How to handle road closures
Roads may be partially or completely closed in one or both directions for multiple reasons:
- Road construction
- Natural disasters
- Local events
Also these instances may close a road for a few hours, days, weeks, and even years. Depending upon how long the road will be closed will determine what method is used to update the map.
There are four methods to control traffic flow:
- Mega event - A major event that will typically have road closures or detours. It is usually a scheduled event with significant exposure and likely to impact an entire community. A major natural disaster can be added after it occurs if roads are going to be rerouted for many days.
- Temporary road closures - Users in the client app can mark an unexpected road closure they see while driving. It is typically used for unexpected, short term closures of a few days. Currently this feature is only available in the client application and requires multiple users be at the location to enter the same road closure information on the map before it will be seen by other drivers. Once this feature is available in WME it will have more use.
- Scheduled restrictions - A new feature recently added to WME. Used when turns or roadways are restricted for certain times of day, days of the week, vehicle types, etc. It has the ability to only restrict during a specific date range, so it can be used in place of mega events or temporary road closures if necessary.
- Disconnect road segments - In general it is not recommended to disconnect road segments unless roads are permanently being disconnected. However, this method has been for longer term construction projects while waiting for the scheduled restrictions feature. This procedure also includes renaming the road to note the construction information that will appear on the client app helping local drivers see why they are not being routed through that area.
Hours, days, weeks
If the road is affected for only a few hours or even a few weeks then use the Report > Closure feature in the Waze client application. Note this requires a person be physically located at the point of the road closure to report it in the client application. When the scheduled restrictions feature is live in WME, closures can be entered for a specific period of time.
Weeks, months, years
Until the scheduled restrictions option is available in the live WME, when the road is closed for longer term construction or other issues, it is best to modify the map directly. See the article on Road Construction for information on how to rename the affected road segments during the construction.
Daily for certain times
If the road is closed every day or numerous days for a certain time of day, the proper solution will require time-based turn restrictions which are not currently supported in the live WME, but currently available in the beta version being tested now. Until it is in the live editor, you can go to the forums and ask a user with beta editor access to make the change for you.
NOTES for all durations
The current time frame for map tile generation is every day on all map infrastructures. Due to when the map update cycle starts, road closures and openings should be saved in the editor two days prior to the event.
- Don't forget to edit the map back when the road partially or completely reopens.
- If a road is closed, it is generally a last resort to disconnect the section of road that is closed. Try one of the other alternatives first and if none of those will work for your situation, then considering disconnecting the road. Changing the road direction to "Unknown" will not prevent routing on the road since this means to Waze that it should analyze drives along this segment and change the road direction automatically. This setting will allow Waze to create routes along the road as if it were a 2-way segment.
- If one direction of a road is closed, change the road direction to "One-Way" and also put a turn restriction as appropriate on junctions with the road.
- There is no need to edit the map for lane closures.
- If the road is slower than usual, Waze will learn the average road speed has fallen and make automatic road reports
- If there is an official detour route, Waze will learn about it as you drive it
- You should check all surrounding roads are mapped properly and have correct directionality and connectivity so that Waze can find the best detour.