Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable roads

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Re: Road Types (USA) - AGC exceptions

Postby dbraughlr » Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:55 am

kentsmith9 wrote:
dbraughlr wrote:I would like to see the rationale documented for the exception for ramps to be used for at-grade connectors.

The exception for at grade connectors is in the Wiki here http://wiki.waze.com/wiki/At-Grade_Connectors#Exceptions.


-- Except that when this was posted, in that article there was not even mention of the new situations (in which to use a ramp for an AGC) listed in sketch's draft article (the subject of this thread).

davielde wrote:I believe that dbraughlr may be referencing the bit about jughandles and Michigan lefts specifically.


Which is correct. Those were the only situations mentioned in sketch's draft. But there was no link at the time I asked from sketch's draft page to any rationale in the wiki or even in a forum thread.

Later:

kentsmith9 wrote:Sketch, in this section it appears it would be good to add more in explaining why the Jug handles and MI left, in addition to the turn lanes, should use the ramp type. Perhaps we can link to the more detailed article that I have already updated here and include the Jug Handles and MI left to this page as part of the explanation.


This sounds like a suggestion that someone should document the rationale for the new situations in which an exception applies for a ramp as an AGC.


<Edited to explain time warp.>
Last edited by dbraughlr on Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Road Types (USA) - AGC exceptions

Postby kentsmith9 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:16 am

dbraughlr wrote:
kentsmith9 wrote:Are you asking something different?

Yes. Neither of the exceptions is listed there.
kentsmith9 wrote:Ah maybe you are suggesting we explain "why" we need the ramp in order to get the "Exit right" instruction.

No.

I am afraid your responses are too cryptic to understand. Please use more words.
I have made changes to https://wiki.waze.com/wiki/At-Grade_Connectors#Connector_is_a_signed.2C_numbered_exit that I believe are helpful in describing why these at grade connectors should be ramps.

If you are looking for something different please spell it out.
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby russblau » Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:18 am

Comment: in general, I think FC is a good basis for assigning road type; I think the references to route numbering should be removed. In practice, there is a fairly high degree of correlation between route numbering and road function, but it is definitely not 100%. In those cases where a US highway serves the function of a minor highway because it travels along a narrow street with traffic lights and driveways, or where a state highway serves the function of a major highway because it has few intersections and permits high-speed through travel, the road's function should take precedence over its numbering.

The references to "county routes" are useless in Virginia, since we don't have them, and in most counties literally every street, from the eight-lane arterials down to the 200-foot dead end around the corner from my house, has a "secondary state highway" number that is absolutely meaningless in terms of Waze's mapping needs.
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby AndyPoms » Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:33 am

russblau wrote:The references to "county routes" are useless in Virginia, since we don't have them, and in most counties literally every street, from the eight-lane arterials down to the 200-foot dead end around the corner from my house, has a "secondary state highway" number that is absolutely meaningless in terms of Waze's mapping needs.
Same goes for Connecticut - no County Roads. There is also an entire series of unsigned state route numbers in CT as well - basically everything from CT-400 & up... I've been slowly removing references to those (almost all alt-names) as I've come across them. For more info on the unsigned road network in CT, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_State_Routes_in_Connecticut
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby davielde » Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:28 pm

sketch wrote:In Detroit I saw a much bigger difference (because Detroit's much bigger and has way more roads to choose from); basically where it used to make me backtrack to get on the nearest freeway entrance, it now sends me along a Principal Arterial (Major Highway) or two for a few miles to get to the next useful freeway entrance downstream. It actually saves a couple minutes.

I think that it is key to reinforce that having a glut of principal arterials classed as MH still helps direct or funnel longer distance routes to a freeway. Even when presented with numerous principal arterials, as long as the freeway truly is the fastest route, Waze will opt for freeway even if it is way out of the way (assuming "fastest route" intended). To one of PhantomSoul's points, I agree that most urban principal arterials are meant for more local use (i.e. non-freeway suburb to suburb or even intra-city) and and not long distance trips, but those are also mixed with US and some major state routes that also have the principal arterial designation and would be more suitable long distance routes. In any case, you still normally get "sucked" onto a freeway as long as your "avoid major highways" option is disabled, but you also have legitimate alternatives at a lower road type if appropriate from the start--not just mid-route as a detour or in the first or last few kilometers.

As an example, entering downtown Detroit from the east side of Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti (about 40 miles), there were only two initial routes suggested pre-NFC: 1) I-94 all the way, and 2) backtracking to get to US-23 to M-14 to I-96 (all freeways). Looking at my routes now from the same location, my primary route is still I-94 (purple in the image), but look at the two alternatives. The green is a bypass off of I-94 using state highway M-39 (previously mH in that stretch, now MH/principal arterial) for about three miles to join I-75. This was not even an option before but it is only three minutes more than the direct I-94 route. The blue alternative is part of the pre-NFC suggested route, but instead of backtracking to take US-23 to M-14 to I-96, Waze now suggests a road straight north to get to M-14 (previously primary street, now mH/minor arterial).

