[Tagging] winter tyres

Kevin Kenny kevin.b.kenny+osm at gmail.com
Wed Nov 1 19:54:57 UTC 2017

On Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 2:47 PM, Paul Johnson <baloo at ursamundi.org> wrote:
> Data consumers should at least prompt "do you really want to go with this
> route?" during the winter on routes that are restricted in winter, and
> reject on routes closed in winter (or at least throw an "are you sure?" on
> winter road restrictions; after all, they could already be in trouble in
> conditions where tracking their own path in isn't possible to get back out
> (ie, after a blizzard), and being able to orient to a more reasonable
> location for rescue might be the best opportunity for rescue if they've
> already got themselves stranded).  In either way, can't hurt to also warn
> when approaching the conditional if the exact conditions aren't known to the
> consumer (ie, a wet road speed limit if the consumer can't/doesn't check the
> weather; or a variable speed limit if there's no way that the consumer can
> tell what the real limit is until the sign is seen, or that you're
> approaching a potential winter restriction or closure in winter so decisions
> can be made (anything from slowing down so a hidden speed bump doesn't rip a
> muffler off to not barreling into a wall of snow where winter maintenance
> ends).

In my area, the signage is usually: "Limited purpose seasonal-use
highway. No maintenance Dec 1-Apr 15." But those dates are very, very
flexible. I've seen the roads close by Hallowe'en in a year with a
heavy early snowfall (a light snow, and they'll still try to keep them
plowed outside the posted dates), or take well into
May to get them open again if the snowpack
is high or the rockslides have been bad. Similarly, I've seen them still
open until Christmas or opened again in late March. So I agree that a generic
"are you sure?" prompt is probably The Right Thing. The mountains
make their own weather, and we humans aren't very good at
scheduling around it.

So I agree that any conditional restriction that a routing&navigation
system doesn't understand merits an 'are you sure?'. And for that
reason, in many of these highly fuzzy cases, it doesn't do to get too
finely into the details. It actually is trying to remove responsibility from
the driver, where it belongs, and place it on the navigation system, which
generally lacks the information and judgment needed to make the
right call.

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