What to do with Major Dirt Roads?

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What to do with Major Dirt Roads?

Postby Panther37 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:34 am

I have been changing any dirt road into a dirt road. But now I 'm not so sure. There are some dirt roads that I've driven 60+ MPH on. They are sort of "Major" dirt roads. Should these be upgraded to streets?

Here's an example: https://www.waze.com/editor/?zoom=3&lat ... 1,70834144
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Re: What to do with Major Dirt Roads?

Postby jemay » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:11 am

That has been a continuing debate. The road is still a dirt road. Until we get the option for a street that is dirt and 4x4 road (as a separate option), we have to mark it as dirt. So the people that don't want to travel over dirt roads don't get routed that way.
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Re: What to do with Major Dirt Roads?

Postby davielde » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:34 am

In my area of Michigan, we have "major" dirt roads that are part of the mile grid and in many cases are functionally classified as collectors. We mark them as dirt to preserve the "avoid" or "avoid long" routing options. The quality of the roads varies from road to road as well, but some people here opt not to drive even good quality dirt roads due to the amount of dust that you can generate at high speeds. It's easy to change the avoid option for users who want to drive them.
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Re: What to do with Major Dirt Roads?

Postby AndyPoms » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:52 pm

We've had this discussion at great length before - a lot of it comes down to what locals expect. In CT, everything that is dirt/gravel/unpaved is marked as dirt - and none of them have a FC over "local" (i.e. "Street"). Users in CT expect "Avoid Dirt Road' to avoid ALL Dirt Roads (including those which are the only way to get to their destination - I've seen the URs).

In Louisiana, there are many, many unpaved, but well maintained roads that have a higher FC and the locals expect to be routed that way - to them a dirt road is more like a pair of tire tracks that you can still get a car down. In Louisiana many of those roads are typed higher and not classified as dirt.
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Re: What to do with Major Dirt Roads?

Postby Daknife » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:53 pm

For once Jemay is flat wrong and is speaking counter to the established practice. Note the full classification is dirt/4x4.

Here in the West dirt road types should be limited to those roads you wouldn't normally drive a car on. Meaning usually 4x4 quality roads or trails. Forest service roads that are dirt do usually get the dirt classification, but there are entire towns without a drop of asphalt on any of their streets. In the SW pavement is not always needed to maintain decent quality driving surfaces.

If the road gets any significant traffic it should be a street. As Jemay said we really really really need an unpaved option, but until we get it save dirt for roads people don't drive on very often.

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Re: What to do with Major Dirt Roads?

Postby Panther37 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:07 pm

What do we need to do for a consensus? I'm with daknife on this one even thought I'm just a lowly 3.
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Re: What to do with Major Dirt Roads?

Postby orbitc » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:47 am

daknife wrote:For once Jemay is flat wrong and is speaking counter to the established practice. Note the full classification is dirt/4x4.

Here in the West dirt road types should be limited to those roads you wouldn't normally drive a car on. Meaning usually 4x4 quality roads or trails. Forest service roads that are dirt do usually get the dirt classification, but there are entire towns without a drop of asphalt on any of their streets. In the SW pavement is not always needed to maintain decent quality driving surfaces.

If the road gets any significant traffic it should be a street. As Jemay said we really really really need an unpaved option, but until we get it save dirt for roads people don't drive on very often.

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Well, I don't think, Jemay is wrong.
First, we are still debating on the issue... Second, if there is a town with no other road but dirt road then waze will probably route using them anyway... as Waze did in NJ at Lincoln Tunnel awhile back. It routed against (wrong way) traffic in a tunnel where there is no other option.

I also agree with Jemay that there should be a way to differentiate those 4x4/trail/off-road/dirt roads from unpaved graveled roads.

I also wonder how many people actually look into settings and change the option to allow dirt road or not, as well as toll roads.
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Re: What to do with Major Dirt Roads?

Postby Daknife » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:43 am

We are still debating many things that have become widely accepted standards while the debates go on. This is not a US specific problem/question. As with the west there are many areas where many streets and even primary routes are unimproved. Simply saying if it is dirt, mark it as dirt is not the right answer. We must look at how the road in question is used.

Here in the deserts of the south west we have seen many instances of people getting, lost, stuck and even dead because of how their GPS device led them. So we do need discrmination in road types. There are towns with no pavement as I said before, but that was a poor example. Additionally there are towns with a mix of paved and dirt. If dirt is dirt that prevents waze from routing on those roads. When the locals have no qualms about using them. Those roads should all be streets, not dirt. We need this differentiation because if someone is driving on street quality unimproved roads and requests a route waze may keep them on dirt, sending them on a route that a 4x4 may hesitate to drive. The kind of route that gets people killed due to summer heat in the desert or winter cold in the mountains.

Ideally we all agree that Waze really needs to give us an unimproved check box that can work on any road type except maybe freeway. But until they do simply marking anything not paved as "Dirt/4x4" is the wrong answer. You must look at the terrain and likely useage. In the mountains dirt is dirt is fairly safe, but it's not absolute, there are mountain communities with carefully maintained dirt roads smoother than the streets of NYC (potholes). Those are not 4x4 roads by any means, and other than a little dust are no risk to any non truck car that drives on them. Those are streets.

Now as I said this concern is not exclusive to the west or even the US. One of the earliest debates on this I participated in was started by a New Zealander, and had people chiming in from africa and asia as well. Since day one the consensus has always settled on if it acts like a street, make it a street, regardless of the surface, be it dirt, gravel, asphalt or concrete.

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Re: What to do with Major Dirt Roads?

Postby orbitc » Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:23 am

In my opinion...

Until Waze separates 4x4 road type from dirt road type, we'll continue to argue with no end in sight.

This is because, some of those dirt roads you can drive with higher speeds (and almost all type of cars), other dirt roads you need off-road type trucks.

I think, we should know that there is an option for "Dirt roads." You can either allow, don't allow or avoid the long ones. So, if I live in a town where all the roads are dirt roads and marked as such using the option would help route. I doubt most of us use it.
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Re: What to do with Major Dirt Roads?

Postby Panther37 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:40 am

In Colorado, any road the state calls a "Major Road" of higher, I will change to the corresponding road class, minus one class. This upgrades anything that is a "Major Road" to a minimum of a "Street."
http://dtdapps.coloradodot.info/Otis/Flex/MapView (Turn on Base Layers --> Major Roads and Base Layers --> Highways - Functional Class)
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