Do not fail to follow Google Maps voice directions. If you do, it will get sneaky.
I had free time to get pleasantly lost in the suburbs of Salt Lake City last night.
So when Google Maps started acting up, I let it, just to see what it would do.
I would call its behavior similar to that of a bureaucrat when you don’t fill out the form correctly.
Anyway, here’s the story. I had 2 hours to kill while waiting for the vXdaughter’s activity to finish. So I ran to a nearby Walmart for one thing along a route I knew.
But it was in an area of town that’s unfamiliar to me, so I had Google Maps voice directions turned on. The route I chose to get to Walmart was the standard one, so there was no problem.
However, on the way back I decided to try the alternate route. I followed the directions closely. Everything went well until …
I was on a road along the top of a small cliff. I was directed to turn onto the road that made switchbacks down. At the bottom I was supposed to turn left.
That road was blocked to through traffic (or “thru” as they like to spell it on road signs).
I made a right instead, and was not surprised as Google Maps told me to make a U-turn.
It got more insistent, but I continued on straight. I figured that eventually it was going to reroute me and I would be fine.
Here’s what Google Maps did.
- First, it got increasingly insistent that I make a U-turn. To a point that I would I call hectoring.
- Secondly, when I finally came to a major intersection, Google Maps told me to make a right (onto a second street), then a U-turn, and a left. It gave me these directions all at once, in one phrase. Some people would call those first two parts of this maneuver a “jug handle”. Whatever. At this point I was in diebeilef because it was clear that Google Maps was going to get me back on that closed street no matter what.
- Lastly, I made that right turn, but did not make the U-turn. When Google Maps recognized this it got even more sneaky. (Remember that I said I had the free time to let it lead me on). Here’s what it did:
- It told me to make a right,
- Then another right,
- Then a third right,
- Followed by a fourth right into a cul-de-sac
- Believe it or not it then said to circle around the end of the cul-de-sac to reverse course, and
- Make a left,
- Then a second left,
- Then a third left,
- And finally a fourth left.
- This put me back on the second street that I’d refused to make a U-turn on. When I got back to the intersection with the first street, it directed me to make a left and go back to the closed section.
Here’s the map. The light blue X is the intersection where the street was closed.
The red cobweb at the bottom right is where I was led into and out of the cul-de-sac.
Now that I have a chance to look at the bigger picture, I can’t even conceive of why it would have wanted me to make a left at the blue X unless it had information that the road was closed in the other directions (the one that I actually took). Making that left pretty much would have led me back to Walmart and the route I’d taken to get there.