PASSAIC COUNTY - The Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders has partnered with the Waze, the free, real-time, crowdsourced traffic and navigation app powered by drivers. Passaic County’s participation in the Waze Connected Citizens Program will extend beyond helping individuals avoid traffic, as it also establishes a data stream that Waze will use to get the big picture of traffic flow in the North Jersey area.
“One of the most valuable tools Waze provides is the two-way exchange of information between the Freeholders and our citizens,” said Freeholder Director TJ Best. “Our staff cannot be everywhere at once, Waze allows citizens to inform us of accidents, traffic jams, and other obstacles to commuters, which allows us to address these issues more efficiently.”
The new partnership between Waze and the Board of Chosen Freeholders was created to help mitigate the impact of traffic caused by road construction, accidents, and other various obstacles. And, Waze is more than a traffic and GPS app. The data Waze shares has had a positive impact on the traffic policies in some of the world’s biggest cities.
Pennsylvania, for example measured traffic during on the third weekend in September in 2014. That same weekend in 2015, Pope Francis visited Philadelphia. Despite the influx of motorists, traffic was reduced by 20% compared to the same weekend a year before. This was the result of enhanced communication and planning that could not be achieved without Waze. In other cities, Waze has been used by emergency call centers to notify them of accidents before 911 was ever called, enabled traffic engineers to optimize the timing of traffic signals, and informed people of shelter locations during hurricanes and floods.
“New Jersey is the most densely populated state in country, and its proximity to New York City has a real impact on traffic,” said Freeholder Bruce James. “With this new technology, provided by Waze at no cost, the Freeholders can make it easier for citizens to navigate traffic, as well as streamline policies and procedures used by the county.”
“Waze is only as strong as the information it receives from its users and partners,” said Paige Fitzgerald, Head of Data Acquisition at Waze. “No one knows more about what is happening on the roads than Wazers, and Passaic County will be able to use these anonymous insights to further promote safer roads. In exchange, Passaic County is providing critical road closure and incident data to Waze, helping Wazers better circumvent major traffic events and real-time traffic blocks.”
This new partnership will enable Passaic County to address a real quality of life issue in the most efficient manner possible. For those that do not have a smartphone, a live traffic map can be found on Passaic County’s website www.passaiccountynj.org/roads.