Lincoln joins Waze connected citizens program

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Drivers in Lincoln can now find the latest information on street closures, construction, traffic jams and crashes by using Waze, a free, crowdsourced traffic and navigation application.

The City has joined the Nebraska Department of Transportation and nearly 500 agencies worldwide in the Waze Connected Citizens Program.

The two-way data sharing program combines the latest traffic information from the City with input from anonymous drivers to give the public the most thorough look at current road conditions. Lonnie Burklund, Assistant Director of the City Public Works and Utilities Department, said Waze gives his staff an unprecedented look at street activity to improve congestion and make more informed planning decisions. He said the information reported directly from drivers can help enhance initiatives like Green Light Lincoln, which uses new traffic signal equipment, smart technologies and new timing plans to improve safety and traffic flow on major streets.

“We’re committed to providing safe and drivable streets and an efficient traffic system through our construction programs and our signal optimization projects,” Burklund said. “The more Lincoln drivers use Waze, the more data we have to help improve commute times.”

“Waze is thrilled to announce Lincoln as our latest data-sharing partner,” said Thais Blumenthal de Moraes, Global Business Development Lead, Connected Citizens Program. “By participating in the Waze Connected Citizens Program, Lincoln is taking a big step to help enhance driver satisfaction as they can leverage user insights to improve congestion and make better informed planning decisions for visitors and residents.”

City officials caution drivers to focus first on driving safely and to designate a passenger to operate online navigation tools whenever possible.

Other tips for avoiding distracted driving include the following:
· Don’t program the GPS while moving. Enter the destination and view your route before departure. Pull over in a safe area and stop to make changes or share data points with other drivers.
· Rely primarily on the voice directions from Waze, with an occasional glance at the map to confirm or preview turns.
· Mount smartphones away from important sight lines. It is usually easy to position a smartphone low and near the dashboard.

To participate in the Waze Connected Citizen Program, government partners must show their dedication to citizen engagement and commit to use Waze data to improve city efficiency. Waze Partners agree to measure and share their findings with other municipal organizations, developing case studies that can lead to further improvements.

For more information on Waze and the Connected Citizens Program, visit waze.com/ccp.
To download the free Waze app, visit waze.com/get. The City provides information about street closures at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: closures).