Everyone in Los Angeles is affected by traffic. According to the Los Angeles Times, for the sixth year in a row, the Los Angeles region has had the world’s worst traffic congestion. On average, drivers in Los Angeles waste an estimated 102 hours per year fighting traffic. With the freeways in almost constant gridlock, it is easy to understand the popularity of mapping apps such as Google Maps and Waze.
The Truth About Shortcut Apps
Freeway congestion may be frustrating, but the traffic issue that has many concerned is the gridlock on residential streets that were once quiet and easy to access. With the introduction of mapping services such as Waze, some residents find it almost impossible to exit their driveways during peak times. The reality is, since these streets were originally designed for low traffic flow, they are narrow and unable to accommodate the increase of cars. In the event of an emergency, these streets are impassable, making it impossible for rescue teams to render assistance. This presents an even greater risk in the canyon areas due to the heightened fire risks.
Reducing this problem
There are a few ways to reduce this problem. Limiting access to certain streets during peak hours (or completely), can reduce gridlock; however, if not properly planned with a broad view of the surrounding areas, this approach can cause an increase of traffic in those streets. Once streets are designated with limited access and the mapping providers are updated, the app will then redirect traffic onto alternate routes.
I would like to see some streets changed to “Resident Access Only” during certain hours. As of now this is considered something that can’t be done – but the formation of Resident Access Only streets is something that must be considered and brought to the table for discussion and implementation. This solution would ensure that communities are accessible to emergency responders and would address the unwavering assault our neighborhoods are enduring due to shortcut mapping apps.