Author Topic: Unsigned State Routes  (Read 3883 times)

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Offline cl94

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Re: Unsigned State Routes
« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2021, 09:01:27 pm »
The example of "Touring Routes" from New York is instructive. Of all the stuff the DOT maintains & tracks, NYSDOT decided that these were useful for people who are Touring. They serve a useful purpose in getting they-uh from he-uh. They're relevant to Joe Traveler.

There is a bit of nuance you're missing here. A "touring route" is any route that is signed, and we know that two reference routes are intentionally signed as touring routes. How? Because people at NYSDOT told us so. If NYSDOT wants us to know these routes exist, then who are we to exclude them? In both of these cases, NYSDOT went through the work of changing the number because they thought it didn't warrant signs, but the local community wanted a signed route, so NYSDOT threw up signs and has been treating it as a touring route without doing the work of changing the number.

There is also the case of NY 952Q (Walden Avenue outside of Buffalo), which would have likely gotten a signed number due to its regional importance if not for the fact that it had a name in common use and NYSDOT likes to minimize confusion. There are several reference routes which have a touring route number reserved for them, but have not had it assigned because the entire route has a name in common use, so there is precedent for such a concept.

*Legally*, "touring routes" and "reference routes" are indistinct. The designation that matters is the state highway (SH) number, which indicates a segment of roadway. A single SH number can be shared among several reference/touring routes and a single reference/touring route be shared among multiple SH numbers. This is similar to how Oregon officially designates highways.

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I invoke the hypothetical "Sagadahoc County Summer Townways Starting with 'B'" system as a cautionary tale about going too far down the rabbit hole. In some ways, US900/901 is not all that dissimilar from what this system would include.

And I present the national park roads we have already mapped as a counterexample. If you want to talk about going too far down the rabbit hole, look at NPS 602 in NJ, which is simply a short segment of NPS-maintained county route that gets included because NPS. If we can include every little road maintained by NPS, why can't we include unsigned state routes in their own system? Few (if any) would argue that one needs to clinch the national park and historic routes to claim a clinch of a state highway system. There *are* people (and a decent number of them) who think that unsigned routes need to be clinched.

Offline bejacob

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Re: Unsigned State Routes
« Reply #31 on: February 11, 2021, 09:54:26 pm »
I don't think I've make a trip in the last couple years without consulting the relevant area for roads I might want to drive/clinch. When in the field, I rely on signage to follow a route. I sometimes take printouts from TM with me to help, but trying to follow an unsigned route is just impractical when behind the wheel.

Some signed routes are also impractical to follow. Good luck with successfully guessing the route of a US highway through a Tennessee city or over an Arkansas or Colorado concurrency. I will say, by the way, that TM was a very helpful resource for me in determining the routes of the various US routes through Chattanooga when I drove up there last fall - signage is really lacking in that area in many cases and Google is often wrong.

Totally agree.
Adding a bunch of unsigned routes won't fix that problem. Seems to me it would just make it worse.

Looks like this may eventually come down to different approaches based on who maintains each state/region. Not too far from where things stand today with the exception that some states may end up with a few more unsigned routes being added while other states stick with just signed routes.


Offline yakra

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Re: Unsigned State Routes
« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2021, 11:26:32 pm »
And I present the national park roads we have already mapped as a counterexample. If you want to talk about going too far down the rabbit hole, look at NPS 602 in NJ, which is simply a short segment of NPS-maintained county route that gets included because NPS. If we can include every little road maintained by NPS, why can't we include unsigned state routes in their own system? Few (if any) would argue that one needs to clinch the national park and historic routes to claim a clinch of a state highway system. There *are* people (and a decent number of them) who think that unsigned routes need to be clinched.
I certainly agree with the "too far down the rabbit hole" characterization here. Some of us contributors would argue the usanp routes should never have been added. A bit of a sore point depending on who you ask.
For some of the reasons, you cite...
* the idea of irrelevance toward clinching a state's actual highways
* the inevitable "If you can add X, why not Y?" arguments
...as well as others.
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Offline oscar

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Re: Unsigned State Routes
« Reply #33 on: February 12, 2021, 07:58:41 am »
Finishing up my U.S. jurisdictions:

NV: Agree with Duke87's characterization. I'm not familiar with the unsigned state routes outside the Las Vegas metro area (I took over usanv after it was activated), but there are a few in Las Vegas.

NM: I know there are a least a few unsigned routes in the main state route system. Adding them would probably be a manageable effort. There are separate state systems, such as for frontage and other minor roads, which the proposal would not cover.

This is one state where Google Maps has (at least when I finished usanm) often just pulled numbered state routes out of its ass, so any supposed unsigned state routes have to be cross-checked against official sources (the state route log is seriously out of date, but an online functional class map is better). Heck, as goofy as route signage can be in New Mexico, I've encountered routes with state route markers that aren't in the state highway system, and haven't been in recent years (if ever).

