Tag Archives: GPS

GPS directions bring unwanted traffic to NK community

The in basket: Dennis Cziske of the Hansville area says their neighborhood, which includes Thors Road and Hillview Lane, is the victim of GPS technology that mis-directs people to Point No Point County Park.

The easy and direct – and intended – route uses Point No Point Road, but some GPS units direct northbound drivers on Hansville Road to turn before they get there – onto Gust Halvor Road and then to Thors and Hillview, which is private and graveled, he said. The cars can be traveling up to 40 miles per hour and “have nearly hit our dogs and kids.”

It appears this usually occurs with drivers using smart phones, not those on their home computers, he said.

He wondered if there is anything that can be done to keep GPS-guided cars from thinking their little side streets are the way to the park.

The out basket: I e-mailed an inquiry to Google maps, though there is not way of knowing if it has anything to do with the misunderstanding. I can’t say I was surprised that I got no answer.

So I asked Kitsap County public works if there is signage that might help.

Jeff Shea, the county’s traffic engineer, and its information  services manager Diane Mark took a swing at this one. Though informative, neither had much help for Dennis.

“It sounds like the GPS is simply looking for the shortest route to the park,” Jeff said. “We have had similar situations and even directions off the freeway where there weren’t even off ramps.

“A sign here would be difficult. If we get too wordy on the directional sign it won’t be read. “Point No Point Park use Point No Point Road” is going to have to be pretty big on a 50 mph road and the language would be confusing to understand. When a motorist encounters the sign they are most likely focusing on the turn in 300 feet that their phone is directing them to do.”

Diane said, “In general, direction finding software and navigation systems default the route to a location based upon shortest distance and shortest time.  The user would need to specify additional parameters (if available in their map application) such as no private roads, no unpaved roads, etc.

“I checked the route to the park on both Google Maps and MapQuest,” she said. “MapQuest directed the route to the park from Hansville Road via Gust Halvor, Thors, and then Hillview.  Google Maps showed the route via Hansville Road to Point No Point Road.

“Companies that provide data for Navigational systems (Navteq, Nokia, TomTom etc.) may not have complete attribute data for roads (private, gravel, etc.).  The county does not have any way to control the results of way-finding systems.”

Dennis and his neighbors might explore posting a sign in their neighborhood directing misled drivers back to the Hansville Road and on north to Point No Point Road.

Reader and his GPS stumped by some addresses

The in basket: Jim Sparks writes, “My wife and I moved to the area four years ago from Pennsylvania and we have been wondering what was the rationale for naming roads/streets using the ‘street court road NE’ (or something similar) system.

“I kinda understand the NE part to give some idea of where in a particular city the street is located but we have found that there can be multiples of streets with the same name in a city.

Our GPS can’t figure it out nor can we. It’s the multiples of similar street names, 111 64 St Ct NE, then 111 64 Ct Ave SE, then 111 64th St NE. I’m exaggerating slightly but if you are not native to the area it’s very confusing.

“Who was responsible?”

The out basket: County and city officials struggle with this and will continue to, says Larry Keeton, head of Kitsap’s Department of Community Development. The county is embarking on a three-year project next year to correct some of these issues, including duplicative street names.

A lot of duplication in street and road names is historic, accumulating over the years. Correcting it often requires forcing people to change their addresses, an unpopular thing, and minimizing public inconvenience is among the objectives of such efforts.

Surprisingly, current county code does not allow proper names as new street names, except for historic reasons. That’s what allowed an exception for relatively new Greaves Way in Silverdale, named after the pioneer Greaves family.

The proper name restriction is to avoid further duplication, Larry told me, offering the two major Anderson Hill roads, one in South Kitsap and the other in Silverdale as examples of what can happen.

“The other question,” he said, “is whether

the name is easy to say and spell.

“In the future, we’ll probably say you can use proper names if easily spelled and not duplicative.’

“We have 61,000 addresses and 9,000 are out of sequence or misnumbered,” he said.  “We need to correct that with next generation 911 coming on board,” he said.

Having even numbers on one side of each street and odd numbers on the other is a key objective. So is giving names to long dirt driveways with many homes on them.

As to the directional indicators like NE and SW, current code says “ways of travel running generally or predominantly north and south shall be suffixed with the abbreviated name of the district for the entire way of travel, and ways of travel running generally or predominantly east and west shall be prefixed with the abbreviated name of the district for the entire way of travel.”


Road Warrior baffles his route guidance lady

The in basket: Today I’m seeking reader’s advice about a peculiar problem I have with a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu I bought last summer.

It’s a great car, the first American-made car and first automatic transmission car I’ve bought in 30 or 40 years. Certainly it’s the most luxurious car I’ve ever owned

But its voice-activated GPS system, which is what I call the system that supposedly directs me to locations to which I want to go, is a puzzling failure. And neither the dealership nor, evidently, General Motors has been able to help with it.

I suspected a problem right away when I saw its on-screen map showing Mile Hill Drive, on which I live, as SR160. It used to be, 20 years ago, but Sedgwick Road was designated SR160 in 1992, and much of what had been Highway 160 became Highway 166 a year later. The rest of it became a county road, called Mile Hill Drive and Southworth Drive. Voice activation is unable to recognize either name.

Nor can it (she, actually, as it’s a female voice) recognize Pine Road in Bremerton, Mickelberry or Ridgetop in Silverdale, Madison or Sportsmen’s Club Road on Bainbridge Island or Front Street in Poulsbo, just to provide a sampling of its ignorance. She takes wild stabs at what I’m saying, streets I don’t even think exist here and don’t sound anything like what I said. Violet Court seems to be one of her favorite guesses.

Just for fun, I asked if for addresses on Tropicana and Sahara avenues in Las Vegas, two of the nation’s most famous streets. She couldn’t identify either. My wife’s voice has no better luck.

Voice activation works fine with the phone and sound systems. She recognizes cities in route guidance, but almost no streets.

Route guidance works when I manually punch in where I’m going. But, of course, you can’t enter things manually while in motion.

The dealership couldn’t correct it and referred it to General Motors, who told them they knew of the problem and were working on it. But months have gone by with no news.

The out basket: I’ll let you readers write the out basket portion of this one. Do any of you have a late model Malibu with this problem. A late model anything?