Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable roads

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

Postby DwarfLord » Sun Feb 07, 2016 6:45 pm

It would be nice for the "dirt road" section to mention the possibility, on a state-by-state basis, of using the road type for "uncommonly rough or poorly-maintained roads by local standards, whether technically paved or not". Or something to that effect.

In my area roads are generally very well maintained. So, local Wazers complain if they are routed over a rough or poorly-maintained road, regardless of whether a layer of asphalt is present amidst the potholes. To address those concerns, on rare occasions I'll use the "dirt road" type.
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby DwarfLord » Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:37 pm

To follow up on this suggested change to the Dirt Road section of Road Types (USA), here is a proposal expanding slightly on kentsmith9's suggestion. Kentsmith9's suggestion in red, mine in blue:

Dirt Road wrote:Because Waze allows users to opt out of through routing over this road type, it is generally used for roads that some fraction of local Waze users may prefer to avoid due to roughness or poor maintenance and the availability of smoother alternatives. In some areas of the country, improved unpaved roads (gravel, macadam, etc.), and in rare cases roads that are paved but uncommonly rough or difficult by local standards, are set to this type. In other areas, improved unpaved roads, and possibly certain dirt roads, will be set to other types, as if they were paved. Check your state page for details on whether your state follows unique guidelines for dirt roads or contact your regional coordinator for further guidance.
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby DwarfLord » Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:35 pm

sketch wrote:The wording downplays the fact that the option is called "avoid dirt roads". Your wording says "due to roughness or poor maintenance" and not one thing about the road surface itself...it doesn't belong here.

I disagree, based on the history of this part of the wiki and how the dirt road type is used by both editors and drivers. I agree that the the dirt road type should not be used willy-nilly for paved roads, but I think my proposed language makes that clear.
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby DwarfLord » Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:00 pm

Fredo-p wrote:
Dirt Road wrote:due to roughness or poor maintenance


Couldn't this be reworded as

due to the quality of the road and/or its surface condition.


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

Postby DwarfLord » Wed Feb 10, 2016 5:11 pm

Maybe the confusion is because the paragraph being discussed is not the entire Dirt Roads section. The very first sentence of the Dirt Roads section says:

"Generally, a road that is not paved."

Here is the entire section as it currently stands:

Current Road Types (USA) Dirt Roads wrote:Generally, a road that is not paved.

Roads of the Dirt Road / 4X4 Trail type will not be used if the user has selected the "Don't allow" option in the client, and segments longer than 300m will be avoided if the user has selected "Avoid long ones".

In some areas of the country, improved unpaved roads (gravel, macadam, etc.) are set to this type. In other areas, improved unpaved roads, and possibly certain dirt roads, will be set to other types, as if they were paved. Check your state page or contact your regional coordinator for further guidance.


The current proposal, modified for additional repetition to ensure readers understand, is as follows:

Proposed entire section wrote:Generally, a road that is not paved.

Roads of the Dirt Road / 4X4 Trail type will not be used for through routing if the user has selected the "Don't allow" option in the client, and segments longer than 300m will be avoided if the user has selected "Avoid long ones".

Because Waze allows users to opt out of through routing over this road type, it is generally used for roads that some fraction of local Waze users may prefer to avoid due to the type and/or quality of road surface and the availability of smoother, typically paved, alternatives.

In some areas of the country, editors may interpret the "dirt" in "Dirt Roads" loosely so that drivers who opt out will not be routed over poorer-quality roads when smoother alternatives are available, even if the poorer-quality roads are not technically dirt. In these areas, the Dirt Road / 4X4 Trail type may be used not only for roads with a dirt surface, but also for improved unpaved roads (gravel, macadam, etc.) and in very rare cases roads that are paved but uncommonly rough or difficult by local standards due to abundant large potholes or other hazards. In other areas, improved unpaved roads, and possibly certain dirt roads, will be set to other types, as if they were paved. Check your state page for details on whether your state follows unique guidelines for dirt roads or contact your regional coordinator for further guidance.

