Waze vs. Residential Neighborhoods

Accounts of disgruntled residents responding by any means necessary to the flood of cars beckoned by the whims of navigation apps like Waze are spreading across the country.

1 minute read

June 7, 2016, 12:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Waze

dennizn / Shutterstock

Steve Hendrix reports on the ongoing battle between residents of residential streets and navigation apps like Waze. Hendrix specifically cites the example of Timothy Connor, who lives in Takoma Park, Maryland and has become so frustrated by the number of cars on his street as a result of a nearby street repair.

Hendrix reports that Connor "borrowed a tactic he read about from the car wars of Southern California and other traffic-weary regions: He became a Waze impostor. Every rush hour, he went on the Google-owned social-media app and posted false reports of a wreck, speed trap or other blockage on his street, hoping to deflect some of the flow."

Eventually Waze discovered Connor's tactic and stopped registering his reports, "[making] Connor a casualty in the social-media skirmishes erupting across the country as neighborhoods try to contend with suddenly savvy drivers finding their way on routes that were once all but secret."

Hendrix looks around the country for more examples of the methods by which cities and residents are countering the traffic effects of navigation algorithms. Hendrix also reports Waze's response, both in suspending users suspected of "tampering with the map" and in adding new features to the app, like "alerts about school zones and other slow-speed zones…"

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