Looking for Borgata? Waze is getting cars stranded in Pinelands
JACKSON — People using Waze to find the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City are winding up 45 miles away in an Ocean County wildlife area and getting stuck.
The problem, Jackson police said, is users from North Jersey and New York are tapping on an ad that appears when they search for the Borgata. The ad has the casino's correct address, but opens up a map that takes users to the middle of the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area, near Success Lake, Jackson police spokesman Lt. Christopher Parise said.
Colliers Mills is a 12,000-acre wildlife area in Jackson and Plumsted with two entrances: one from County Route 571 and the other off Hawkin Road. Parise said most of the people who got stuck did so where the two roads leading from the two entrances into the area meet, about 2.5 miles in from either.
They're getting stuck in sugar sand, a fine sand common in the Pine Barrens that can get very thick, making it hard even for four-wheel drive vehicles to get through, according to Ocean County Sheriff Mike Mastronardy.
"There's an area that's pretty heavy with sugar sand, which can get wet at times," Parise said.
Parise said there had been a "tremendous increase" in the number of calls during January to be rescued from Collier Mills, from a handful of calls usually received during the month to 10 requests for help within 10 days.
Officers also noticed an increase in traffic in the wildlife area that was more than the usual hunters and pickup trucks, Parise said.
One officer, when out on one of repeated calls to the area, had been waiting for a tow truck to arrive and saw three other cars pull up -- looking for the Borgata, Parse said.
When he asked why they were looking for the Borgata in the middle of the woods, they call gave the same answer and showed their Waze apps, he said.
Parise said that he reported the problem to Waze via the app. A representative said the company is currently working on fixing this problem and hopes to have it resolved by Tuesday, according to Parise.
Mastronadry said that on Black Friday two years ago, his department had to rescue a woman following directions on her app to get from Route 72 to Tom River that took her though the woods.
The sheriff said apps are great tools but you still have to pay attention to them and think about the instructions they are giving.