[NEW] Guidance for turn instruction overrides

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Re: [NEW] Guidance for turn instruction overrides

Postby subs5 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:56 am

The Mid-Atlantic Region leadership discussed and decided that they did not want to have it announced but prior to making it regional guidance to see if others agreed to make it national guidance.

If you are continuing on a road that goes from toll free to tolled, it is not very explicit on where the announcement should be. 1) At the toll collection facility - which is too late to do anything if you don't want to pay the toll. 2) If prior to the last exit before the toll, but then what about the people who enter the road after that prompt. This occurs when the last exit is before the last entrance on several roads.

For the Hatem Bridge in Baltimore, there is a toll for users, except if someone has purchased a Hatem EZPass then the bridge is toll free. Not sure how to mark that one so it is not announced. If the person has avoid tolls and the appropriate transponder selected they will get a continue to toll (or what ever is entered) even though there is no toll.

Also there is no guidance on having a short 6 m segment with the primary road name as an alternate for the routing continuity calculation.

I spent about 24 hrs last year and generated a list of all the NPS parks with links to the gates that had through roads that charged a fee to use. There was essentially no interest to mark as toll and to have the toll free restriction for the NPS America the Beautiful Pass so that they were toll free for those users. So it seems a bit inconsistent to have the toll plaza for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge announced or for entering a NPS. The NPS fees can be $25 to $50 for the one entry (the entry fee is usually good for a week). So to me there is no consistency on how these similar items are handled.
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Re: [NEW] Guidance for turn instruction overrides

Postby DwarfLord » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:42 pm

subs5 wrote:[...]prior to making it regional guidance to see if others agreed to make it national guidance.

If the Mid-Atlantic region thinks it is a net negative for Waze to issue "Continue" instructions (perhaps multiple times) on approach to gates or toll plazas, I would agree.

Looking at the list of benefits and drawbacks for the Continue TIO, a case could be made that for gates and toll plazas it provides "surprise management" — specifically, that it alerts the driver to an unexpected and possibly problematic change in the roadway's legal/financial status.

Personally I would rate that benefit as minimal for this application. In my experience, gates and toll plazas are almost never "unexpected and possibly problematic" in any way that getting a Continue instruction would materially improve once one is driving.

  • Restricted gates are typically encountered only at the destination, where drivers who selected the destination should be anticipating them; low chance of an "unexpected and possibly problematic change".
  • Many drivers, especially commuters, will already be familiar with the location of toll booths and plazas, and may even have electronic or prepaid passes. Of course there will always be some fraction of drivers who might find toll situations "unexpected and possibly problematic", but...
  • Even for those drivers, how much good will a Continue instruction, possibly repeated several times on approach, actually do? How many of these drivers approaching the toll plaza (typically well signed in advance) and hearing the instruction will say, thank goodness for Waze?

So that's the benefit, which seems to me fairly meager.

The drawbacks, on the other hand, include first of all the usual risks of instruction blocking and instruction whiplash. Those risks are highly situation-dependent, but a nationwide rule that toll plazas should get Continue instructions increases the chance that editors loyally following such a rule won't carefully re-evaluate the risks for each situation. If we try to adapt to that concern with a rule of "some tolls do, some tolls don't" then we have to sort out which do and which don't, risking in turn an inconsistent driving experience.

There is also the substantial drawback of repetition/distraction, that is, yet more interruptions of whatever else the driver is listening to or thinking about. This could be annoying for any driver who already anticipated the gate/toll, but especially so for electronic-pass commuters (e.g. FasTrak) or prepaid-pass travelers (e.g. America the Beautiful).

TL;DR version: I believe the drawbacks of Continue instructions at gates and toll booths/plazas generally outweigh the benefits.

subs5, does the Mid-Atlantic Region have proposed language prepared that it's offering for national guidance before adopting it as regional guidance?
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Re: [NEW] Guidance for turn instruction overrides

Postby subs5 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:31 am

We did not have wording proposed yet. Wanted to see what the consensus was nationally since wording on the USA wiki would be different than the wording for a regional exemption on the MAR (and links to it on the four state (ok 3 state and one city with the nation's Capitol :lol: ) pages.
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Re: [NEW] Guidance for turn instruction overrides

Postby Kartografer » Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:53 am

Do we have any examples where the instructions as normally mapped would never indicate a toll? Most BGS at on-ramps and wayfinders would tend to have toll on them already, and that should be reflected in the instructions, so a continue would be redundant.

Edit: Found one myself, in MAR no less. If you go south on I-77 to the WV Turnpike, you get no indication of where the tolls start. The BGS at the wayfinder in Charleston simply says I-64 E / I-77 S / Beckley. Having an informational continue at the first toll plaza near Chelyan would be a positive experience, IMO.
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Re: [NEW] Guidance for turn instruction overrides

Postby DwarfLord » Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:57 am

Kartografer wrote:If you go south on I-77 to the WV Turnpike, you get no indication of where the tolls start. The BGS at the wayfinder in Charleston simply says I-64 E / I-77 S / Beckley. Having an informational continue at the first toll plaza near Chelyan would be a positive experience, IMO.

