Jughandles

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Jughandles

Postby weeezer14 » Mon May 06, 2013 5:47 pm

So the topic of jughandles bugs me every time I edit one or near one. I've been on the road almost constantly the past 2 months so I haven't edited one recently, but a conversation with orbitc got me thinking again.

Of course road types in general are up in the air right now as we wait on Waze to refine the routing engine, but I still think we can at least start to think about this topic.

So what is the best road type to use for a jughandle? I'm starting this conversation in the NJ forum since NJ must have the most jughandles per capita in the country ;)

There are 3 main options I think:
  • same as the road it is serving
  • Ramp
  • Street

But each as pros and cons:
  • same as the road it is serving
    • Follows wiki guidelines for at-grade connectors
    • no routing penalty for street type changes
    • does a short curved loop of asphalt with slow transit times that is mainly used by local traffic really deserve to be the same type as the main road?
    • May look sloppy or confusing on the map
  • Ramp
    • Against current wiki guidelines for at-grade connectors
    • allows "hiding" of long names which may be on signs for the jughandle
    • does a short curved loop of asphalt with slow transit times that is mainly used by local traffic really deserve to be a HIGHER type than the main road?
    • May "look" better since it is visually different from the main road
  • Street
    • Against current wiki guidelines for At-grade connectors
    • May hinder use of a jughandle in the middle of a long distance route (I am not sure of a specific example, but I wouldn't doubt one exists)
    • May "look" better since it is visually different from the main road

I've definitely SEEN all three approaches in use. And I bet I have personally USED all three approaches at different times.

Does anyone have any other approaches? Any personal experience of how an approach works or doesn't work in real life? Any pros or cons I neglected to list?
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Re: Jughandles

Postby orbitc » Mon May 06, 2013 5:58 pm

WeeeZer14 wrote:So the topic of jughandles bugs me every time I edit one or near one. I've been on the road almost constantly the past 2 months so I haven't edited one recently, but a conversation with orbitc got me thinking again.

Of course road types in general are up in the air right now as we wait on Waze to refine the routing engine, but I still think we can at least start to think about this topic.

So what is the best road type to use for a jughandle? I'm starting this conversation in the NJ forum since NJ must have the most jughandles per capita in the country ;)

There are 3 main options I think:
  • same as the road it is serving
  • Ramp
  • Street

But each as pros and cons:
  • same as the road it is serving
    • Follows wiki guidelines for at-grade connectors
    • no routing penalty for street type changes
    • does a short curved loop of asphalt with slow transit times that is mainly used by local traffic really deserve to be the same type as the main road?
    • May look sloppy or confusing on the map
  • Ramp
    • Against current wiki guidelines for at-grade connectors
    • allows "hiding" of long names which may be on signs for the jughandle
    • does a short curved loop of asphalt with slow transit times that is mainly used by local traffic really deserve to be a HIGHER type than the main road?
    • May "look" better since it is visually different from the main road
  • Street
    • Against current wiki guidelines for At-grade connectors
    • May hinder use of a jughandle in the middle of a long distance route (I am not sure of a specific example, but I wouldn't doubt one exists)
    • May "look" better since it is visually different from the main road

I've definitely SEEN all three approaches in use. And I bet I have personally USED all three approaches at different times.

Does anyone have any other approaches? Any personal experience of how an approach works or doesn't work in real life? Any pros or cons I neglected to list?


I'm glad to see we finally address this.
It's been bugging me for a while. When ever I come across one of these, I try to follow current wiki guidelines. Here and there I get question/request as to why not ramp.

So, based on your pros and cons, I'm leaning towards ramps. I'm not sure what other NJ editors think?
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Re: Jughandles

Postby AlanOfTheBerg » Mon May 06, 2013 6:08 pm

Since these are, for the vast majority, an at-grade connector, I think we should follow the same guidelines and just use the parent type. Like at-grade connectors and other guidelines, I do not think we should have per-state guidance on this. I'd hate to have another fractured set of rules.
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Re: Jughandles

Postby PhantomSoul » Mon May 06, 2013 6:11 pm

This is a good topic, and yes, there is lots of disagreement on how to handle these. They are one of the handful of elements that we find along NJ roadways that do not seem to be covered the current US Wikis.

For starters, the US Wiki very clearly says that ALL at-grade connectors should be the lesser of the two types of roads it connects. I would imagine this is in order to ensure that the penalties assessed to the ramp type, combined with any possible weird traffic conditions in the area, do not cause the routing engine to find a lesser penalty in just turning where it specifically says not to. Let's not forget that with an at-grade junction, disabled turns are "highly discouraged" as opposed to an overpass, where the turn is actually "impossible".

However, that being said, many of the jughandle ramps have (sometimes rather long) exit-style signage that benefit greatly from the ramp road type's suppression of names. If we use any other road type, the long names often appear in a cumbersome and goofy ultra-long tangent line that appears to do little more than clutter the map. Other jughandles have much shorter names, but in the past, I've made those ramps as well to help maintain some sort of consistency in using ramps for any of these that have some sort of exit-style signage.

