No immediate solution for neighborhoods used as cut-throughs by traffic apps

Waze app (KATU News photo).png

A usually quiet Southwest Portland neighborhood is now filled with cars during rush hour, but the city says there's no easy solution.

Portland Bureau of Transportation officials recently studied SW Carson Street just off Terwilliger and Taylors Ferry Road, after hearing concern from the community. Many neighbors believe traffic apps are leading drivers into usually quiet neighborhood streets, causing a headache for residents.

PBOT says it found reasonable traffic volume, but no significant problems with crashes or speeding.

The street is obviously public, so people have every right to use it.

Waze takes any public street into consideration when helping drivers navigate around backups. A spokesperson told KATU News this actually promotes safer streets because "bumper to bumper traffic often means a greater risk of accidents and unsafe driving behavior."

If you want Waze to change a certain route, they won't take your request.

you'll have to start by contacting the city, and Waze will adjust its maps when legal changes are made on the road.

In the City of Portland, those changes could be on the way next year. New legislation will allow PBOT to bring residential speed limits down from 25 to 20 mph.

"Waze might be less likely to divert traffic onto residential streets when it observes the speed limit at 20," PBOT officials said.

The city's partnership with Waze is still in the beginning stages, but they're working to share data on local school zones to keep safe routes to school protected.

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