App Helps SD Drivers Avoid Traffic

By Christina London
|  Monday, May 12, 2014  |  Updated 3:56 AM PDT
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We’ve all been there: Sitting in San Diego freeway traffic. But a new smartphone app is meant to help drivers avoid traffic—or at least prepare for what lies ahead.

On Friday, San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) revealed its new “511 San Diego” application, which is the first of its kind in the country.

The app is chock-full of traffic information, including real-time alerts, lane closures, detours, toll prices, bus schedules and more, according to a news release from SANDAG.

SANDAG said the app has a “text-to-speech” feature so drivers can get the information without having to look at their phones.

The app will be especially useful for commuters who travel Interstate 15 between Kearny Mesa and Escondido. According to the release, that stretch of freeway is part of a national study on how to reduce traffic congestion. The tool will combine data from multiple sources, like road sensors and traffic signals, and multiple government agencies to come up with estimated travel times.

The program is being funded through a $8.7 federal grant, according to the release. A similar program is also being tested in Dallas

The 511 San Diego app is free to download. Users who download the app before July 18 can enter to win an iPad, monthly transit passes and toll credits for the I-15 express lanes.

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