Navigation applications offer the fastest way to get from one point to another, but that's not always a good thing — at least for neighborhoods.

So says Third District Councilwoman Suzie Price, who has agendized a request for city management to work with traffic navigation application companies to stop or reduce cut-through traffic. The item will come up next Tuesday.

"App based smartphone technology is incredibly useful at helping drivers navigate," Price said in a release. "However, we need to ensure that our emphasis on efficiency and avoiding traffic is not causing dangerous situations for communities from added traffic and drivers using their residential neighborhood as a cut through route for destinations that are not in a neighborhood.”

Price said major arterial streets and highways are designed to handle large traffic volumes. But in today's GPS (Global Positioning System) world, a slowdown on a traffic corridor can push cars onto residential streets in order to save time.

If mapping app companies will cooperate, it may be possible to eliminate some residential options on traffic routes. Price also has led the effort to control electric scooters with "geo-fencing," programming the scooters to go more slowly or not at all in restricted areas.

"We need to make sure that this emphasis on speed and efficiency is being applied in a way that takes into account safety needs and individual community needs," Price said. "In this case, the nature of roadways, street widths, signage, pedestrian accommodations and many other traffic safety elements make some streets a bad idea for regional commuters to suddenly be flooding down in order to save one minute."

Co-sponsors of the item are First District Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez, Fourth District Councilman Daryl Supernaw and Vice Mayor Dee Andrews (Sixth District). 

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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