California Discussion History

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This page serves as the primary resource for editors of California. Review all the sections to better understand how the guidelines for this state might deviate from the overall USA or worldwide guidelines. If you have any comments or questions about this page or state refer to the community links below.

Nothing to report at this time.


California is a part of the Southwest region, which includes the states and/or territories of:

Arizona / California / Colorado / Hawaii / Nevada / New Mexico / Utah.

Mapping resources


Before editing the maps in California, be sure to fully review and understand the editing manual.

The Waze user community follows the Waze etiquette guidelines discussed in the Wiki. Be sure to familiarize yourself with these guiding principals while editing the maps and this Wiki, as well as when communicating with other Waze users.

NOTE: The Caltrans web site has been under revision. Some resources below may not currently be available directly from the Caltrans page.

For mapping resources specific to individual cities and towns in the state, see California/Cities and towns.



The Waze forum is a great place to find answers to previously asked questions and also a place to ask new ones. Below are links to the forums specific to California.

Area Managers for California can be found in the table below.

New editors should consider checking into the formal mentoring program available at no charge.

Editor community

California communication is now unified in the Waze Southwest Region Discord community. To join the group, click here, sign up, and say Hi : All editors are also recommended to join the US National community as well:


For more details on this topic, see MapRaid.

MapRaid is a time-limited event during which map editors join together to resolve MP’s, UR’s, add & update “Places”, fix connectivity problems, add missing roads, and add/edit speed limit data in a pre-determined area of the map.

Upcoming events

No currently scheduled events.

Past events

The following events have been completed. Results can be seen in each link.

Cities and towns


One of the most common errors when editing the maps is when an editor creates a road and does not confirm the road by setting the city and road name (or stating it has none).

Duplicate cities can be caused by incorrectly named segments and should be corrected following the guidelines in the duplicate cities article.

See California/Cities and towns for guidance in California specific to individual cities and towns.

Major roads

4lane road icon.png

California follows the general road naming and road type guidelines of the USA.

Functional Classifications

California is following the Functional Classification (FC) system for the USA.

To help update the current California roadways to the new functional classifications, go to the California FC update page.

Here is a bookmarklet which will locate the correct CRS Grid page for the area you are editing in. This is currently unavailable due to Caltrans web site updates. California Highway System is the unofficial reference for California Functional Classification]. CRS (PDF with signatures) is the currently recognized source. CRS grid information can be found here for cross reference and request via e-mail. Please contact the State Managers so requests to Caltrans can be consolidated.

Lock Levels

We observe the following minimum lock levels for Waze road types:

 Freeway  5
 Ramp  HCS[1]
 Major Highway  3
 Minor Highway  2[2]
 Primary Street  2
All Others 1
  1. Use the lock level of the highest-locked connected segment.
  2. Increase lock level to 3 in dense metropolitan areas

Note that these are minimums and, for protection, certain segments may be at higher lock levels.


This is interim guidance for California, until such time as National standards are agreed upon.

U-turns on *two-way* Primary Street through Major Highway type roads may be enabled in either of the following two circumstances:

  • 1) The U-turn is _explicitly_ allowed by signage; or
  • 2) The U-turn is otherwise legal and safe, and there is _at least_ 10.1 m (33 feet) from the left edge of the departure lane to the "destination" curb. This can include any median that may exist to the left of the departure lane. (The measurement is intended to accommodate the turning radius of most passenger vehicles.)

Do NOT make a point of enabling all U-turns valid under this guidance, only as you encounter them and they are necessary. Do not enable U-turns on Street type roads. This guidance could change in the future.

Unsigned exit numbers

In California, highway forks and ramps sometimes lack exit number signage. Unsigned information generally does not belong in Waze instructions, but Caltrans has committed to marking exit numbers throughout California over time.

In simple situations where there is little chance of driver confusion, editors may add documented but unsigned exit numbers in expectation of their eventually appearing on signage. In complex situations, however — for example, when a highway comes to an end, changes designation, or joins a shared alignment — adding unsigned exit numbers to Waze instructions could confuse drivers. In such cases it is better to omit exit numbers until they become signed.

Under earlier guidance, editors may have added unsigned exit numbers even in complex, potentially confusing situations. These should not be removed without careful review, preferably based on personal experience and/or driver reports. There is to be no campaign to remove unsigned exit numbers from the Waze map of California.

Special roads

Drivable roads

California follows the standard USA guidelines for all of the following special road types.

Non-drivable roads

Review the Wiki guidelines for non-drivable roads to ensure compliance with the general guidelines.

