Ok, so you probably know when to call 9-1-1, it's for emergencies. You know that you can call 4-1-1 for information (or you search online), 8-1-1 is the number to call before you dig in your yard, so you don't accidently hit a gas, electric or water pipes.

So when do you call 5-1-1? You can dial 511, from a landline or from a cellphone. New York State has 5-1-1 set up to inform people on traffic and road conditions throughout the state. Yes, you can go to their website, but you can also call them to get information on transportation and road conditions.

Can you actually get useful information by calling 5-1-1?

Aleksandra Glustsenko

The goal of the service is to "meet the specialized needs of commuters, long-distance and through travelers, tourists and commercial vehicle operators." In addition to giving you access to some 'real-time' information, it can also help you out with information on vanpools, carpooling, roads with bicycle access, etc.

You can also call them when you need info about places to visit or roads to avoid on your trip.

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If you are thinking about planning a road trip, you can also call them and get info about which are the best roads for your journey, and anticipated weather conditions as well.  Another way that you can use their service is that if you find that there is an issue with a traffic situation or road conditions, you can help out fellow motorists by calling the service and reporting it.

You can help others when you report accident info or road conditions to them.


According to their website, this service has been helping New York motorists since 2008. Have you ever called it?

13 Upstate Food Favorites You Can't Buy Outside of New York State

Upstate New York is the home to many fantastic food favorites. Mention sponge candy to somebody 100 miles outside Buffalo and you are probably going to get a blank stare. Mention a Michigan hot dog to anybody not from around Plattsburgh. Same stare. So here is a list of 13 regional food icons that you cannot buy outside of the empire State.

I will add this asterisk. You certainly can buy some of these items online, like the Saratoga Peppermint Pigs. Perhaps the Stix and Sauce item is known by another name somewhere in the country. Salt potatoes may have gravitated elsewhere but if so nobody knows where they started. And Grandma Brown. Well, you can buy that sweet lady's baked beans on eBay. But for the most part you would have to walk into a store or restaurant in Upstate New York to enjoy these "regional" fan favorite foods.

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