We've had jughandles as ramps on various major highways all over central New Jersey for a while now, and I've been driving around with Waze on many of these roads for over 6 months now through all kinds of traffic conditions - light, heavy, and everything in between - and never once Waze chosen an illegal left turn instead of a ramp-type jughandle. In fact, it's never even suggested an illegal right turn at the actual junction where the jughandle ramp is intended to service the right turn as well.

Because of my above experience, I think the suppression of potentially long text on the ramp type provides the better value. There is however, a caveat in that the difference between a jughandle ramp and a simple short connector - like a short right turn that merely bypasses a sharp corner - is not as clear to many other editors around here as it would be to me, or maybe orbitc, or maybe WeeeZer14. The result is that other editors will start changing these short rights to ramps as well, citing that the at-grade jughandles were ramps, so why should the at-grade right turns be different?

In any case, it's an ugly mess with the road types we have now no matter which way we do this. Further, it's going to be hard to both get and maintain consistency with the road types we have, simply because in someplaces it actually looks better one way, while in other places it might have to be the other way to work right. For me, it's probably far more important to have an elegant and consistent solution for this for the redesign of the USA road types.
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Re: Jughandles

Postby sketch » Mon May 06, 2013 6:18 pm

WeeeZer14 wrote:[*]same as the road it is serving
  • Follows wiki guidelines for at-grade connectors
  • no routing penalty for street type changes
  • does a short curved loop of asphalt with slow transit times that is mainly used by local traffic really deserve to be the same type as the main road?
  • May look sloppy or confusing on the map

I disagree with the last two points here, especially the last point. Making jughandles stand out on the map should be a desired goal, so a user glancing at a map sees it coming and doesn't disregard it as an insignificant local street.

I can see a case for using the ramp type very sparingly for certain at-grade connectors, but I do agree that it might give inexperienced editors the wrong idea.
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Re: Jughandles

Postby weeezer14 » Mon May 06, 2013 7:08 pm

I too of course prefer one simple set of rules to follow nation-wide. I just know that jughandles seem to always create questions and so far we do not directly cover them. When I wrote the wiki pages for At-grade connectors I left jug handles out specifically because I wasn't sure at the time.

Anyway, I should note that the specific case of jughandle that brought this topic up this time is the jughandle that only serves as a U-turn. Here is the same jughandle shown 3 different ways:
jug_major.png
Major
jug_major.png (166.52 KiB) Viewed 1798 times


jug_ramp.png
Ramp
jug_ramp.png (154.27 KiB) Viewed 1798 times


jug_street.png
Street
jug_street.png (168.79 KiB) Viewed 1799 times


I'll see if I can find some other interesting examples of situations more like what most people consider to be an at grade connector...
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Re: Jughandles

Postby PhantomSoul » Mon May 06, 2013 7:44 pm

The "u-turn only" jughandle is a weird one.

On one hand, they typically only have a short, simple, white "U Turn" sign on their approach, which might actually benefit being drawn on the map with the use of the highway road type.

On the other hand, how do you explain such a subtle difference (vs a jughandle ramp with a long exit sign) to a newbie editor or even newbie area manager, for whom this may be way over their head?

Streets, however, IMHO should never be used for jughandles, simply because streets are excluded from the middle of any trip more than a few miles long, which may prevent Waze from considering a route that would involve switching between roads at that junction.

Capture.jpg
Capture.jpg (121.42 KiB) Viewed 1801 times


Here's another interesting scenario: how about a jughandle that is part of a regular city street? Here, Lewis St is just a regular downtown alley that has been converted to a one-way street, however, the loop of selected segments make up a jughandle to approach Broad St to the northeast. In fact, traffic coming southbound on Main St will see an overhead highway-style sign to turn right at "SR-71 / Broad St" just before the Lewis St block. The loop is a minor highway now, a la generic at-grade connectors, but it needs to be either this way or the entire loop needs to be ramps in order for routing from Main St southbound to Broad St eastbound to work right.
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Re: Jughandles

Postby weeezer14 » Mon May 06, 2013 7:54 pm

Using surface streets as a jughandle is another fun deal. Here is an example in Cherry Hill that isn't perfect right now. The highlighted path is how you need to head north from east bound 70. A similar situation exists on the other side too. Luckily in this case the N/S road is "only" a primary street. But if it were Minor or Major we'd have a much bigger problem.

Okay then, lets focus the conversation as such:
Find a situation where the current rules for at-grade connectors applied to a jughandle does NOT work or is not ideal for any reason.
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Re: Jughandles

Postby PhantomSoul » Mon May 06, 2013 7:57 pm

Here's one more in Edison - if you're going from US-1 N to Plainfield Ave northbound, the highway style signs direct you along little neighborhood streets along the route seen by the selected segments here.

Would it even be appropriate to use a ramp type for a segment that has actual residential addresses along it? :|

Ironically, someone made the simple right-turn connectors across the street into ramps... :roll:
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Re: Jughandles

Postby PhantomSoul » Mon May 06, 2013 8:12 pm

Here, the name "to Prospect Plains / Applegarth Rd / Butcher Rd" as seen on the approaching sign is massively long for trying to show over the segments on the map, which is why its a ramp type. Alternatively, we could try to shorten it, but then who gets to decide what part is more important? Is it the city because its on the sign first (Prospect Plains)? Or is it the road because its more specific (Applegarth Rd)? What if there's more than one (across the highway, it's actually called Butcher Rd)?
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