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New Jersey city closes roads to navigation app traffic as problems grow

Navigation apps like Google Maps help cut down commute times and congestion by offering alternative routes when traffic is high. These alternative routes often take drivers down smaller roads that otherwise don’t get much traffic, and while it can help alleviate congestion on highways and major roads, it may cause problems for the neighborhoods getting that additional traffic. One city in New Jersey has decided to take drastic steps to fix this problem.

That city is Leonia, New Jersey, which has faced growing traffic problems as navigation apps send commuters down its slim streets. To deal with this issue, the city has decided to close 60 streets to non-residential and non-work-related traffic during both morning and evening rush hours. If you don’t work or live in the city, you won’t be welcomed on its streets between 6AM and 10 AM, and between 4PM and 9PM. That covers all seven days of the week.

The move aims to prevent navigation apps from sending large amounts of traffic through the city as they attempt to give drivers alternatives to increasingly crowded main routes. The problem has become so bad, according to The New York Times, that some residents have at times been unable to get out of their own driveways.

Some residents have attempted to take the matter into their own hand by submitting false accident reports for their residential streets on Waze. This, they’ve hoped, will deter commuters from using their streets as alternative routes to the larger main roadways. That’s far from an ideal solution, though.

How will the city determine whether any given car is allowed to be on its streets during these hours? It will give residents a yellow tag to hang within their vehicle; anyone who doesn’t have one could get a $200 fine for being on the city’s streets during the aforementioned times. These fines will start on January 22, 2018 — the big navigation apps have already been warned.

SOURCE: New York Times