Crowdsourced navigation app Waze blamed for creating traffic jams on side streets



While the highways in L.A. are notorious for creating huge bumper-to-bumper traffic jams, residents of the city are beginning to find local roads filled with cars, all heading in the same direction. As a result, usually less traveled roads like Baxter Street, one of the steepest streets in the U.S., is also filled with traffic. Most drivers aren't used to the street's roller coaster like grade, (at 30%, it's steeper than most streets in San Francisco) and this has led  to the occurrence of numerous accidents.

L.A. residents like Jeff Hartman blame navigation apps in general, and Waze in particular. The crowdsourced Waze was purchased by Google in June, 2013 for over $1 billion dollars. The big problem that commuters in L.A. have with navigation apps, including Google Maps, is that the traffic jams on the main arteries are forcing them to give drivers alternate directions. But when every one behind the wheel is given the same detour, the detour becomes as mobbed as the regular route.

And that brings us back to Baxter Street and Mr. Hartman, who happens to live there. Because of the heavy traffic on the street, cars at the top of the hill can't see the road in front of them. As a result, several drivers have ended up losing control of their cars. As one of Hartman's neighbors said, "They took out my trellis, my retaining wall, my picket fenceā€¦it looked like a plane crashed through my front yard." Those living on Baxter Street say that Waze needs to prepare drivers better for the roller coaster-like terrain of the street.

All over the country, drivers are finding that navigation apps are creating issues on roads not designed for heavy traffic. Consider the words of Leonia, New Jersey police chief Tom Rowe. "People will do whatever the app tells them to and it's scary sometimes," Rowe said. The city has since restricted the use of side streets to residents only, which has forced Waze to remove the side streets in the city from the app. That also might be the solution that L.A. imposes on Baxter Street. Other possible solutions include making it a one-way street or preventing drivers from making some turns.

source: CBS

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10 Comments

1. miketer

Posts: 531; Member since: Apr 02, 2015

I've gone through this issue near my place of work. The side roads were so bumpy with erratic behaviour from residences as if that road is there own, took more time to reach back to the main road than if I would've ploughed through the traffic on the same main road.

3. bambamboogy02

Posts: 840; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

Point of the the app is to navigate the driver through less conjestion. Not the Apps fault for damage caused by drives who aren't paying attention, who goes speeding over an incline especially if you can not see what is on the other side.

2. torr310

Posts: 1679; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

That's the idea of how this app was created: to split traffic.

4. therealestmc

Posts: 679; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

I can't stand these entitled pricks. They act like the roads belong to them. If it's a public road everyone have the right to use, traffic or not.

5. nepalisherpa

Posts: 338; Member since: Jul 17, 2015

While I agree that they shouldn't act like the roads belong to them, I will also say this that if this happened on your street, you'd be complaining as well.

8. andynaija

Posts: 1263; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

As long as my property isn't being ran into or destroyed I would honestly not care at all.

6. sentinel336

Posts: 46; Member since: Oct 30, 2015

Ahh...the keyboard commando strikes. Where did you get your degree in traffic studies or urban planning? Try looking up the "hierarchy of roads" and "street hierarchy" on Wikipedia prior to spouting off. Residential areas are not filled with "entitled pricks," but rather people that want to peacefully enjoy their homes. This is all a part of urban planning and the new apps are routing vehicles in front of their property. This may also impact the safety of children playing in neighborhoods.

7. bambamboogy02

Posts: 840; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

That's all fine and dandy. But I cut through neighborhoods all the time knowing it saves me 15+ mins. It's a road at the end of the day, and I will use it accordingly. People can enjoy their homes, as I enjoy bthe road. It's not like they are living deep in the suburbs, they live close enough to traffic that their roads can be used to short cut traffic. If they are that mad about population growth amd now riads being used, move further away from town. Then they won't have this problem. Awww, now these people have to "suffer" seeing extra cars coming down their street. As you said, they need to sit in their homes amd "enjoy" them, not enjoybthe public road.

9. sentinel336

Posts: 46; Member since: Oct 30, 2015

It's obvious that you don't own a home.

10. deewinc

Posts: 455; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

They should allow users to flag routes and the more a route is flagged the lesser the app offers it as an alternative.

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