HOV lane navigation

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Re: HOV lane navigation

Postby CBenson » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:23 am

I'm not sure exactly what's happening to the HOT lanes. What happens to the HOV lanes inside Edsall Rd.?
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Re: HOV lane navigation

Postby mysticcobra » Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:58 pm

attheyard wrote: If waze had a separate setting like toll roads for HOV's, the user could turn them on or off as routing options.


I think this is the key. We should have an option to use or not use HOV. I would still like to see, when looking at route choices, this a certain route is Express or HOV or Toll or whatever with some sort of icon or asterisk or warning.
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Re: HOV lane navigation

Postby mysticcobra » Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:01 pm

CBenson wrote:I'm not sure exactly what's happening to the HOT lanes. What happens to the HOV lanes inside Edsall Rd.?


I was just reading about this yesterday...from Edsall Rd north will continue as they are today. HOV3 and no toll. "Express" lanes end at Edsall Rd meaning cars with less then 3 people must exit.
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Re: HOV lane navigation

Postby CBenson » Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:54 pm

MysticCobra wrote:
attheyard wrote: If waze had a separate setting like toll roads for HOV's, the user could turn them on or off as routing options.


I think this is the key. We should have an option to use or not use HOV.

There are some issues to solve because the HOV restrictions vary. First, the number of vehicle occupants required to access the lanes is not consistent across the region, so its possible to be eligible to use some HOV lanes but not others. Second, the I-95/I-395 lanes are reversing lanes. So we need to be able to both designate the road as HOV and also designate when the road is open in the appropriate direction.

MysticCobra wrote:I would still like to see, when looking at route choices, this a certain route is Express or HOV or Toll or whatever with some sort of icon or asterisk or warning.
I don't use toll roads enough, but think that waze is doing this for toll roads. We'll have to wait and see what is developed for HOV lanes. I'm not sure a separate road property is warranted for express lanes. Most of the express lanes around here do have the express designation in the road name, so it may show on the route designations at times.
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Re: HOV lane navigation

Postby mysticcobra » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:20 pm

CBenson wrote:
MysticCobra wrote:
attheyard wrote: If waze had a separate setting like toll roads for HOV's, the user could turn them on or off as routing options.


I think this is the key. We should have an option to use or not use HOV.

There are some issues to solve because the HOV restrictions vary. First, the number of vehicle occupants required to access the lanes is not consistent across the region, so its possible to be eligible to use some HOV lanes but not others. Second, the I-95/I-395 lanes are reversing lanes. So we need to be able to both designate the road as HOV and also designate when the road is open in the appropriate direction.

MysticCobra wrote:I would still like to see, when looking at route choices, this a certain route is Express or HOV or Toll or whatever with some sort of icon or asterisk or warning.
I don't use toll roads enough, but think that waze is doing this for toll roads. We'll have to wait and see what is developed for HOV lanes. I'm not sure a separate road property is warranted for express lanes. Most of the express lanes around here do have the express designation in the road name, so it may show on the route designations at times.


The HOV restriction times will be tough in some cases. On I-66 inside the beltway, it is based on time and they only change once every couple years at most. In some areas, like the reversible I-95 HOV (soon to be HOT) lanes, I feel like the reversal is more manual and less structured. I'm sure there's a schedule but I don't know how well they adhere to it. We need to hear from someone who lives in Stafford/Fredericksburg.

I think designating the beltway Express/HOT lanes as a separate roadway IS warranted especially since 1. the speeds will likely be very different and 2. there are new exits/ramps that are ONLY for getting into and out of the Express Lanes (Jones Branch, Westpark, Gallows). These can be huge time savers.
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Re: HOV lane navigation

Postby CBenson » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:01 pm

MysticCobra wrote:I think designating the beltway Express/HOT lanes as a separate roadway IS warranted especially since 1. the speeds will likely be very different and 2. there are new exits/ramps that are ONLY for getting into and out of the Express Lanes (Jones Branch, Westpark, Gallows). These can be huge time savers.

Makes sense to me.
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Re: HOV lane navigation

Postby attheyard » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:36 am

Addressing some of the above: (sorry I don't know how to quote, haven't really done forums like this for awhile).

1) I use 95 north and south every day from south of springfield to maryland. The HOV lanes have varying travel times and I often have to take a gamble as to whether or not the HOV lanes will be faster or the regular lanes. It would be nice to have waze make that decision for me. Today is a great example of the problem-there was a major accident on 95 south so I took a chance and took the HOV lane home (it was after 6 pm so they were open). Waze wanted me to take rt. 1 south instead. Route 1 has a lot of lights on it and is usually also congested so I decided against it. Luckily, my bet paid off and the HOV lanes were clear. There are two things to realize about the HOV lanes on 95 in particular:
a) Even though they are reversible, the exits to get on them are very far apart from the exits to get onto the regular 95. There are gates blocking cars from getting on the roads so if it is closed you can't physically get onto the road and go the wrong way...I've seen people try, it doesn't work. So, if waze tells you to take the HOV lanes, and the gate is closed, it will automatically reroute you because you will have to make a distinctly different turn. This is significant, because in other places where the roads are close together, waze doesn't necessarily know what road you're actually on: If waze says to take 495 thru across the woodrow wilson bridge and you take local instead, waze won't figure it out until you exit because the roads are so close together and there is not a significant turn to take one or the other.
b) HOV2/HOV3, etc. is clearly marked on the signs. It would be nice to get a warning from waze, as other gps systems are able to do, but if you drive in the area regularly you should know the law and be able to read the signs.

