Thursday, April 05, 2018

The Code's In Charge

Sorta funny then...sorta not funny.

Nobody could have known, several years ago, that technological progress could make life so complicated in Echo Park.

But along Baxter Street, everyone seems to have a story about the ineptitude of drivers — following directions from navigation apps — who can't seem to handle one of the steepest inclines in Los Angeles.


Adams said "we sent a letter to Waze" — a GPS navigation service — suggesting removal of Baxter as a shortcut possibility, or at least listing it as hazardous during wet weather.

"They said they couldn't do that because it involves changing the algorithm of the app in a weird way," he said.

Changing the algorithm "in a weird way" must be the driving app version of social media's "reverse chronological order is harder than the moon landing."

Fortunately, there's a solution! Change the traffic rules!

One is to turn Baxter Street into a one-way avenue heading east, but as Talkington told me, that could create new traffic nightmares and penalize Echo Park residents trying to go west and north.

The other is to prohibit left turns onto Baxter from Lakeshore Drive, a popular shortcut maneuver.

Waze's "in a weird way" is, of course, just that if they cave to this request they'll have to cave into requests from every single neighborhood that's mad about through traffic and it'll never stop.