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Community Retaliates Against Waze Users, Bans Out-Of-Town Drivers

(CBS SF) – A small New Jersey community is set to crack down on motorists who use Waze and other navigation apps to find shortcuts through their town, by reportedly banning all out-of-town drivers during commute hours.

According to The New York Times, the town of Leonia will close 60 streets to all drivers who don't live or work in the community during morning and evening rush hours starting January 22nd.

The town will hand out yellow tags to residents to hang in their cars, and nonresidents who are caught using the streets when the restrictions are in effect will face fines of $200, the Times reported.

Residents of the town, which is in the shadow of the George Washington Bridge heading into New York City, said the traffic has become worse with the rise of apps such as Waze, Google Maps and Apple Maps. Officials said closing a handful of streets in Leonia has had little success.

Leonia police chief Tom Rowe told the Times, "It's a very extreme measure for very extreme traffic. Would I prefer not to do this? Of course. But I would rather try something and fail than not try anything."

Officials in Leonia insisted their measure is legal, but admitted that it could be tested in court.

In the Bay Area, residents in Los Gatos have blamed navigation apps for increased traffic in their neighborhoods, particularly in the summer months when drivers headed to Santa Cruz drivers are looking for a shortcut to congested Highway 17.

Residents in Fremont have had a similar issue with commuters looking for an alternative to Interstate 680. According to USA Today, Fremont officials put turn restrictions in place and partnered with Waze in an effort to reduce the number of commuters cutting through neighborhoods.

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