took me 20min more to reach my destination vs sticking to hwy. sad

traffic coverage

EcoRoute1 wrote:

it would save me 15min if i went on local roads to reach my destination 10miles away.

saving 15min sounded good enuf to gamble.

i lost that gamble. took me 20min more to reach my destination vs sticking to hwy. sad

Garmin's traffic services is very limited in its coverage. Most of the time the local roads are not covered and the "bail-out" is often jammed. It's one of those times you want INRIX on your phone. They cover the major streets as well so your bail-out route would have shown as blocked as well.

--
Illiterate? Write for free help.

Time???

EcoRoute1 wrote:

it would save me 15min if i went on local roads to reach my destination 10miles away.
saving 15min sounded good enuf to gamble.
i lost that gamble. took me 20min more to reach my destination vs sticking to hwy. sad

I would suggest you will never really know if the Hwy with the accident would have been faster or the detour you took. Only if someone else would have stayed on the Hwy and gone to your destination then you could have compared times. You might have sat on the Hwy for an hour waiting for them to clear the accident.
YOU'LL never know!

--
Nuvi 350 long gone, Nuvi 855LMT, Nuvi 2797LMT, DriveSmart 50 LMT-HD, 3790LMT now my daughters. Using Windows 10. DashCam A108C with GPS.

not by speed limit

EcoRoute1 wrote:

it only calcs by speed limit.

Not so. It has an estimated rate of advance for each segment of each road (whether it thinks it knows a speed limit for that segment or not).

--
personal GPS user since 1992

I don't find it an issue

I don't find it an issue with the taking of side roads. The distance doesn't really change and time is saved on my part.

I stayed on the highway one

I stayed on the highway one time and was stuck on I-35 in the middle of nowhere for more than 5 hours last year, in the same Texas town where the fertilizer plant blew up.

Up ahead, a semi had plowed into about 9 cars. The GPS told me to get off, but I didn't do it. After finally getting through after the highway opened up, I still needed to drive a few more hours. All the while, I was able to see the lucky people who got off merrily driving by on the frontage road...

You roll the dice either way, I guess.

tracker

Melaqueman wrote:
EcoRoute1 wrote:

it would save me 15min if i went on local roads to reach my destination 10miles away.
saving 15min sounded good enuf to gamble.
i lost that gamble. took me 20min more to reach my destination vs sticking to hwy. sad

I would suggest you will never really know if the Hwy with the accident would have been faster or the detour you took. Only if someone else would have stayed on the Hwy and gone to your destination then you could have compared times. You might have sat on the Hwy for an hour waiting for them to clear the accident.
YOU'LL never know!

yeah, i know.

sometimes i wish i had a tracker i can plant on the car in front of me.
that way when i take the local road,i know who's ahead when we get past the accident.

Garmin traffic

There was an accident on I-485 about 8:15 and 4 hours later, Garmin was unaware that the road was closed. They apparently do averages for the day and time, and don't do that well. I would not get this traffic report on a future GPS.

I have had good luck with re-routing

Saved me a ton of time once when all lanes were blocked on 495. I guess it just depends

There is one difference

There is one difference. If you are stopped on the highway, you are usually stuck. If you have problems on a side road, you often have the option of turning around and trying another route.

Garmin Traffic Receiver Cables

I'm not sure which GPS unit and traffic receiver combinations are being discussed here. I too have had bad experiences with the GTM 25 traffic receiver that came with my Nuvi 265 and Nuvi 1490 GPS units. Poor coverage, infrequent updates and out of date data are common in my area. I've had better luck with the GTM 35 traffic receiver that came with my Dezl 760. Reports are both more frequent and more accurate. I realize these results depend entirely on where you are located. Can anyone else offer comparisons between the GTM 25 and GTM 35? I recently ordered Garmin's new GTM 60 and will report any further improvements.

Detouring a roll of the dice

EcoRoute1 wrote:

ugg.. 1 of 4 lanes was blocked during beginning of rush hour.

but i figured during rush hour, the hwy will become more congested as rush hour progresses so local roads would be faster.
ugg.. boy was i wrong.

my advice:
Stay on the hwy (unless ALL lanes are blocked).

/rant

I think the key, as OP realizes, was that only one of four lanes was blocked. The more lanes that are blocked, the better the odds are that detouring will save time. Sometimes when someone has died or there was serious criminal activity (shots fired by a civilian, for example), they will full-traffic-stop all lanes for 15, 30 or more minutes (sometimes hours) to investigate and clean up. In that case you are almost always better off detouring.

As also pointed out above, though, there is no reliable way to predict which way is better particularly when you don't have accurate information on the nature of the closure (which you may get faster on the radio than from a traffic-reporting GPS).

