​Locals upset at Google's Waze for sending traffic to their streets

LA residents complains that Waze creates congestion on roads once only known to those who live there.

Donna Tam Staff Writer / News
Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.
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Residents in Los Angeles County are upset that Waze is sending busy freeway traffic into their local streets. Screenshot/CNET

The residents of neighborhoods in Los Angeles County are not happy with Waze, Google's crowdsourced mapping app. It's sending the area's infamous freeway traffic onto their once quiet streets, the Associated Press reported Sunday.

The app, known to show drivers the quickest route to their destination by relying on crowd-sourced information, is showing drivers how to avoid bumper-to-bumper freeway traffic by moving it onto local roads, locals told the news service.

Waze lets drivers report real-time traffic conditions like accidents, weather or even police car sightings. It encourages users to make reports by awarding points and badges. Google bought the app last year for $966 million. The tech titan integrated Waze's reports into its mobile app shortly after the acquisition.

Thanks to the dedicated reporting of LA drivers, streets that run parallel to the Interstate 405 freeway are congested, local residents say.

A Google spokeswoman told residents it's app is not the problem, it's LA traffic, according to the AP. Indeed, the US Department of Transportation said the notoriously busy I-405 sees 379,000 cars a day.

Some locals are trying to fight back by complaining to officials and reportedly logging fake accidents on the app to deter people from taking their neighborhood routes as shortcuts, but Waze said any phony reports are countered by all the real reports people driving through the area are making.