Waze is an unwelcome guest in Westchester’s Osage Neighborhood

Why neighborhoods are hopping mad

GPS is great for unfamiliar neighborhoods, estimating how long a trip will take, and finding the nearest gas station; however, it’s also wreaking havoc in otherwise quiet neighborhoods. Services like Waze and other navigation apps give users the ability to circumvent road construction, natural disasters, and detours. This sounds like a great idea, in theory, unless of course you happen to live in one of the neighbors the apps suggest as a detour.

Waze is being blamed for sending loads of unwanted traffic through Westchester’s Osage neighborhood, as drivers try to beat slowdowns on the 405 around LAX. Can anything be done? Here’s what you need to know:

  • The “Waze Effect” is real. It’s been documented in other major metros. One area found an uptick of 40,000 cars when highway construction was underway nearby.
  • Posting fake accident reports doesn’t work. Waze knows that others are getting through and its algorithm will ignore your report.

If you’re a Waze user, consider whether you’re really saving any time by cutting through somebody else’s neighborhood. With my daughter’s school in Hawthorne and my office in Venice, I’ve tried all kinds of “shortcuts” to avoid freeway bottlenecks, but have finally concluded that it’s fruitless. Better that I stay on the 405 and leave other people’s neighborhoods to them.

Our Councilman recently held a public meeting on the topic of Waze and Westchester’s Osage neighborhood. The meeting was well-attended by lots of cranky neighbors. Unfortunately, that was months ago and I haven’t heard a peep since. It’s only going to get uglier over there with a couple of high density apartment projects under construction.

What about you? Are you suffering in Osage? Are you a Waze user? Let’s talk in the comments!