Sometimes you will lose staying where you are, and sometimes you will lose detouring, and many times you won't know even afterwards which was better.

--
JMoo On

One time my Garmin wanted to

One time my Garmin wanted to reroute me due to traffic thru Augusta. What was particularly odd is that it gave me the reroute in Columbus, SC a good 1.5 hrs + away. So when I got to Augusta I stayed on the interstate, when I passed the exit the Garmin wanted me to get off on, it recalculated and everything was fine. There was light traffic the rest of the way on the interstate. It appears, once Garmin reroutes you it doesn't ever look at traffic again even though it is way in the future. Until GPSs are commonplace and can communicate with other GPSs there will never be an accurate way to judge traffic.

I agree about rolling the dice

I agree with those stating it really is rolling the dice when it comes to traffic. There's no way to know how each of the routes would have played out unless you take them all simultaneously. It's also hard to judge how quickly blocked lanes will be reopened, etc., and no traffic service will ever account for all of that perfectly.

I have personally had both positive and negative experiences with rerouting attempts based on traffic.

Accurate ways to judge traffic

sunsetrunner wrote:

....Until GPSs are commonplace and can communicate with other GPSs there will never be an accurate way to judge traffic.

Waze and some other services on smartphones are fairly accurate here in Phoenix and Las Vegas. Combining those services with a GPS is sometimes the answer to driving problems in these cities.

Although Garmin traffic here in Phoenix has saved me from some grim situations on the I-10 through town. I have found if the traffic icon turns red, time to find a reroute. Side roads here are plentiful, even one lane of four or five lanes blocked on the Freeways, miserable!

Downside to Waze and others is sometimes other drivers erroneously report traffic situations, maybe for fun, maybe for lack of knowledge, but it causes accuracy fluctuations and questions of reliability.

.

Vegasbound wrote:

Downside to Waze and others is sometimes other drivers erroneously report traffic situations, maybe for fun, maybe for lack of knowledge, but it causes accuracy fluctuations and questions of reliability.

When you introduce that element of data gathering, there are always bound to be accuracy issues. Reliable traffic reporting can only be so good.

--
nuvi 760, nuvi 765T, nuvi 855, nuvi 3790LMT, nuvi 3490LMT - SoCal area

The major advantage of being

The major advantage of being on the bail out local roads would be your can stay moving and you have more roadway options even if your slowed down.

.

UnNamed wrote:

The major advantage of being on the bail out local roads would be your can stay moving and you have more roadway options even if your slowed down.

This can also be a disadvantage as well. If the backed-up route doesn't have many alternates, those alternates could also be backed up by others with the same idea as you, or even just slower in general. Each situation is different and requires some thinking on the part of the driver. Sometimes, there's just no good alternate route and it could very well be better just to stick it out and stay where you are.

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nuvi 760, nuvi 765T, nuvi 855, nuvi 3790LMT, nuvi 3490LMT - SoCal area

ditto on rolling the dice.

I agree with the "roll of the dice" analogy. I usually take the exit ramp and look for a parallel road. Sometimes I stop and check the map on my Garmin and do a little impromptu route planning. Sometimes I wish I had stayed on the clogged main route but at least I tried doing something about the problem.

+1 on a crap shoot

DorkusNimrod wrote:
UnNamed wrote:

The major advantage of being on the bail out local roads would be your can stay moving and you have more roadway options even if your slowed down.

This can also be a disadvantage as well. If the backed-up route doesn't have many alternates, those alternates could also be backed up by others with the same idea as you, or even just slower in general. Each situation is different and requires some thinking on the part of the driver. Sometimes, there's just no good alternate route and it could very well be better just to stick it out and stay where you are.

A while back going through Dayton the Nuvi reported that I-70 was blocked and gave an alternate. What saved us on the alternate was the ability to check other options. The alternate route was covered by the Nuvi's traffic for only part of the way, it was also blocked in a non-covered part but was covered on a phone app. We picked still another route west and saved over a half hour even with the extra distance. We heard a traffic report when the original blockage was about 15 miles behind us they had just reopened I-70.

--
Illiterate? Write for free help.

Garmin is only 1st line

When traveling out of town, I use the Garmin to warn me of traffic problems ahead. My wife has a smart phone and she can check for better and more up-to-date info from Google. We can then plan before we get to the tie-up.

I use the Garmin and VDOT's AM traffic radio station to verify log jams on the way to and from work. The Garmin has gived me too many false alerts, so VDOT AM can verify it in just a minute or 2.

