WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- The Waze app is popular for giving you alternative routes to avoid traffic tie-ups but sometimes it makes drivers crazy.
- Most people on Baxter Street at Los Angeles blame Waze for its bumper-to-bumper traffic because it’s where the app usually redirect commuters.
- But the problem is, Baxter Street is one of the steepest streets in the country, even steeper than world-renowned Lombard Street in San Francisco.
Los Angeles’ Baxter Street is like a roller coaster track nightmare, with a 30 percent grade making it one of the steepest roads in the U.S. But Waze doesn’t know that that’s why it often redirects clueless drivers to this “shortcut.”
CBS News correspondent Carter Evans reported on how and why people on the street blame Waze for any mishap encountered when they get to Baxter.
“Are they prepared for it when they get here?” Evans asked.
“I don’t think so,” Jeff Hartman, a 20-year resident of Baxter said. “When you get to the top, you can’t see the hill on the other side, or the street, so people tend to stop. And that’s where a lot of the problems come.”
Hartman said he’s seen cars flipping into his neighbor’s yard, vehicles that just stopped running and slipping down the hill in the rain. The neighborhood has documented multiple dangerous accidents.
“[The cars] took out my trellis, my retaining wall, my picket fence… it looked like a plane crashed through my front yard,” one resident shared.
“[One driver] lost control of the car and ended up rolling over two driveways,” another said.
It’s more hazardous for larger vehicles when their wheels lose traction and they get stuck at the top.
“The city has placed a public road there… it should be considered usable within Waze,” Waze told CBS News. But, it urges drivers to report any dangerous conditions, including steep inclines, so it can improve the app when Waze refines its maps.
Residents say Waze has to think of ways on how to warn drivers.
“Screeching and honking and sirens and insanity all the time,” Diana Wagman, a resident, said.
Waze and other GPS-based apps are causing road problems in different cities across the country, not just in Los Angeles.
“People will do whatever the app tells them to and it’s scary sometimes,” said Tom Rowe, police chief in Leonia, New Jersey.
According to CBS News, Leonia solved the problem by restricting side streets to residents only during rush hour, which caused Waze to remove the shortcuts.
Source: CBS News