Impact of GPS wayfinding apps.

erickonphoenix

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I moved out of downtown Houston a little over a year ago. My route to work took me outbound on the 527 elevated which deposited me right on to highway 59 South.

So this morning I dropped my mom off at the downtown transit station so she could take the bus to San Antonio. I wheeled over to Smith street which connects to the 527 elevated and as soon as I hit the on-ramp we all screech to a halt. At first I expected an accident but it turned out to just be slow moving traffic congestion. Best I can guess is over the past year GPS wayfinding apps have sent commuters trying to cross downtown off the freeways and through the surface streets. This is an alarming development since the freeways are already completely congested.
 

Deacon

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Out of curiosity why is that alarming? In theory, anyway, surface streets would be an underutilized resource, and greater usage rates should help reduce traffic a little across the board, spreading the load.
 

erickonphoenix

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Out of curiosity why is that alarming? In theory, anyway, surface streets would be an underutilized resource, and greater usage rates should help reduce traffic a little across the board, spreading the load.
It's only alarming to me because it's going to fill up all my secret back road escape routes. It'll be alarming to others when the city fills up so much nobody can get anywhere anymore. Think Los Angeles at 3:30 on a Friday.
 

chakeubeam

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grayman

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Thats Nashville as well, even though Daze adjusted their surface street algorithms people have learned those alternate routes and use them on their own. Virtually everyday if I get jammed I'll dash off the next exit and several of us will all make the same decisions with obscure roads to keep moving and get by the jam.
 
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thebravo

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So I definitely observed this, Before the days of waze back when only some folks had GPS and even less folks had a traffic enabled GPS I was the lucky one with traffic enabled GPS, it was amazing. I avoided massive jams cause no one knew they were coming but my GPS did and rerouted me before I got tot he jam when it was too late. (think turnpike type roads where exits maybe10-15 miles apart) Now days though you almost don't need them to tell you of traffic ahead as you can just watch and if you see an abnormal amount of traffic getting off at an exit you know something is up ahead and they all got rerouted on thier traffic enabled GPS setup. the advantage has been lost as so many folks use them now.
 

erickonphoenix

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