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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:53 pm
by sketch
Very good post, davielde, thank you.

Kent, I will do that. Is there a thread concerning that at-grade connectors page? Seems like we should add jughandles, unnumbered exits which are signed for more than just the name of the immediate street to which the exit goes, and Michigan lefts to it. I think it's only been discussed on the Michigan forum, but I think the MUTI page is ready for inclusion into the Wiki — along with a redirect from "Michigan left".

Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:15 pm
by sketch
I believe a generalized exception for cases where an RC or champ determines a type upgrade is necessary for proper routing is sufficient, but I'm willing to get into it with making the list more specific. I do agree that a specific process is warranted.

I don't think I can think of any situation where a user might upgrade a road type without approval. I imagine any user experienced enough with road types to make the determination that a higher type is "necessary for proper routing" will be familiar enough with their area's champs/RC anyway that contacting them will be a non-issue; and further, the champ or RC may grant more latitude to certain experienced editors in making this judgment within a particular area or region.

I don't envision that champs/RCs will have too hard a time understanding why other champs/RCs have made these determinations. Perhaps oversight via posting all such determinations to a state's Wiki or forum will be sufficient.

Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:39 pm
by sketch
Hah, what I meant was "where a user might be justified in upgrading a road type without approval." Sorry for being imprecise.

That's where the broad latitude comes into play — where a champ or RC could allow a more experienced editor to make some judgment calls. That's not "without approval" as far as I'm concerned.

Where practicable, such changes should be locked at a relatively high level.

If it isn't approved — and isn't obviously vandalism — a champ/RC who notices it or to whom it is reported should contact the editor and ask why the change was made. If it's vandalism it can be reverted without question, of course.

Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:26 pm
by sketch
HavanaDay wrote:To add my opinion to this topic, if I read the wiki entry and these posts correctly, I would like to make the following changes/clarifications:

US Hwy Bus Routes - Should not automatically be major but minor minimally.
State Hwy Bus Routes - Should not automatically be minor but minimally classed as primary.

We also have some US Alt routes in NC that I have a tough time deciding what there function should be. So some sort of input/thoughts would be great for that for me.

Indeed, I will include that. That's my intent.

What needs to be stressed in the hybrid system is the word minimally. As in a state highway is minimally classed as a minor highway in Waze.

Indeed true. This is the basis on which the hybrid system works. I will add some bold print and flashy lights (maybe kidding about the latter) for emphasis.

Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:01 pm
by sketch
Changes made:
To do:
  • Include criteria for state/US business/alt/etc. routes
  • Include provision on what to do if FC maps are outdated
  • Incorporate changes below, including link to state pages

CBenson wrote:I believe that this is a worthwhile effort.

I would revise

The following roads are to be classified, at minimum, as Minor Highway:
Roads classified in FHWA's functional classification as Other Arterials.
Roads in state, D.C., and territorial highway systems.

to read

The following roads are to be classified, at minimum, as Minor Highway:
Roads classified in FHWA's functional classification as Other Arterials or Minor Arterials.
Roads signed according to a state, D.C., or territorial highway system.

My concern with "Other Arterial" is that some functional lists use the terms "other principal arterial" and "minor arterial." In those lists the word "other" only appears with "principal" which could be confusing when determining what "other arterials" are.

With regard to state numbering systems, one issue that hasn't been addressed is the difference between official designation and how the road is actually signed. In my experience, the signage deviates from "official designation" for clarity and to better reflect reality on the ground. So where signage conflicts with "official designation," I suggest following the signage. In Maryland every road that is the responsibility of the state highway administration to maintain has a Maryland route number. But typically if the road is not a significant route from point A to point B, the road is not signed with the route number (and can be classed a local road by the MD SHA). Similarly my recollection in Pennsylvania is that many roads are given 4 digit numbers, but these 4 digit route numbers are not used in the keystone route number signs and thus should not be considered minor highways. So to me what really matters is the sign on the road.

Thanks, I think this is helpful. Some of this is to be determined on a state-by-state basis — for example, some states have "primary" and "secondary" state routes and may not wish to up-type the latter. But a note explaining this generally and pointing to the state lists is wise.

Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:28 pm
by sketch
banished wrote:1. I remain in the minority on FC, not because I wouldn't like to see a national standard, but assuming Waze says OK to FC, this thread shows we continue to struggle with exceptions. Where there are exceptions, we will continue to have back & forth conflicts between editors.

Out-of-area editor: "It's a primary street according to FC."
Local editor: "No, it's a minor highway. I know, because I drive it frequently."

Local editors will constantly have to go back and 'fix' what an outside-the-area editor changed. Reading the previous posts, there's other subjective areas, too.

I simply don't think this is going to be as big a problem as people think it is.

Upgrades past the prescribed type should generally only be done by those with intimate knowledge of the routing server. They should be locked at high ranks. Editors at high enough ranks to edit them will (1) understand that there's probably a reason for the type upgrade, (2) understand that type upgrades, and (3) know to contact the last editor/RC if they have questions.

