Posts Tagged ‘nick stockton’

I have yet to see for myself any marked improvement in Boston traffic resulting from the city’s use of the Waze app, but maybe that’s because I didn’t try to go to the football parade right after the blizzard.

Nick Stockton reported, “Even on a good day, Boston’s roads are more tangled than a Celtic knot. … So the city’s traffic managers decided to call in the apps.

“Specifically, the city reached out to Waze, a driving and directions tool owned by Google. By sharing the [snowy Patriots] parade route on the service, the city helped users steer themselves around traffic, potentially easing the overall road burden.

“That one-time data fling has resulted in a longer term data-sharing relationship. … Boston will give Waze a heads-up about any planned closures, and in return the app’s owners will give the city’s traffic management center access to its profoundly valuable stream of user data. In the short term, this will let the city be more responsive to traffic problems as they arise. But going forward, Boston’s road-runners hope the data will help them fine-tune their traffic light timing and keep congestion from building up in the city’s intestinal road network. …

“Boston isn’t an outlier here, either: Governments all over are using private companies to fill technology gaps. Google’s transit specification—the way it pushes bus and train times to Google Maps users—has become the de facto standard for how cities publish their mass transportation schedules. Entire states are buying cycling data from Strava to build better bike lanes.”  More here.

Maybe the next occasion for Boston to use Waze will be the upcoming marathon, when the three people we’re calling Team Sweden will be running (Erik, his sister, and their cousin), and it’s impossible to drive.

(Thank you, The Fort Pointer, for tweeting this story.)

Photo: Suzanne Kreiter/Boston Globe/Getty Images

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: