Louisiana DOT, Baton Rouge Partner with Waze to Keep Tabs on Traffic

The city-parish and state government have agreed to share information on construction, crashes and road closures with Waze. In return, the Google-owned app will turn over its users’ traffic information.

by Steve Hardy, The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La. / May 12, 2016

(TNS) -- The Baton Rouge city-parish government and state Department of Transportation and Development are partnering with a traffic app to keep tabs on road congestion.

The Waze app allows users to report crashes, backups and other issues which other users can view. The app also tracks the travel speed of drivers to determine which routes are clogged. Users can also tip off fellow drivers of police checkpoints.

The city-parish and state government have agreed to share information on construction, crashes and road closures with Waze. In return, the Google-owned app will turn over its users’ traffic information.

According to Waze, more than 35,000 people use the app in Baton Rouge each month, the city noted in a Wednesday news release.

“Through this exciting partnership with Waze and our partners in traffic management at the state, we are taking the next step to adopt a data-driven approach to reducing congestion here in Baton Rouge and create safer driving conditions for all our citizens,” Mayor Kip Holden remarked in a prepared statement.

Waze has similar partnerships with other cities from Tel Aviv and Jakarta to Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.

Partners can view users’ reports of traffic jams, objects in the road, wrecks and other hazards, updated every two minutes, according to the company’s website.

“This level of data sharing between Waze, DOTD and the City-Parish will play an important role for travelers throughout the state as DOTD continues to incorporate the latest technology into our Traffic Management Center,” DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson wrote in a statement.

“I firmly believe in the power of data and information which, when provided to citizens in a real-time manner such as this, will help travelers make more informed travel decisions and have a more enjoyable and safer commute.”

©2016 The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.