G.P.S units are good for so many things: tracking global warming, recovering stolen bikes, finding green services and renewable landmarks, and so on. But for many small communities throughout England, G.P.S navigation systems are responsible for an influx of large vehicles that have been "hitting fences, shearing mirrors from cars, and becoming stuck" on roads originally designed for horses and carts. The reason for this influx is that drivers looking for shorter routes are often being routed by navigation systems through towns too small for sidewalks, often with humorous results.
For instance, last month a driver from Slovakia carrying "22 tons of paper. . .ended up wedged on a tiny lane between two houses. . .whereupon he had a panic attack, jumped out of his truck, and burst into tears." By the time authorities had removed his truck, he had "also knocked down the village's power cables, cutting off the electricity."For many villages, the problem has become unbearable. One community is seeing 15,000 vehicles a day pass over its roads, causing property damage as well as noise, traffic and pollution headaches. All this had led some villages to ask to be taken off the map entirely, while others are working with G.P.S. manufacturers to "make it clear what roads [are] not appropriate for trucks, and to install signs saying so." It could take years to update all the information, but something needs to be done. In Somerset County alone, 82% of communities have reported issues with traffic because of G.P.S. routing for large trucks. In the meantime, villages are finding various means of warning drivers not to turn onto rural roads. So far this has been ineffective, primarily because "people increasingly rely more on G.P.S. systems and less on maps, common sense or their own eyes."
Via: ::NY Times