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Byline: Mike Adamick
Jun. 30--From a 17th-floor office overlooking the East Bay's network of freeways and train tracks, a dedicated cadre of Web gurus, traffic engineers and transportation planners is working feverishly behind the screens to keep the region's traffic flowing in the event of a BART strike.
The group is in charge of 511.org -- a comprehensive Web site and companion telephone hotline that offers everything from traffic conditions to transit and car pool information to updates about the strike.
Created in 2002 following a federal decision to dedicate the 511 telephone prefix to traffic information, the Bay Area's Web site and phone hotline has garnered national acclaim from transportation planning groups for its high-tech innovations, such as offering regional drive time estimates for motorists and time-saving routes for transit seekers.
But now, as the region girds for an additional 300,000 people on the roadways and bus systems each day if BART shuts down because of the labor dispute, the group is in for its biggest test. BART unions said if a new contract is not signed this week, workers could strike at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.
"This is 511's time to shine," said Carol …