I’ve whipped up a script that takes the California Highway Patrol live traffic incident data feed from the 20 CHP dispatch centers around the state and filters for anything mentioning bikes or bicycles. You can see the results here.
At the time I’m writing this post, there’s a single incident between Woodland and Davis, CA: a bicyclist riding in the number 1 lane on State Route 113 just south of County Road 25A is reported to be a traffic hazard. “1097 in the CD” means the responding officer is parked in the center divider. I have no idea if bikes are permitted on this state highway or not.
Right now, this is a rough proof of concept, which means:
- I grab the incidents as they’re available on the CHP server.
- No caching of incidents, by me or anybody else.
- No permanent links of incident reports.
- When the incident ages out on the CHP dispatch center it is gone forever.
- Good probability of false positives. You’ll see reports of motorcycles and anything mentioning “bike lane.” I doubt I’ll change this heuristic much.
- You need to decode the terse radio codes and abbreviations yourself. I may work this decoding into the application.
To make this truly useful, I need to:
- Poll the CHP server automatically every 10 minutes or so and spit the results out to Twitter, an XML feed, or to email.
- Cache the incidents and;
- Provide permanent links to the incident information.
I can do all of these things; I just need to be sufficiently motivated and make time to do these things. Please let me know if this would be interesting / useful for you, and feel free also to leave any kind of suggestion and opportunity for improvement.
In the meantime –> http://www.cyclelicio.us/script/chpbike.php5.
Update: I’ve modified the script so it can take a query string so you can input your own search criteria. Examples:
- To search for fatal accidents in California, for example, use http://www.cyclelicio.us/script/chpbike.php5?q=FAT.
- Search for anything involving Toyotas with http://www.cyclelicio.us/script/chpbike.php5?q=TOY.
- How many Hit and Runs are there right now? Answer: A lot.
- Interested in your commute over Highway 17 in Santa Cruz County? http://www.cyclelicio.us/script/chpbike.php5?q=SR17.
- See the Pedestrians on the Roadway with http://www.cyclelicio.us/script/chpbike.php5?q=PEDESTRIAN.
- Ford? Or Chevy?