Another consideration is that people should look at how their state DOT actually classifies the roads in your state if you have not. You will find that some states fit the traditional Waze road types well, and others are nowhere close. sketch references the links on each state's mapping resources page, but since those are not altogether complete, here is a link to current FC maps.

russblau wrote:Comment: in general, I think FC is a good basis for assigning road type; I think the references to route numbering should be removed. In practice, there is a fairly high degree of correlation between route numbering and road function, but it is definitely not 100%. In those cases where a US highway serves the function of a minor highway because it travels along a narrow street with traffic lights and driveways, or where a state highway serves the function of a major highway because it has few intersections and permits high-speed through travel, the road's function should take precedence over its numbering.

Agreed, but this is an area where different DOTs may treat things differently, so it's worth looking at this in more detail. Some may lower the functional classification of a road such as US-XX through a lower-speed, full-access urban stretch while others (including Michigan) typically do not. We have some state highways at mH and plain city-controlled roads as MH in numerous cases when applying FC. Politics, funding, etc. may come into play with a designation too as sketch mentioned.

dbraughlr wrote:I would like to see the rationale documented for the exception for ramps to be used for at-grade connectors.

I believe that dbraughlr may be referencing the bit about jughandles and Michigan lefts specifically. In the case of Michigan Lefts, sketch tested and tweaked the exception for a signed but unnumbered at-grade exit from a roadway. It has to meet specific signage criteria and be at an actual major intersection, not just a standard median crossover. By the way, as GizmoGuy411 and I built that section of the Michigan wiki explaining Michigan Lefts (a colloquial term), we settled on the term "Median U-Turn Intersection" as the best documented naming convention, especially as these are employed under numerous names throughout the US, and they are increasing. If the exception part stays on the revised Road Types page, I believe it should go toward the more or less "official" name for these styles of intersections. Drop "Michigan Left" in favor of MUTI... It should be an at-grade exception in more than a few people's opinions. I think this is mostly because an instruction like "to Telegraph Rd S / US-24 S / to Grand River Ave W / M-16 W" is a bit much to see on a 10-15m segment and pollutes the visual. "Ramps" don't have street names--they carry instructions. The same goes for jughandles and MUTIs.

dbraughlr wrote: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.

Perhaps this page does not go into enough detail about how to apply FC in certain circumstances, or perhaps that should be somewhere else, but the guideline as adopted in Michigan when we went FC statewide was to never downgrade a road type just to match functional classification, but it would be okay to maintain or upgrade based on local editor knowledge. Also, we had another one such as what to do with dirt roads, particularly since a number of minor collectors in our state are dirt.
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby sketch » Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:53 pm

Regarding state highways: I'm aware that many states have sort of ridiculous state highway systems. That's the purpose of the "Note" at the end of the Minor Highway section. Louisiana's highway system is ridiculous. At least you guys have the >400-series / secondary routes distinctions there; ours are assigned sequentially so the number is, functionally, almost useless. At least most of the 0.05 mile state highways were finally removed in 2010. Anyway, I will include in the note a link to the state mapping resources pages, and each state mapping resources page should if necessary include a rule about secondary state highways.

Regarding County Routes, the Primary Street section does say that "Some states designate county routes" (emphasis added). The rule is there for the states that do.

Regarding adding numbered routes in general, I find it adds quite a lot to rural areas where functional class is of limited help. Of course it depends on the state, but for sake of example, look at the LA functional class state map (large file ~10MB); some areas around Bienville, Jackson, Ouachita, and Winn Parishes, and the Gulf Coast in Cameron Parish in the southwest corner; are 30-40 miles from the nearest Arterial. Instead of one taking precedence over the other, whichever is higher takes precedence instead — Waze can use traffic data to discount a higher-type road, but not to count a pruned lower-type road.
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby kentsmith9 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:12 pm

Sketch, in this section it appears it would be good to add more in explaining why the Jug handles and MI left, in addition to the turn lanes, should use the ramp type. Perhaps we can link to the more detailed article that I have already updated here and include the Jug Handles and MI left to this page as part of the explanation.
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby sketch » Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:53 pm

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

Postby qwaletee » Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:55 pm

If there's one thing I've learned from dealing with 20 years of process and classification documentation, its that you sketch out (no pun intended) the basic idea, then build the exception system before continuing. Because There Will Be Exceptions, and you need a system in place for allowing them... probably a combination of process (approval by a regional manager or champ, for example), and a list of common exceptions that may not need approvals. For approval, there should be some minimum of guidance, or you'll have the senior editors either tied up in knots and arguments, burnout and reactinary responses, or all of the above.
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby sketch » Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:15 pm

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.
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