sketch, if I left off an "s" on routes at some point in the discussion, it was not on purpose. As I stated, there are multiple valid primary streets in Mackinaw City. I never suggested a single route in a city.
People living off Townline Rd in that subdivision use Townline to get to the nearest arterial highway.
And what you're saying would indicate that a LOT of roads should be primary and that really doesn't make sense. Just about any subdivision isn't going to be directly connected to a highway. This isn't an urban area where half the roads around you are highways of some form or another. That doesn't mean every road leading from a subdivision to a highway should be a primary street. That would end up being 90% of all roads in northern Michigan. That isn't a help to anyone.
And what if you want to go from Pellston to your friend's lake house on Mullett Lake just south of Mullett Burt Rd? Any route which only followed highways would take you completely out of the way.
Again, this is true everywhere. If I want to go to someone's house *anywhere* in northern Michigan, a highway is likely not going to get me the entire way. It may get me most of the way, but then unless they are right on the highway, I'll have to drive through a variety of roads to get to the final destination. I don't need hundreds of primary streets going to every possible destination in order to find my way.
Consider the blanket statements you're making and what they naturally evolve to mean. If you say that any subdivision not connected to a highway should have a primary street connecting it to a highway, then you'll have hundreds or thousands of primary streets all over the place. If you say that any destination not attached to a highway needs a primary street to show you how to get there, then you'll have hundreds or thousands of primary streets all over the place. Currently, we are talking about a small number that have been marked, but the statements you're making would affect a very large number of roads that have the exact same characteristics.
Why did it do that? Because the Division Rd portion of 32 Mile is not marked as a Primary Street.
Or because Gratiot is a primary street? If that wasn't a primary street, the routing engine could have just as easily chosen Division as it would have been the same type of street.
Let's see if I can explain this any differently.
First, I think that to raise a street to primary street or a minor highway to a major highway should have a good reason for doing so. What makes it more important? Can a valid reason be shown for why it is more important than other roads around it? If so, then it deserves the raised classification. If not, then it does not. If no one can show a good reason for a particular road to have a higher classification, then why should it? I'm not talking definitions here or DOT choices. I'm talking about actual reasons.
I can't just go through every street that was marked primary at this time unless someone wants me to do so. But I'll once again touch on Van Rd. Give me a good reason for Van Rd. Why is it more important than any of the cross streets or other streets in the area? Why is it more important than Ely Rd? Ely Rd is the same speed and has fewer hills. It connects all houses in the area to either US-31 or the county highway that is N Pleasantview Rd. I'm looking for any valid reasons specific to the road itself when compared to all other streets in the area. Because it's long? That's not a valid reason. Because it connects two highways? That isn't a valid reason. Many roads do that and as I stated, traffic will use Robinson or Levering roads instead.
Second, forget the name "primary street" and what definition is used for it. Consider what reason you may have to mark a street different from another one on a map without regard to what anyone else says about the street. Consider it from your own view. You'd mark roads differently so that main routes are visible on the map. These are the routes that will get you around the map before you need to start driving down all of the lesser roads to get to your final destination. As I explained and no one refuted, once all county highways are properly marked, every main city/town destination you'd be heading to from I-75 in northern Michigan will have a route that is visible at highway speeds without primary streets being necessary.
Is there value in creating a grid of primary streets across the state where every north/south and east/west road is marked as primary? That would get you a primary street to just about everywhere. I really don't think that's valuable, but it's what you're suggesting even if you're not directly saying that.
I think another issue that we're running into here relates to the way Waze puts too much emphasis on highways. Supposedly they are changing that. When they do, Waze should provide a much better route regardless of road type. I think there is so much concern over that, that what is actually good for the map is forgotten in place of workarounds for the routing server. That's what you apparently experienced with Gratiot Rd. The thing is that in northern Michigan, you will actually have fewer routing problems if you don't complicate routing with unnecessary primary streets. Necessary ones, yes. But not ones that really have no value.
Let's say that I wanted to get from Van to Larks Lake and Van Rd was not marked as a primary street. Do you think Waze would route me to Levering Rd because it's a minor highway then down N Pleasantview Rd (another minor highway) to Van Rd and out to Larks Lake? Or do you think it would route me down Van Rd even though it's just a street? Do you really believe that it needs to be a primary street to be routed that way instead of being routed down just the highways? On a very long trip, that would be true because of the poor way Waze chose to set up the routing engine. But these destinations would never be in the middle of a long trip. They'd be at the beginning or end. If this part of northern Michigan were in the middle of a long trip, then the person is either driving on US-31 or I-75 and not driving out in the middle of the state. When you're on short routes or routes ending or beginning in a location, Waze will use Streets just fine. It may still prefer highways, but if there is a faster route on a Street after whatever penalty is applied, it will use it. And I highly doubt enough penalty would be applied for Waze to route you away from Van Rd in this situation even if it's just a street. If it did and it was necessary to force routing by changing the road classification because of how Waze wrote their routing server, then that could be okay if it was felt that there was sufficient need... at least until they change how the routing is handled in regard to Streets. But for most of these, they really aren't needed as workarounds to routing problems.
Take a look at Brutus/Burt Lake. Let's say I want to route to the center of that primary street that was added there. Without it being a primary street, do you think Waze would have any trouble routing me there? It certainly doesn't provide a more direct and better route for anyone unless they happen to already be in the middle of those roads.
As far as your Mullet Lake example, without the primary streets, would Waze really route you so far out of the way? Or would it route you down the Streets? I can't test that because they are primary streets already. It certainly shouldn't because there is far too much distance and time involved and once again, Streets are valid routes whenever you aren't in the middle of a long trip and these destinations we're discussing wouldn't be necessary to reach in the middle of a long trip. They would be either the start or stop destinations.
I can verify that Waze does route you down Streets instead of using highways when the highways are slower. It did that for me today. My main route follows one state highway west, to a state highway south, to a state highway east. Today, halfway to the highway heading south, Waze decided to recalculate to save me 2 minutes. It took me off the first state highway, down two different Streets and then out to the final state highway just a little west of where the southern state highway meets it. It didn't have to be a primary street for that to happen. Which shows that even if Townline can be faster than M-27, it doesn't have to be a primary street for Waze to use it in those instances.
Anyhow, if good reasons specific to the roads showing that there is good reason for each specific road to be a primary street, then okay. But if not, then why? "Just because" or "Because others are doing it" just really aren't good reasons.
All I ask is that some valid reason for each street is given as to why it needs to be a primary street. I have not yet heard any reason why these streets are more important than the ones around them from a driver's perspective. I have given many reasons why some of these streets shouldn't be primary streets. I have not heard any response to those reasons or alternative reasons why they should be. Why not?
As I have stated before, I am not against primary streets either in cities and towns or across the countryside. But I think there should be a good reason to use them and not just because you feel like it or because DOT says so. We've already established that we aren't using DOT to determine what roads should be in Waze in other discussions going back quite a ways. I've seen numerous posts from champs about that. I support primary streets when they have a purpose. If they don't have a purpose, then I don't support them.