Worth a read in the light of the ongoing debate on traffic in this area:
"With highways frequently congested, navigation apps like Google Maps and Waze started telling drivers to hop off the freeway at Fremont's Mission Boulevard, cut through residential streets and then hop back on the highway where things were clearer — much to the distress of the people who lived there.
“The commuters didn’t live or work in Fremont and didn’t care about our residential neighborhoods,” said Noe Veloso, Fremont’s principal transportation engineer.
When he contacted the navigation apps, he was told the apps attempt to prevent congestion by distributing traffic on all public streets, even to quiet residential roadways. The only way to stop the drivers was to change the street routing so these shortcuts were no longer that."
Essentially, unless there are physical restrictions on the roads then google maps etc will direct traffic down the fastest route available at that moment...
Not sure the apps even do what they claim anyway. A friend and I used Waze once to get from the West End to Hackney - I have never taken a more convoluted and round-the-houses route to anywhere, even though I am used to London driving. For instance, after leading us left, right, dogleg etc through a series of tiny one-way streets, it then took us straight through the Angel and then through Kingsland junction which are both always slow and congested, and which I would have instinctively avoided. It was the worst of all worlds and took ages - I mentally renamed it 'Maze'.
Good spot. As the article says "the only alternative cities have is by physically changing street layouts", which has of course already happened to protect most of our neighbouring residential side streets from ratrunning, but sacrificing Wightman and the Ladder rungs (population 10,000+, car ownership <40%) to bear the brunt of through-traffic. I suspect that the current road layout, and decades of bad traffic planning, would have generated the current situation even without satnav or Waze, but certainly unless there is a radical change to the local road layout, those technologies will just continue to make it worse.
I learned something else interesting the other day, which is that police helicopters use the Ladder as an easy visual routefinder - hence the racket overhead many nights.
Beautiful - looks like a 'Ladder to the stars'...
If you mean the faint line of lights running through the middle (or so) of the Ladder - that's Harringay Passage I think. The New River is blackness itself in the picture.
Whole new can of worms, that suggestion..... reminds me of the late-80s Department for Transport proposal to turn the Barking - Gospel Oak railway line into a high-level road. I might still have the press cuttings.
Please get with the program gents. Building new roads does not decrease traffic. "A new road may provide motorists with some level of respite from congestion in the short term, but almost all of the benefit from the road will be lost due to increased demand in the longer term".
Traffic is not only cars. Ask an HGV why he is using 7.5 T Wightman and he will say that the GPS told him to go that way.