Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable roads

Moderators: MapSir, USA Champs

Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby davielde » Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:28 pm

sketch wrote:In Detroit I saw a much bigger difference (because Detroit's much bigger and has way more roads to choose from); basically where it used to make me backtrack to get on the nearest freeway entrance, it now sends me along a Principal Arterial (Major Highway) or two for a few miles to get to the next useful freeway entrance downstream. It actually saves a couple minutes.

I think that it is key to reinforce that having a glut of principal arterials classed as MH still helps direct or funnel longer distance routes to a freeway. Even when presented with numerous principal arterials, as long as the freeway truly is the fastest route, Waze will opt for freeway even if it is way out of the way (assuming "fastest route" intended). To one of PhantomSoul's points, I agree that most urban principal arterials are meant for more local use (i.e. non-freeway suburb to suburb or even intra-city) and and not long distance trips, but those are also mixed with US and some major state routes that also have the principal arterial designation and would be more suitable long distance routes. In any case, you still normally get "sucked" onto a freeway as long as your "avoid major highways" option is disabled, but you also have legitimate alternatives at a lower road type if appropriate from the start--not just mid-route as a detour or in the first or last few kilometers.

As an example, entering downtown Detroit from the east side of Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti (about 40 miles), there were only two initial routes suggested pre-NFC: 1) I-94 all the way, and 2) backtracking to get to US-23 to M-14 to I-96 (all freeways). Looking at my routes now from the same location, my primary route is still I-94 (purple in the image), but look at the two alternatives. The green is a bypass off of I-94 using state highway M-39 (previously mH in that stretch, now MH/principal arterial) for about three miles to join I-75. This was not even an option before but it is only three minutes more than the direct I-94 route. The blue alternative is part of the pre-NFC suggested route, but instead of backtracking to take US-23 to M-14 to I-96, Waze now suggests a road straight north to get to M-14 (previously primary street, now mH/minor arterial).

Another consideration is that people should look at how their state DOT actually classifies the roads in your state if you have not. You will find that some states fit the traditional Waze road types well, and others are nowhere close. sketch references the links on each state's mapping resources page, but since those are not altogether complete, here is a link to current FC maps.

russblau wrote:Comment: in general, I think FC is a good basis for assigning road type; I think the references to route numbering should be removed. In practice, there is a fairly high degree of correlation between route numbering and road function, but it is definitely not 100%. In those cases where a US highway serves the function of a minor highway because it travels along a narrow street with traffic lights and driveways, or where a state highway serves the function of a major highway because it has few intersections and permits high-speed through travel, the road's function should take precedence over its numbering.

Agreed, but this is an area where different DOTs may treat things differently, so it's worth looking at this in more detail. Some may lower the functional classification of a road such as US-XX through a lower-speed, full-access urban stretch while others (including Michigan) typically do not. We have some state highways at mH and plain city-controlled roads as MH in numerous cases when applying FC. Politics, funding, etc. may come into play with a designation too as sketch mentioned.

dbraughlr wrote:I would like to see the rationale documented for the exception for ramps to be used for at-grade connectors.

I believe that dbraughlr may be referencing the bit about jughandles and Michigan lefts specifically. In the case of Michigan Lefts, sketch tested and tweaked the exception for a signed but unnumbered at-grade exit from a roadway. It has to meet specific signage criteria and be at an actual major intersection, not just a standard median crossover. By the way, as GizmoGuy411 and I built that section of the Michigan wiki explaining Michigan Lefts (a colloquial term), we settled on the term "Median U-Turn Intersection" as the best documented naming convention, especially as these are employed under numerous names throughout the US, and they are increasing. If the exception part stays on the revised Road Types page, I believe it should go toward the more or less "official" name for these styles of intersections. Drop "Michigan Left" in favor of MUTI... It should be an at-grade exception in more than a few people's opinions. I think this is mostly because an instruction like "to Telegraph Rd S / US-24 S / to Grand River Ave W / M-16 W" is a bit much to see on a 10-15m segment and pollutes the visual. "Ramps" don't have street names--they carry instructions. The same goes for jughandles and MUTIs.

dbraughlr wrote:I believe that primary street should be used for the main road linking two rural towns (and presumably thus the main street through the town) when no higher classification applies (which is often the case). This could well require local knowledge of the editor rather than a published document. Functionally the street is the primary route even though there isn't much traffic.