Offline US 89

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Re: Unsigned State Routes
« Reply #34 on: February 12, 2021, 10:19:52 am »
UT: Has a modest number of unsigned routes, not administratively distinct from those signed. Map unless any run afoul of criteria 3-5 (some will run afoul of criteria 3).

I'll elaborate on Utah since that's what I'm most familiar with. The vast majority of unsigned routes are those serving various state institutions and parks. Many of them would be worth adding here, though some would violate criteria 3 and/or 4. Worth noting that only portions of some routes would violate the criteria - in these cases I would say to just map all "legal" portions.

Other than 900/901 which was mentioned in earlier posts, these should be the only currently unsigned routes that do not pass all criteria in their entirety:

Routes that violate criteria 3 (public road): 320
Routes that violate criteria 4 (parking lots): 293, 298, 299, 317
Routes that partially violate criteria 4: 292

One idea for some of these might be to create a "checkbox" feature that could be used to track a "clinch" without counting any mileage. Obviously driving down every parking aisle of something like 317 is silly, but a feature that still allows users to see if they still need to visit it could be useful. The advantage of this is it allows one to decide for themselves what constitutes a clinch of a route like this - do you need to drive every aisle? Circumnavigate the lot? Is a sight clinch good enough or do you even need to worry about it at all? All up to the user.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2021, 10:54:50 am by US 89 »

Offline Jim

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Re: Unsigned State Routes
« Reply #35 on: February 12, 2021, 10:24:59 am »
While I don't have a strong preference on most of what's been discussed, I can say that I'd never merge in a pull request that added a parking lot to TM.

Offline yakra

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Re: Unsigned State Routes
« Reply #36 on: February 12, 2021, 11:51:00 am »
Perhaps that should be spun off onto its own server.
https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=10705.msg2207660#msg2207660
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Offline formulanone

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Re: Unsigned State Routes
« Reply #37 on: February 12, 2021, 12:27:51 pm »
Scott5114 mentioned a few "SH-0" routes in Oklahoma over at AARoads. Not certain if they are "no designation" or just vaguely defined.

https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=24342.msg2565479#msg2565479

Florida just has a few random routes or segments which get signed for short periods of time or are missing signage. Sometimes a stretch is state-maintained for a few years and then drops off back to the county due to their semi-official mileage cap.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2021, 12:37:00 pm by formulanone »

Offline jayhawkco

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Re: Unsigned State Routes
« Reply #38 on: February 12, 2021, 05:48:47 pm »
I'm in favor of adding them (per the constraints listed in the OP) just to maintain consistency with looking at Route Logs and such things. 

Colorado: There are only three or four (can't remember which Pueblo ones are actually still signed since some disappeared).  So why not.
Wyoming: There are only three, and all constraints are met.
Utah:  My two cents on UT 900 & 901, just because they're difficult to drive doesn't mean they shouldn't be counted.  We count the Nahanni Range Road in the Yukon despite needing to carry supplemental gasoline to be able to clinch it. (Hence why Oscar doesn't have it fully clinched if I'm not mistaken.)  Granted, I'm a little biased as I drive a Wrangler, but I think there is an appeal for all of us to drive off the beaten path roads.  I know I've been fascinated by things like the Dalton and the Dempster since I was a kid. 

Chris
« Last Edit: February 12, 2021, 05:57:14 pm by jayhawkco »

Offline oscar

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Re: Unsigned State Routes
« Reply #39 on: February 12, 2021, 08:10:41 pm »
Maryland will be difficult - Virginia has these same sorts of routes but put them in their own separate system (F-routes).  A lot of unsigned Maryland state highways fail criteria #4 though.  I would be happy to assist in deciding which ones should be included.  BTW, MD 856 is completely drivable on its original narrow-width concrete... :)

Are there Virginia state routes, serving universities/colleges, etc., where we've mapped only the best-signed part of the primary state route mileage? If so, we may need to add more roads to be mappable unsigned routes.

I recall there was a similar issue for spur routes on Utah public university campuses, though I'm not sure we left anything out.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2021, 09:14:47 pm by oscar »

Offline SSOWorld

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Re: Unsigned State Routes
« Reply #40 on: February 12, 2021, 08:18:06 pm »
IA: Given that they haven't been consistent with signing in places like Dubuque, IA-32 should still be in the DB right now - but they have a legit excuse in that the summer derecho has diverted efforts to "Crapids" because of major hurricane force winds.
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Offline mapmikey

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Re: Unsigned State Routes
« Reply #41 on: February 12, 2021, 09:15:40 pm »
Maryland will be difficult - Virginia has these same sorts of routes but put them in their own separate system (F-routes).  A lot of unsigned Maryland state highways fail criteria #4 though.  I would be happy to assist in deciding which ones should be included.  BTW, MD 856 is completely drivable on its original narrow-width concrete... :)

Are there Virginia state routes, serving universities/colleges, etc., where we've mapped only the best-signed part of the primary state route mileage? If so, we may need to add more roads to be mappable unsigned routes.

