Wish I'd stumbled upon this previously - was wondering why South Africa wasn't present on the Wiki with naming standards.
I'll go about renaming all the roads in Grahamstown with abbreviations for Street etc, and also the road name - Rnnn instead of having the Rnnn as an alias soon, as soon as the thing stops giving me blasted error messages.
I'm in a more rural part of South Africa than perhaps zarf & Blyzz, and it doesn't really make sense to me to make, for example, the N2 a "Freeway" between Grahamstown and Port Elizabeth. Yes, there are certainly sections of the N2 that are what are internationally classed as "Freeways" near and in PE, but in between here and there, even calling it a "Major Highway" is a stretch in international terms! I note your concern about such roads disappearing when you zoom out, but "Major Highway" seems to stay prominent on the Live Map display even when you zoom out pretty far - sure if you can see the whole country on your phone, they disappear, but you'd probably zoom in a bit anyway? On my E71, I can get PE and Grahamstown in one screen and the N2 shows up as a line when designated Major Highway. To me, a Freeway categorically must have ramps as the only way of getting on and off them - if there's a road that just meets them, or a traffic light or even a stop street, they're not Freeways!
Whilst there is certainly an argument to be made for adapting the Waze road types to a country, when we're looking at hosting something like the World Cup with many international visitors (and the big tourism sector in any case), calling a piddly little road a Freeway will probably lead to confusion (You can almost picture it: "I'm on the wrong @#$&*^# road, this thing is too small for a Freeway! Where the heck *is* the Freeway?" etc.). I'd certainly advocate we keep the major N roads as Major Highways even if they go through towns and have traffic lights, or are just a single lane with no hard shoulder in each direction, promoting them to freeways when they meet the definition?
I like the idea of preferring the "real" name of roads over their numbers in South Africa - we generally don't refer to or even often signpost very well the M etc numbers of roads. You know you have to go down a particular street to get somewhere, and if you ask for directions, you'll get street names more often than not. The M etc is quite handy for comparing it to a map book or working out what the big roads might be that get you around quickly.
The other interesting thing in South Africa is road (and town/city) name changes. I like what Durban has done, having the old names below the new ones on signs - you still get a lot of people referencing the old road name in JNB with no sign of that road existing any more if you read the signs and painted road names these days. Perhaps the Alias field would be good for these cases? Having "New Name Rd (Old Name Rd) - M47" would be quite unwieldy. We should definitely think about ways of handling these issues, I think.
I'd also like clarification on another issue. Grahamstown has a lot of very, very wide streets with a central area that isn't road; I've taken to splitting these into 2 one way streets, but am not sure about the best way of getting them to intersect with other narrower two way single roads and with each other. The most "important" roads in Grahamstown are probably High Street, Bathurst Street and Somerset Street, and all of these are (at least in considerable sections) like this. Some of them are even wide enough to have multiple lanes in each direction in places. I'm still tweaking it to get it looking right and actually following where the roads go irl, but you can see what I'm playing with quite easily. Any thoughts? I've taken to un-naming short "link" roads where you can cross through "islands" in them.
Here's a good example: http://world.waze.com/cartouche/?zoom=9 ... FFFFFFTTTT
Of course, the whole area in the box wedged in between the intersection of the 4 lines is actually road - you can drive on it, and you'll get GPS tracks though there over time.