Mobile navigation apps, such as Google Maps and Waze, have wreaked havoc on small neighborhoods with narrow side-streets. However, the Los Angeles City Council approved on Tuesday a proposal that City Councilman Paul Krekorian said could solve the problem.
“There are tremendous advantages to apps like Waze,” Krekorian said. “They can make driving more efficient, but with every technological advance, any consequences that arise must be taken into account.”
The motion designated the Los Angeles Department of Transportation the lead agency to negotiate a data sharing agreement with navigation application companies. LADOT will report back in 90 days regarding negotiations on data sharing and traffic mitigation.
“With this vote, the city will have the go ahead to start a dialogue with these tech companies to see if they will work more closely with us to reduce the impact their apps are having on small residential streets and increase the level of traffic safety in our neighborhoods,” Krekorian said.
It’s not the first time Los Angeles has tried to work with Waze, however. In 2015, Krekorian introduced a similar motion asking Waze to partner with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, and alleviate traffic on residential streets. However, Waze did not respond.
Krekorian is not the only council member to concerned about Waze and similar apps, though he might be the most diplomatic one. Councilman David Ryu sent a letter in April to the City Attorney’s Office asking for a review of possible legal action against Waze for causing traffic problems
During a series of wildfires in December 2017, navigation apps like Waze and Google Maps were guiding drivers into evacuation areas and caused congestion where officials were ordering streets closed, according to Koretz’s office.