Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable roads

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Re: urban versus rural

Postby dbraughlr » Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:38 am

bart99gt wrote:For rural classification, the FC system seems to work great. However, when it comes to urban classification, what the DOT classifies the road as, and what Waze expects the road to be, in my observation, diverge somewhat. I make the assumption that Waze shows such a strong preference for MH because it is expecting a road that is multi-lane, with a higher (probably 50+ mph) limit, and few controlled intersections.


Perhaps Waze could keep a list of precalculated long-haul segments much as auto clubs used to do.
More time could be spent compiling these once. Then pruning by segment would not have an adverse impact just because it is not MH or FW.


US-40 through Baltimore was mentioned as an urban MH. Just as in rural areas all we have for streets, PS, and even mH are non-paved roads, all some urban areas have for MH and even FW are congested.

The road performs its function. Waze isn't asking us for speed limits, road surface, lane count, or traffic volume. All that we say is what function the road performs whether parking lot or freeway or something in between.

That said, I to have some reasonable expectation of road condition/construction based on the area.
My expectations are different in deserts, rural areas, and major metropolises.
That why mentioned where US-89 changes between MH and mH.

I don't have a problem assigning MH to US numbered routes that are only two lanes with at least 3 miles out of 4 being passing zones. But 23 miles of double yellow lines on asphalt winding over a mountain with just a few slow traffic turnouts or "climbing lanes" cannot be function as MH because such a road simply isn't built to be MH even if the average speed on it is 40 mph and its urban MH segments are considerably slower.

I support requiring some minimum construction standards for road types. I oppose downgrading function based on traffic congestion.

In short for any FC:
  • In urban areas I expect wider roads, more lanes, more congestion, lower speed limits, and lower average speeds.
  • In rural areas I expect narrower roads, fewer lanes, no traffic lights, higher speed limits, higher average speeds, and possibly non-paved surfaces (on other than FW or MH).
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Re: traffic data only

Postby sketch » Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:27 pm

dbraughlr wrote:I did not see why it isn't the first alternate. It is a good route - an example of a route that Waze should not avoid. It is mostly straight highway. (I am not suggesting that 212 mH should be upgraded - only that Waze should consider it based on traffic data.)

It's not given as an alternate because it's not Major. I believe the cutoff for using minor highway for long routes is around 200 miles, or maybe 250 km. Most of it was already Major anyway, less one or two dozen miles around the MT-WY border, and it would be Major under this standard regardless.
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Re: traffic data only

Postby dbraughlr » Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:14 pm

sketch wrote:I'd be there on 212. Lower speeds and 44 fewer miles can save me a couple gallons of gas, and I'd imagine the scenery would be better anyway.

It's better if you like tumbleweeds blowing across the road. There isn't much to see. But it is easier to see it.

sketch wrote:There's a Minor portion in the middle of it which I will upgrade now. The live map isn't giving me a route along 212 even as an alternate -- it gives me I-90 and two alternate Interstate routes which add at least 150 miles each


I did not see why it isn't the first alternate. It is a good route - an example of a route that Waze should not avoid. It is mostly straight highway. (I am not suggesting that 212 mH should be upgraded - only that Waze should consider it based on traffic data.)

The few towns along the way are pretty inconsequential compared to the reduction in travel distance. 4 minutes are insignificant over 200+ miles, especially when those 4 minutes are gained by driving 72 mph instead of 71 on the interstate (versus 60 on the highway).
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Re: traffic data only

Postby sketch » Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:02 pm

dbraughlr wrote:Among highways, it would be nice to have Waze calculate something like between Rapid City and Billings whether to follow I-90 or US-212. While most drivers might find I-90 faster, an individual driver who wants to go no more than 65 mph anyway might find that US-212 is faster. But it seems that Waze doesn't offer this fairly direct route. By Waze's calculations, using US-212 saves 44 miles but adds 4 minutes to the trip. In reality, someone who drives this route will average a higher speed across most segments because local traffic drags down the average speeds. Regardless, saving 44 miles can be worth 4 minutes.

I don't believe that combined traffic data on individual segments can solve a problem like this.

I'd be there on 212. Lower speeds and 44 fewer miles can save me a couple gallons of gas, and I'd imagine the scenery would be better anyway.

It looks like much, but not all, of 212 was upgraded to Major by banished last year. There's a Minor portion in the middle of it which I will upgrade now. The live map isn't giving me a route along 212 even as an alternate -- it gives me I-90 and two alternate Interstate routes which add at least 150 miles each, and I don't appreciate that.
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Re: traffic data only

Postby CBenson » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:12 pm

dbraughlr wrote:I do not want routed through areas where I have to watch for children running into the street or trucks backing into loading docks.

