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Naming Michigan lefts

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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.











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:



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

Post by davielde
After some initial positive feedback on the Michigan left from Jackson Rd E to Zeeb Rd N, I was asked to extend them to a few other areas around Ann Arbor that I can drive regularly. In each case, I've left a temporary "Other" landmark locked at 3 explaining what is going on and with a link to this forum topic. In each case, the angles are set for the "turn left onto the Mich Left / turn left on the main road / turn right onto the crossing road" TTS instruction.

Eisenhower Pkwy and Main
Jackson and Wagner
Jackson and Zeeb
Jackson and Baker
Huron Pkwy and Glazier Way

All of these are "standard" Michigan Lefts, but two also offer a continuation straight onto other streets in addition to the left turn. The main one is Jackson & Zeeb into the Meijer parking lot. Typically, these continuations are unlabeled and only the main cross street is mentioned. The Meijer intersection is something of an exception in that it has a small sign though showing arrows, but it has no text for the "straight" option. For now, these dual-purpose connectors are just labeled as standard Michigan lefts. Depending on signage or the importance of the straight option, how these are labeled could be an element for discussion. I can test any suggestions out at that intersection going forward.

Here's the signage at Jackson Rd W to Zeeb S. It shows the left "only" arrow and the left/straight arrow for the right lane. The same sign appears above the traffic light.
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Post by davielde
jemay wrote:Observation... The landmarks, why don't you use "Junction" (if you name it, it will appear on the client if is big enough.)
Because my RC said so ;) As sketch points out, they're only for temporary editor reference and not meant to display elsewhere.
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Post by davielde
sketch wrote:For the shared left situations, I've typically been using one segment for each purpose, like here: https://www.waze.com/editor/?lon=-82.90 ... TT&env=usa

It eliminates the confusion of someone seemingly being told to turn onto the other side of the road when they're actually going to a mall parking lot or some other street.

It could be accomplished with two stacked segments using the same nodes and tailored turn restrictions, which may look better on the map, but this is easier for other editors to see and understand. I haven't looked at this in the client to verify.
I swear that I saw a discussion somewhere about a potential future feature that would allow us to designate the number of lanes on a segment. I just spent ten minutes trying to find it on the forums, but was I just dreaming? If not and the champs are aware of it or its in beta, are # of lanes still under consideration, and would each lane have different turn restrictions?

BTW, the stacked segment only works if you enable the turn onto the ramp :) It's just outside my editing area, and since you're likely to see it as part of this discussion, would you mind fixing it? If not, I can post to the Unlock and Update Request forum.
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Post by davielde
At present, here are the main references to jughandles. There is just a brief mention the NJ wiki, but a lot of the champs have weighed in on a few different forum topics.
  • Wiki: New Jersey - under "Ramps" - "For this reason, at-grade jug handle ramps on the state's major highways that have exit-style signage should also be ramps. Other at-grade connectors that do not have exit style signage should follow the general rules for at-grade connectors."
  • Forum: Jughandles - probably the most valuable discussion
There seems to be a lot of consensus for using ramps for jughandles at at-grade connections. The NJ wiki reference to "exit style signage" would not be appropriate for most Michigan Lefts though. In practice, however, it looks like they are fairly loose with that standard.

To look at a few ML signage examples, I would hardly consider these "exit style", but at least they're green signs, and they exemplify what you would get at major cross streets. Sketch has a lot of really good ones in the first post on this topic, and some appear in other replies as well. If you're really lucky, you get something like this:

When a road is maintained locally instead of by MDOT though, you may get this at best:


