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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

MoDOT launches new, improved Gateway Guide

It’s been a long time coming, but the new, improved MoDOT Gateway Guide is here.

Now, like many people, when I hear new and improved, my cynical nature kicks in and I wonder if I am going to be the butt of some cosmic marketing joke where someone added a fragrance to some product just so they can say it's "new and improved." Though adding a scratch and sniff element to the MoDOT Gateway Guide website is an interesting thought – perhaps new car? – there’s more to the website’s improvement than a few cosmetic changes.

The biggest change is to the camera views – right now, all 300 cameras are available for viewing on-line. Although every camera can't be on the home page, users can now select the route they want and see all the available cameras. Viewers have the option of viewing a still image or a 60-second live view updated every two seconds. The map for the camera is zoomable, which makes grabbing the camera icons easier and the new highway snapshots gives users a quick view of all the cameras along one roadway.

Another major change is My STL Traffic. This program will allow you to subscribe to a set of roadways between certain times and on certain days to get information on roadway closures on the routes you take to work, to school or on your day to day activities. You can sign up for either e-mail or text alerts, or view information on your mobile phone. You can also be notified if the roadway is completely closed at any time.

Although behind the scenes, another huge improvement is the web site’s compatibility. The old site was optimized for Internet Explorer, so all the people who liked other web browsers had two choices:

1) Use a browser they didn’t care for, or
2) Use their browser, but lose some significant functions (like the minimal zoom function)

About 35 percent of our users chose the second option, using their browser despite the stilted functioning of the website. That, however, is a thing of the past, as the new Gateway Guide is compatible with the other common, popular browsers.

There’s many other improvements to check out on the updated MoDOT Gateway Guide. The new website is updated to give users a better view of the roadways before, or as, they travel to allow them to avoid congestion. This keeps traffic safer and keeps our air cleaner. We’d love to have you take a look and let us know what you think, or what we might be able to improve. Check out the new website, take our survey and tell us what you think. If it’s been a while since you’ve gone to MoDOT Gateway Guide, please give it another try. It’s new and improved, although without the new car smell.

Andrew Gates
MoDOT Community Relations

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