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Published by Halston Media, 2019-12-06 18:18:57

The Somers Record 12.05.19

Vol. 9 No. 34 Visit for the latest news. Thursday, December 5, 2019

The error of our Waze

Shortcut- nding apps exhaust local roads

PHOTO COURTESY OF TOM GARRITY BY BRIAN MARSCHHAUSER north of 5,000 people, there are some-
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR times more cars on the road than resi-
The new Eagle Scouts at Reis Park. dents, Lucas said.
anks to smartphone apps like Waze
Troops award three and Google Maps, motorists are nding “ e apps are killing the town,” Lucas
Eagle Scouts quicker ways to reach their destinations said. “ e roads fall apart faster.”
and avoid stand-still tra c.
Connor and Riley Westerman from Troop 376 and Tom Garrity from Troop 228 e wear and tear created by increased
all recently passed their Eagle Scout Boards of Review in the Town of Somers. Con- But those shortcuts, which often di- tra c, and the cost to repair them, is
nor and Tom both built new Gaga Ball pits for use in the park and Riley built four vert drivers from busy highways to local only one downside to the apps. By failing
new picnic tables that will be permanently stationed at the basketball courts. roads, are creating headaches for West- to factor in things like topography, they
chester municipalities, many of which also create hazards during severe weather
are seeing increased tra c and speeding events.
in residential areas.
Last winter, Paganelli said, a fast-
“ e criteria [the apps] use is the accumulating snowfall during the eve-
quickest point from A to B,” said Dave ning rush-hour commute sent highway
Paganelli, Yorktown highway superin- motorists into a panic. Rather than stay
tendent. “I think that’s a problem.” the course on a backed-up Taconic State
Parkway, many sought quicker routes
For example, Route 35-bound motor- home on local roads. In Yorktown, doz-
ists coming from Route 202—and vice ens of drivers were diverted through the
versa—are directed by both apps to cut hilly and narrow Baptist Church Road,
through Hallocks Mills Road rather which is also a low-salt area because of
than remain on 202, which shaves just its proximity to the watershed.
0.3 miles o their commute.
“We ended up with 15 cars [stuck]
Nearby towns like North Salem have there, which hindered our ability to clean
experienced similar problems, said Town the road,” Paganelli said. “It created a
Supervisor Warren Lucas. major problem for us in even reaching
the areas.”
“We have people going the strangest
ways you can ever conceive just because POLICING
Waze tells them to,” Lucas said. “It’s ab- In addition to nding its users the
solutely insane. And it saves everybody
a minute and every road in town has a shortest commute, Waze alerts motorists
thousand cars on it.”
In North Salem, with a population just

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pg 22

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