[Page Update] Junction Style Guide

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Re: [Page Update] Junction Style Guide

Postby sketch » Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:05 am

That sounds good.


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Re: [Page Update] Junction Style Guide

Postby sketch » Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:17 am

qwaletee wrote:"At least as many" is overstating it. There just needs to be enough to make the exit and "non exit" have some level of parity. Do we really want to exclude a situation where left has 5 and right has 4? That just seems arbitrary.

Can't argue with that. I was just restating the existing rule.

What do we make it, then? The goal is to write the rule in definite terms so that there are no borderline cases, or as few as possible. "Where at least as many lanes exit as continue, or where at least 2 lanes are exit-only"?
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Re: [Page Update] Junction Style Guide

Postby sketch » Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:07 am

We're talking about common-side exits right now, but we can certainly talk about that too. I think that's more complicated than it needs to be for uncommon-side exits.

For an uncommon-side exit, it should require only (at least) one exit-only lane that started substantially before the exit. If there aren't any exit-only lanes, a wayfinder isn't needed. I like the "only-one-lane continuation" idea, but I imagine it ends up being redundant in practice.

Fredo-p wrote:In regards to the junction style guide/intersection, I see that examples are needed. I know of a few locations here in AZ that meet the examples. Do I just update here, input the update notice in another thread already started, or start a new thread [Update] Junction Style Guide/Intersection

I think it's fine to use this thread for that, but there's certainly nothing wrong with creating a new one for the intersections subpage if you'd rather keep it more compartmentalized. Just link it here if you do.
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Re: [Page Update] Junction Style Guide

Postby sketch » Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:58 am

DwarfLord wrote:How about this for defining non-obvious continuation?

At exits, the continuation path for a ramp, highway or freeway will be considered "non-obvious" if it has least two fewer travel lanes in a given direction after the exit than before it on the typical exit side, or at least one less travel lane on the atypical exit side. The continuation will also be considered "non-obvious" if it consists of a single lane.

(Edit: I was thinking about controlled access highways. For non-controlled access, like a city street that is now a MH due to FC, maybe the threshold should be one fewer on either side.)

Not bad, except that you'd have to also define "travel lane" to mean a lane that's been there a while rather than a lane that started just before the exit, and that two exit only lanes isn't always enough, and that one exit only lane is sometimes enough. That's why I defined it relative to the total number of lanes.

Qwaletee, your draft captures the reasoning behind the rules nicely, but the point of drafting the rules is to make it cut-and-dry and not dependent on the editor. Editor opinions on wayfinders have been historically varied. That shouldn't get in the way of a consistent Waze experience.

--
I have my own suggestions, which are largely the same as the existing rules, but with some clarification as to their intent. It'll take some time in front of a real keyboard to hammer them out, but I'll get them down here when I have a chance.


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Re: [Page Update] Junction Style Guide

Postby sketch » Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:01 pm

Except that rules can be and already have been easily and simply drafted to solve this problem. It is well demonstrated that some high-level editors don't believe that wayfinders are necessary. If you don't already know that, you haven't been around for enough of them to know your definition is a problem. That doesn't mean the other drivers in their areas won't potentially be confused when they get to a big split.

You are ignoring that the rule can be drafted such that confusion will be prevented without overdoing it but still erring on the side of caution. By drafting the rule properly, we take ONE editor's judgment out of the equation and replace it with the judgment of EVERY editor that came to the wiki update forum and drafted the guidance.


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Re: [Page Update] Junction Style Guide

Postby sketch » Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:43 am

The problem with leaving the freeway segments unnamed (if I'm reading correctly) is that reports on that part of the freeway won't have any road name to put on them. Also possibly detour prevention? I guess that's two problems, but I'm not sure of one.

If you're worried about instructions being too long, worry no more — the TTS changes in 3.8.0 included one I particularly like. If the main prompt and the "and then" prompt have exactly the same street name, the street name is kept to the end, so like, "Stay to the left, then stay to the right at I-580 W / San Rafael". The name is only said once per prompt. It saves a lot of time on such things.
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Re: [Page Update] Junction Style Guide

Postby sketch » Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:24 pm

DwarfLord wrote:Great discussion! Based on what has been said here I've modified the "signage suggests a split" language, tweaked the definition of "travel lane", and offer this for the wiki:

New suggested wiki text wrote:A wayfinder gives a user an instruction directing them how to continue on the road the user is already on, in situations where it may be unclear. A wayfinder is warranted in the following cases:
  • The continuation path for a controlled-access ramp, highway or freeway has least two fewer travel lanes after the exit than before it on the typical exit side (a "travel lane" is defined as a lane that, before nearing the exit, is neither striped nor signed as a departing lane over a length long enough that a naïve driver might consider it a long-distance lane);
  • The continuation path for an uncontrolled ramp or highway, or for an exit on the atypical side, has at least one less travel lane after the exit than before it;
  • The continuation path consists of a single lane; or
  • Some or all of the associated signage may be interpreted as suggesting a split -- for example, lacking typical exit language, or with arrows pointing left and right but no clear "straight-ahead" choice -- or is otherwise unclear or inconsistent so that drivers may be confused as to which way is the continuation or whether there is a continuation at all.


