Primary Streets (US)

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Re: Primary Streets (US)

Postby skbun » Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:34 am

bgodette wrote:
skbun wrote:... and beyond about 10 miles, Waze won't route THROUGH a 'street' no matter how good the speeds on it are.
Not that there's anything wrong with your suggestion, but this has been demonstrated to be false using both the client and livemap.


...if it has, I believe I can prove that that behavior has changed - well, on reflection, or at least that there's a limit of 20-30 miles out. Route: State Rte 89 Scn at 121.41816,40.70436 to Susanville, CA. The obvious route for this is CA-44 (which is 62 minutes, 59 miles). Until a few days ago when I brought attention to it to a CM, this entire route was contiguous, but only 'street' class. You can prove continuity by trying routing on CA-44 in two overlapping pieces between the two points- they go through on the livemap.

However, the only choices Waze will come up with to make this route are:
2h22m, 107 miles, and,
2h36m, 134 miles.

I'm more than open to the idea that I could be wrong...have I missed something? (I just want to say I wouldn't have made this assertion without having something to look at.)
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Re: Primary Streets (US)

Postby skbun » Sat Dec 29, 2012 4:11 am

Spil wrote:I realize that I'm coming into the discussion a bit late, but here's what I've been doing in recent months (with considerable success) in rural areas of upstate NY with regard to Primary Streets. Most "county routes" came in with the basemap as Minor Highway, the same level as "state routes" -- but for the most part, they're rather unequal in real life ;). Thus, I've been downgrading such CR's to Primary Street, while leaving SR's at Minor Highway (and US routes mainly as Major Highway, unless they clearly should be only Minor Highway). I've also been upgrading the CR's that came in as "Street" so that they are "Primary Street".


I'd like to propose a new, and easy to follow standard that doesn't require as much individual interpretation on the part of editors. I've already implemented it in King County, Washington, and the difference in routing options and the speed Waze seems to find them is literally night and day.

We as Waze editors actually don't have to waste much of our time determining which roads are important where, and what a 'highway' or a 'street' is defined by. Here's why.

FHWA Directive 23 CFR 470 states that the State transportation agency has the primary responsibility for developing and updating a statewide highway functional classification in rural and urban areas to determine functional usage of the existing roads and streets.

Each of the 50 states has published and browseable Functional Classification maps. In Washington, that's located at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/MapsData/Tools/FunctionalClass/ , but every state has them (I'll be happy to create a forum post with all 50, as far as that goes). The advantage here is that someone whose job it is to DO this all day has already made all these determinations, and done it on freely published maps, so we don't have to waste our time reinventing the wheel.

Here's my simple rule of thumb for Washington, granting I'm not a CM and can't do this for the whole state, but I can do it in areas I drive and manage:

Any road colored ANYTHING is a primary street or above, rural or urban. It is an important road by some definition, and beyond about 10 miles, Waze won't route THROUGH a 'street' no matter how good the speeds on it are.
Any road meeting the standard of a freeway (high speed, no at grade intersections, no traffic lights) is a freeway. It doesn't matter if it's an Interstate or a County Road. (Coincidentally, this also makes the 'Avoid freeways' option in the client do the Right Thing.)
Any 'Other Freeway' or 'Principle Arterial' rural road that is not a freeway is a Major Highway. Rare select roads in high density urban areas will also get this, but most urban streets aren't high speed if they're not already a freeway. In small towns these are more likely.
The rest is open to a bit of interpretation, but intuitively I think I get it. 'Other Principle Arterial' and 'Minor arterial' urban roads I make 'minor highways'. If there is a 'Major collector', I look at it in context. Most of the time they're primary streets. (Oh, and trust me, this last paragraph? There are ongoing discussions in other states, Connecticut comes to mind, about these 'on the fence' cases.)

Here's the result of these efforts, based on the published FC maps, in:
King County: https://www.waze.com/editor/?zoom=0&lat ... FFTFTTTTFT
Eureka, CA: https://www.waze.com/editor/?zoom=1&lat ... FFTFTTTTFT
Susanville, CA: https://www.waze.com/editor/?zoom=1&lat ... FFTFTTTTFT

Before I began changes in early December, Waze would find one, or maybe two routes to downtown Seattle from Kent/Federal Way. Now, it fairly easily finds three, and in what I perceive is less time.

