Author Topic: Unsigned Interstates Discussion  (Read 4610 times)

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Offline Markkos1992

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Unsigned Interstates Discussion
« on: February 04, 2021, 02:30:16 pm »
Started here in I-676 thread: https://forum.travelmapping.net/index.php?topic=4034.msg21693#msg21693

I will link here from the I-676 thread and mark that topic as solved.

Offline SSOWorld

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Re: Unsigned Interstates Discussion
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2021, 08:31:17 pm »
I'm against removing unsigned Interstates. That is not what I was suggesting with my comments. MOST of them are entirely concurrent with something else, but others (such as I-478, which technically has one intermediate interchange AND shows up on most maps) are independent and long enough to qualify for usasf.

If you want to split the unsigned Interstates into a separate system, fine. But I'm strongly opposed to removing anything from the system solely on the basis of being "unsigned" if several other sources say they exist.
Remove unsigned Interstates or add unsigned routes of all other systems.  The choice is yours.
Completed:
* Systems: DC, WI
* by US State: AR: I&; AZ: I; DE: I; DC: I, US, DC; IL: I; IN: I*; IA: I, KS: I; MD: I, MA: I, MI: I; MN: I; MO: I*; NE: I; NJ, I; OH: I; RI: I; SD: I; WA: I; WV: I; WI: I,US,WI; (AR, IN pending expansions.)

*Previously completed

Offline vdeane

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Re: Unsigned Interstates Discussion
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2021, 07:08:32 pm »
Personally, I'm kinda regretting kicking the hornet's nest here.  All because of a misconception I had regarding I-676.  I feel like there's probably a larger interest in clinching the interstates (both signed/unsigned) than with other systems, given the status of the interstate system in the roadgeek mythos, and I'm not a fan of axing them, especially in AK and PR.  Especially with the AK and PR sections unsigned (with both states lacking systems above tier 4 of any kind), and the PR ones being hard to locate without TM.  There's Jim's idea to have usaki and uspri systems for those, which I would support if we decide to eliminate them in the contiguous US, but you'd still have an unsigned exemption for the interstates, just a changed one, so that begs the question of what the need for the change is if it would still be inconsistent with every other system.  And even in the contiguous US, there's I-296, which follows ramps to I-96 rather than end at the interchange on US 131, which someone looking to clinch it might not realize if it's not in the system.
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.

Offline mapcat

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Re: Unsigned Interstates Discussion
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2021, 08:43:05 am »
The unsigned interstates do not belong here anymore. As others have said, including them made sense originally, since there was no option for clinching them as part of another system. I don't support adding special systems for unsigned interstates in Alaska or Puerto Rico. If an unsigned interstate in Maryland doesn't qualify, then no unsigned interstates should qualify.

It seems that one benefit of this is that more people will have the opportunity to clinch usai. And that's a good thing.

People can clinch whatever they want. TM does not need to include all of the possibilities.
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Offline si404

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Re: Unsigned Interstates Discussion
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2021, 10:25:25 am »
It seems that one benefit of this is that more people will have the opportunity to clinch usai. And that's a good thing.
Is it a good thing?

This isn't a game like Pokemon "gotta clinch them all", but if it was, is making what would be the flagship epic challenge* easier a good thing? The whole point is that it is very difficult, and so accomplishing it comes with massive bragging rights because its a rare achievement that the number of people who've done it are going to be single-digits. Games nowadays have to come up with ever more niche accomplishments as getting the original epic one becomes too common. Part of the difficulty of clinching usai is visiting not only the 48 states + DC, but having to go to Hawaii, Alaska and PR too.

I know you would have half your missing 20-odd miles wiped off as you have about 10 miles missing in Alaska (the end bit of I-A1 in Anchorage and the end of I-A4 around Fairbanks), but you still have trips to Los Angeles and North Carolina to do in order to get new construction (and I-5 Truck).** You still have to travel to places thousands of miles away for tiny little bits, in order to finish the job and another trip to Alaska to finish what you failed to complete the first time isn't an outlandish ask if you want to 100% usai.

*In that it is very very hard, especially as its a moving target that you have to hold onto it, but it is still possible (unlike, say, the much larger usaus system).
**I'm assuming MA I-295 is where a label has moved and people haven't updated .list files as it's not new construction and 55 have clinched the western segment, but only 17 the eastern one.
Quote
People can clinch whatever they want. TM does not need to include all of the possibilities.
People can clinch whatever they want. They can choose to ignore possibilities that TM offers.

TM won't ever include all the possibilities - even just on road (we'll ignore rail, ferries, etc on which travels might want to be mapped) - but that doesn't mean that it shouldn't include stuff just because some people don't view it as worthy of inclusion. Certainly it doesn't mean removing stuff that has been around since the beginning just as some people don't want to bother clinching it - no one is forcing you to do so!