Unpaved check box

The US wiki entry on the unpaved checkbox / attribute prohibits its use to flag paved roads regardless of their condition. The stated expectation is that drivers who ask to avoid unpaved roads will do so only to avoid unpaved surface types, and are not concerned with surface quality. It is thought that drivers will be upset if Waze avoids any paved roads in their area, even the very worst ones, as a result of their checking the app option to avoid dirt (soon to be unpaved) roads.

Our experience in California, however, has been the opposite. Drivers frequently complain about being routed over roads whose paving is so poor that even some fraction of locals habitually avoid them. We want to support these drivers. Consequently, in California it is acceptable to use the unpaved checkbox to flag paved roads if they are in uncommonly poor condition by local standards.

Paved roads whose condition is typical of the local area should not be marked as unpaved, no matter how poor they may be by absolute standards. Use of the unpaved checkbox for uncommonly poor paved roads should be rare. Please add a Map Comment point when doing so to inform other editors why the road was flagged, and consider locking the road higher than usual.

Other drivable roads

California follows USA guidance for other drivable road types.


When managing a section of roadway under construction or being closed for a major event, follow the Wiki guidelines on construction zones and Real time closures.
This is the URL to the California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS). By selecting Counties (or Areas, for example, Los Angeles and Orange Counties are but one area), a road closure list can be generated. It does not seem to be digitized, so that a Wazer could update for all.

See California/Closures for guidance in California that may not be universal to all other states and territories.


California follows the USA standard for Places. Do not deviate from the guidelines without first obtaining consensus to do so via the state forum linked on this page.

See California/Places for Place Guidance specific to California.


Not every camera-looking device at an intersection is a speed or red light camera. Generally speaking:

  • Camera2true.png
    Rlc truvelo speed cam.jpeg
    a speed camera takes a photograph of a vehicle when it passes by the camera at too high a speed.
  • Camera4true.png
    Rlc white.jpeg
    a red light camera takes a photograph of a vehicle that enters an intersection after the light is red. In some areas, it takes the photograph when a vehicle is not clear of the intersection some period after the light turns red.

Be sure to know your cameras before accepting new camera reports.

When adding a camera, be sure to review the camera placement recommendations.

Laws regarding speed and red light cameras vary between the states and territories, so be sure to understand the details of camera legality in California.

Based on information researched at the time this page was created, California does not have any laws regarding speed cameras, therefore they may be present in the state, and red light cameras are permitted statewide in California.

No other camera types should be mapped in Waze.

Recently some California cities have been removing red light cameras.

To do list

To do list.png

Many states and territories keep an active list of pending or closed actions that need to be done in the state by the editors. All editors are welcome to contribute to the list of activities.

This state does not currently have an active "to do" list at this time. Check in the California section of the Waze forums to discuss creating one.

Area Managers

The table below identifies the editors also designated as Area Managers or higher who are editing in California. If you have any questions, please consider contacting them directly as needed. If you are an Area Manager that covers California, or a USA Country Manager that does a lot of work in California, please add yourself to this list (alphabetical by username) in the correct rank section.

The editor who also serves as the Regional Coordinator for California is automatically listed at the top of the table. That editor may not be highly active in this state and therefore may not be listed separately in the table.

