Winding up in the middle of nowhere and screaming obscenities at your GPS is a rite of passage for any traveler, but one town in Sardinia has had enough. According to Salvatore Corrias, the mayor of Baunei, “Too many sedans and small cars get stuck on impassable paths, sometimes even off-road vehicles too. All this because you follow the suggestions of Google Maps which, on our roads, are often misleading.” As a remedy, the town has declared war on Google Maps, posting signs along the road that read, “Do not follow the directions of Google Maps.”
Known for its rugged mountain landscapes, Baunei is a popular destination for visitors. When they follow Google Maps’ directions, however, they often end up on narrow hiking paths meant solely for pedestrians, where turning around is extremely difficult. There have been 144 rescue missions in the past two years involving tourists trapped on dangerous roads. Most recently, emergency services had to rescue a couple on vacation when their car got stuck on a mountain road.
In addition to planting signs along the road, Corrias said the town also “contacted Google to intervene, correcting the indications that give the green light to enter improbable roads,” adding that Google replied saying it would verify the issue, but nothing has been done yet.
Google did, however, tell Travel and Leisure, “We’re aware of an issue in Sardinia where Google Maps is routing some drivers down roads that can be difficult to navigate due to their terrain. We’re currently working with the local government to resolve the issue, and are investigating ways we can better alert drivers about these types of roads.”