PASSAIC COUNTY, N.J. – The Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders has partnered with the crowdsourced road traffic app, Waze, in an effort to reduce congestion on local streets.
According to a statement from the Freeholders, the partnership will help mitigate the traffic impact of such road obstacles as construction and car accidents. The county also will look to data collected by the app to “get the big picture of traffic flow in the North Jersey area.”
“One of the most valuable tools Waze provides is the two-way exchange of information between the Freeholders and our citizens,” said Freeholder Director TJ Best. “Our staff cannot be everywhere at once, Waze allows citizens to inform us of accidents, traffic jams, and other obstacles to commuters, which allows us to address these issues more efficiently.”
According to the Freeholders, cities and towns across the country have already partnered with Waze to improve local traffic.
In Pennsylvania, for example, traffic was measured during the third weekend of September in 2014. Waze’s impact was measured the following year, when on the same weekend and during a visit to Philadelphia by Pope Francis, traffic was still reduced by 20 percent over the previous year, according to the Freeholders.
Elsewhere, Waze has been used by emergency call centers to report accidents before 911 was called, according to the Freeholders, who said that traffic engineers have also used the app to optimize the timing of traffic signals and to inform people of shelter locations during hurricanes and floods.
“New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the country, and its proximity to New York City has a real impact on traffic,” said Freeholder Bruce James. “With this new technology, provided by Waze at no cost, the Freeholders can make it easier for citizens to navigate traffic, as well as streamline policies and procedures used by the county.”
Paige Fitzgerald, head of data acquisition at Waze, said the directions dispersed by the traffic app are only as strong as the information shared by both users and partners.
“No one knows more about what is happening on the roads than Wazers, and Passaic County will be able to use these anonymous insights to further promote safer roads" she said. "In exchange, Passaic County is providing critical road closure and incident data to Waze, helping Wazers better circumvent major traffic events and real-time traffic blocks."
For those who do not have a smartphone, a live traffic map can be found on Passaic County’s website , according to the Freeholders.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.