I the case waze is counting: I do want to be routed through such areas.
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Re: traffic data only

Postby dbraughlr » Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:57 pm

Of course streets should not be used where a primary street is available. Because "side streets" are faster, municipalities are forced to install speed humps or post "local traffic only" signs.

I do not want routed through areas where I have to watch for children running into the street or trucks backing into loading docks.

Sure, driving through residential or industrial area street can be faster. But they can be more hazardous and less predictable. So it is that as road move closer to freeway, they are less hazardous, more predictable, and usually faster - enough so that they are rightly preferred over lower-class alternatives. Detours are nice only when necessary.

Among highways, it would be nice to have Waze calculate something like between Rapid City and Billings whether to follow I-90 or US-212. While most drivers might find I-90 faster, an individual driver who wants to go no more than 65 mph anyway might find that US-212 is faster. But it seems that Waze doesn't offer this fairly direct route. By Waze's calculations, using US-212 saves 44 miles but adds 4 minutes to the trip. In reality, someone who drives this route will average a higher speed across most segments because local traffic drags down the average speeds. Regardless, saving 44 miles can be worth 4 minutes.

I don't believe that combined traffic data on individual segments can solve a problem like this.
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Re: Stuck on the interstate going the wrong direction

Postby dbraughlr » Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:18 am

PhantomSoul wrote:Just out of curiosity, don't Interstates require a grade-separated crossing and full interchange at least once every 20 miles (or something like that) for like just in case someone needs to turn around?

Such a rule certainly has not always been followed. I'm pretty sure that I've seen a segment of 47 miles somewhere.

I think the PA turnpike has a 36-mile stretch (Somerset to Bedford).

Those exits on I-25 in rural Wyoming access ranches, businesses, and homes. A lot of roads are unpaved.
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Re: Should Waze fix a driver's mistake?

Postby dbraughlr » Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:58 am

qwaletee wrote:I do agree that if you hit the Interstate and realize you forgot to turn off the oven, you would have a long "detour" to get back home without the turnaround. But do you really need Waze routing for that?

True story: It happened to me. I unintentionally joined the interstate while scouting for food.
Waze wanted me to take the long detour back. At least I wasn't hunting for a fuel station!
So yes, Waze should help people out of such mistakes.
I make such mistakes often. Someone who is lost is in greater need of assistance.
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Re: Road Types (USA) – upgrade/downgrade exceptions

Postby dbraughlr » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:03 pm

dbraughlr wrote:Local knowledge can apply some objective criteria.

davielde wrote:I think that this would need to be more explicit since the goal is to avoid as much subjective judgment as possible. "Local knowledge of function" needs to be well-defined as to when it is appropriate versus using FC, and who has the final say in a dispute--the AM? RC?


As pointed out, the current system is no less flawed. I don't know how well-defined it can be. I have laid out some objective criteria here such as being the main connector between two towns at least 3 miles apart, used by school buses, etc, as relate to function. These could be "well-defined", but as guidance. We cannot cover every exception.

How to handle disputes isn't really any different than how to handle other disputes like whether a road should be "split" or an intersection should be bowtied.

That is why I propose that we allow for the possibility of upgrade/downgrade exception based on local situations. If there really is a dispute, I think the community can handle it when it arises. AM assignments are pretty arbitrary, so I wouldn't hand it to an AM.

Don't downgrade mH/PS/Street types contrary to local practice for unpaved roads. A rank 1 editor should not reclassify a previously edited road himself but rather seek guidance from an AM or RC. If a road was changed to Dirt, don't upgrade it contrary to local practice. When you upgrade to PS or higher, lock to rank 3+. When you downgrade, lock to rank 2+. If a question arises take it to the community leaders or forum.

Downgrades also happen when a bypass expressway is created or a road is relocated.

In short, I think we can move forward with the principle of FC with a general statement allowing for exceptions according to local practices not specified.
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Re: Road Types (USA) – functionally primary

Postby dbraughlr » Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:12 am

I favor the use of functional classification. But I see a possible deficiency.

I believe that primary street should be used for the main road linking two rural towns (and presumably thus the main street through the town) when no higher classification applies (which is often the case). This could well require local knowledge of the editor rather than a published document. Functionally the street is the primary route even though there isn't much traffic.

A primary designation is very relative to population and traffic densities.
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