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With Valley traffic increasing, TV station puts more resources into reporting

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With population increases comes traffic. And with traffic comes frustration.

KIVI 6 On Your Side revamped its on-air traffic offerings this week to give commuters a better grasp on what they will face on the roads.

“For the first time in 20 years, everyone is talking about how bad traffic is,” news director J Bates said. “We look out our window at channel 6 and see it. We felt it was time to take traffic as serious as other markets do.”

During the station’s Good Morning Idaho Program, anchor Frankie Katafias uses a mix of tools – including technology from Google’s Waze, as well as the network of Ada County Highway District traffic cameras around the area. Waze shows real-time traffic data collected from users of its popular commuting app.

[What’s that funny looking thing? Technology coming to an ACHD pole near you]

In the past, stations in the market used a variety of tactics to cover traffic, including partnerships with radio groups. This marks the first time a station dedicated an in-house anchor. The presentation style is more common in traffic hot-spots like Seattle or Los Angeles.

“We are trying to get ahead of the issue,” Bates said. “I wanted to go beyond traffic cameras and DJs and offer solutions. Waze is something I used in other markets and thought it was a great way to make our viewers part of the solution.”

Waze users can join KIVI’s traffic “team” on the app, to alert Katafias of what they see on the roads. Good Morning Idaho airs on KIVI from 5am-7am, and on KNIN channel 9 from 7am-8am.

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