New USA Road Types

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Re: New USA Road Types

Postby PhantomSoul » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:06 pm

Sounds good. If you could focus on mH and lower, that would be great. MH+ is pretty much up to date in all of NJ except 4 counties in southern NJ which I am expecting to complete today.
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Re: New USA Road Types

Postby PhantomSoul » Mon May 05, 2014 6:23 pm

For one thing, we have to stop thinking of roads in terms of entire routes, as the vast majority of them will not be the same FC type their entire length. This is especially true of county roads, for which portions could be Major Highway, portions could be Minor Highway, while other portions yet could be mere Primary Streets, depending on what they connect. State routes can also flip-flop between Major Highway and Minor Highway depending on what other roads they connect and where. Instead, it's more practical, in terms of FC at least, to think of roads as regional networks, regardless of what kind/number route marker they may have:

  • Statewide, including roads that connect out of state like US Routes and Interstates (MH+)
  • County/Intercity (mH)
  • Crosstown (PS)
  • Local (S-)

We have to also remember that FC type assignments are based on percentages of all total public roads in any given area. That is, an X percentage must be Primary Arterial (or better), a Y percentage must be secondary arterial, and a Z percentage must be local collector roads. To meet this requirement, I'm sure engineers had to get really creative for what they chose as which types; for example, I have a neighborhood one-way street in Newark that is classified as secondary arterial (Waze Minor Highway) just because it goes straight through for over 2 miles and is longer than any other street in the immediate area. Does this mean it should be a minor highway? It's a good question, because the street is certainly not a highway.

NJ FC maps are really bad at depicting how roads of various types are intended to connect with each other, instead just highlighting what roads are which type. However, particularly at junctions involving larger urban roads, there are often several connector segments, often routed over other nearby existing neighborhood streets, that you have to go over to get from one main road to another. This is a problem, because connectivity is one of the feature characteristics of using FC to begin with. If these entire paths are not made into either ramps or at least the lower of the 2 connecting road types, navigation through that junction could be disrupted for longer trips (and for NJ's urban FC maps, longer trips are ones in excess of only like 5 or 6 miles). Further, this is actually a very complex concept for many lower- and even middle-ranked editors to get their heads around, and is consequently prone to all kinds of errors.

Finally, NJ's FC maps are old, as in published before 2009, when updates to the FC standard unified the rules for determining FC road types in both rural and urban areas. Because of the separate rules used for urban and rural areas, we see many urban 2-lane roads with stop lights on every block, parked cars, low speed limits, etc., designated as Major Highways - same as multi-lane expressways mind you (no other commercial mapping system agrees with this, btw) - just because the road goes straight through more than one suburban town for 4 or more miles. I'm just not sure that's what Waze intends with its Major Highway road type, and it's certainly not what I envision when I think of an urban major highway.

However, despite bringing these concerns up numerous times, I've been told every time that none of these things matter, because as actual speed metric information of roads becomes more robust, all of these concerns about road type become secondary. Waze is still going to gravitate toward freeways if available even roughly in your direction (unless you tell it not to) for any trip longer than a few miles. So the FC/Route Type hybrid rule (whichever is higher for any segment) it is, at least until we can put together enough definitive cases to show it does not work.
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Re: New USA Road Types

Postby PhantomSoul » Wed May 07, 2014 4:56 am

Yup, the old urban FC types (though currently published for NY and NJ) are based strictly on percentage of total roads in the area and how far a road goes straight through. Curiously absent from this analysis is the actual capacity of the road. Incidentally, many of the 2-lane city-street Primary Arterials roughly follow the route of once-planned freeways or expressways that never got built because those towns rejected the construction (NJ law requires municipalities to consent to any construction the state plans to do with roads within their boundaries). As a result, the state is stuck having to designate urban Primary Arterial roads along 2-lane city streets, Secondary Arterials along one-way streets, etc.

There's no doubt that the FC maps in some states serve the purposes of Waze much better than in others. However, there's also a big push to standardize our editing policies nationwide, and I guess FC was thought to work adequately in enough places to go forward with a nationwide policy.

Are there any specific places with the new FC-based road types that we've seen, for sure, to not work right?
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Re: New USA Road Types

Postby PhantomSoul » Wed May 07, 2014 4:01 pm

I totally agree. We just have to get past the map looking radically different.

Like qwaletee said, the FC arterial types are more a function of how far a road goes through than their capacity. However, capacity, like the presence of signals, doesn't matter to Waze because the collected speed data supersedes both. Instead, the road types help Waze determine which roads go how far, which is exactly the purpose of FC. The only exception are freeways, because with their total elimination of intersections, they provide for a much more accurate expected travel time.
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Re: New USA Road Types

Postby PhantomSoul » Tue May 13, 2014 2:03 pm

It looks like several counties have been updated to reflect the 2010 census, and in them, a bunch of roads being upgraded to various types. I would imagine the remaining counties will be published soon.

I'll start working on updating MH+ (Primary Arterial, Federal Route, and Urban Expressway) in the counties with the updated maps, since they need R5 editors.
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Re: New USA Road Types

Postby PhantomSoul » Thu May 15, 2014 7:11 pm

In urban areas, a Primary Arterial road only needs to go through like 5-10 miles or so, and meet the area's road type density requirements (urban principal arterials, including Interstates, other freeways, or urban expressways, must comprise between 5% and 10% of all public roads, by mileage, in any given area). Sometimes, urban primary arterial roads simply connect a few towns with no better nearby road to a better road further away.
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Re: New USA Road Types

Postby PhantomSoul » Mon May 19, 2014 2:00 pm

Like I said before, much of these problems described are in areas where local neighborhoods have rejected construction of roads with better capacity, so the state ended up being stuck with designating 2-lane roads with parked cars, signals, and very little or no turn controls as arterial roads.
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Re: New USA Road Types

Postby PleaseDriveFast » Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:13 pm

Since I'll be home on paternity leave for 3 weeks, I can start on Somerset County starting from Somerville and branching to neighboring towns.


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Re: New USA Road Types

Postby PleaseDriveFast » Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:09 pm

In Somerset, I've been through Raritan, Somerville, Finderne section of Bridgewater, Bound Brook and South Bound Brook. I'll be heading into Franklin later today then back west to the Hillsborough area.


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Re: New USA Road Types

Postby PleaseDriveFast » Mon May 12, 2014 7:07 pm

In checking the Hunterdon map today NJ has updated the functional classification map to 2010 standards. There are minor changes made to Somerset which includes new minor arterials among others. I'll focus on Somerset again to see what changes need to be made before branching out to neighboring counties.
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