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Is Google Maps sending motorists down your private farm lane?


RICHMOND, VA — A savvy GPS to map the way is an invaluable tool for modern motorists, but it can be a nuisance for landowners when drivers make a wrong turn down a private road.


Despite posting “No Thru Traffic” signs to dissuade interstate travelers from barreling down her private farm road, Virginia farmer Stephanie Cornnell said her family and employees fear being struck while wandering the property.


“They will fly through here going 50 miles an hour,” she said. “They’ve almost hit our employees. We all have young kids, and we all live on this farm.”


Cornnell said she has often heard the phrase from disoriented travelers: “But my GPS told us to go this way.”


A recent national survey conducted by United Tires reported an over-reliance on GPS among more than 1,200 surveyed drivers, with 93% of respondents admitting they were GPS-dependent.


The study also indicated an increase in distracted and dangerous driving that arises from confusing GPS directions. Two in five drivers surveyed admitted to driving dangerously to beat their estimated arrival time, and 46% admitted to experiencing road rage while using their GPS.


“We’ll tell them to turn around, that this is a private road, and we’ve been cussed at,” Cornnell said.


Apple Maps removed Cornnell’s private road within a week of her submitting a request, and her Google Maps request was eventually addressed after over two years and an “overflow” of community support. Prohibited traffic has since improved considerably, but she’s working to resolve the same issue with Amazon.


Currently, Google Maps displays Cornnell’s private road with the warning, “This route has restricted usage or private roads,” which still causes some confusion among users, she said.


“If we can figure out a way to get these farm access roads not listed as private but completely removed from the maps, I think that would be the most beneficial situation for everybody,” she added.


To fix a road in Google Maps on a computer, open Google Maps and click “Menu” in the top left corner. Click “Edit the map” then “Add or fix a road.” Select the road you want to fix on the map and verify the road segment selected. Under “Edit information,” select the type of information you want to fix and enter the correction. Click “Done” then “Submit.”


To fix a road in Google Maps on an Android, open the Google Maps mobile app and tap the “Contribute” tab on the bottom. Tap “Edit map” then “Add or fix a road.” Select the type of information you want to fix and the affected road. From the bottom tiles, select the road segment you want to fix and tap “Next.” Enter the correct information, and tap “Send.”


To fix a road in Google Maps on an iPhone or iPad, open the Google Maps mobile app and tap the “Contribute” tab on the bottom. Tap “Edit map,” then “Add or fix a road,” and then “Fix a road.” Tap the road you want to fix and then “Next.” Select the type of information you want to fix, enter the correct information and tap “Send.”


To fix a road in Apple Maps, open the Apple Maps mobile app, type in an address in the “Search Maps” bar, click on the three dots and then “Report an issue.”

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