Los Angeles, CA -- Today, Councilmember Ryu sent a letter to the City Attorney’s office outlining the dangerous conditions in Council District Four created by Waze, a mobile wayfinding technology application owned by Google, and asking the City to review possible legal action.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 17, 2018
Councilmember Ryu Calls on City of Los Angeles to Consider Legal Action Against Waze
The Wayfinding App Creates A Dangerous Condition on The Public Right-of-Way, Councilmember says
Los Angeles -- Today, Councilmember Ryu sent a letter to the City Attorney’s office outlining the dangerous conditions in Council District Four created by Waze, a mobile wayfinding technology application owned by Google, and asking the City to review possible legal action.
“Waze has upended our City’s traffic plans, residential neighborhoods, and public safety for far too long,” Councilmember Ryu said. “Their responses have been inadequate and their solutions, non-existent. They say the crises of congestion they cause is the price for innovation - I say that’s a false choice.”
Councilmember Ryu’s letter shows how Waze has created dangerous conditions on a public right of way, and asks the City’s chief attorney to seek any reasonable legal solutions. The letter highlights Waze-led traffic in the Sherman Oaks Hills, which is in Councilmember Ryu’s district. This neighborhood has recently become overrun with rush hour traffic, one narrow street built for local use is sustaining 679 vehicles an hour, causing accidents, damaged infrastructure and unsafe residential streets.
“If we do nothing, Waze will lead us on a race to the bottom - where traffic plans are ignored and every street is gridlocked,” said Councilmember Ryu.
New congestion patterns created by Waze-led traffic have pushed traffic off of major thoroughfares and into small, residential streets, which were not built to sustain heavy use. The problems caused by Waze-led traffic has been reported on in national and local news, most recently on Baxter Street in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Echo Park, where Waze has led unwitting motorists on the steep incline. The resulting traffic caused a number of accidents, creating damage to vehicles, and public infrastructure. In this case, like many others, the response from Waze to find real solutions has been lacking.
“I am a champion of innovation and an advocate for new technologies. But these apps were built to serve us, not the other way around,” Councilmember Ryu added. “In this case, Waze is threatening the public safety and quality of life of countless Angelenos. I look forward to working with the City Attorney to bring Waze to the table and to bring a real resolution in a timely manner to these traffic nightmares.”
Read the letter here.
Los Angeles City Councilmember David E. Ryu represents the 4th Council District which includes Griffith Park, Sherman Oaks, Toluca Lake, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Miracle Mile, Hancock Park, Windsor Square, Larchmont and portions of Koreatown and Van Nuys.