Per autoevolutionCrowd-sourced navigation app Waze has been asked by authorities in Southern Shores, North Carolina to stop sending traffic through residential streets which it does to help users avoid bumper-to-bumper traffic on the main roads. The problem with doing this is that it leaves the local, residential roads overcrowded. In these quiet neighborhoods, the additional traffic causes pollution, and noise, and can lead to accidents.
While the officials in Southern Shores, North Carolina tried to find a solution including closing some roads, this led to drivers getting stuck on some other streets which caused major congestion. But the local council in Southern Shores feels that it has taken back control by passing a resolution that asks Waze to stop directing traffic to residential streets by removing these streets from the Waze routing system. This would essentially keep traffic on the main roads.
Elizabeth Morey, the mayor of Southern Shores, had a Zoom meeting with two Waze employees and they agreed to make the changes once the aforementioned resolution is adopted. While all of the details are unknown, Waze has agreed to stop drivers from “seeing where it’s faster to go through town streets.” This will probably lead Waze to remove residential areas from its routing models leading drivers to stay on the main roads. This could lead to more traffic congestion as cars would stay on the same road.
Mayor Morey also says that transitioning to residential streets does not make driving any faster although she did not cite any data that would prove this statement. The report suggests that the mayor was simply pointing out that the speed limits on residential streets are typically lower than the ones allowed on major roads. As a result, drivers usually are forced to drive slower on residential streets.
While the resolution in Southern Shores, North Carolina appears to focus on Waze, it is unclear whether it will eventually be amended to include other navigation apps such as Google Maps and Apple Maps.