Perhaps this page does not go into enough detail about how to apply FC in certain circumstances, or perhaps that should be somewhere else, but the guideline as adopted in Michigan when we went FC statewide was to never downgrade a road type just to match functional classification, but it would be okay to maintain or upgrade based on local editor knowledge. Also, we had another one such as what to do with dirt roads, particularly since a number of minor collectors in our state are dirt.
davielde
 
Posts: 1219
Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:01 pm
Location: Michigan, USA
Has thanked: 469 times
Been thanked: 757 times

Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby AndyPoms » Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:33 am

russblau wrote:The references to "county routes" are useless in Virginia, since we don't have them, and in most counties literally every street, from the eight-lane arterials down to the 200-foot dead end around the corner from my house, has a "secondary state highway" number that is absolutely meaningless in terms of Waze's mapping needs.
Same goes for Connecticut - no County Roads. There is also an entire series of unsigned state route numbers in CT as well - basically everything from CT-400 & up... I've been slowly removing references to those (almost all alt-names) as I've come across them. For more info on the unsigned road network in CT, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_State_Routes_in_Connecticut
AndyPoms
Waze Global Champs
Waze Global Champs
 
Posts: 7190
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:34 pm
Location: Hartford, CT
Has thanked: 129 times
Been thanked: 1319 times

Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby russblau » Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:18 am

Comment: in general, I think FC is a good basis for assigning road type; I think the references to route numbering should be removed. In practice, there is a fairly high degree of correlation between route numbering and road function, but it is definitely not 100%. In those cases where a US highway serves the function of a minor highway because it travels along a narrow street with traffic lights and driveways, or where a state highway serves the function of a major highway because it has few intersections and permits high-speed through travel, the road's function should take precedence over its numbering.

The references to "county routes" are useless in Virginia, since we don't have them, and in most counties literally every street, from the eight-lane arterials down to the 200-foot dead end around the corner from my house, has a "secondary state highway" number that is absolutely meaningless in terms of Waze's mapping needs.
russblau
State Manager
State Manager
 
Posts: 1226
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:36 pm
Has thanked: 188 times
Been thanked: 512 times

Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby sketch » Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:51 am

Thanks for the input, all, I appreciate it.

With the next NA meetup looming as close as it is, of course I'm perfectly comfortable waiting until then before implementing it nationally.

Kent, I did take account of the recent-ish changes to the Overview section of the current page. I included some of that a few days ago. The rest is pretty much a wholesale change.

Regarding the US/State/County Highway correlation, I agree that that should be part of it, and it is. But that doesn't cover anywhere near everything; there are 55 mph suburban expressways which don't fit into any of those systems. I'm sure this isn't what we'd intend, but I've seen this pushed to its extreme in the Detroit area — where US Routes were Major Highway, state highways were Minor Highway, and every other county- or municipality-maintained surface-street thoroughfare was Primary Street, including that 55 mph expressway I mentioned. Routing left quite a lot to be desired. Like I said, I know that's not what we'd intend by that standard, but the point of including functional classification is to have definite answers for those roads as well.

PhantomSoul wrote:From what I understand, the higher road types in Waze are meant to narrow the network of possible routes to consider for really long trips - I would imagine we're talking 50+ miles in the scope of MH and Fwy, if I'm not mistaken. Many of the urban routes that New Jersey calls principal arterials are not meant to be principal arterials across the entire state or even across the multiple counties, like Waze is looking for with the higher road types, but rather just the principal arterial through that specific urban area. . . .

