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User talk:Contacting Local Authorities for Assistance

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When to Contact Local Authorities

Sometimes while map editing we run across a situation where the local authorities (country, state/province, town) are our best source of information on a map issue. Some examples include:

  • A repeating closure on a particular road, for which we are having trouble discerning a pattern.
  • Recent changes to traffic regulations such as speed limits, turn restrictions, one-way, etc. that we are unable to confirm using Street View or personal knowledge.
  • A Closure for which we need additional detail not available by searching online.
  • Situations where the legality of a particular map element (often a turn) is uncertain, even after discussing on the Forums or in our mapping community.

In these situations, it may be helpful to contact local authorities.

Who to Contact

We have found that the following officials may be most helpful:

  • Police Chief
  • Police Traffic Supervisor
  • Town Clerk
  • State/Province/Town Department responsible for Road Construction (this may be Planning, Engineering, or Public Works)

Search the Internet to find the contact information. Sometimes it is best to go to the governmental entity's webpage to start.

Sample Email

This email[1] is an example of one that may be used to contact local authorities, and one that has produced good results.

Subject: Waze GPS app and Yourtown traffic restrictions

Police Chief Smith:

I am one of the volunteer map editors for the Waze GPS platform. The volunteers are responsible for creating and updating the map that the Waze GPS smartphone app uses to direct drivers. We receive reports from drivers about incorrect map information and also keep abreast of work in the area that will temporarily or permanently change the map. There is a group of about 80 of us who are actively managing this for the state of XX.

We are aware of the temporary residential street closures that you are implementing in Yourtown to redirect commuter traffic. We are also aware that apps like Waze can create the problem in the first place by sending drivers down streets if the route will be quicker than using the main streets. That's actually one of the benefits of the Waze app - we can redirect drivers around accidents or construction or other temporary problems and help reduce the need for on-site traffic control

We use the laws and ordinances of the state, county, and municipal levels to set the map up. We are able to include time-related restrictions such as turn restrictions from 8am to 4pm on certain days, or we can close a street completely for a time. We are not able to implement restrictions based on a driver's residence because we do not know that information.

We would like to help you with your temporary street restrictions but we are not sure when they are implemented. It sounds like (from news articles) you choose to implement them as needed rather than on a regular schedule. If you have a regular schedule and can supply it to us, we can include those restrictions in the app. We would assume that any given driver is not a resident because residents would know their local area and can ignore our instructions more easily than non-residents.

Can you help us to help you?

John Q Editor Waze Volunteer Area Manager 609-555-1212

john.editor@mymail.xxx

Notes

  1. Email created by user mrsmith66 of the New Jersey Editors group