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Cities Seeking New Weapons in the Battle Against Waze-Induced Traffic

Los Altos, California has erected a new roadblock in its ongoing effort to keep drivers from cutting through residential neighborhoods, beckoned by the popular navigation app Waze.
June 26, 2017, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Henry Grabar revisits the continuing story of residential neighborhoods looking for ways to prevent cut-through traffic directed by the popular Waze app. This time the controversy has visited Los Altos, California, where congestion has spilled off of Interstate 280 onto local access roads.

First, Los Altos Hills asked Waze to remove three roads from its map. Waze does not entertain such requests. So Los Alto Hills came up with a Plan B: Close the streets to people who don’t live there. In May, the city erected “No Thru Traffic” signs on three roads where they crossed the city limit. Waze complied, according to a report from the Los Altos Hills manager, which means it will no longer direct users to drive on those streets.

City officials in Georgia, Alabama, and Maryland have nixed the idea in the past, according to Grabar—some citing the questionable legal and enforcement status of such signs. Even in Los Altos, the signs are in a trial period and the city isn't pursuing violators.

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Published on Friday, June 16, 2017 in Slate
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