Is this the wayfinder you mean?

So, if I understand, you are saying that the signage here is inadequate because drivers are being shown how to go in the direction of Beckley without being alerted that tolls will be involved. So (again, if I understand) you are saying that we should add a Continue at this toll plaza to make up for the fact that signage several miles before it is inadequate?

If I'm following the suggestion, I'm a bit puzzled how such a Continue would really help anybody. If the issue is warning drivers about this being a toll road, doing so only when it becomes a toll seems a bit late; it would be better to warn at the last exit before toll, or perhaps even many miles before at the wayfinder you identified. By the time the last exit before toll has been passed then the Continue will simply confirm the toll signs at the plaza.

I'd be glad to see an example where drivers would realistically say "thank goodness for Waze" upon hearing a toll-plaza continue but I'm not seeing it here, at least not yet.

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Re: [NEW] Guidance for turn instruction overrides

Postby subs5 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:29 am

Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel comes to mind in Norfolk as an example.
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Re: [NEW] Guidance for turn instruction overrides

Postby DwarfLord » Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:45 pm

subs5 wrote:Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel comes to mind in Norfolk as an example.

I'm struggling to construct a scenario where drivers would be relieved and/or grateful, or be able to take action that they wouldn't otherwise have taken, as a result of hearing a Continue instruction at the approach to the South Toll Plaza for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Seems like Waze would just be Captain Obvious without adding real value to the driver's experience.

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Re: [NEW] Guidance for turn instruction overrides

Postby Kartografer » Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:09 pm

DwarfLord wrote:Is this the wayfinder you mean?

So, if I understand, you are saying that the signage here is inadequate because drivers are being shown how to go in the direction of Beckley without being alerted that tolls will be involved. So (again, if I understand) you are saying that we should add a Continue at this toll plaza to make up for the fact that signage several miles before it is inadequate


Yes, that's one of the wayfinders, and there's a corresponding one on I-64 with the same sign. I suggested putting the continue instruction at the toll plaza in order to give the instruction to all who may have entered the toll road from any other street, but since the BGS from US-60 says "toll road" itself, the continue could be at the point of no return for everyone else.
But it doesn't really matter. Because this is purely informational, the location of the instruction is not as important as you claim it is. Once a driver clears the last instruction, this continue will show at the top of the screen. If the driver is using a TTS voice, Waze will also speak an initial instruction that says something like "continue straight for 15 minutes to toll road." Then the driver will know that this is the toll part. If the user is neither using a TTS voice nor looking at the display, bigger problems are in store.
sketch wrote:A notification as soon as you are entering the point-of-no-return toll road entrance is prudent and warranted, where otherwise there would be no notification. The quintessential example is a freeway that might go on for dozens or hundreds of miles before becoming a toll road...
Common sense should always be used, though.

DwarfLord wrote:The drawbacks, on the other hand, include first of all the usual risks of instruction blocking and instruction whiplash...
There is also the substantial drawback of repetition/distraction

So yes, common sense should be used, and they are only really necessary where one enters a tolled area far past the last instruction. If you turn onto a ramp, enter a freeway, and the road immediately becomes a toll road, there will very likely have been something on the sign about how you're entering a toll road, and this (if properly mapped) will have been reflected in the turn instruction onto the ramp. If the instruction is several miles down a continuous stretch of freeway and several miles before any exit, instruction blocking, whiplash and distraction really aren't an issue. I don't think the current language is flexible enough to tell people that we should only put these in where they are isolated and non-redundant.
sketch wrote:get your wallets out

Yes. I remember where the tolls are on the WV turnpike now, but for the first few times, as an infrequent driver without a transponder, this would have been nice. I am just using this road as a personal use case example.
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Re: [NEW] Guidance for turn instruction overrides

Postby DwarfLord » Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:57 pm

I think the main difference in perception is that different people (and possibly regions) have different reactions to the severity of the distraction/repetition concern. I drive primarily in a dense metropolitan area, and Waze issues frequent instructions that interrupt whatever audio program I'm listening to, so I'm pretty sensitive to that happening at times I think are unnecessary.

On the other hand, during my time as an editor, I've encountered the perspective that Waze needs to be chattier, that it should say something every so often regardless just so drivers know it's still there. That is probably an extreme perspective? At least, it seems so to me.

Anyway, folks with my attitude will probably say please make Waze shut up more. Folks with the other attitude will say please make Waze talk more. Those two perspectives won't ever agree on how serious a drawback repetition/distraction is; I think it's pretty serious, but others not so much. We're probably looking at another splintering of guidance.
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Re: [NEW] Guidance for turn instruction overrides

Postby subs5 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:18 am

Since there hasn't been any region stating that they agree (yet since it appears one is still having a discussion), I'll take that as no consensus will be obtained for national guidance. So will draft up the MAR exemption for the applicable regional and state and Capitol City pages.
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