sketch wrote:It seems rare.
Spend a week driving the afternoon rush in LA, and no odd Waze behavior will seem all that rare anymore
sketch wrote:According to staff, the old problem where dead-end U turns used to be used erroneously shouldn't occur anymore, because of the small detour prevention mechanism, implemented early 2014. I haven't seen an example of it since then, so maybe it is actually working for this particular case.
Aside from the dead-end problem which I experienced only once..
I think I've only been given the dead-end turn-around U-turn route once, and that was in 2012. I have, however, seen URs with suggested routes which appear to have been such turnarounds, and fairly
recently. Can you more narrowly define "early 2014"?
U-turns under other
conditions are more frequent for me. Not common
, but not exactly rare
. I speculated in my previous post that Waze may assess a penalty when considering a U-turn (on an un-split road), such that the routing server will consider other options first. Let me explain what makes me think this. The likelihood that I will be given a U-turn in my route goes up exponentially with the heaviness of the traffic around me. I never get them when driving in the late evening, or in more remote, less crowded areas.
Between 4 and 6PM, there are parts of LA where streets in close proximity to the freeways become so gridlocked that it can literally take 15 to 30 minutes to traverse a single city block, and it's times and places like these when Waze is most likely to throw me a U-turn, rather than sending me around the block, like it usually would. in other words, instances which might overcome penalties.
Take the situation in my screenshot, for example. Here's a view from before I approached the turn. I panned ahead, to see why Waze was having me turn the "wrong" way on 120th St.
You can see what Waze was up to here. The normal route is to take a right at 120th, and then another right onto the ramp for I-105 E, the tail of which can be seen in bright scarlet red on the right. It was stacked with a line of cars waiting for the meter to enter the freeway. Because that ramp was jammed, it made more sense to Waze for me to turn the other way, make a U, and get on the ramp from NB Crenshaw instead. This wasn't a situation where there was no other practical way to route me. The U was just a faster way. But in my experience, Waze would never suggest this if the other on-ramp were only half as jammed. I know, because this is a regular route for me.
sketch wrote:The screenshots uploaded by davielde and ottonomy
When did those occur? Because something has changed. It used to do this...
My screenshot is from March 28, 2014. I don't recall ever
having seen an actual U prompt on screen, and believe me, when I get a route with a U in it, I'm staring at my screen and trying to figure out what
Waze is doing. I was also wondering whether your shot was from a beta build or production. At least since the beginning of 2013, there have not been any on-screen arrows or instructions which suggest that a U-turn is ahead, where the highlighted route just stops.
I am of the opinion that bowties should never be used where U turns are permitted.
Agreed on generally limiting the use of bow-ties, but I think you are overlooking the best use-case for them, which is the ability to selectively
allow U-turns in different directions at a given intersection. In your part of the country, are there few locations where U-turns are only legal in one, two, or three out of four directions? We have that sort of arrangement at every other intersection in LA, it seems, and they are often in areas where the only alternative to a U is a very long and ugly detour. I don't like bow-ties any more than anyone else does, but until we have junction boxes, they serve a purpose, and not exclusively that of disallowing U-turns.
My own dislike for bow-ties is what led me, in my earlier editing days, to make much heavier use of at-grade connectors for left turns. They can effectively allow or disallow U-turns, but don't fit every situation. I still use them occasionally, but have had so many of mine deleted by the CM clutter police, I resort more often to bow-ties, because they're more likely to stick around.
... "Turn left on [x]" is utterly confusing when what you have to actually do is make a U turn. The entire reason bowties exist is to prevent U turns. Keep the road split like normal so it can say "Turn left on [y] then turn left on [x]".
What should the guidance be?
I would support enabling U turns only on actually-divided highways that are not divided ("split") in Waze, for the time being. In my experience, it only happens very rarely, so I don't think it'll cause a whole lot of confusion. After all, if the driver just drives past that point, they'll get a recalculation. If it gives them another U turn after that, they'll probably figure it out.
While I do agree with you that "Turn left onto [the road you're on]" is potentially confusing, I don't see how "Turn left onto [something], and then turn left onto [the road you're on]" is really much less
confusing. They are both bad
prompts, and swinging a U hardly resembles a two-turn maneuver than it does a single turn. Yes, it's nice to hear the name that will be on the sign where you'll be making the initial turn, but that doesn't always happen. Because of issues like street name changes at intersections, we often leave the cross segments un-named. In those cases, the double prompt names the street you're on twice
in any of these bow-tie or regular-split intersection cases, a quick look down at the screen will
show you a highlighted route with a clear turn-around point ahead. It's an understandable visual cue.
I'm not sure how you can say that a bow-tie prompt is "utterly confusing", but in the next breath more or less dismiss the far more baffling (lack of) instructions for an un-split road U-turn. I don't think you are considering just how confusing that can be, and how frustrating it is when it happens at a time and place where a mistake and recalculation can cost all the time savings for which you were using Waze in the first place.