I recall there was a similar issue for spur routes on Utah public university campuses, though I'm not sure we left anything out (since Tim supervised the drafting of usaut, that probably didn't happen).

Only the Virginia Facility Routes that have a full state highway shield posted somewhere are in TM. 

Separately, there are a number of these routes that are signed in the field only with the white rectangles that have not previously been welcomed in TM and are thus far not there. 
These are: 209, 300Y, 313, 333, 335, 342, 345, 355, 375, 388, 389

These are the completely unposted ones I could add the publicly drivable portions (11 of these have been posted at some point since the mid 90s, just not right now):  113, 192, 213, 246, 261, 283, 317, 324, 325, 329, 332, 337 Alt (norfolk), 350, 366, 368, 377, 381, 384, 390, 393, 394, 404, 405, 420

These are the completely unposted ones I would not add:
48 (ROW for Blue Ridge Pkwy and Skyline Dr)
302 (too many segments and no "main segment")
303 (too many segments although Letcher Ave could be considered the main segment)
315 (not sure this is an actual road anymore)
318 (state capitol drive - not publicly accessible; newly expanded part has too many segments so unless one of these is signed...)
327 (too many segments and no main segment)
328 (don't think this is a road anymore)
339 (configuration has changed...would need to field check if this can be driven without going through gates)
367 (not sure this is still in the system - the comm college is not there anymore and this was a multi-segment route though a main segment does still exist)
382 (would need 3 segments)

I am on the fence about 399 because that could be construed as a parking lot

Offline oscar

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Re: Unsigned State Routes
« Reply #42 on: February 12, 2021, 09:23:16 pm »
IA: Given that they haven't been consistent with signing in places like Dubuque, IA-32 should still be in the DB right now - but they have a legit excuse in that the summer derecho has diverted efforts to "Crapids" because of major hurricane force winds.

Aren't those old IA-32 signs just remnant signage, for a route we know has been officially decommissioned, that can and should be ignored?

Lots of remnant signage out there, in many states. Looking for it is a common roadgeek adventure.

Offline vdeane

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Re: Unsigned State Routes
« Reply #43 on: February 12, 2021, 09:36:57 pm »
And I present the national park roads we have already mapped as a counterexample. If you want to talk about going too far down the rabbit hole, look at NPS 602 in NJ, which is simply a short segment of NPS-maintained county route that gets included because NPS. If we can include every little road maintained by NPS, why can't we include unsigned state routes in their own system? Few (if any) would argue that one needs to clinch the national park and historic routes to claim a clinch of a state highway system. There *are* people (and a decent number of them) who think that unsigned routes need to be clinched.
I certainly agree with the "too far down the rabbit hole" characterization here. Some of us contributors would argue the usanp routes should never have been added. A bit of a sore point depending on who you ask.
For some of the reasons, you cite...
* the idea of irrelevance toward clinching a state's actual highways
* the inevitable "If you can add X, why not Y?" arguments
...as well as others.
Yes, that is quite true.  We already have the "if X, why not Y" debates periodically with usasf and other systems.  As we can see with the debates in this thread, that would only be compounded with unsigned routes, so if they did get added, they would need clear rules like what's laid out in the OP to prevent that.  Even with the NY reference routes... cl94 proposed four, but I can easily see it escalating... especially since the argument for Walden Avenue is that it's like a touring route, but with routes like NY 437 and what's left of NY 314, that can mean just about any of them other than perhaps service roads and wyes.

I could see a case for adding 961F and 990V to usany given that they're deliberately well-signed.  Of course, that could open up arguments about that route that's incorrectly signed as NY 25C...
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.

Offline Duke87

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Re: Unsigned State Routes
« Reply #44 on: February 13, 2021, 01:04:18 am »
Note, the following quoted post is from the unsigned interstates thread, but the subject is more here:
On a more serious note, I doubt that Duke87 is planning to add UT 900 and UT 901.  I would not even recommend the addition of NJ 324.  (as much as I want to walk clinch that eventually)

NJ 324 is totally driveable. Would not need to walk it to clinch it. It even has street view imagery. It's as fair game as any other of NJ's unsigned routes.

Regarding UT 900 and 901, assuming we collectively decided it's green light on drafting up unsigned state routes... I totally would add them, actually. I can appreciate that there are plenty of people who think the inclusion of such is ridiculous, and I would counter that this is exactly why the ability to have a toggle feature is an important prerequisite. You don't want things like that factoring into your stats for Utah, fine, turn off unsigned routes in Utah and they won't.