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Commentary

WGRZ traffic reports during the pandemic provide a needed laugh

Alan Pergament

I let out a big laugh Tuesday morning when traffic reporter Dave Cash suggested there was “a noticeable increase in traffic volume on some of the roads” as a live camera showed three or four cars driving on the 190 in one direction and a solo car in the other direction.

And during the pandemic, don't we all need a laugh?

One of the questions I am most frequently asked is: Why is Cash appearing each morning on WGRZ-TV’s “Daybreak” when there is so little traffic, thanks to the pandemic shutdowns?

Part of the reason is that Cash is paid by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA), not Channel 2. The station has an arrangement with the NFTA that includes airing public service announcements.

Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner said the station has cut back on the number of traffic reports given by the NFTA in the morning and afternoons. He added the reports are still needed when there are issues involving construction project and the weather.

With Western New York starting to reopen in phases, there may be more of a reason for Cash and his NFTA teammates in the afternoon to give traffic reports. But I suspect with schools and colleges closed, we’re not talking about a lot of traffic.

The Channel 2 roadside camera showed little evidence of traffic this morning during Cash’s report.

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