Offline Markkos1992

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Re: Unsigned Interstates Discussion
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2021, 12:35:20 pm »
I think what is really needed more is a way for people to choose what they want tracked.  Then those debates like what we have with unsigned interstates, usanp, and usaush would not be necessary IMO.

Offline michih

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Re: Unsigned Interstates Discussion
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2021, 12:57:45 pm »
It seems that one benefit of this is that more people will have the opportunity to clinch usai. And that's a good thing.
Is it a good thing?

No, hell, no!

I think what is really needed more is a way for people to choose what they want tracked.

How do you want to do this? A second .list user file for "routes I want to clinch?"

Offline mapcat

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Re: Unsigned Interstates Discussion
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2021, 01:04:28 pm »
@Si: I'm offended that you would consider my opinion on this to be self-serving.

Obviously I have the wherewithal to go to Alaska and get those last few miles of state highways, since I've already been there twice. I'll certainly go back eventually, once my daughter has the time to accompany me, to finish up I-A1 and I-A4 (among other highways), which I didn't "fail to complete the first time", but rather didn't know about or care about at all, since the purposes of those earlier trips was to visit all the boroughs in the state as part of an effort to visit all the counties. That I actually completed I-A2 and I-A3 on one of those trips was purely coincidental; I was unaware of CHM at the time. Had they been signed with red, white, and blue shields, I still wouldn't have thought to go out of my way to finish any of them.

But how many users do have that ability? Completing the signed interstates in 49 states + DC is still a massive undertaking, but a less costly one (in terms of time and money), and, for some, a less intimidating one. Living in (or near? hard to say now) Europe, you may not realize there are people with the means to travel extensively who nevertheless rarely find themselves in places where the dominant culture does not live, act, or (importantly) speak like they do. I feel sad for these people, but I respect that they want to remain in situations where they can feel comfortable. Such people will probably never give themselves the opportunity to circumnavigate Puerto Rico, where travel beyond San Juan's beaches without some knowledge of Spanish would be difficult.

These users deserve a shot to complete the "flagship epic challenge". DIY challenges aren't supported on the site. A user's hopes of seeing a "Rank: 1" in any system depend on TM's definition of that system aligning with their concept of that system. A usai limited to signed routes can be completed by both the user who defines an interstate as a road with the standard shield AND the user who defines an interstate as a road that exists on some FHWA list.

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Offline yakra

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Re: Unsigned Interstates Discussion
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2021, 02:28:11 pm »
I'd argue that TM shouldn't ever include all the possibilities, and that we should exclude stuff if most people don't view it as worth including. (In saying so, I'll acknowledge that there will not always be a clear consensus on that latter bit.)
I'd put the reason for potentially removing the unsigned Interstates less as "some people don't want to bother clinching it" and more as "it doesn't fit the idea of what this system should be."

People can clinch whatever they want, absolutely. I can clinch Portland Maine Public Ways, or Sagadahoc County Summer Townways Starting with 'B' if I want to. My point is that something simply being clinchable shouldn't determine whether TM offers it, but rather whether it's relevant outside of TM. I'm no fan of the "it's relevant because we say it is" philosophy.

WRT unsigned Interstates specifically, I'm sympathetic to the arguments on both sides of the issue and have not made my mind up either way. I can go with whatever the consensus ends up being, and have no problems putting ME METpkSprFal into usasf if it comes to that.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2021, 02:31:35 pm by yakra »
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Offline bejacob

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Re: Unsigned Interstates Discussion
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2021, 03:32:13 pm »
There is only one good reason unsigned Interstates should remain--because the routes have been defined as part of the "Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways," and such a definition beings federal funding equivalent to other Interstates.

However, since in every other system within the HB, the lack of signage prompts almost immediate removal, it's hard to justify keeping routes (even in usai) that are unsigned. Most (if not all) of these routes are not signed for the simple reason that they are concurrent with other well-established routes (e.g. I-595 in MD concurrent with US 50) and the Interstate signs were omitted so as not to overburden drivers with additional signs. When driving along US 50 in MD, it is easy to follow the signed route. If you didn't know part of it was also the unsigned I-595, you'd have no way of following field signage to clinch I-595 (even though you would be doing so by following that ~20 mile stretch of US 50).

For me it comes down to this. If you are going to argue that routes that are signed belong in the HB (such as usaush), you should not also argue that unsigned routes in other systems belong as well.

I'd lose some usai mileage if these routes were removed. That said, I'm strongly in favor of getting rid of them.




