The Waze app has turned a quiet residential neighborhood in Herzliya into a highway, causing noise pollution and odors and endangering pedestrians, including children, mothers, and senior citizens walking in the narrow streets, which are unsuitable for congested traffic. A lawsuit against Waze filed this week by the Herzliya for its Residents Association demands that the company desist from directing vehicles on the coastal road - Highway 2 - Haifa Road - from Hasira Interchange into Herzliya Bet by way of Nordau Street when there is traffic jam on the coastal road.
The lawsuit, filed by Adv. Dr. Shmuel Saadya, a resident of Herzliya and the association's chairman, argues that instead of directing vehicles traveling northward on the coastal road to continue on the same road, the app directs them to enter Herzliya Bet: "In one day, Waze's policy turned a quiet peaceful neighborhood into a major traffic artery."
The lawsuit alleges that this policy is causing the neighborhood's residents many annoyances, including environmental damage, damage to the residents' quality of life, and damage to their freedom of movement.
The residents of Herzliya Bet, considered one of Herzliya's best neighborhoods, are demanding that the court order Wave to stop directing vehicles into the neighborhood. They say they are considering suing the company for the damages they have suffered.
An alternative traffic artery
"Unfortunately, Adv. Saadya has been saying for years that Herzliya Bet has become an enclave between the coastal road on the west and the Ayalon Highway and Israel Railways on the east. As an enclave, the neighborhood is suffering from noise and soot," the lawsuit states. Through its application, Waze has made the situation much worse by channeling and directing vehicles traveling on the coastal road to leave the coastal road and travel on Nordau Street in the neighborhood when there is a traffic jam. Waze is doing this even though Nordau Street is incapable of containing the number of vehicles being rerouted from the coastal road by Waze."
The lawsuit asserts that Nordau Street has "will-nilly become an alternative traffic route to the coastal road, Israel's main north-south traffic artery. Waze is directing many vehicles that are not from Herzliya Bet to travel on Nordau Street in order to bypass traffic jams on the coastal road.
"In this state of affairs, the residents of the neighborhood have found one fine day that instead of what was supposed to be a quiet street in a quiet neighborhood, for which they pay high municipal property taxes, they are living on one of the country's main traffic arteries, and suffering noise, soot, and a serious safety hazard, because Nordau Street is incapable of being a major traffic artery."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 1, 2016
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