Maybe I have the objective of the road types totally wrong, but if they are for trying to single out roads appropriate for use in the middle of trips of certain distances, then urban arterials are a bad metaphor for Waze highways.

That's one function of higher road types, the other seems to be during the initial route pruning process. Cities have Freeways too — the highest type road — so if you give the server a couple Major Highway alternatives to choose from, it'll be more likely to "see" an alternative route in case of traffic on the freeway. Upgrading to functional classification — which, yes, means Major Highway on 35 mph roads with lights — added a third route to my daily commute besides the 2 freeway options. It only routes me along that route occasionally, when traffic is especially bad on the other two, but for those occasions it's worth it.

In Detroit I saw a much bigger difference (because Detroit's much bigger and has way more roads to choose from); basically where it used to make me backtrack to get on the nearest freeway entrance, it now sends me along a Principal Arterial (Major Highway) or two for a few miles to get to the next useful freeway entrance downstream. It actually saves a couple minutes.
sketch
Waze Global Champs
Waze Global Champs
 
Posts: 6074
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:13 pm
Location: New Orleans, LA
Has thanked: 1534 times
Been thanked: 2074 times

Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby PhantomSoul » Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:22 am

Thanks for the efforts, sketch. I have to say the FC idea is growing on me, at least in the less urban parts of New Jersey. But in the more urban parts of especially northern New Jersey, the FC maps do not really coincide with the objectives Waze claims for the road types to meet.

From what I understand, the higher road types in Waze are meant to narrow the network of possible routes to consider for really long trips - I would imagine we're talking 50+ miles in the scope of MH and Fwy, if I'm not mistaken. Many of the urban routes that New Jersey calls principal arterials are not meant to be principal arterials across the entire state or even across the multiple counties, like Waze is looking for with the higher road types, but rather just the principal arterial through that specific urban area. Many of these roads are simply surface city streets with traffic lights, no concretely defined turn lanes/signals, parked cars, and even very frequent residential/commercial driveways, and are simply not appropriate for even being considered for routing in the middle of a 50+ mile trip. Fact of the matter is that in such highly-urbanized areas, controlled-access freeways are really the only roads appropriate for through travel. If there's an accident, you can try another freeway - there's usually many of them in very urbanized areas. If you're past the point of detour to another freeway, unless the freeway is actually closed, the ugly reality of these heavily urbanized areas is that your fastest option is probably to just wait out the congestion on the that freeway.

Ironically, Bing seems to have the best metaphor for road types that I've seen so far. I'm not saying that we should rush and adopt their standard; I don't even know exactly what it is or whether it would suit Waze's objectives, but if you look at New York City on Bing Maps, there isn't a single major non-freeway highway anywhere inside the outermost I-287 loop, except for a few short connector sections of roads where a controlled access freeway was never built. Even multi-lane divided roads in this area are mere minor highways, because they've been replaced with nearby controlled-access freeways far more appropriate for longer-distance travel.

I'm not trying to single out New Jersey, but it's where I've done and continue to do the vast majority of my editing. Though I know our roads are rather quirky, I'm pretty sure there are other states, at least here on the east coast, that have similar issues with a strict FC interpretation.

Maybe I have the objective of the road types totally wrong, but if they are for trying to single out roads appropriate for use in the middle of trips of certain distances, then urban arterials are a bad metaphor for Waze highways.
PhantomSoul
Local Champ Mentor
Local Champ Mentor
 
Posts: 1681
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:00 am
Location: Union, NJ USA
Has thanked: 304 times
Been thanked: 501 times

Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby AndyPoms » Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:49 am

Yes, we're still waiting (since last meetup) for feedback from Ehud.

