Apple fixes glitch with Maps app that sent drivers down private access roads

Carlisle/West Shore

UPDATE:

After an ABC 27 story aired Tuesday, Apple has reportedly now fixed a glitch that sent drivers down blocked access roads in Cumberland County, to reach the Turnpike.

A test of Apple maps currently does not result in a driver being sent the wrong way. The Turnpike Commission was aware of the issue since the summer and worked directly with Apple to figure out what went wrong.

Our original story was below.

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A technical glitch with the Apple Maps app is sending drivers in Cumberland County to access roads in order to get on the Turnpike.

The problem is those blocked access roads — most often used by contractors, police or other emergency vehicles — are not for public use.

A Turnpike Commission spokesman said the issue is isolated to iPhone users using the built-in maps application.

“We do have a global information system, our GIS unit from our I.T. shop – that’s working directly with Apple on this issue,” spokesman Carl DeFebo said.

DeFebo urges drivers to have situational awareness.

“Our interchanges primarily are connected to arteries, interstates or state routes,” he said. “If you’re headed toward the Turnpike and it looks like you’re on a back road, I would be suspicious.”

Drivers are running into the problem near the intersection of Biddle and Kost Roads in Silver Spring Township. There are two access road entrances nearby, one on each side of the Turnpike.

Kathy Cheney was trying to head back to Mount Joy from West Virginia when we found her lost and somewhat confused.

“I’m completely lost at this point and I don’t know how to get home,” Cheney said. “Every route I try to take, there are gates blocked off that I can’t get through.”

Her iPhone was telling her to use those private roads, despite large signs and gates that block each entrance.

Cheney wasn’t alone, our cameras caught half a dozen cars trying to get on and off the Turnpike using those ramps.

Ed Ganssle lives near the Biddle/Kost intersection. He emailed ABC27 saying lost drivers have recently been using his driveway to turn around.

On Fridays, he said, he hangs a rope across his driveway entrance to keep cars out.

“For whatever reason, they seem to run out of patience right at my driveway,” Ganssle said. “I first realized it was a problem when I saw a truck sideways on the Turnpike, trying to get off, and I thought what a dummy.”

He said the township put up “no truck” signs after he told them about the problem, but that hasn’t stopped all the cars. He experienced the iPhone error himself recently while trying to plan a fishing trip.

“It showed me I could get on [the Turnpike] right here [near my house] and I knew I had to go up 322, you know, so that’s when I realized it was a real issue,” he said.

DeFebo advises drivers in the area to use another app while Apple works to fix the problem. They suggest Waze or Google Maps; those platforms seem to be unaffected right now.

DeFebo said this glitch with Apple Maps is also causing problems in Massachusetts, where transportation officials have confirmed a similar issue.

ABC27 News was the first to report on this technical glitch, so be sure to check back for updates as Apple and the Turnpike Commission work to fix the problem.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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