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Congestion Busters: Southland Transit Agencies Honor Traffic Reporters

Wednesday September 30, 2009

13th Annual Golden Pylon Awards spotlight true-grit traffic reporters whose on-air traffic talk keeps rush-hour commuters in the know about alternatives to solo driving. Awards are prelude to Rideshare Week Oct. 5 -9.

(Sept. 30, 2009) Southland transit agencies handed out coveted Golden Pylon Awards to the region’s top traffic reporters at an awards luncheon Wednesday, honoring the true grit reporters whose on-air traffic talk keeps the region’s traffic moving by promoting rideshare options such as carpool lanes, vanpools and public transportation.

Illuminating a stellar effort in unraveling the region’s huge traffic knot, gleaming Lucite trophies inscribed with a traffic cone pylon went to five reporters who report on the daily traffic grind for numerous broadcast outlets. And the winners are:

  • Vera Jimenez, Southern California's most-watched early morning TV traffic reporter, joined the CBS 2 News team in 2002.
  • Arianna Ortiz on: KRTH, KFWB
  • Mark Wheeler on KLOS
  • Tori Scott onKSBR, KTMQ, KYMT, KSGN
  • Tiffany Brazil-Galea’I on KLCA, KIXA, KJILL, KYMT, KSPA, KTMQ, KSLY, I Heart Radio
  • California Highway Patrol Officer Vince Ramirez, who reports traffic conditions on FOX 11 Morning News, Univision 34 morning news, Primera Edicion of Univision 34, 6 p.m.,and on radio stations KWRM Radio Mexico mornings; KFRN 1280 Family Radio, La Poderosa 1550 and on the Internet Real Time Traffic internet show on Myfoxla.com for Fox network.

The Awards ceremony is sponsored by five regional transit agencies: Metro in Los Angeles County, Orange County Transportation Authority, Riverside County Transportation Commission, San Bernardino Associated Governments and Ventura County Transportation Commission.

The Golden Pylon Awards is a traditional prelude to Rideshare Week – Oct. 5-9 – a statewide campaign aimed to encourage thousands of commuters to ‘share the ride’ to help reduce traffic and smog. Currently 77 percent of commuters drive alone to work, and traffic congestion increases by 3 percent each year.

Traffic congestion continues to rise in American cities of all sizes, according to the Texas Transportation Institute’s 2009 Annual Urban Mobility Report, the nationally known study of mobility and traffic congestion on freeways and major streets in 90 cities.

The 2009 mobility report notes that congestion in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana region, which chokes 61 percent of the freeway and major arterial system during the 8-hour peak periods, causes the average peak period traveler to spend an extra 70 hours of travel time and an additional 53 gallons of fuel per year. Congestion also costs the solo driver an estimated $1,480 in cold, hard cash and hits the region up for $10.3 billion annually.


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