The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 26, 2010

GPS error causes Prospect Street headache

While technology can make life easier, software glitches can lead to unforeseen problems as discovered by the residents of Prospect Street. Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation systems currently show Prospect, a designated scenic way, as a connecting road rather than a dead-end. Traffic coming down Monument Street in Concord or River Road in Carlisle turn onto Prospect Street believing the road connects with Nowell Farme Road and leads to other streets including Long Ridge Road and Garnet Rock, Fern and Suffolk. Prospect Street residents Steve Davis and Dana Hannaford both raised the matter with the Carlisle Town Administrator Tim Goddard who flagged the issue to the Selectman at their February 9 meeting.

At the meeting, Goddard informed the Selectmen that Police Chief John Sullivan had reviewed the site, and believed the signage there was sufficient. Currently a “Dead End” sign on the left at the beginning of Prospect Street advises traffic that it is not a through street. Furthermore, Goddard noted that Sullivan had offered to notify the major companies that sell the GPS systems of the errors. The Selectmen considered these suggestions sufficient.

According to Davis, however, he notified the database company providing data to the top three producers of GPS systems (Garmin, Magellan, and Tom-Tom) nine months ago, but has not received a response. The data available online still show the information incorrectly. Even if the data were corrected, Davis believes that as few people take the time and spend the money to update their navigation systems, “there will still be thousands of GPSs in this area with wrong information for years to come.” Davis reported his driveway often being used by cars turning around. He also spotted a 16-wheel truck backing up almost ¼ mile on the street.

In his January 28 letter to the town administrator, Davis suggested several additional actions: moving the “Dead End” sign from the left to the right side of the road where it might be more visible; adding a sign to highlight the GPS error; and clearing and plowing a wider turnaround spot for cars that need to make a U-turn.Although the letter was made available to the Selectmen, they did not discuss these alternatives. Contacted later, Davis said he plans to request additional action. ∆

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