ATLANTA – If you use a navigation app on your smartphone to get to work quickly, you may be surprised to learn new research suggests those apps can make traffic worse.

[READ: Atlanta traffic among worst in the world, study finds]

Residents of a popular Midtown Atlanta neighborhood tell Channel 2 Action News they have seen more traffic as navigation apps have increased in popularity. 

“It’s a very confusing neighborhood, a very tough place to drive,” said Bill Bolen, vice president of the Ansley Park Civic Association. “There’s this disconnect between common sense and the app that can lead to a bad outcome when you felt like you were going to get a good outcome.”


Bolen said he has seen drivers receive tickets for illegal turns, even big trucks get stuck on narrow streets. He said the apps are to blame.

“Being right in the middle of everything, of course, that also makes us a real target for people who want to cut through,” Bolen said.

[READ: What does Atlanta’s record population growth mean for traffic?]

None of this is a surprise to Alexandre Bayen, director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California at Berkley.

“What we see over the years is that with the increased app usage, as more and more people use these apps, we see traffic jams appearing where there was no traffic before,” Bayen said.

Why researchers say these apps can make traffic worse, and how Georgia’s Department of Transportation says they’re beating bottle necks, Monday at 5 p.m.

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