So from the Palo Alto meetup, the consensus for primary streets is to use the NFC? Is that right? If so, the Wiki needs to be updated to state that the one and only source for whether or not it's a primary street is the NFC. That does make for a very cut and dry way of determining what's a primary street and what isn't because it removes all interpretation from the equation.
Unfortunately, that does create issues with highways. Based on the second example, which seems to be what is preferred, US-31 for its entire length in Emmet County would be dropped to a minor highway even though it's the only major route on the western side of the state to the Bridge, which is the only route to the UP within the state by road. That really doesn't make sense. And Levering Rd between Levering and Cheboygan, which is part of the Michigan County Highway system (note the word highway) would be dropped to a primary street by both of those examples, while the western side would be a minor highway. Can you explain the point in that? Even without considering that this is a labeled highway by the state, there is far less reason to take Levering Rd toward Cross Village than to take it toward Cheboygan. So why is it a higher classification toward Cross Village? Cross Village may have a decent population, but it does not have the larger grocery or shopping stores that Cheboygan has. Cheboygan is one of the main shopping destinations in northern Michigan (the others being Petoskey and Mackinaw City). Getting there is far more important than getting to Cross Village. Pleasantview Rd is also part of the county highway system and would be dropped to a primary street instead of a highway based on these.
I really don't put much faith in MDOT's maps anyhow. They can't even place their county highways on the right roads on some maps, even when the highway is well-signed.
I think that using the NFC as a resource has value, but without treating it as being the be all and end all. There are just far too many things that don't make any sense on it. In the end, local knowledge really should be used as a deciding factor over what makes sense in the area. Most of the DOT map makers are likely in southern Michigan and have little to no direct knowledge of what it's like to drive the streets of northern Michigan on a daily basis. They make assumptions based on whatever figures they have, but those assumptions are likely tainted by what is true in urban areas, but may not be true in rural areas.
As far as the roads that were responded to... As I mentioned, I'm fine with Robinson Rd being primary on the west side of US-31. And although traffic *significantly* drops off (my estimate based one what I've witnessed would be a drop of 90%) at Pleasantview Rd, I'd even be okay with it going all of the way to the shore. It really is the only road that will take you there from around the Pellston area without having to change roads multiple times. There is value in that. Van Rd still really isn't a main road regardless of the maps. It has steep hills that are avoided in the winter and even in the summer, those just kill gas mileage, so people tend to avoid it then as well. Further down the road, it stops being a straight road and you have multiple sharp corners compared to other routes that are mostly straight or have corners that aren't as sharp so you can maintain speed. In short, it isn't well-traveled unless you're living on or off the road itself (or going to someone who lives there). As a through road, it's not used anywhere near as often as Robinson or Levering roads.
Your route from Edgar to Trick seems direct to me. I only did it in the Live map, but it is definitely how I'd go. Robinson to State to Trick. Maybe the client routes differently as we've been told many times. But once I am allowed access to the shoreline, State will be changed to a minor highway as it's a county highway, so the routing will be even more likely to route there.
And my last comment for now is in regard to Mundt. Yes, it is a dirt road and based on a user's settings, may be skipped altogether. The point I was making was that IF a user did not have dirt roads skipped AND there wasn't a primary street marked, Waze could route them through Mundt as both faster and shorter. As a driver, if I want the fastest (or shortest) route, then that is what I want. If I say I am willing to drive on a dirt road and that road is faster, then that is the route I want to be given. As a driver, I don't care about classification so much as getting to my destination using the fastest (or shortest) route available. For Waze to assume that I want to drive a certain direction that is longer just because the road is a certain classification is a bad decision as far as I'm concerned. That may be what Waze wants to do, but I don't agree with it. Keep in mind that this is simply a quick example that I could quickly find. It is obviously a very minimal difference in time or distance and the time it takes to make the turn onto Mundt may actually make it take longer than going the longer route. The point wasn't really that this particular road was important. It was to show that marking something as a primary street can adversely affect routing as it can make it so Waze will not route the way that makes the most sense. Especially if you leave it to the NFC to determine what classifications to use.
You stated that Waze feels that road classification should play no role in routing. Obviously that isn't the case. It also perhaps isn't the best option in all cases either. I think Streets, Primary Streets, and Minor Highways should never have any effect on routing. If you are ON a Major Highway or Freeway, then it should prefer to keep you on there unless there is a good reason to route you off. We don't really want to start routing people on and off Major Highways or Freeways just to save a few seconds or even a minute. Not only will that annoy drivers, but it can be dangerous. If you are not on a Major Highway or Freeway, those should not be preferred in any way over other road types so that the routing engine doesn't force you onto them when there are better routes available.
Michigan - Northern LP.
Waze running on Samsung Galaxy S3.