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How Waze Creates Monster Traffic Jams in a Small French Village ?

© Brett Jordan/Unsplash

With its 699 inhabitants, Châlons-du-Maine (Pays de la Loire) is in theory not a suitable place for the formation of traffic jams, especially since the town is not located on the passage of a major traffic route. Yet this is what is currently happening on a daily basis, to the great dismay of the mayor and residents.

Traffic from 4 a.m.

Quoted by our colleagues from Ouest-France, the Châlons-du-Maine councilor, deplores the damage: ” This municipal road is now very damaged. Traffic must have increased tenfold. Before, I had a road in good condition…”

What happened ? You don't have to go far to find the answer. Work is currently underway on the nearby departmental road 962, and will continue until June 28. As a result, applications such as Waze, Apple Plans, or Google Maps advise motorists to go through the village, even though the proposed diversion takes another route.

These services do not really bother with the peace of mind of the residents and are primarily trying to save their users time. Much to the regret of the locals who see hundreds of vehicles and even heavy goods vehicles flooding into this space which is normally very quiet.

A local resident told the regional newspaper: «From 4 a.m., we can hear the traffic. It’s tiring (…) Traffic never stops.” He adds: “A truck driver told me that Waze took him that way. So he passed that way. »

This town found a radical solution

What is happening in Châlons-du-Maine has happened in many other French communes. To cite just one example, Camphin-en-Carembault (Hauts-de-France), which has only 1,600 inhabitants, saw 14,000 vehicles pass by per day.

Faced with this scourge, the mayor, Matthieu Lestoquoy, had the idea of ​​installing stop signs at intersections. A technique that bore fruit: “Each vehicle slows down and stops, sending a signal to Waze. For them, there is a traffic jam, it becomes a red zone and as a result, we leave motorists on the highway. We are very proud to have succeeded in trolling a system like ». Enough to reduce traffic by 2000 vehicles per day. To learn more about this phenomenon, you can reread our article here.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116