Waze is an app that helps you find ways around traffic jams. Silicon Valley wunderkinds developed a way to figure out where traffic exists and then route you around it. For drivers trapped in urban congestion, its fantastic. For the neighborhoods near the traffic, not so much.
My neighbor across the street began noticing a few months ago that traffic on our block was increasing considerably. This is a normally quiet block where kids play ball in the street and people walk their dogs and enjoy the solitude of the neighborhood. Now it seems to be filled with cars, trucks, and noise.
The reason – Waze. The app is rerouting traffic from major thoroughfare’s through our little neighborhood. The streets aren’t designed for that amount of traffic. There are no lines on the pavement, few if any signs, streets are narrow and curvy, there are one way streets and certainly there is little enforcement of the traffic laws.
Our resident gadfly has reached out to the city to get to Waze and restrict where they can reroute traffic. I’m not optimistic. He is talking to the City of Los Angeles with a government roughly the size of a medium size country.
Waze has a great idea. The problem is that pesky law of unintended consequences. We have rerouted traffic, and perhaps ruined a neighborhood. This app and those like it need to be brought up to speed with the reality on the ground.