Multitudes of frustrated commuters seeking to escape the humungous traffic jam in Tel Aviv, caused by the flooding of the Ayalon Highway and other traffic arteries, crashed the social navigation application of Waze Ltd. When the app did work, it advised drivers to use the closed highway.
The Israel Police announced early this morning that it closed the Ayalon Highway when the Ayalon River burst its banks. Train service in the city, which runs alongside the highway, was also suspended. Road 1 (the Jerusalem Tel Aviv Highway, which enters the Ayalon at the La Guardia exit, and the fast lane to Tel Aviv, were closed at the Shapirim Intersection.
Considering the weather, today could have been a great day for Waze, as drivers sought alternative routes to avoid the traffic chaos. It wasn’t. On Facebook, angry Waze users did not spare their criticism of the navigation app.
Drivers attempting to use Waze's website, which has a live map feature and which calculates the time needed to reach a destination to the second, found that it did not work either. Access to servers was problematic, and when users were able to get the site, it was as slow as driving in Tel Aviv today.
The Ayalon Highways Ltd. website was as flooded as the road, and offered no solace either. People seeking updates about which parts of the highway were closed, or just to view the cameras at key intersections, could not do so, as the heavy traffic crashed the website.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 8, 2013
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