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If a full-boat GPS system is overkill for you, the harried commuter, TrafficGauge might just be solution. The service, which uses a basically buttonless device that only displays freeways, is just rolling out in the Bay Area after being deployed in Seattle and LA. While it displays the roads that are running wild, running free; the byways that are backed up, and conditions in between, we think the main problem with the device is the lack of major non-freeway arteries, which in places like LA and the Bay, anyway, are becoming more and more viable as the fruits of Eisenhower's dream fall victim to vehicular arteriosclerosis. [Thanks to CTE for the tip.]

TrafficGauge not fancy but it does the trick [SFGate]

Navigatin With Bandit, B.A. and the Photojournalist from Apocalypse Now [Internal]