May 28, 2023
Navigating hill easier thanks to mapping change
Visitors to the Dandenong Ranges will have better directions as they explore, with Google Maps and Uber re-routing maps away from a notorious four-wheel-drive only road. Olinda's Hacketts Road is a
Visitors to the Dandenong Ranges will have better directions as they explore, with Google Maps and Uber re-routing maps away from a notorious four-wheel-drive only road.
Olinda's Hacketts Road is a steep road only suitable for four-wheel-drives. However, for many years, Google, Apple and Uber have directed drivers to use the road as a cut-through for tourist destinations.
Despite having two sets of prominent signs, warning drivers to not continue unless in a four-wheel-drive, many drivers have tried to navigate the area unsuccessfully.
Chandler Ward Councillor, David Eastham, said that Council's Traffic and Transport team had been working to warn drivers about the notorious stretch of road.
"About 10 years ago, Council put additional signage on Hacketts Road – meaning drivers are warned twice not to continue unless using a four-wheel-drive," Cr Eastham said.
"Unfortunately, because of our reliance on mapping apps like Google Maps and Uber, many drivers have tried to navigate further along the road unsuccessfully until very recently.
"We're working to replace the signs on Hacketts Road with photo-luminescent versions, which better illuminate at night, but we had a significant breakthrough with Google and Uber confirming that they have updated their maps to avoid this road.
Council staff reported a recent accident to Google in June, and received a response that their mapping had been updated to avoid the road. Uber followed suit shortly after.
"We know that many people have tried to use this road and met with disaster – and I'm sure there are more than a few dents and scratches that Hacketts Road has inflicted on visitors and residents alike," Cr Eastham said.
"I'd like to thank Google and Uber for taking action on this.
"I'd also like to acknowledge the Star Mail News, our local paper, for following this issue up and helping achieve this result. This small change will have a significant positive impact for locals, and for visitors getting good directions to their destination.
"If community members are finding issues like this occurring, I urge them to contact maps providers to report an issue or make a complaint.
"As always, we encourage everyone to drive to conditions – being careful of wet surfaces, steep roads and areas they're unfamiliar with."All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!