This has been mentioned elsewhere, but just to mention it again, a ML is distinct from a simple turnaround or u-turn in that it occurs at a junction with a cross street that would be classified as primary or higher and typically has some form of signage for the other street. The turnarounds, however, usually have a similar dedicated left turn lane but may or may not have simple signs such as "left lane must turn left"--even when there is an option to continue straight onto another street as well as turn left. We would treat these as standard at-grade connectors and not use ramps, typically have no street name, and maintain both angles >45º to get the double "turn left" instruction rather than "keep left". From an editing standpoint, they would pretty much be the same thing as a ML except for the road type and naming convention.
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Post by davielde
sketch wrote:Regarding the double segments sharing an origin node, yes, I think that's a good idea. I'd prefer not to have them share an end node, though, for editor visibility and because of the documented problems with segments that share both nodes.
I agree that with double segments, sharing the origin would be ideal. It more accurately reflects the logical aspects of the road in that whether you end up with the u-turn or going straight onto a different road, your route shares the same departure point. In order to test this out in practice, I updated one turn near Jackson and Wagner to the single origin/separate end node suggestion. The existing Michigan Left ramp segment no longer ends at the node shared by Jackson Plz, which is now served by a new continuation segment matching the road type of Jackson Plz (I'm curious to see if TTS gets plaza right too...). The new segment only allows the continuation and has the left turn disabled since that function is served by the separate Michigan Left. I'll try to field test it on Monday to see how it works out.

Just out of curiosity, what are the documented problems with two segments sharing nodes? I can imagine routing problems where the one with faster average speed or shorter distance may be preferred, which could particularly mess with drivers if both have separate street names, etc. I haven't seen this anywhere on the map yet where it was intentional. Any other issues?
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Post by davielde
sketch wrote:In Michigan, however, I've never seen one of these signed as "U TURN" or anything like it, so I suppose I'd continue to leave them unnamed. I don't really know what you guys would call them up there, although I've seen a few around named "Turn Around".
Agreed. I would leave them unnamed as we don't really call them anything. Even "turn around" is a colloquial rather than official use that may vary depending on where in the state you were raised. Directions might sound like "Pull out onto Jackson and turn around to go the other way on Jackson and head straight into downtown".

EDIT: According to MDOT, it would be a "U-turn at median crossover". It is never signed as such.
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Last edited by davielde on Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by davielde
sketch wrote:To use the example posted by davielde:
A user needing to turn around will be told first "Turn left, at Jackson Rd E, to Wagner Rd S.", and then "Turn left, at Jackson Rd." A user needing to turn left onto Jackson Plz, on the other hand, will be told "Turn left, at Jackson Plz."
After driving these segments, once for the Michigan left, and the other for the continuation onto Jackson Plaza, those are the exact audio prompts for that setup.
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Post by bz2012
If you have not seen this, you might be interested.
http://www.katc.com/news/j-turns-changi ... e-us-90/#_
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Post by buzzardjoe
I want to revisit the Michigan Median U-Turn Intersection standard to propose a few revisions:
1. Eliminate the requirement for "proper signage"
2. Change the requirement for a 45-90 degree angle at the lead-in first junction to be <45 degrees.
3. Add a Lock Standard section

1. Eliminate the requirement for "proper signage"
* For a variety of reasons, there is not good consistency for when MUTI signage has been physically signed. The Woodward/7 Mile junction has no MUTI signage for any direction. If I were driving here, I would be reassured if Waze gave me the same full TTS instructions (to Woodward Ave N / to 7 Mile Rd E) here as at most other MUTIs.

* For the other turn-arounds (that don't service 2 different roads) that are generally unsigned, we currently configure with No Name. Going north on Woodward and needing to route to a sidestreet on the west side of Woodward, gives "Turn left on Woodward Ave south" two times -- the first time due to name inheritance. Waze announcing the name of the u-turn lane as "Woodward Ave south" is wrong because the people do not consider the "left-turn lane" leading up to and through the u-turn segment to be named for the cardinal direction going the other way. A properly configured MUTI works much better: "Turn left to Woodward Ave south" to move into the left turn lane, and then "Turn left on Woodward Ave south" to actually transition off the MUTI.

2. Change the requirement for a 45-90 degree angle at the lead-in first junction to be <45 degrees.
The currently written standard says "The initial junction ideally should be as close to the start of the solid white line as possible." This prompts the Wazer to move into the correct left turn lane as soon as possible and avoid missing it due to traffic backups. Waze announcing the direction change as a TL is wrong. You KL into a left turn lane, and then TL from the MUTI back onto the main road.

3. Add a Lock Standard section
A MUTI, or turn-around lane, is part of the road it is connected to They should all be locked at the same level.
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Post by buzzardjoe
Since MUTIs are to the left of BC, we don't currently get "exit" for angles <45, we get KL.
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