My main problem with typing by naming (i.e. US-## must be typed X) is that those roads (both US-## & SR-##) can vary from one lane in each direction with stop signs to 2-3 lanes each direction with traffic lights to full blown limited access highways... Each of those are drastically different types of road.
AndyPoms
Waze Global Champs
Waze Global Champs
 
Posts: 7190
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:34 pm
Location: Hartford, CT
Has thanked: 129 times
Been thanked: 1319 times

Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby banished » Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:40 am

Thank you, Sketch, for the effort invested in this. At present, I am an FC holdout for three reasons:

1. Ehud said, “Please, don’t do that,” after Andy’s FC briefing at the last NA Meetup.
2. I look at the areas where FC is in use, and do not see any reduction in “Wrong driving direction” URs compared to where FC is not in use.
3. It is a workaround to get Waze to do what it should do inherently. Road type should not be a routing factor per this post https://www.waze.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=212&t=48543. Is not a claim of FC that road type does impact routing?

Never-the-less, FC mostly aligns with what I requested AL, FL, and GA editors do, which is:

Interstate/Freeway = Freeway
US-xx = Major Highway
SR-xx = Minor Highway
CR-xx = Primary Street

This does not impact routing any more – or less – than FC as far as I can tell, but has the advantage of being concise. For my experience, I wish Waze would just adopt Google’s routing engine and be done with it, but that’s beyond the scope of this discussion.

Best to you,
banished
banished
Waze Global Champs
Waze Global Champs
 
Posts: 784
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:03 am
Has thanked: 232 times
Been thanked: 170 times

Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby bgodette » Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:02 am

Isn't your current mapping a modification on that table where US/SR are always Major/Minor unless FC says it should be higher?
bgodette
Waze Global Champs
Waze Global Champs
 
Posts: 3434
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:19 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Has thanked: 114 times
Been thanked: 537 times

Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby kentsmith9 » Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:55 pm

Proposal on the page naming:

Since this is a US centric page, when we go live with it we should make it [[Road types/USA]]. This will allow a page above it called [[Road types]] that directs to each country. I proposed this in a different thread and I have been working on moving pages that are country specific to subpages to prevent inter-country user confusion.

On your point of this only being drivable roads, this is perfect because the current page is way over the limit of good Wiki practice for content size. We may want to consider

  • [[Road types/USA]]: Brief overview of road type selection with (at least) two sections linking to the following subpages.
  • [[Road types/USA/Drivable roads]]: Your new proposed content.
  • [[Road types/USA/Non-drivable roads]]: The other content you did not yet update.

I am open to debate on the Drivable vs Non-drivable naming if there is something more applicable here that I might not be thinking about.

I will further review the rest of the content over the next day or so. I see the page came from an older version you had been working on. Did you already update your page with all the current content of the latest version of the current page? I am not saying I see any difference, just thought I would confirm.

(Note: I added the construction template linking to this forum in case someone ran across it and wanted to make changes. Feel free to modify the template parameters as you desire.)
kentsmith9
Waze Global Champs
Waze Global Champs
 
Posts: 5536
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:33 pm
Location: SF/SJ Bay Area of Northern California
Has thanked: 1472 times
Been thanked: 1681 times

Re: Road Types (USA) - AGC exceptions

Postby kentsmith9 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:16 am

dbraughlr wrote:
kentsmith9 wrote:Are you asking something different?

Yes. Neither of the exceptions is listed there.
kentsmith9 wrote:Ah maybe you are suggesting we explain "why" we need the ramp in order to get the "Exit right" instruction.

No.

I am afraid your responses are too cryptic to understand. Please use more words.
I have made changes to https://wiki.waze.com/wiki/At-Grade_Connectors#Connector_is_a_signed.2C_numbered_exit that I believe are helpful in describing why these at grade connectors should be ramps.

If you are looking for something different please spell it out.
kentsmith9
Waze Global Champs
Waze Global Champs
 
Posts: 5536
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:33 pm
Location: SF/SJ Bay Area of Northern California
Has thanked: 1472 times
Been thanked: 1681 times

PreviousNext

Return to US Wiki Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: fjsawicki, tonestertm