For comparison, the current wiki guidance is as follows:
Existing wiki text wrote:A wayfinder gives a user an instruction reminding them to stay on the road the user is already on, in situations where a reminder is warranted. A wayfinder is warranted in the following situations:
  • Lane drops, where at least as many lanes leave the road as stay on the road;
  • Non-obvious continuations, where at least one "exit only" lane exists on the side of the road where exits are not normally placed (in a right-hand traffic country, exiting traffic is to the left and continuing traffic is to the right); and
  • Inconsistent signage, where a highway continues as a numbered route, but signs call it only by a name.


Concurrence?

Looks pretty good, although I'm not so sure I like the rule change for typical-side exits. There are situations where a wayfinder is warranted even though only one travel lane is lost – where 3 lanes splits into 1.5 continuing and 1.5 exiting. This situation is pretty common on the Interstate system.

I would also like to see "Where the exit is on the atypical side," text at the beginning of each line, to emphasize the differences. As is, it kind of gets lost in the text.

Also, pardon me if I missed it, but I'd been on the road for the last week and a half and only reading forums on mobile. Did you insert the uncontrolled vs. controlled distinction? Also, wayfinders aren't used on ramps. Those are ramp splits and are governed differently.

If you want to incorporate these changes, feel free. If you'd rather I drafted my own, I wouldn't mind, but it might be tomorrow.

kentsmith9 wrote:The concern I have is with this stretch of 1 mile of freeway we have 4 directions. If we show on the wayfinder segments the roads not exiting at the first point you would get the following from TTS based on current BGS visual:
"Keep left for I-80 I-580 SR-24 Berkeley Sacramento San Rafael Downtown Oakland Hayward Stockton"

The next instruction staying on the freeway would be a little better:
"Keep left for I-80 I-580 Berkeley Sacramento San Rafael"

Since we cannot remove the names, maybe we just reduce the first keep left segment to a short version of the above to something like:
"Keep left for I-80 I-580 SR-24 Downtown Oakland Hayward Sacramento"

Yeah, I wouldn't mind truncating it somehow. "I-80 / I-580 / to SR-24" maybe? Or, honestly, since you're only actually on I-80, it might be better and make more actual sense just to label it "I-80 / Berkeley / Sacramento" and treat the others as upcoming-exit signs. So you'll get "stay to the left to I-80, Berkeley, Sacramento, then exit right to I-580 E, to SR-24, Downtown Oakland, Hayward-Stockton".

Or, wait, are 80 and 580 seriously concurrent for that time? That's pretty weird. Then the first segment becomes "I-80 / I-580 W / Berkeley / Sacramento / San Rafael", I guess. Kind of long, but I think the third sign is best treated as an upcoming-exit sign rather than part of the wayfinder.
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Re: [Page Update] Junction Style Guide

Postby sketch » Sat Jun 28, 2014 2:14 am

I'm beginning to come around to the idea that a single lane drop might merit a wayfinder, especially if there is wayfinder-type signage involved. But I don't believe signage alone should be enough. Take I-75 N exit 208 in Toledo for example: yes, there is a wayfinder sign there, but not a single lane is lost to the exit – the exit (deceleration) lane starts just before the exit. To end up off I-75 you'd have to actively make that lane change right then, with the sign hovering above you; you're not gonna just "oh, another lane, I'll get over" onto it.

--
DwarfLord wrote:I'm definitely open to situations I may not have considered! 1.5 lanes...that's a new reference to me...does that mean a split where the center lane can go either way? To me that case is handled by the fourth item, signage that suggests a split. If the signage is abundantly clear about one direction being "continue on" and the other being "exit", and only one travel lane is lost, I am not sure a wayfinder is called for based on the lane behavior alone.

That's what I mean by 1.5 lanes both ways, yeah. The MUTCD, by the way, calls that middle lane an "option lane", and calls lanes that are lost "dropped lanes". I like those terms.