The kiss of death for Waze's routing engine, by comparison, is a city that looks like this:
Laramie, WY: https://www.waze.com/editor/?zoom=0&lat ... FFTFTTTTFT

From experience, I can say that if you're in the northeast corner of that city and try to navigate to the city center, Waze will tend to pick one road, and no alternates. I suspect that if there was a traffic jam in between, Waze would also have a hard time picking an alternate then.

I'm happy to share this with editors that can help - and admittedly this will be most useful to AMs and CMs, because this is a seriously time consuming process and requires a lot of rural road traversal. King County took me about a week of heavy editing. (It needs classifying the road, determing one/two way, and making sure turn restrictions allow travel on said roads).

I hope we can make a project out of this, because I believe if this were done everywhere in the U.S., Waze's 'problems with rural areas' would be gone rather quickly. It also greatly reduces 'Most users didn't take the suggested route' URs, because FC maps show HOW they want drivers to be directed, minor to major roads and back again. Users don't want to be routed onto 'a street', generally; they want to go from a major to major road when going across town, and the FC maps tell us, to completion, where those are.

EDIT: Changed color references to their names in the Washington FC maps.
Last edited by skbun on Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Primary Streets (US)

Postby PhantomSoul » Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:08 pm

jondrush wrote:Guess you've never driven in the Midwest much. Sometimes a farmer with political influence got a interstate exit to his farm lane. No rule can be hard and fast. I have at least one example of a non-primary road getting an exit in my area too.

As far as roads changing type, I think if we insert the phrase "long stretches" in the rules (guidelines?) We can allow for changing types. I don't like seeing patchworks, but I do like seeing long stretches of road type reflected in the color coding.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't having full access to a highway (such as a traffic light or grade-separated interchange) make a road a primary street (or as they're often called, collector road) by definition? I would imagine you'd want routing algorithms to/from local origins or destinations to route via that signal or interchange.

In all fairness of the Midwestern example, though, it probably doesn't make much sense to upgrade a street to a primary street if there are no other streets you can turn to/from it.

I don't like seeing patchworks either, but in reality, many roads are often improved in chunks as needed, creating a longer roadway with varying use/capacity, and to accurately reflect that, we're kind of stuck with the patchwork, at least a little. New Jersey is notorious for doing this kind of stuff...
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Re: Primary Streets (US)

Postby PhantomSoul » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:52 pm

Isn't primary street vs minor highway just a routing distinction, namely for longer trips?

From my understanding, on longer trips, Waze will only consider streets to get to/from a nearby primary street to/from your origin or destination, and also only consider primary streets to get to/from a nearby highway. For passing through on longer trips, any non-highway road types are ignored, or at least carry a high enough penalty that you shouldn't expect to be routed through on them. Is this not the case?

So in determining whether to make a road a primary street or minor highway, I ask, in part, is this a road that I could travel through on for, say more than 5 miles? If yes, then it could be a highway; otherwise, it's probably just a primary street.

I think a bigger gray area exists between major and minor highways, particularly in rural areas, but as part of determining that, I ask myself the same thing, scaled up a little: Is this a road I could travel through on for, say more than 10 or 15 miles? If yes, then it could be a major highway; otherwise, it's probably just a minor highway.

Of course there are other criteria to consider as well, but part of it, I think, should be how much consideration do you want to give a particular road segment as a trip it's considered for gets longer.
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Re: Primary Streets (US)

Postby ncc1701v » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:00 am

The question is whether numbered routes should ever just be primary streets. (If it doesn't have a number it can't be a highway.) I try to follow a few rules of thumb. First, consistency in the area - the distinctions made in west Texas won't apply in northeast New Jersey. Second, what matters most is routing behavior - it's the /relative/ differences that matter, not the absolute ones. Finally, for my area, all other things aside, I consider roads used to get between multiple neighborhoods as primary streets, while roads used to get across the whole town and out if it may be highways.

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Re: Primary Streets (US)

Postby mwhead2 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:23 pm

WeeZer14 wrote:But I fight with the idea of DOWN-grading a road. Like when US-23 goes through a downtown, it is still a US highway and is a "major" component of the transportation network, so I'd leave it as Major unless there was a "better" bypass which could be Major instead.


Agreed. I've been setting US highways as major except when signed as business routes or otherwise, then minor highways (US-78 BUS through Athens, for example).