Offline Markkos1992

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Re: Unsigned Interstates Discussion
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2021, 05:54:04 pm »
Quote
How do you want to do this? A second .list user file for "routes I want to clinch?"

Maybe a way to list which systems that the user would not want to be shown...  Hopefully not in a separate list file.

Offline vdeane

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Re: Unsigned Interstates Discussion
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2021, 08:20:23 pm »
There is only one good reason unsigned Interstates should remain--because the routes have been defined as part of the "Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways," and such a definition beings federal funding equivalent to other Interstates.

However, since in every other system within the HB, the lack of signage prompts almost immediate removal, it's hard to justify keeping routes (even in usai) that are unsigned. Most (if not all) of these routes are not signed for the simple reason that they are concurrent with other well-established routes (e.g. I-595 in MD concurrent with US 50) and the Interstate signs were omitted so as not to overburden drivers with additional signs. When driving along US 50 in MD, it is easy to follow the signed route. If you didn't know part of it was also the unsigned I-595, you'd have no way of following field signage to clinch I-595 (even though you would be doing so by following that ~20 mile stretch of US 50).

For me it comes down to this. If you are going to argue that routes that are signed belong in the HB (such as usaush), you should not also argue that unsigned routes in other systems belong as well.

I'd lose some usai mileage if these routes were removed. That said, I'm strongly in favor of getting rid of them.




Keep in mind that this site is derived from Clinched Highway Mapping, which itself was previously Clinched Interstate Mapping (and before that, the interstate highway browser).  The interstates are in the site's blood.  And the unsigned interstates are more prominent than other unsigned routes, especially as other unsigned routes tend to be there for inventory purposes only, whereas there is little benefit to doing so for an interstate (especially now that interstate-specific funds no longer exist).

If someone is looking to clinch routes, I would recommend going over TM to check out where things go.  It's just a good idea, period, especially as many routes are poorly signed, and Google is often wrong.

Without them being mapped in TM, how would someone know how to properly clinch I-296, or anything in Puerto Rico (they aren't mapped in detail anywhere else on the internet, as far as I can tell)?  I would think the status the interstate system has among roadgeeks as one of the holiest of holy things would be important.

I suppose if we must get rid of them, could we at least get a Puerto Rico Autopista system?  That way PR wouldn't become a mono-culture of territorial routes, and maps with large numbers of routes and no color variation just don't look good.  Actually, PR uses a variety of shield styles, so maybe there's an opportunity to split things (though they might not be consistent - what the heck is going on there?).

I definitely do not think - "American roadgeeks might not want to learn some Spanish" (as mentioned upthread) is a good reason for getting rid of unsigned interstates.

Quote
How do you want to do this? A second .list user file for "routes I want to clinch?"

Maybe a way to list which systems that the user would not want to be shown...  Hopefully not in a separate list file.
I always though some kind of declaration at the top of a .list file (ex: "EXCLUDE usaush") could be a way to remove systems one doesn't want from maps/stats, although I think there are people who would rather keep .list files for traveled route segments only.
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.

Offline cl94

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Re: Unsigned Interstates Discussion
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2021, 08:59:37 pm »
It seems that one benefit of this is that more people will have the opportunity to clinch usai. And that's a good thing.
Is it a good thing?

This isn't a game like Pokemon "gotta clinch them all", but if it was, is making what would be the flagship epic challenge* easier a good thing? The whole point is that it is very difficult, and so accomplishing it comes with massive bragging rights because its a rare achievement that the number of people who've done it are going to be single-digits. Games nowadays have to come up with ever more niche accomplishments as getting the original epic one becomes too common. Part of the difficulty of clinching usai is visiting not only the 48 states + DC, but having to go to Hawaii, Alaska and PR too.


There are certainly people whose opinion is "I don't want to include unsigned routes because that makes the system harder to clinch". Indeed, a few users on this very forum have expressed this exact sentiment! There are people who see clinching as a game and they want the highest score. I don't get the competition aspect of all of this, but whatever.

As far as the "decide what to clinch" thing, the idea of a switch to toggle unsigned systems on/off has been thrown around. There are a couple of high-profile roadgeeks who would likely join the site if such a function was added.

Offline Duke87

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Re: Unsigned Interstates Discussion
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2021, 09:31:08 pm »
I do not support deleting unsigned interstates.

I could get behind the idea of moving unsigned interstates into a separate system, with this being a model for how unsigned routes in other systems may eventually be included.

Offline yakra

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Re: Unsigned Interstates Discussion
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2021, 09:58:50 pm »
The "whole separate system" concept seems clunky...
Maybe a new column in system CSVs that can store whether a route is signed or unsigned?
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