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New Jersey Town Fines Drivers To Fight Google Maps And Waze Traffic

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Google Maps and Waze may be a godsend for those who are directionally challenged but others don't feel that way. Rush hour traffic may be the norm on highways and busy streets, people in residential streets don't want to have to deal with it.

Leonia, New Jersey wants to put their traffic problems to an end.

Traffic Ban

Residents of Leonia are tired of having residential streets being turned into parking lots during rush hour. Drivers using apps such as Google Maps and Waze are looking for the fastest way to their destination. When they see a notification for a faster path to their destination they will take it right away.

To stop more drivers from flooding Leonia's streets police will start giving out $200 fines. Cars that don't have a yellow tag hanging in their cars will begin getting fined in January. They will be closing 60 streets to all drivers except for residents and people who work in Leonia during morning and afternoon rush hour.

Leonia police chief Tom Rowe told the New York Times that the problem gets so bad, some "people can't get out of their driveways."

Leonia is right in the shadow of New York City. It is one of the first places cars go through after going over the George Washington Bridge. One side of the town is surrounded by Interstate 95.

Changes in the traffic pattern in Leonia are set to take effect on Jan. 22. The police department alerted the major traffic and navigation apps of the upcoming change. It will run from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., seven days a week.

Google Maps And Waze

Waze uses crowd sources information to gather traffic data. To curb outside drivers from using local roads, some residents have started to create false reports of traffic accidents in the area.

Waze defends its practice of rerouting cars through local streets. It says that it shares free traffic data with municipal planners who may need it when testing the effectiveness of new time sequences for a traffic signal.

A spokesman for Waze says that the company makes a change when a road is reclassified into a private road. Waze also assured its working with the community of drivers, map editors, and city officials for a better experience.

Sam Schwartz is a former traffic engineer for New York City. He says the situation is a "slippery slope." The streets are, after all, public. While the Leonia City Council says that the move is legal, the state has the ultimate authority over local roads.

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