Local traffic reporting pioneer in biggest battle

June 19, 2010 3:47:48 AM PDT
At Eyewitness News, we use Skyeye HD, Transtar JamCams and police radio monitors to tell you about traffic conditions. Modern traffic reporting evolved from the work of Marty Ambrose. He started out using CB radios and binoculars on tall buildings to bring us traffic reports back in the 70's. Now, he tells us about tackling his biggest challenge, and how we might all live our lives better. If you've ever been stuck in Houston traffic over the past 30 years or so, you likely heard Ambrose's voice.

Most longtime Houstonians know Ambrose by the sound of his voice. He's the godfather of traffic reporting in the city of Houston, a career that took off after one of Houston's infamous traffic disasters.

"And when the ammonia truck disaster happened and that prompted us to come up with a network traffic reporting service," Ambrose said. "And Traffic Central was born."

Ambrose spent the better part of three decades talking to Houstonians about traffic as they headed to and from work, drove the kids to school or ventured to a ball game.

Now, his main focus is fighting an incurable disease.

"Started two, three years ago when I started tripping at one point," he said.

Ambrose has ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease. He underwent several tests before doctors came up with the diagnosis.

"I missed two or three years by not knowing that, and that's a common problem," he said.

As Ambrose continues to get treatment, he says he lives for the love of his wife and friends. He also offered us a tip on how live.

"My advice is to go with the gusto, get involved, get out of the house, do something else," he said.

Ambrose worked for Metro Traffic Control until he retired in 2003. He came out of retirement in 2008 to do afternoon traffic at KUHF until last May.

On Friday, KUHF hosted a roast and toast to honor Ambrose at their studios.


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