Don’t stop Waze.
That was the clear message from about 1300 MyNewsLA.com readers Wednesday in a poll asking for reaction to a Los Angeles City Councilman’s efforts to stop Waze from sending drivers through residential streets.
Paul Krekorian introduced a motion that he says would help local neighborhoods, especially in his mostly San Fernando Valley district, that are getting inundated with “cut-through” traffic directed there by Waze to avoid traffic jams on other routes.
But about 76 percent of MyNewsLA.com readers responding to the poll said “no way” should Waze be restricted from guiding users to the best possible routes – even if those routes are in smaller neighborhood streets away from major roadways. Only about 24 percent of people responding to the poll agreed with Krekorian’s proposed Waze crackdown.
While the MyNewsLA.com is not a scientifically accurate poll of Southern California residents, the lopsided results do show overwhelming support for allowing Waze to continue providing the most efficient ways for drivers to avoid traffic jams.
Mayor Eric Garcetti announced last week that the city is sharing road closure data with Waze to improve its service, and in return the city is getting live updates about traffic patterns around the city.
Krekorian introduced a motion saying that the city should “leverage” on this pact by asking Waze to point drivers to major roads, instead of allowing them to take short cuts through residential neighborhoods.
“Residents in my district and throughout the city have experienced a major uptick in cut-through traffic over the past few years,” Krekorian said. “Many blame Waze and other mobile apps because they divert drivers from major avenues onto small residential streets that aren’t designed to accommodate them, resulting in far greater congestion and traffic for residential neighborhoods.”
He said that while the partnership with Waze is “a good step forward,” the city should also “try to resolve residents’ concerns about Waze and traffic congestion in our neighborhoods.”
Krekorian’s motion notes that larger streets have safety features, such as signal lights and crosswalks, for pedestrians. Residential streets lack these measures, his motion said, and pedestrians can be put at risk due to the “speed and often carelessness of cut-through traffic.”
The motion will be taken up first in the City Council’s Transportation Committee.
Waze uses driver reports to help other drivers avoid traffic jams. Its website says it is “the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app,” and it urges users to “join other drivers in your area who share real- time traffic and road info …”
— City News Service