Waze has turned the nearly undriveable, fifth-steepest hill in America into a disaster-strewn major thoroughfare


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/04/05/algorithmic-routing.html


Brakes never made anyone go faster, but they are a nice thing to have.


Seems to be a common problem with GPS machines. People driving into golf course ponds and drowning or a Hungarian lorry driver’s SatNav sending him through the 16th century center of a town.

You’d think they would have figured out some way to indicate such things internally.



Occasionally I get sent via some weird route - nothing as deadly as Baxter Street, thank goodness. One would think they could respond to complaints by marking some streets hazardous - Shouldn’t take a programmer an hour, and a small call center to collect data. It’s true the 1% would immediately call their streets “hazardous,” but it’s a small price to pay.


I get why residents might be annoyed but at the same time it is a public street.

The bigger question for me is why people have a hard time navigating it. I can understand super long or very low vehicles having trouble, but a regular car should be able to handle a 32% grade.


Once while in San Diego (which has many ravines), I was in a car where the GPS suggested that we continue on the road we were on, as the road existed on both sides of a ravine, with only a 20-30 foot gap.


Sounds like people blaming Waze for a dangerous street. Perhaps the dangerous street should be addressed.


A techological method is to put a red light or a barrier that will switch only for residents, making it a closed street, like this. https://goo.gl/maps/7Z9T4WgEByS2
IF you aren’t authorized a red light camera will fine you anyway.


Baxter street is not in Echo Park. It is in Silver Lake. And it used to be a short cut that only locals knew about.
The LA Times reporter should know better.


They could show it in the GIS as being a mile long (many little zig-zags) so the algorithms would not think it’s a short-cut.


If there was a way to detect when Waze is diverting, put warning sirens on the street. (It wouldn’t really help, but people could get their cameras ready.)


Baxter Street in Echo Park, East Los Angeles, is the fifth-steepest hill in America

citation needed


I have kooked my way onto Baxter in the days of pre-ubiquitous phones, Waze has nothing to do with it. It’s bad street design, full stop.

Also, Hoarding public resources under some quasi-provincial stewardship is premium bougie take, 3/5 would chin-scratch again.


My spouse and I want to implement a harbor pilot idea for our area.

Non-locals or those new to the area must first ride with a local to learn the ins and outs of the area, best streets to use, where and how to merge, don’t stop in the traffic circle, it’s only a yield here, etc. Once trained the person can drive in the area on a trial basis.


:musical_note: Careening your way down Baxter Street,
Stomping on the brakes with both feet,
Well, another crazy day,
Forget the right-of-way,
Try your best to not hit anything.

Apologies to Gerry Rafferty


How’s that?


I assume that visitors and delivery drivers are exempt somehow?


Someone should sue them for a couple of million - then I think they’ll find out they actually could do that!


Yeah or through the residential street where I live even though it runs parallel to a main axis with 3 lanes on each side. But I suppose the navs decide that drivers could save 23.0332 seconds, so it’s not rare to see 2 lorries desperately trying to get past each others in opposite directions, or a lorry stuck in front of a halted parcel service car.


Maybe it’s different now but couple years ago Waze had the exit for BART on 580 actually on the freeway. All I did was request permission to be map editor (as it was community edited) and changed it myself. I imagine you could also mark the road as blocked (which you can do within Waze anyhow I believe ?

Maybe those were simpler times…