To point b above, I could see this being a problem with thru travelers, new residents or folks who just don't pay attention to details. That's exactly the reason I suggested making them toll roads. If a user is familiar/intelligent enough to figure out when the lanes can be used, just mark them toll roads and let the user decide if they want to take the risk. I realize there are other problems with this method, such as being routed onto a toll road unexpectedly when leaving the feature on to use it for HOV lanes. Long-term, there really should be an HOV lane designation. I don't think the differences between HOV3 vs HOV2 or HOT lanes are significant, as there are multiple signs on the road itself and the user should be able to determine if the roads can legally be used or not.

2) The speeds are significantly different on HOV lanes vs. regular at certain times of the day. This can make a big difference in travel time. To that end, the current system of having the entire road marked as a parking lot road works very well once the user has chosen to take the road (assuming waze recognizes you are on the road, which is not always the case depending on the severity of the turn onto it-see above). Once the user is on the road and waze recognizes this fact, waze can handle the resulting routing. The only problem is that the user assumes the risk of actually getting onto a slower road when he initially makes the decision to switch to the HOV lanes, as there is no estimated time on waze, he just has to assume the HOV lane will be faster. This mostly comes into play when there is an accident in the HOV lanes. On 95 and 495, this is detrimental, because of the jersey barriers-once you get into the lanes you cannot get out except at designated exits.

3) I66 inside the beltway is another beast entirely. I have no idea how this road works. My Garmin constantly wants me to take this road and I have to bail. This is one of the few roads that is also consistently monitored by police so a mistake can cost you.

4) Non-isolated HOV lanes are insignificant, such as most of I66 outside the beltway. This discussion also applies to parts of 270 north of the beltway, and likely other roads I am unaware of.

My $0.02, a little long winded. Now that the 495 HOT lanes are open they should be specifically addressed at a minimum.
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Re: HOV lane navigation

Postby CBenson » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:55 am

I think you make good point regarding the 95 HOV lanes. The more I think about this, the more I agree.

attheyard wrote:So, if waze tells you to take the HOV lanes, and the gate is closed, it will automatically reroute you because you will have to make a distinctly different turn. This is significant, because in other places where the roads are close together, waze doesn't necessarily know what road you're actually on: If waze says to take 495 thru across the woodrow wilson bridge and you take local instead, waze won't figure it out until you exit because the roads are so close together and there is not a significant turn to take one or the other.

I think this is the key point. I don't think the current HOV mapping policy is driven by reversible roads so much. Rather, the question is if waze routes over the HOV lanes and the gate is open, will the driver understand to not take the HOV lanes. However, this is exactly what happens with 66 inside the Beltway. 66 is time restricted HOV only inside the Beltway. 66 is simply marked as a freeway and waze routes everybody on it regardless of their HOV status. Those driving alone need to understand to take a different route. I'm not sure why we should do the same for the 95 HOV lanes.

I guess the other significant question is whether the waze HOV policy needs to be consistent. In other words if the VA editors decide that making the 95 HOV lanes routeable makes sense, do you need agreement from the rest of the waze community.
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Re: HOV lane navigation

Postby attheyard » Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:45 pm

I think part of the issue with 66 is that not only is it time sensitive, but it is a very different route than other ways to get into the city or wherever you're going. If someone unfamiliar with the area is routed onto 66 and plans to take the road until they actually get to the exit and then have to re-route, it can really screw up your day. During rush hour, you have to know you can't take that route when you're at least 10 miles away if you want any hope of making it where you're going on time. The time sensitive roads are a huge problem in general, but waze needs to address this. Another example of this: Clara Barton parkway (and many other roads) in DC is reversible. I have twice been routed to the Clara Barton parkway in the afternoon only to find I can't make the turn into the city and taken an extra hour to get to my destination because of it. Some of this should work itself out in the future, as the I95 lanes will become hot lanes in a few years:

http://www.vamegaprojects.com/about-meg ... hot-lanes/
http://www.vamegaprojects.com/tasks/sit ... arrows.pdf

I think there should be some agreement on how to handle these types of lanes. Probably not country-wide, but NOVA/DC/MD is pretty inclusive in terms of folks who use the roads so some consistency would be good. By the looks of things, I66 inside the beltway is inconsistent with 95, which is not quite the same as 270 either.
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Re: HOV lane navigation

Postby mysticcobra » Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:56 pm

Some excellent points. I still say that waze should give users the option of taking these HOV roads as a separate possible route. This includes I-95/I-395 HOV lanes south of DC, I-66 inside the beltway, the 495 Express lanes in VA, etc.
Waze should also notate (just like a toll road) with a little icon in the corner that this is an HOV road. Let the user use their brain (and read the signs) and decide which route they want. We know wazers are smarter than the average driver so this shouldn't be difficult, right? :)
There are a lot of important rules (# passengers, type of EZPass, motorcycle, etc) with these roads that require the user to make some decisions.
How hard would it be to add an asterisk or little footnote with a sentence warning the user whenever one of these HOV roads is chosen (or suggested) that they need to be aware of these rules?
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