Improvements to low-bandwidth site gives drivers
more options when using 511 Traveler Services

A new low-bandwidth version of the popular 511 traveler information website made its debut Oct. 25 at 511.idaho.gov, the Idaho Transportation Department announced.

The previous low-bandwidth version, in place since the 511 service launched five years ago, was replaced with the new offering that provides improved web navigation. The new site offers the same information, but in an easier-to-use format. All of the 511 information available on the old website is available on the new site, including winter driving conditions, accident information, construction information, highway web cameras, commercial vehicle restrictions and mountain pass information.

In the past, new road information took as long as 15 minutes to be displayed. On the new website, updated information will appear to users almost instantly.

The old version, called the "streamlined" version at the 511.idaho.gov website, was designed for users with slower internet connections.  Many of the graphics and interactive features of the high-bandwidth site were omitted to allow faster internet connection. The new version, which still allows greater connectivity for low-bandwidth users, is a step up, according to 511 Manager Tony Ernest.  

"The maps and displays are better, and the user interface is more intuitive," Ernest said. "We are replacing the old outline maps with richly detailed Google static maps."

Ernest added that while the web page has been replaced, the old web address remains unchanged: 511.idaho.gov.  Other benefits of the new site include:

  • Easier-to-understand location descriptions, providing distance and direction to the nearest town.
  • Users will now be able to access maps of individual highways - even close-ups of sections of highways - to get a better picture of current conditions
  • The website now offers weather information from 83 Road Weather Information Stations across the state.
  • For those who find the print size on the web page difficult to read, users  now can modify the size of the displayed print at any time.

Statistically, most Idaho users preferred improvements to the streamlined low-bandwidth over the more robust high-bandwidth option. More than 70 percent of the web visits come via the low-bandwidth site.

NOTE: ITD will offer both the older and new low-bandwidth version for a few months. People selecting the streamlined option on the 511 web page will be taken to the old website. At the top of the 511 page, users can choose to try out the new low-bandwidth website.

Published 10-29-2010