Naming Michigan lefts

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Naming Michigan lefts

Postby sketch » Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:00 am

I think it's high time we got to this. Unnamed Michigan lefts (all of them, as far as I can tell) don't actually tell you where you're going -- telling you you're gonna have to turn left in 6 miles onto the road you're already on isn't helpful.

Some Michigan lefts have little green signs that tell you where they're gonna take you.

[ img ]

[ img ]

[ img ]

[ img ]

[ img ]

It seems pretty much standard that, if there is a sign, the road you're on is listed first, and the road you'd be going to or coming from is listed second, if at all. Most of the signs I've seen give both. If there is a name and a route number, typically the name is given first, with the route number second. The one up there on M-59 is an exception, but it's just before the beginning of the M-59 freeway portion, so maybe that has something to do with it.

To help navigating Michigan make sense, I think we should start naming those little Michigan left turnarounds, with a standard format: "to [road you're on] [direction you'll be going] / [road you might be eventually turning onto] [direction you'd be going if you made that turn]". So if you're travelling westbound on Metro Pkwy at Gratiot, the label for the Michigan left turnaround would read "to Metro Pkwy E / Gratiot Ave S". If you're traveling south on the expressway portion of M-53 at 30 Mile, the label for the turnaround would be "to M-53 N / 30 Mile Rd E".

In cases where there is both a name and a route number, in this case, I think we should leave the route number out. IMO, it's a waste of space to have to put "Gratiot Ave S / M-3 S" in there, and it would kind of defeat the purpose to lose out on the name of the other road because the first one used too much space on the screen. Unless you think it's better to use just the route number ...

The more common Michigan left sign, of course, is the one placed at the intersection from the other street:

[ img ]

That can be used to find the proper name to use on the Michigan left.

For more complicated intersections, if there is another, dedicated way to get to one of the two roads served by a Michigan left, then the turnaround doesn't need that instruction. See Van Dyke at 15 Mile:

https://www.waze.com/editor/?lat=42.551 ... TTFTTTTFTT

There is a dedicated connector to get from Van Dyke N to 15 Mile W, so it is not included on the turnaround. In contrast, there is no dedicated connector from Van Dyke S to 15 Mile E, so that instruction is included in the turnaround.

Also, since these are at-grade connectors, use the lower of the two road types at the intersection, even if they aren't actually physically connected. Even if that means a primary street in the middle of two minor highway spans (see the same example), we want to keep the road types as low as we can to limit displaying these names, but we need to keep it as high as we need to for navigation. If you're coming from or going to 15 Mile, you're on a primary street anyway, so having the turnaround as a primary street won't cause any trouble.

(Obviously you'd use Primary Street and not Dirt Road for the 30 Mile example up there. I would imagine, if the type of one street changes at an intersection, that it would be appropriate to use the higher of those two types for that road, to keep it both navigable and symmetrical.)

So, in short:
  • Name every Michigan left turnaround with the name of the two streets it serves in the directions it serves each preceded by "to" (NEW), starting with the street the Michigan left connects to; and
  • Type every Michigan left turnaround as a ramp (NEW) (changed from: "with the lower of the types of road it serves").

The link a couple paragraphs above is done up how I think it should be done.

What do you think? Good idea? Any issues with it?

In particular, how do you feel about dropping either the road name or route number when there are both?
Last edited by sketch on Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: changed to reflect further developments in the thread
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Re: Naming Michigan lefts

Postby sketch » Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:32 am

Additional considerations: Maybe "ramp" is a more appropriate type, even though it violates "at grade connector" rules, so as to suppress extraneous text on the map. New Jersey uses similar practices with their infamous "jughandles": viewtopic.php?f=276&t=48389

Long discussion there, and it's not exactly conclusive, but it seems most NJ editors have made an exception to the at-grade connector rule in cases where jughandles have Big Green Signs or Little Green Signs.

For a local example of a jughandle, check out New Haven: https://www.waze.com/editor/?lat=42.723 ... TTFTTTTFTT
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Re: Naming Michigan lefts

Postby robc007 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:45 am

For starters, please clarify if you are making a distinction between a Michigan Left (to or from a split road) and any ordinary split road connector.