Likewise, even if a handful of such disputes do occur, the idea that there will be more disputes about a handful of exceptions to a definite set of rules than there are about the current nebulous set of rules is absurd. This problem exists with the current system, except it exists in the current system with every road that isn't an Interstate. (The simple US/SR/CR system simply does not work on its own.)

I've implemented this system in two major metropolitan areas and to my knowledge I've yet to come across any road that needs to be upgraded past what the rules prescribe, by the way.

Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:06 pm
by sketch
What to do with dirt roads is a tough call for me. I do believe that, in places where they're basically the only option, dirt roads can be set to other types. However, in my (limited) experience, even in areas with a lot of dirt roads (northern Macomb County, MI), there's always a viable option on pavement.

I wouldn't give too much credence to the "4x4 trails" part of that. The main purpose of this type is to enable the "avoid dirt roads" feature. There are certainly legitimate reasons to want to avoid dirt roads (my suspension and my lower back come to mind), so we don't want to effectively disable this feature unless we don't have another option.

But that's not covered by this overhaul, anyway. Technically the type is used for drivable public roads, but since they can be disabled in the client, they aren't considered as part of the same calculus. Really, it should be a flag instead of a type (like toll roads), but it's a discussion for a different thread anyway.

Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:22 pm
by sketch
That sounds pretty good, although like I said, the specifics should be left to a different thread. For this portion, something to the effect of "otherwise-classified unpaved roads may be downgraded to the dirt road type if there are viable paved alternatives in the area".

I will say that whether the mail goes down there isn't really material. I don't care if there are several houses on a dirt road if there's a parallel paved road a quarter mile away. Even a wide, graded dirt road is often rife with holes and bumps.

Perhaps a note should be added to "street" type to say that it should only be used for paved local roads.

Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:59 pm
by sketch
As I said, this all belongs in another thread. I'm fine with moving all the relevant posts to wherever it is.

dbraughlr wrote:This sounds a lot like the argument that Waze should avoid streets with speed bumps because obviously the city street department does not want through-traffic and drivers (lumbar vertebrae and car suspension come to mind) do not want to use such roads when there is a smooth, paved alternative ¼ mile away.

If the drivers go slowly on bumpy roads, Waze avoids those roads. The paved alternative wins on the speed data.

Perhaps Waze should alert the driver when allowing tolls, major highways, and/or dirt roads would would save considerable time or distance.

That argument is misplaced — it's an argument against including an "avoid speed bumps" option in the client. But the "avoid dirt roads" option is already there. We should not be editing the maps in such a way as to gut the feature of its effectiveness.

The analogy isn't perfect either way — speed bumps are predictable, and they're there to slow you down; they only materially affect your speed. Maybe some incidental effects are possible on your suspension and your vertebrae, but if you're driving over them properly, it's negligible. And Waze already handles speed by its nature.

Dirt roads, on the other hand, carry further consequences. Dirt roads are unpredictable. A freshly-graded one can be traversed at a speed nearly the same as if it were paved. If it's not adequately maintained, yes, they will slow you down — but unlike speed bumps, the ruts and bumps in unmaintained dirt roads are not painted yellow, nor are their locations known ahead of time. Further, even a well-maintained dirt road carries risks. Rocks thrown from gravel roads can crack windshields and lights, dent body panels, and puncture tires and even tanks. Dirt can gunk up your air filters, leading to more frequent service intervals. Dust thrown up into the air can impair visibility. Further, cars are harder to control on loose surfaces, so more inexperienced or skittish drivers may wish to avoid them.

That's not to say all classified dirt roads should be set to "dirt road", but they also shouldn't all be set to their functional class type. I've read the other thread, and what that leads me to believe is that standards should be set locally/geographically based on what's necessary, so users in certain areas know what to expect. At least where I've been in southeastern Michigan, there's always a paved alternative; daknife paints quite a different picture out West.

I agree that a "Hey, a toll / dirt road would save you x minutes" would be very nice, but that's a separate issue altogether.

Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:47 pm
by sketch
kentsmith9 wrote:Sketch, I took the liberty to make some adjustments to the Ramp section based on our discussions on ramps so far. I put up a version of that page here here to review. I was especially worried about the wording of the double negative section of when not to use ramps. I think this proposal addresses that possible confusion point.

Thanks Kent this looks very good. I didn't edit the text for Ramp much if any because I didn't intend to change the rule.

I was looking at that section and was wondering why the language "grade-separated interchange" isn't used at all. It might provide a good contrast to "at-grade". I added a caption to the expressway image under Highways that uses that language, also.

For what it's worth, I got that Florida FC map to load (slowly, but eventually).

dbraughlr's point is well-taken. Disputes may arise in anything. The idea that a better-defined system will have more, rather than fewer, disputes is preposterous.

If this system works nationwide, unmodified, then deviation from the standard won't be necessary AT ALL. The only deviations I've made from this system are mostly inconsequential, basically places where a separate road is used effectively as an at-grade connector. That's it, and I've implemented it in two major metropolitan areas — one of which I did entirely on my own — along with much of the surrounding countryside (and bayous).

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