[EDIT: Further modified suggestion to incorporate suggested changes while still emphasizing the importance of the word "dirt" to respond to strong concerns. Removed unnecessary comment of poor tone regarding the likely degree to which drivers interpret "Dirt roads - Don't allow" as literally disallowing dirt-surface roads only regardless of road quality. Apologies. Added mention that the "Don't allow" option only applies to through routing as per testing. Added paragraph break.]
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby DwarfLord » Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:53 pm

I've edited my previous post to further accommodate concerns, hopefully, and to tone down my frustration.

sketch wrote:...generally used for roads that some fraction of local Waze users may prefer to avoid due to the type and/or quality of road surface and the availability of smoother, typically paved, alternatives.

This suggestion is incorporated in the above proposal. However, it would appear to remove some support for those regions that currently mark certain unpaved roads as Street type or higher. Those regions regularly use Dirt Road / 4X4 Trail for roads of poorer quality than unpaved alternatives.
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby DwarfLord » Thu Feb 11, 2016 2:43 am

herrchin wrote:...hopefully that helps support the importance of directing editors to the State standards and not defaulting to "unpaved == Dirt Road".

I agree, and indeed my primary goal was to drive that point further home.

I feel strongly that drivers who check "Dirt roads - Don't allow" in the app do so not because of a literal aversion to driving on soil in absolute terms, but simply because they are willing to sacrifice travel time for a smoother and/or less challenging ride in locally relative terms.

This relative interpretation does not seem far-fetched. My experience is that we already edit according to this interpretation throughout the US.

If anything, the current Road Types (USA) article is being somewhat arbitrary by suggesting that drivers who check "Dirt roads - Don't allow" are indicating a specific desire to avoid unpaved roads. That suggestion is neither literal (because "dirt" is not identical with "unpaved") nor relative (because "unpaved" is not identical with "poor quality by local standards"). Where did the idea that "dirt" = "unpaved" come from, anyway?

Ideally, I believe, this section would play down associations with any particular surface type and instead emphasize relative surface quality. It would explicitly leave the door open for poor roads of any surface (even paved roads) to be classed as Dirt Road / 4X4 Trail, as well as good roads of any surface (even dirt roads) to be classed as Street or above.

That's it. The States can take it from there.
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby DwarfLord » Thu Feb 11, 2016 4:41 pm

Thanks for the great feedback, that is very helpful. I feel I understand the concern much better now.

With that, here is another try. I have downplayed the paved-vs-unpaved issue in favor of focusing on general principles. I hope this captures the principle OK now.

Proposed entire section wrote:The Dirt Road / 4X4 Trail type has the unique property that Waze users may ask not to be routed over it. Users may ask to avoid it for all through routing with the settings option "Dirt roads - Don't allow", or to avoid it for through routing longer than 300 m (984 ft) with the option "Dirt roads - Avoid long ones".

Because of this property, this type typically represents side roads that some fraction of local drivers habitually avoid due to surface quality. In developed regions, this generally means unpaved (dirt, gravel, macadam) roads, or roads in uncommonly poor condition by local standards. Elsewhere, however, improved unpaved roads (and possibly certain dirt roads) may be set to other types as if they were paved.

Check your state page for details on whether your state follows unique guidelines for dirt roads, or contact your regional coordinator for further guidance.
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby DwarfLord » Thu Feb 11, 2016 10:49 pm

I don't think I've heard the term "supplementary road" (offered in place of "side road")...I could find very little use of it in a brief web search. The only clear example I did find was from Missouri. Perhaps it is a regional term? Is there a more general US term for less important or side roads that would do? If not, no worries, the meaning of "supplementary road" is I think clear enough and I'm OK keeping it.
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Re: Road Types (USA) – comprehensive overhaul of drivable ro

Postby DwarfLord » Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:10 am

herrchin wrote:
Fredo-p wrote:Officially, that would be Local Road. A road with the lowest volume of traffic and lowest speed limit.

Right, but in rural areas there are parts where it is 10 miles of primary street collector over crushed rock. Why I wanted to change "side road" to something else.

I'm not completely following...the original use of "side road" in the proposal applied to roads that could be eligible for Dirt Road / 4X4 Trail type, i.e., not collectors or arterials. But perhaps in your area, the term "side road" does connote collector or arterial...?
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