WeeeZer14 wrote:We will see what mapcat says, but I would agree with the addition that there are cases where I'd make a State Highway Major. Specifically the case where a road is near interstate quality but is not fully limited access. One example is SR-168 (aka Pellissippi Parkway) north of I-40 in TN. Below I-40 that road is I-140, but above there are a few side street connections to ruin the limited access.


https://www.waze.com/editor/?zoom=2&lat=33.9751&lon=-83.97143&layers=BFTFTTTFTTFTFFTFTTTTT

SR-316 from Athens to NE of Atlanta is concurrent with US-29 almost all the way, so I left the part between where US-29 leaves and before the freeway portion as Major Highway instead of switching to Minor (it's going to be upgraded to limited access sometime soon anyways).

https://www.waze.com/editor/?zoom=0&lat=33.92919&lon=-83.45988&layers=BFTFTTTFTTFTFFTFTTTTT
The eastern end of SR-316 stops at the Athens bypass (SR-10 Loop) and continues as Epps Bridge Parkway, which isn't signed as a state route, but I've set it to Minor Highway instead of Primary since it does connect 316 to Atlanta Hwy (US-78 BUS)... and it looks better on the map than having that part disappear after zooming out ;)
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Re: Primary Streets (US)

Postby mapcat » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:18 pm

jondrush wrote:Guess you've never driven in the Midwest much. Sometimes a farmer with political influence got a interstate exit to his farm lane. No rule can be hard and fast. I have at least one example of a non-primary road getting an exit in my area too.

No, I'm familiar with those, and thought that ranches would fall under "private/secure campus".

As far as roads changing type, I think if we insert the phrase "long stretches" in the rules (guidelines?) We can allow for changing types. I don't like seeing patchworks, but I do like seeing long stretches of road type reflected in the color coding.

As long as we don't define "long stretches" with a specific number, since there's bound to be an exception.
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Re: Primary Streets (US)

Postby mapcat » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:13 pm

sketch wrote:Is it not confirmed that the Avoid Highways flag will avoid Minor Highway type and not Primary Street

Yes, but wasn't that exact issue brought up as a reason to eliminate the Avoid Highways option?

and also, that the routing server will not consider a Primary Street in the first or last, what, 10km of a route?

That was what I wasn't sure about. It seemed that Waze wasn't sure themselves. Has anyone done a definitive test?
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Re: Primary Streets (US)

Postby mapcat » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:59 pm

bgodette wrote:So you're of the opinion that:

Interstates are always Freeway.
US Highways are sometimes Freeway if built to interstate standard, otherwise Major
State Highways are sometimes Freeway if built to interstate standard, otherwise Minor
Other roads (unnumbered) are sometimes Freeway if built to interstate standard, otherwise Primary or below depending on functional considerations.

But you would like routing to consider Primary to be the same as Minor as far as base transit cost and route pruning.

Sorry, was out in the snow watching my kid not sell many girl scout cookies.

That not quite what I had in mind. Based on Ohio, to start: not all US Highways should be major highways; where US-23 basically shadows I-75 it's not the main route through that area and should be downgraded. Other US highways have 2 lanes and no shoulders: definitely not major. The majority of state highways should probably be minor, with the exception of the main ones (long, typically 4-lane divided, wide shoulders).

But yes, I'd like it if primary street was reserved for non-freeway, non-badged roads of some significance, and that it matched minor highway in terms of transit cost and route pruning.
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Re: Primary Streets (US)

Postby mapcat » Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:29 pm

WeeeZer14 wrote:What is the point, well it may be that the original intent was display only. Just like my thought for Service Roads. Priority is part of what we are trying to hash out in the discussion of NJ road types. Right now I am thinking that primary street should be a tier below Minor Highway. It is something that is important/high volume, but calling it a highway would be very generous.

Let's say you have two urban roads with similar volume, similar physical structure, similar number of curb cuts, etc. One has a state hwy number, one doesn't. Do you make the one without a number a minor highway, or do you make the one with a number a primary street?

Personally I'd make the one with a number a minor highway and the one without a primary street. I'm basing this on pure speculation that the routing server doesn't care anything about the road type in this case. Someday, I'd really like to have a long discussion about this with the routing server. Eventually I think it would come over to my side.

I guess this touches on some of the difference between a highway (a physical structure) and a route (a logical designation). Sometimes they play nice together, other times they bash heads.

Maybe that's the problem here. I don't associate "highway" with physical structure, at least not in the IF physical structure=highway THEN category=(major, minor) highway sense. For example, the road we're currently calling "US Hwy 23" is sometimes a freeway, sometimes a major highway, and sometimes a minor highway in Ohio. When it goes through some small towns as a 2-lane street, it's really no more or less important than the 2-lane streets it intersects at stoplights. But they're not marked with state highway signs, so they get to be primary streets on the map, and it passes through as a minor highway.
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