The many ways which Waze has failed

April 25, 2017 — by Julia Miller and Rahul Vadlakonda

The Waze app and its effect on Saratoga. 

“Get the best route, every day, with real-time help from other drivers.”

Lured in by the false promise of getting from Point A to Point B faster, millions of users have downloaded the traffic navigation app Waze.

Although Waze claims to find the fastest route for its users, the effect it has on Saratoga and surrounding communities has proven to be anything but helpful during rush hours.

After school, Saratoga-Sunnyvale road is often bombarded with cars taking an alternate route to highly crowded Highway 85.

Though Waze isn’t entirely responsible for this problem, a portion of the reason this daily backup happens is linked to the way the app finds alternate routes in presumably less crowded areas.

Because of Waze, many “cut-through” communities have seen an influx in the number of cars on streets not designed for such crowded conditions.

Saratoga and Los Gatos residential areas are mostly traffic—free, peaceful and quiet — which makes these communities a hotspot for alternate routes on Waze’s algorithm.

As  communities that  deal with the heavy traffic created by apps like Waze on a daily basis, both Saratoga and Los Gatos should begin to tackle this problem. A possible solution would be to install more traffic lights on the roads, slowing down the traffic flow on so-called “shortcut” roads and encouraging commuters to stick to main freeways.

As a major contributing cause to local traffic problems, Waze must change its ways as a company and seek to steer drivers away from communities that have become alternatives to the freeways that are intended actually to handle large volumes of traffic .

1 view this week