Waze keeps telling drivers to take a dangerous road in Los Angeles, and apparently, Google does not want to fix the problem.
The Waze app is definitely a useful navigation tool, especially when drivers want to avoid traffic jams. However, Waze sometimes sends people through questionable routes, like it did to a New York delivery guy who tried to take the Lincoln Tunnel on his bike, which got him arrested.
Waze Directions Lead To Dangerous Baxter Street
Baxter Street, located in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, is considered one of the steepest streets in the United States. Dating back to 1872, Baxter Street has a 32-percent grade, which is over double what current city laws allow today for steepness of streets.
Waze, however, is apparently not taking into consideration how dangerous Baxter Street is for drivers, especially those who are unfamiliar with its configuration. The app is sending drivers down the steep road to avoid Glendale Boulevard, but some drivers get more than what they bargain for.
There have been a string of serious accidents in Baxter Street. "The car came through our garden, went through two fences, and ended up backwards hanging over our driveway," said resident Jason Luther, describing one of the accidents to the Los Angeles Times.
According to another resident, Robbie Adams, rain is also a huge problem for drivers passing through Baxter Street, with vehicles skidding and spinning, then knocking down garden walls and crashing into other vehicles.
Adams once tried to contact Waze about the problem. However, he was told that it was not possible to remove Baxter Street from the app's directions because it would mean "changing the algorithm of the app in a weird way."
LA Councilman Calls Out Google
Paul Krekorian, a councilman for Los Angeles, has apparently had enough with Waze sending drivers down the dangerous Baxter Street. He recently filed a formal motion for the Department of Transportation to take a look at how mapping apps such as Waze use the data of Los Angeles, and what benefits the city receives from the partnership.
"It's a question of striking the balance between minimal increased efficiency versus the adverse impact that that causes," Krekorian said in an interview with Ars Technica.
According to Krekorian, no representatives from Waze, nor from its parent company Google, have agreed to meet with his office over the two years since he raised the problem with Baxter Street.
"[Google has] not demonstrated any willingness to engage," the councilman said. "It goes to heart of problems -- that's not [the] good corporate citizenship I expect."
Google previously said that it would update Waze if Los Angeles wants to restrict Baxter Street, but that has not yet happened so far. Unfortunately, Baxter Street is not the only dangerous road in the United States, so hopefully Google starts listening to these issues to make Waze safe to use.