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Is there any way to stop the back-road routing?

Post by joshbrw
Hey all!

Let me start off by saying that I've been a long-time user and lover of Waze, having driven many tens of thousands of miles using it and it's rarely let me down.

I love that the maps are always up-to-date and that any reported issues are fixed within a matter of days by all of you hard-working volunteers. The recent additions of lane guidance and roadshields tells me that Google aren't abandoning Waze any time soon, which was definitely a concern for me when I found out Waze was acquired and then seemed to become a lot less stable for a while; which is definitely an experience reflected in the App Store reviews.

I've also dipped my foot into the world of Map Editing, but I'm yet to make any headway out of Level 1 as it's very time consuming asking for unlocks to make changes (but I totally understand why the system is the way it is).

My biggest issue with Waze is it'll send me down an awkward back road to save 30 seconds on a route.

It seems like Waze is the only app to do this; Google Maps, Apple Maps, TomTom Go, none of the others are this aggressive with the routing. I know Waze has always been like this and it's unlikely to change, but is there any way to make this less aggressive, short of having to manually check the route every time I use Waze?!

Honestly it's gotten to the point now that I am using Google Maps considerably more than Waze. For me it is less stressful to spend an extra minute on a route than it is to drive down miles of single-lane country roads potentially sending the left-hand side of my car into a bush, and I'm sure many others feel the same.

Rant over. It's frustrating that this is the final piece of the puzzle from Waze being practically perfect. (Oh and the fact that some roundabouts show numbered exits and some of them show the direction of the roundabout exit, but let's not get into that now).

Thanks for listening!
joshbrw
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Post by vince1612
The issue with single-lane roads going through fields being suggested is mainly something that depends on a community's mapping rules.

Up until 2018 there was no real solution for these, as an editor could only use the "Street" type which means public road with no restrictions, so basically Waze could choose to suggest it or not based only on calculated ETA/Speeds for these segments.
The segment types with penalties (parking lot, private, off-road) were not really appropriate as they contain a heavy penalty that would basically always avoid those roads, when sometimes they remain valid and legal detours in case of accidents or other traffic events, that's why they were mapped as regular streets in the first place.

Still, there has always been complaints from users such as yourself that these single-lane but two-way roads going through fields were hazardous (no public lighting, risk of getting stuck or having to backtrack or drive in the mud if another car or bigger vehicle finds itself in front of you). That feedback has often been mentioned to Waze staff over the years, and finally in 2018 they added a new road type to the editor called "Narrow Street".
Basically that new type will also work with a penalty on routing to discourage Waze routing to suggest it, but the penalty is much, much lighter, so it will basically prefer a normal wide enough "Street" over a narrow, single-lane one unless the main street is blocked or congested.

When it was introduced, a lot of communities welcomed it and started to use it, while others banned its usage and forbid their editors from setting them up anywhere on the map. As an example, here's what we've decided to do in Switzerland for this road type:
SWITZERLAND RULES EXAMPLE

Using "Narrow Street" is allowed only if:
  • The single-lane road is a two-way road (must NOT be a one-way segment), and
  • The single-lane road is longer than 50m, and
  • The single-lane road isn't large enough for more than 1 standard vehicle to pass.
However, using "Narrow Street" is NOT allowed if any of these statements are also true:
  • The single-lane road is a one-way street, or
  • The single-lane road is a small bridge or underpass, or
  • The single-lane road is a dead-end (cul-de-sac), or
  • The single-lane road should, for other reasons, already have another type set (private, parking, off-road etc..), or
  • The single-lane road allows for standard vehicles to easily pass eachother either by driving slow or because it features small wider portions where passing is made possible along the way, or
  • The single-lane road is only setup to slow vehicles down in a residential area and priority of way is already handled with traffic lights or road signs.
Up until today this has worked really well for us in the country-side, the type usually isn't applied in cities.

---

So to answer your question, yes there is a way to stop back-road routing, at least that's the solution we chose in my community for it. But it can only be done with mapping rules, talks and agreements inside your country's map editors community, the solution won't come from the Waze App, because it's not able to differentiate single-lane and two-lanes two-way roads and will only focus on ETA.
 
 
 
vince1612
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Post by joshbrw
vince1612 wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 9:19 am The issue with single-lane roads going through fields being suggested is mainly something that depends on a community's mapping rules.

Up until 2018 there was no real solution for these, as an editor could only use the "Street" type which means public road with no restrictions, so basically Waze could choose to suggest it or not based only on calculated ETA/Speeds for these segments.
The segment types with penalties (parking lot, private, off-road) were not really appropriate as they contain a heavy penalty that would basically always avoid those roads, when sometimes they remain valid and legal detours in case of accidents or other traffic events, that's why they were mapped as regular streets in the first place.

Still, there has always been complaints from users such as yourself that these single-lane but two-way roads going through fields were hazardous (no public lighting, risk of getting stuck or having to backtrack or drive in the mud if another car or bigger vehicle finds itself in front of you). That feedback has often been mentioned to Waze staff over the years, and finally in 2018 they added a new road type to the editor called "Narrow Street".
Basically that new type will also work with a penalty on routing to discourage Waze routing to suggest it, but the penalty is much, much lighter, so it will basically prefer a normal wide enough "Street" over a narrow, single-lane one unless the main street is blocked or congested.

When it was introduced, a lot of communities welcomed it and started to use it, while others banned its usage and forbid their editors from setting them up anywhere on the map. As an example, here's what we've decided to do in Switzerland for this road type:
SWITZERLAND RULES EXAMPLE

Using "Narrow Street" is allowed only if:
  • The single-lane road is a two-way road (must NOT be a one-way segment), and
  • The single-lane road is longer than 50m, and
  • The single-lane road isn't large enough for more than 1 standard vehicle to pass.
However, using "Narrow Street" is NOT allowed if any of these statements are also true:
  • The single-lane road is a one-way street, or
  • The single-lane road is a small bridge or underpass, or
  • The single-lane road is a dead-end (cul-de-sac), or
  • The single-lane road should, for other reasons, already have another type set (private, parking, off-road etc..), or
  • The single-lane road allows for standard vehicles to easily pass eachother either by driving slow or because it features small wider portions where passing is made possible along the way, or
  • The single-lane road is only setup to slow vehicles down in a residential area and priority of way is already handled with traffic lights or road signs.
Up until today this has worked really well for us in the country-side, the type usually isn't applied in cities.

---

So to answer your question, yes there is a way to stop back-road routing, at least that's the solution we chose in my community for it. But it can only be done with mapping rules, talks and agreements inside your country's map editors community, the solution won't come from the Waze App, because it's not able to differentiate single-lane and two-lanes two-way roads and will only focus on ETA.
 
 
 

 
Thanks for the detailed reply; I was unaware of the introduction of the "Narrow Street" segment type.

I'm still personally not sure that having to map every Narrow Street manually is the answer. It seems that every other GPS navigation app manages to figure out the complexity of two routes and choose the least complex route if the difference between the ETAs of the routes is minimal (usually a minute or a few minutes on longer journeys; I'm unsure of the specific algorithm used).

I suppose it is a bit of a pipe dream to hope that Waze would implement this sort of Route Complexity logic. 

Thanks again for your response! Very much appreciated.
 
joshbrw
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