California — Area, State, Country Managers, and Regional Coordinators
Regional Coordinator(s):
[RC] ottonomy (PM [Help])  Profile L6.png
[ARC1] jemay (PM [Help])  Profile L6.png
[ARC2] tonestertm (PM [Help])  Profile L6.png
[ARC3] turbomkt (PM [Help])  Profile L6.png
Username Area Managed Comments
Country Managers (Southwest region)
(Add to or edit Country and State sections of table)
ottonomy(6) [PM [Help]] Profile L6.png Statewide BadgeRC-Temp.pngBadge Mentor Global Champ.pngBadge CountryManager.png
Lifetime Los Angeles resident
jemay(6) [PM [Help]] Profile L6.png Focused on Southern CA Badge Mentor Global Champ.pngBadge CountryManager.png
Southern California resident
tonestertm(6) [PM [Help]] Profile L6.png Statewide Badge StateManager.pngBadge LocalChamp.png
L.A. born/based, SWR ARC
kentsmith9(6) [PM [Help]] Profile L6.png Focused on Northern CA and ID Badge GlobalChamp.pngBadge CountryManager.png
Lifetime SF Bay Area resident
turbomkt(6) [PM [Help]] Profile L6.png Statewide Badge LocalChamp.pngBadge Mentor Local Champ.pngBadge StateManager.png
Southern California
Machete808(6) [PM [Help]] Profile L6.png Southern CA Focused - Statewide Assistance Badge LocalChamp.pngBadge Mentor Local Champ.pngBadge StateManager.png
Also Hawaii SM, Thailand CM
ojlaw(6) [PM [Help]] Profile L6.png
Avatar ojlaw.jpg
Countrywide Badge LocalChamp.pngBadge CountryManager.pngBadge StateManager.pngBadge Mentor Local Champ.png
ply8808(6) [PM [Help]] Profile L6.png Arizona Badge Mentor Local Champ.pngBadge CountryManager.png
Neighboring support manager
SkiDooGuy(6) [PM [Help]] Profile L6.png Statewide - San Diego Enthusiast Badge Mentor Local Champ.pngBadge CountryManager.png
Dmcrandall(5) [PM [Help]] Profile L5.png
Avatar Dmcrandall.jpg
Country Wide Badge Mentor.pngBadge CountryManager.pngBadge MapRaider.png
US Country Manager
State Managers (Southwest region)
tonestertm(6) [PM [Help]] Profile L6.png Statewide Badge StateManager.pngBadge LocalChamp.png
LA born/based, lifetime California traveler, and ARC for Southwest Region
turbomkt(6) [PM [Help]] Profile L6.png Statewide Badge LocalChamp.pngBadge Mentor Local Champ.pngBadge StateManager.png
Southern California
citeman(5) [PM [Help]] Profile L5.png Statewide Badge StateManager.png
Long Beach born: LA/OC based
nivekeel(5) [PM [Help]] Profile L5.png Statewide Badge StateManager.png
Southern California
abc1357(5) [PM [Help]] Profile L5.png Statewide Badge StateManager.png
Northern California
Area Managers
(Add to or edit this section)
dfortney(6) [PM [Help]] Profile L6.png Northern California / Bay Area Focus Badge LocalChamp.pngBadge CountryManager.pngBadge Mentor.png
Home region - SAT / NC
DwarfLord(5) [PM [Help]] Profile L5.png Northern California Badge AreaManager.png
Mostly retired from Waze at this point
SuperDave1426(5) [PM [Help]] Profile L5.png Available statewide (not actively editing beyond Lake Tahoe area, but available to help when needed) Badge CountryManager.pngBadge StateManager.png
Country Manager, A Nevada State Manager
OhioStMusicMan(5) [PM [Help]] Profile L5.png Bakersfield & Kern County Badge StateManager.pngBadge Mentor.png
Ohio SM
OCStagetech(5) [PM [Help]] Profile L5.png Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Imperial Counties. Badge AreaManager.png
Dabbler of all, master of none
JoshJMM(5) [PM [Help]] Profile L5.png Travis AFB Fairfield Badge StateManager.pngBadge AreaManager.png
CO Resident CO/NM SM
juliansean(5) [PM [Help]] Profile L5.png Sierra Nevada Badge StateManager.pngBadge AreaManager.png
Texas SM
SpencerFG(4) [PM [Help]] Profile L4.png Central Coast Badge AreaManager.png
Bay Area to LA as EA permits. Also Virginia LAM
tykxboy(4) [PM [Help]] Profile L4.png Glendale/Burbank/Pasadena Badge AreaManager.png
Also AM for Las Vegas (CA-born, Las Vegas-based)
Deltamanx(4) [PM [Help]] Profile L4.png Statewide Badge AreaManager.png
Nor-Cal focus
AquaZR1(4) [PM [Help]] Profile L4.png Southern Central Valley Badge AreaManager.png
Also AM in Kauai
Cardyin(4) [PM [Help]] Profile L4.png LA and Orange Counties Badge AreaManager.png
Also edit in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties
GizmoMDK(4) [PM [Help]] Profile L4.png North Monterey County Badge AreaManager.png
I like to help out wherever I can
Chucksways(4) [PM [Help]] Profile L4.png Silicon Valley Badge AreaManager.png
Also Colorado SM
Nagamasa(3) [PM [Help]] Profile L3.png North Bay Area - Sacramento Badge AreaManager.png
ababcock(3) [PM [Help]] Profile L3.png Sacramento area Badge AreaManager.png
D39andrew(3) [PM [Help]] Profile L3.png Auburn, Folsom, Eastern Sacramento County Badge AreaManager.png
bwawsc(3) [PM [Help]] Profile L3.png Santa Cruz area, south Santa Clara County Badge AreaManager.png
Also AM in the Sierras north of Yosemite
Firree(3) [PM [Help]] Profile L3.png South Shasta and North Tehama counties Badge AreaManager.png
geopgeop(3) [PM [Help]] Profile L3.png Most of the Bay Area Badge AreaManager.png
Also AM for Las Vegas
SJK123(3) [PM [Help]] Profile L3.png East Garrison, Salinas and Monterey Badge AreaManager.png
SunDevil2213(3) [PM [Help]] Profile L3.png Riverside County Badge AreaManager.png
AM and active in Phoenix, AZ area, Also AM Sonora, Mexico
UEFL(3) [PM [Help]] Profile L3.png Los Angeles County Badge AreaManager.png

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