The residents of neighborhoods in Los Angeles County are not happy with Waze, Google’s crowdsourced mapping app. It’s sending the area’s infamous freeway traffic onto their once quiet streets, the Associated Press reported Sunday. The app, known to show drivers the quickest route to their destination by relying on crowd-sourced information, is showing drivers how to avoid bumper-to-bumper freeway traffic by moving it onto local roads, locals told the news service.
When the people whose houses hug the narrow warren of streets paralleling the busiest urban freeway in America began to see bumper-to-bumper traffic crawling by their homes a year or so ago, they were baffled. When word spread that the explosively popular new smartphone app Waze was sending many of those cars through their neighborhood in a quest to shave five minutes off a daily rush-hour commute, they were angry and ready to fight back. They would outsmart the app, some said, by using it to report phony car crashes and traffic jams on their streets that would keep the shortcut-seekers away. Months later, the cars are still there, and the people are still mad. “The traffic is unbearable now. You can’t even walk your dog,” said Paula Hamilton, who lives on a once quiet little street in the Santa Monica Mountains in a neighborhood called Sherman Oaks.