The idea is that, if you're in either of the right two lanes in a 1.5-1.5 scenario (1 continue, 1 option, 1 dropped), you have to take some sort of action, or at least make a choice, to stay on the road. In the dropped lane, you must get over; in the option lane, you must be sure to stay to the left. If you're a chronic speed limit obeyer and you've been in that right lane for quite a while, the reminder would be good. The wayfinder rules kind of assume that you might have forgotten exactly which highway you're on and that you could use a little nudge.

Like I said, I'm starting to think that there are some situations where maybe a WF is warranted even if a single lane is dropped. This one here is definitely warranted — it's (1 continue, 1 option, 1 dropped), but pan up just a little bit and you'll see that the dropped lane was one of only two lanes of I-475, and that the continue lane actually just came off a left entrance ramp. Apparently, it's a pretty dangerous interchange because of that. I think we have a few options: (1) if there's a legit dropped lane that'd been there a while, (2) if there's a dropped lane and ≤2 continuing lanes, (3) if there's a dropped lane and a wayfinder-type sign, or maybe some combination of them.

Thanks, yes I had been interpreting the term "wayfinder" to refer to any situation where extra guidance for continuing on the same road is helpful. In San Jose for example we have a ramp that goes on for nearly two miles with two sub-exits of its own! But if the term is not to be used for anything other than controlled-access MH and F types that would be good for me to be clear about. In that case, what if anything do we call continuing-path guidance in other situations?
Ramp-ramp splits are covered below in their own section. The section on naming addresses navigation instructions. Ramp types will always give instructions if the names are different, so the type complications and display considerations are not in play there. It's much less complex – if the name of the s-in matches the name of one s-out, the s-out won't get a prompt. This includes "no name". It could maybe be explained better, but it's there.
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Re: [Page Update] Junction Style Guide

Postby sketch » Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:28 am

DwarfLord wrote:Good stuff. I am thinking we need to be clarify some terms before we can craft the best language.

The term "dropped lane" is good, but does it mean a dropped travel lane -- i.e., a lane that, for some distance before approaching the intersection, was neither signed nor striped as an exit lane? Or does it include lanes that were never anything but an exit lane? For example, is the right-hand lane of this segment considered a "dropped lane" when it departs for Hwy 150 to Ojai? The right-hand lane joins at the start of the segment and continues over half a mile before it exits for Hwy 150, but it is striped as an exit for that entire length.

The term "wayfinder-type signage" -- would it include a BGS with arrows straight down, or no arrows at all, over the continuing lanes, regardless of what neighboring exit signage looked like? To be sure I am not advocating that "wayfinder-type signage" by that definition would warrant a wayfinder! My thinking is that only signage and striping that suggests a split, or that is absent, unclear, or inconsistent would be sufficient to warrant a wayfinder based on signage alone. In fact, by this criterion, the absence of "wayfinder-type signage" would warrant a wayfinder much more than its presence.

Right, dropped lane needs to be defined. It would have to be a lane that exists besides as an exit lane, indeed. A lane that starts by virtue of a directly previous entrance ramp may also not qualify.

Whether the arrows are straight down or pointing left/right depends on physical geometry (this according to the MUTCD). With arrows, I consider it a "wayfinder-type sign". Without arrows, usually it's just a reminder. At least, that's my experience.

Details do need to be hammered out further, but I wanted to get that out of the way while I had the chance just now. I'd like to look at a bunch more examples and consider how the variations would apply to them.


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Re: [Page Update] Junction Style Guide

Postby sketch » Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:14 pm

I believe guidance should be added to the Intersections page on median U turn segments that aren't part of an MUTI. These segments are currently set as "street" type as a matter of course, which I believe is fine, since they are used pretty much exclusively to get to a destination or from a start point at the end or beginning, respectively, of a route. We concluded as such during the MUTI discussion.

Perhaps more common in certain areas than in others, these are ubiquitous in both New Orleans and Detroit, so I have a lot of experience with them. In New Orleans, we name these segments "U turn", since they are almost always signed as such. In other places, I have seen these either unnamed or name "Turnaround", as that appears to be the general name for them elsewhere. I do not believe that we should use a different name in different places, but maybe we should consider whether it's wise to at least name them all something.

We also set the geometry here such that the instruction is "turn left" onto the segment. Whether or not there is another such instruction at the other end of the segment depends on the actual geometry – when it's straight across, we have a second instruction, but where there's a substantial curve leading traffic onto the next road, we do not. I believe in Michigan they include the second instruction always, because their turnarounds tend to be much more gently curved at the ends, and are mostly straight. I think it'd be wise to include some guidance about this as well.
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