Help Overview

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Welcome to the Travel Midwest help pages. These pages introduce you to the information available on the Travel Midwest web site and explain the layout and use of those pages.

The purpose of the Travel Midwest site is to provide the traveler with up-to-date information in order to make informed travel decisions. To this effect, it provides available information about current traffic conditions and links to other sites which pertain to transportation related issues in the region.

The Travel Midwest site's coverage area includes the following counties:

The Home Page: My Map

When you navigate to the Travel Midwest site (, you are presented with a map, initially of the Chicago area. The map can be scrolled and zoomed to allow you to view the area in which you are interested, and the map configuration is stored in a cookie on your browser so that your preferred map configuration will be ready to use when you return to the site. It is also available via the "My Map" item on the "Maps" menu. For more detail on using the Travel Midwest site maps, see Map Help.

The Travel Midwest Header and Menu Bar

The Travel Midwest header appears as follows:

Travel Midwest Header and Menu Bar

The header contains:

  1. The Travel Midwest Logo - identifies the site, the Gateway Traveler Information System that provides the data, and the site sponsor, the Greate Lakes Regional Transportation Operations Coalition
  2. A Travel-oriented Photo - the site includes several header photos and one is selected randomly for display each time you access or refresh a page
  3. The Message of the Day - displays a current message of importance to travelers in the coverage area. The site maintains a list of these messages, and there is an indication of which message is being displayed (e.g., "(1 of 2)" in this case). If there is more than one message, the next one is displayed after about seven seconds (depending on your computer and browser). If you wish to see further messages without waiting, you may click on the current message and the next will be displayed.
  4. The Help Overview link - a link to this page to access site help
  5. The Message of the Day RSS icon - If you wish to see all the messages, click on the Really Simple Syndication (RSS) icon below the message to see an RSS feed listing the messages. Most browsers include an RSS reader.
  6. The Menu Bar - provides drop-down menus for accessing other pages (discussed further below).

The menu bar headings give the main sections of the site. When you place the cursor over a heading, a drop-down menu appears with items that are links to the pages in that section. (The "projects" heading has a menu if there are current major construction projects.) Moving the cursor down the menu highlights each menu item in turn, and clicking on the highlighted menu item displays the indicated page. For example in the figure above, the "notices" menu is displayed and the "Construction" item (7) is highlighted. If you move the cursor off the edge of the drop down, it will disappear, but you can display it again by positioning the cursor over the heading in the menu bar.

The menu bar and drop-down menus are created using JavaScript, which some users elect to disallow in their browser. However like most sites, the Travel Midwest site depends on the availability of JavaScript capabilities to enhance the appearance and usefulness of its pages.

Browser cookies

Like many sites, the Travel Midwest site stores information about your preferences for using the site in "cookies", a browser feature that allow web sites to store information on your local computer and retrieve that information whenever you view pages from that site. Sites cannot view the information in cookies stored by other web sites, nor can they store data on your system other than using the cookie feature. With these restrictions, many people see cookies as a safe and useful way for web sites to provide customization features. The Travel Midwest site uses cookies to keep track of:

Most browsers allow users to disable the cookie feature. If you do not have cookies enabled, then you will not be able to save map preferences and default location information. You will still be able to use the Travel Midwest site, but you will need to select map configurations and report locations each time you view a page. In addition, if you clear the cookies from your browser, you will lose your map preferences and default locations.

Cookies are stored on a particular machine for a particular user. If you access the site from a different machine or as a different user on the same machine, you may not have the same set of cookies and might have to reselect your preferences.

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Please send comments, suggestions, or requests for help to Travel Midwest webmaster.
Much of this site's functionality makes use of cookies and JavaScript.

Sat May 25 2024 19:15:51 CDT