Split road connectors have a very intuitive purpose of either turning left across the oncoming lanes, or a left U-turn to switch sides. These ordinary connectors would not need labels or names IMO.
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Re: Naming Michigan lefts

Postby jasonh300 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:48 am

I think this is one case where the u-turn should be set to the same Type as the adjoining road. I wouldn't use ramps, although the ramp type suppresses the name of the road showing on the map.

Here's an example of why.

This is a local Michigan Left:
[ img ]

Previously, Waze preferred this bad routing, which is not the "official" way to go, and during heavy traffic, it's difficult to fight your way into traffic after making the U-Turn. (This entire area was under heavy construction for several years, so the speed data is probably all FUBAR also.)
[ img ]

By making the "official" U-turn a Minor Hwy in the southeast corner of the shot, it gets everybody routing the correct way.
[ img ]

My only question is how you'd name the U-turn. It works well here as "U Turn". But if you were to name it "to Carrollton Ave", it's just going to tell you "Turn left at Carrollton Ave", which is a bad instruction and will generate complaints.
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Re: Naming Michigan lefts

Postby sketch » Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:52 am

Yeah, I'm talking only about Michigan lefts here, where two roads meet but don't allow you to make direct lefts, rather requiring a right followed by a U turn or a U turn followed by a right.

Ordinary connectors (we call them "U turn" here, but here they are typically signed "U turn") aren't typically used in long-distance routing, they're usually only used at the beginning or the end of a route if your start point or destination is on the opposite side you're supposed to be on. It's okay if those are Street type for that reason, and it's okay if they're unnamed because they only really serve the road you're already on.

Michigan lefts on the other hand are typically signed for both streets, and can be used in the middle of long routes.

---

Jason, according to my proposal, it would be named "to Earhart Blvd W / Carrollton Ave N".
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Re: Naming Michigan lefts

Postby robc007 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:57 am

sketch wrote:Yeah, I'm talking only about Michigan lefts here, where two roads meet but don't allow you to make direct lefts, rather requiring a right followed by a U turn or a U turn followed by a right.


So my next question is in the case of a right turn followed by a U turn, that's still just an ordinary split road connector for a U-turn. What is gained by naming it?
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Re: Naming Michigan lefts

Postby sketch » Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:05 am

robc007 wrote:So my next question is in the case of a right turn followed by a U turn, that's still just an ordinary split road connector for a U-turn. What is gained by naming it?

It depends on the intersection. Would you use the same connector as a U turn followed by a right turn onto the other road? Then it's a Michigan left. By naming the connector, you get the name of the street onto which you'd be making the Michigan left.

I'll use Hall Rd and Van Dyke as an example.

[ img ]

If you're traveling south on Van Dyke and need to go east on Hall Rd, then you're right, not much to gain from naming the connector. You'll already know that Hall Rd is the next step.

But if you're traveling west on Hall Rd and need to go south on Van Dyke, if it's left unnamed, your first instruction is "turn left at Hall Rd". Not very useful. With my proposal, your first instruction will be "Turn left at Hall Rd E / Van Dyke Ave S". So you'll know even when you're still ten miles from the turn that your next move is to make a Michigan left onto Van Dyke, without having to check the navigation list at 50 mph.

I make this proposal because I've had that exact problem, and I think it was at this exact location, too. People want to know which way Waze is taking them before they actually get there -- I know I do, anyway.
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Re: Naming Michigan lefts

Postby robc007 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:11 am

So it would be clearer to say this is a proposal for naming Michigan Left turns from a split road onto an intersecting road only. Turns onto a split road and split road course reversals are not necessarily affected.
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Re: Naming Michigan lefts

Postby sketch » Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:20 am

In a sense yes, turns onto a split road would not necessarily be affected, but they would be affected in places where they use the same segment as turns from a split road. The first instruction would be the same, but the second would change. Directly, however, yes, this mainly benefits Michigan left turns from a split road, without detriment to turns to a split road.

I'm thinking about it per-intersection, rather than per-turn. If there is one left turn from A to B at a given intersection that doesn't give the name of B in the first instruction, that's where this comes into play.

Standalone split road course reversals are not affected.
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Re: Naming Michigan lefts

Postby robc007 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:55 am

Seems like a good idea at the local level. I know there are bigger fish to fry at the state level, but since editors like me can't work the whole state we need good ideas like this. :)
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