Published November 25. 2009 4:00AM Updated November 25. 2009 1:55PM
Today is "National Drive to Your Grandma's House Day."
Or, as AAA puts it: "With the holiday's focus on family and the extended weekend most Americans enjoy, traveling on Thanksgiving has become entrenched in the American psyche."
The organization predicts that 38.4 million travelers will take to the roads, airways and rails between today and Sunday, an increase of 1.4 percent over last year.
Starting today, you can peek at how many of them are driving on Interstate 95 or 395 by going to www.theday.com/trafficcams, where you'll find an interactive map that links to every state Department of Transportation traffic camera along those two highways.
The state DOT broadcasts a live feed showing traffic conditions from around the state. The department monitors the cameras to alert drivers to heavy traffic or accidents but doesn't keep a recording of the feeds.
"They're probably the most popular feature on the DOT's Web site," spokesman Kevin Nursick said. "When there's an issue with traffic cameras, a technical issue where the cameras aren't working properly, we hear about it immediately. The public is very much in tune to the traffic cameras."
Nursick said people go to the site looking for real-time travel information to determine whether there may be heavy traffic or an incident. About 11,000 people have also signed up for the DOT's e-alert system that lets them know of incidents, he said.
The agency is working to make the cameras work better with mobile devices like BlackBerries, though Nursick was quick to remind drivers not to surf the Internet while driving.
There are 19 cameras in this region, starting at Exit 66 along I-95 in Old Saybrook and continuing to Exit 86 at the Gold Star Highway in Groton. Traveling I-395, they begin at the Montville rest area and end at Exit 81 in Norwich (a somewhat blurry picture).
The DOT says it supplies the images for Interstates 84 and 91 and Route 2, while it partners with TrafficLand Inc. to show images for I-95 and the shoreline/Norwich areas.
All of the cameras belong to the DOT, but the images from TrafficLand are of streaming video about every half-second, while the other cameras show still images.