Too many times have both lanes of I-64 been blocked. It is almost always quicker to jump off on Jefferson Ave and hop back on, past the incident. Living on this Peninsula does not give you many choices when going NW or SE. There are only 4 roads that can get you from Newport News to Williamsburg - Rt. 60 (Warwick Blvd), Rt. 143 (Jefferson Ave), I-64 and the Colonial Parkway (accessed from Rt 17 in Yorktown). When I-64 gets shut down for any length of time, all the other roads get clogged up as well. You really have to know the best way to get to the other routes and my Garmin is not smart enough to do it.

--
Metricman Nuvi 3597 GTM-60 Traffic Receiver Williamsburg, VA

Re-Routed

My experience from being re-routed by Garmin has not been good. I still keep paper maps available for backup purposes and re-routing. An application that I have found very useful for traffic and other road hazards is Waze.

Garmin

My experience with traffic has been mostly positive, it has saved me a lot of time for the most part.

I agree. There have been a

I agree. There have been a few times where the traffic report has saved me a ton of time.

Traffic: Do NOT re-route and take local roads!

Too many times I have gotten off Interstate because of backup traffic onto a service road to find out that the traffic on the Interstate is moving faster than the service road. So from now on I stay on the Interstate. I am in no hurry, I will get to my destination sooner or later.

--
3790LMT; 2595LMT; 3590LMT, 60LMTHD

Thanks

Good info to know

think first

So we got discussion again with title "my GPS is not right about maps/traffic". How many times we already said, that sometimes GPS may be wrong or spotty? This same was said about traffic info. If you remember this, you really will have less stress in your life.

Traffic info is often inaccurate. It heavily depend on area and how good service is delivered by traffic provider. Personally I never pay more attention if my traffic icon stays yellow, as usually it means nothing traffic-wise. When icon turns red I will check what is problem behind it and than, if I decide it may be a problem, I made GPS reroute. Sometimes I'm right, sometimes I'm not. I have better guess in areas I know, as I know what to expect.

The only think that I think reliable enough about traffic info is road closures, especially construction. This is nice, especially in area I don't know.

crowdsourcing seems necessary

sunsetrunner wrote:

Until GPSs are commonplace and can communicate with other GPSs there will never be an accurate way to judge traffic.

I think that general idea is often termed "crowdsourcing". I agree with you the traffic data will probably never be really good unless there is a strong crowdsourcing component to it. But in the current evolution of the market and usage it seems much more likely that cell phone-based crowd sourced data will be important than GPS receiver based. At the most basic of levels, the cell phones have excellent reason to be in two-way communication all the time, which is not true for the GPS receivers. Even more importantly, at the moment there is a far denser population of them.

My rather faint hope for strong future improvement Garmin's traffic offering is that it will someday mix in a strong crowd-sourced component--probably from the huge Android population.

--
personal GPS user since 1992

Advice

I consider the traffic as advice only. But then again, I always consider my device an aid to navigation.

--
Nuvi 2595LMT, Nuvi 1490T, Nuvi 260, GPSMAP 195

So you have the same problems

Since our earth quakes here in New Zealand, Christchurch (its only a small city) has road works all over the place; some have been there for years, some come and go in a matter of days or weeks.
A company call Suna, which is and Australian based company do the limited amount of traffic here.
When you see the amount of road works in the city look at http://www.tomtom.com/livetraffic/?WT.Click_Link=top_nav and http://www.transportforchristchurch.govt.nz/ and this company hasn't got any of them in their traffic warnings. There is just too many to try and remember. Looks like my next GPS will be a TomTom. I have owned Garmin of some sort since about 1998 but TomTom is looking really good
I live about 1 hour out of Christchurch, we go in about once a month and things change between visits. My ute is about 20 ft long towing a trailer about 29 ft long which makes U turns almost impossible when you get up some blocked road I am not a happy chappie.
Suna Traffic are useless. http://sunatraffic.co.nz/
Yes I have told them their service is rat shit

--
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present...

INRIX

Have used this before and Box Car is right - get the app it is always good to have a backup.

It is a gamble depending on

It is a gamble depending on multiple factors. Number of alt. routes, number of lanes blocked, and a few more. If you can access the inter net look for traffic sites or news sites for info.. In my area we have had accidents that completely shut I10 down for three days. Generally the alt. routes also back up the closer you get to the back up area.
I judge by the gauge, if the traffic is flowing enough to idle forward stay on the road. If you stay still for more than about 10 min . Go to alt. if you can access an off ramp. You do have to look out, because traffic may be moving only because people taking an off ramp and if you don't take it you get tapped.

