One of the coolest things about the Waze traffic app is that it not only warns you about congestion, it tells you how you can avoid it.
That could be a thing of the past in some instances if a city councilman has his way. He wants Waze to stop sending you on "cut-through" routes that line L.A.'s residential neighborhoods.
The office of Paul Krekorian says the leader wants to "leverage the city’s new partnership with Waze to reduce the impact of cut-through traffic."
There are, of course, certain NIMBY communities, particularly on the Westside, that don't like all these people — let's just call them fellow taxpayers who also helped to pave and maintain those roads — cruising through their otherwise secluded communities.
It's an ugly and downright undemocratic notion.
Krekorian represents the high-end hills at the northwest end of the Los Angeles basin, where folks have complained about cut-through traffic.
He's proposing that Waze help the city route people around these communities. That's kind of the opposite of what Waze does now. But the city, under the leadership of Mayor Eric Garcetti, recently entered into a data-sharing partnership with Waze that will allow the app to extract city department info and warn folks of lane closures, construction and other city-fueled road hazards.
Krekorian wants the deal to include a provision that would help stop the hoi palloi from polluting these precious, hillside areas. Residents claim that Waze's rerouting ways have caused an uptick in cut-through traffic, though there's no data to support that.
We reported recently that the Waze-city deal might give the cut-through critics data to get the city to take action. Here's what Krekorian says:
Waze and other mobile apps ... divert drivers from major avenues onto small residential streets that aren’t designed to accommodate them, resulting in far greater congestion and traffic for residential neighborhoods. The city’s unprecedented partnership with Waze is a good step forward. We should use it to try to resolve residents’ concerns about Waze and traffic congestion in our neighborhoods.
Most of our major roads weren't built to accommodate the traffic they see now.
We brought up the matter of NIMBYism and treating some neighborhoods better than others to Krekorian's spokesman. We think the very concept of cut-through traffic is B.S. All traffic is cut-through traffic. Everyone's going somewhere. Nobody, even the apartment dweller on Venice Boulevard, wants a tidal wave of traffic going by their children.
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Here's what the spokesman had to say:
The motion isn't an attempt to shut down the app or make it less useful, but just to expand the city's partnership with Waze by looking into what can be done to reduce the impact of high-volume traffic on smaller residential streets, which is a problem not only on the Westside, but the Valley and the Eastside too.
Krekorian's proposal is expected to be considered by the city's Transportation Committee in May.