Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable roads

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

Postby sketch » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:06 pm

Right, that's why county routes will be assigned type on a state-by-state basis. I mean simply to point out that some states will have county route systems that merit Primary Street. Louisiana's Parish Routes fit this; Michigan has some sort of dual system with both County Highways and County Roads, which are set differently.
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Re: urban versus rural

Postby sketch » Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:44 pm

dbraughlr wrote: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.

Except that that 23-mile series of switchbacks and mountain roads is probably the only alternative route to a freeway that probably relies on a tunnel through the side of a mountain, a tunnel which might be closed for extended periods of time for whatever reason, or through which vehicles of a certain size or carrying certain things might not be able to travel.

In particular I'm thinking of the Eisenhower Tunnel (I-70) and Loveland Pass (US-6), but I'm sure there are plenty others. Just because a road is slow and winding doesn't mean it doesn't carry significant traffic, including all trucks taller than 13.9' and all carrying hazardous materials. And what exactly are the downsides of making such a road Major Highway? They wouldn't bother to build or maintain a road up there if it wasn't important to have one.
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby sketch » Sun Apr 06, 2014 4:09 pm

That eliminates one argument against this system. :D
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby sketch » Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:36 am

dbraughlr wrote:What is the downside of making it a freeway? After all, it is doing the job of the closed freeway.

It's not a freeway.

There are two types that work for long-distance routes: freeway and major highway. Those that are freeways are freeways. Those that are not are major highways.

This reflects functional class as well — the three classes represented by these two types in Waze are classified one way or another as "principal arterials".

Not that I really needed to explain that to you, I'm sure you understand that already. And those mountain pass roads are probably going to be classified as other principal arterials anyway.


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

Postby sketch » Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:04 pm

dbraughlr wrote:I don't see how your statement "It's not a freeway" is somehow more valid than my statement "It is not a major highway either".

Because "freeway" is necessarily defined by physical configuration. It is the only type which remains as such. The entire point of this revision is to get away from using physical characteristics to define road type for all the other types because it does more harm than good.


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Re: minimum construction standards for road types

Postby sketch » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:39 am

dbraughlr wrote:For example: Eureka Way certainly should be offered as an alternative route. It is not horrible, but it's the first one I recalled. In my mind, it is a minor highway. It does not meet minimum standards for passing zones or straightness to be classified as MH for its entire length.

"Passing zones" and "straightness" do not a Major Highway make. "Eureka Way" serves all routes along the Reno - Redding - Eureka corridor. Reno to Eureka is a 346 mile trip along this, the shortest and fastest route. Set it to Minor, and that route won't work.

"User expectations"? The user expects to get the fastest route between two points, not the best-built highway. The user routing from Reno to Eureka and back expects to get a route along this road.

Lincoln Hwy / US-30 between Breezewood and McConnellsburg, PA, is another example - one which I am pleased to see is still mH in Waze and I think it should remain mH under any new system. If its US number forces it to MH, that is wrong imo.

It's a principal arterial, so you're out of luck here too.

Your "o" and everyone else's is precisely what we're trying to keep out of the road type system. One editor's opinion should not override the research and work done by the state and federal departments of transportation.
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Re: minimum construction standards for road types

Postby sketch » Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:15 am

dbraughlr wrote:
sketch wrote:Set it to Minor, and that route won't work.

That's the real real problem. It should work as minor. But like a freeway, MH should have a minimum standard.

What "minimum standard" do you propose? Here's one for you: to be a Major Highway, a road must be either a Principal Arterial or a US Highway.

Two types are used for routes over 200 mi: Freeway and Major Highway. So every non-Freeway road necessary for >200 mile routes must be set to Major Highway, or else routing won't work.

I have yet to find such a road that isn't classified as a Principal Arterial.

The functional classification of a road is based on a balance of the following factors: access vs. mobility, efficiency of travel, collectors, access points, speed limit, route spacing (i.e., how far or near other routes of the same class are), usage (traffic volume), number of travel lanes, and continuity. It's a flexible test; no one factor is determinative, and some factors will be more important than others depending on context. But above all, arterial routes are those which connect urban areas. This route connects urban areas, so it's a principal arterial, so it's a Major Highway.

"It should work as minor"? Why? Why should it be Minor at all? Because you don't like it? Tough. It's used for 350-mile routes, so it's Major. No reason for Waze to change the way types work just 'cause you don't like the name of the class it belongs in.

When selecting between routes, I like to see how many miles are interstate/freeway, how many MH, and how many mH. I should be able to choose an alternative either that avoids mH or accept a primary route knowing that it includes mH. Eureka Way might be shortest and fastest. But there are people who want to avoid it. I think I once counted that it changes direction 100 times in ~12 miles ... or something like that.

Except Waze doesn't tell you what's Freeway, Major, or Minor in the list of alternative routes. It tells you the names of the roads used. Sure, editors (~120,000 registered) can look at the map and check it out, but the vast majority of users (~90,000,000 registered – 750 times as many as there are editors) don't know or care that Minor and Major even exist, much less the difference between them or how each looks on the client map.

Eureka Way is shortest and fastest, so it should be the primary route given. Setting it to Minor would mean it's not given at all. Yes, there are people who want to avoid it. Those people are welcome to choose an alternative route using the alternative routes feature. But to suggest that it should be minor is to suggest that it should not be given at all, which is preposterous. Satisfy yourself by denying a route outright to everyone from Eureka who might want to take a long weekend in Reno.

Actually, don't.

As for the Lincoln Highway, it was the first interstate. It didn't become a highway through modern research. It acquired that designation circa 1925. It is truly a grandfather of highways.

Yes, but it has kept the designation all this time, and it became a principal arterial through modern research. If you're suggesting to me that the AASHTO/Congress/US DOT keeps routes around for their historical significance alone, you are sorely mistaken.
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby sketch » Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:09 pm

This overhaul was brought up at the North American meetup last weekend.

Staff's response was that it is up to us to decide for ourselves how to type our roads to work with Waze's display and routing server.

One of Waze's routing server developers was present at the meetup and found the criteria to be agreeable.

This standard is complete and I believe that we have reached a substantial level of consensus within this thread.

Therefore, I move to implement it.
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby sketch » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:13 pm

Good idea. Perhaps at the bottom of the article, in a sort of "appendix" section.

[edited to remove redundant info-gathering spreadsheet]
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby sketch » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:23 pm

Crap, I totally blanked on that. That's beautiful. Thank you.
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