Opinion | When Apps Send Traffic to Your Neighborhood

To the Editor:

Re “A New Jersey Town Aims to Keep App-Driven Traffic Off Its Side Streets” (news article, Jan. 23):

My community, similarly afflicted, applauds the efforts in Leonia, N.J., but what’s needed now is a national examination of the core issue: the deliberate business practice by Waze, and other navigation apps, of routing commuter traffic through residential streets.

On one side are giant tech corporations exploiting a public resource (low-traffic residential streets) for profit, without paying for the commercial use and degradation of these resources.

On the other side are residents of these streets, who suffer very real loss and injury as a result of these business practices, in the form of mental stress, property damage, increased pollution and depressed home prices. Joined with them are the municipal authorities, which incur costs for traffic studies, engineering, implementation and enforcement.

Leonia may be, as you say, “ground zero for the phenomenon,” but let that be ground zero for a nationwide organization of communities and elected officials seeking to enforce the rights of residents to preserve the peace, safety, health and value of their neighborhoods, which are under increasing assault from app-directed commuter traffic.

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