When I remember

EcoRoute1 wrote:
Melaqueman wrote:
EcoRoute1 wrote:

it would save me 15min if i went on local roads to reach my destination 10miles away.
saving 15min sounded good enuf to gamble.
i lost that gamble. took me 20min more to reach my destination vs sticking to hwy. sad

I would suggest you will never really know if the Hwy with the accident would have been faster or the detour you took. Only if someone else would have stayed on the Hwy and gone to your destination then you could have compared times. You might have sat on the Hwy for an hour waiting for them to clear the accident.
YOU'LL never know!

yeah, i know.

sometimes i wish i had a tracker i can plant on the car in front of me.
that way when i take the local road,i know who's ahead when we get past the accident.

When I remember, I will try to sight an easy to remember vehicle on the Highway near me when I bail out. After avoiding the traffic and re-entering (or while sitting in traffic on the bail out watching the Hwy traffic moving normally once again!) I will keep an eye out for that vehicle.

I agree with the PP. Garmin

I agree with the PP. Garmin traffic has very little traffic information on the secondary roads. When it suggests an alternate route, on local roads, it has no idea what the traffic is like on those roads.

Garmin traffic avoidance sometimes fails completely

happened to me once when taking a long trip from NJ down to SC for a weekend getaway ... I got stuck in I-95 rush hour traffic near DC ... I listened to Garmin and took a detour ... then another since that route was clogged too ... and finally it told me to detour one more time on a local road, so I did... man ... Garmin had no traffic coverage on those roads, it showed green light (no traffic) while it was a bumper to bumper stall ... luckily I had Google Navigation on the phone, so I was able to find the nearest unblocked road and back on the highway within 30 mins of crawling traffic ... I lost 3 hours driving in traffic jammed local roads around the DC until I switched to Google Navigation ...

my whole trip from NJ to SC got extended by nearly 4 hours, arrived at hotel shortly after 3am ... instead of 11pm ...

EDIT:
Inrix sounds interesting, haven't heard about this one before, will give it a try.

--
Garmin nuvi 2595LMT; Android 5.0 (Samsung GS3)

INRIX

Box Car wrote:

Garmin's traffic services is very limited in its coverage. Most of the time the local roads are not covered and the "bail-out" is often jammed. It's one of those times you want INRIX on your phone. They cover the major streets as well so your bail-out route would have shown as blocked as well.

thanks, I never heard of INRIX. Now I go try it. I only used my garmin a few times for the traffic re-route and seemed to work. Now I going to also try INRIX.

--
Garmin 2555LMT

waze

panama wrote:

My experience from being re-routed by Garmin has not been good. I still keep paper maps available for backup purposes and re-routing. An application that I have found very useful for traffic and other road hazards is Waze.

waze is good. which is why google bought them

Detouring: at least you're trying something

sailornorm wrote:

I agree with the "roll of the dice" analogy. I usually take the exit ramp and look for a parallel road. Sometimes I stop and check the map on my Garmin and do a little impromptu route planning. Sometimes I wish I had stayed on the clogged main route but at least I tried doing something about the problem.

I agree with you.

Sometimes I have had the feeling after detouring that I might have actually lost time by taking the detour, but felt good about detouring anyway because at least I wasn't sitting there stuck in a traffic jam. That trapped feeling of powerlessness is the most frustrating part for me. In choosing a detour, you get some control back.

--
JMoo On

I-495

chimchim12 wrote:

Saved me a ton of time once when all lanes were blocked on 495. I guess it just depends

Which 495? Massachusetts? Delaware? New York? Virginia? Maryland?

knowing is power

dagarmin wrote:
sailornorm wrote:

I agree with the "roll of the dice" analogy. I usually take the exit ramp and look for a parallel road. Sometimes I stop and check the map on my Garmin and do a little impromptu route planning. Sometimes I wish I had stayed on the clogged main route but at least I tried doing something about the problem.

I agree with you.

Sometimes I have had the feeling after detouring that I might have actually lost time by taking the detour, but felt good about detouring anyway because at least I wasn't sitting there stuck in a traffic jam. That trapped feeling of powerlessness is the most frustrating part for me. In choosing a detour, you get some control back.

Agreed. Even without taking the suggested detour or too late to take it, just having the information on what might be causing the traffic slow-down helped me from time to time ease the anxiety and frustration.

Google Maps and Waze

New Google Maps can help you avoid traffic.
Now, Google Maps will notify drivers about more traffic jams as well.

Google announced Tuesday that its mobile maps will now include real-time updates about accidents, construction and other potential sources of traffic snarls. The information will come from the 50 million users of Waze, the social-mapping app that Google bought in June for $1.1 billion.
http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/20/tech/mobile/google-waze-mobile...

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Garmin 2555LMT

I've started using the Waze

I've started using the Waze app in my iphone and find it interesting. It even calculates the aprox time I will arrive at a destination with current traffic factored in it.

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-Chris