[Talk-us] Burlington, Vermont road classification

Dale Puch dale.puch at gmail.com
Thu Oct 18 23:11:48 BST 2012

Bottom line is it is subjective.  Be friendly, make a compromise and have
fun mapping.

This is something that has shown up a few times that I recall.  What I
remember from that is primary rely on "ground truth" but it can be adjusted
for map consistency and other extenuating factors.  Unfortunately that
comes under the judgment of the mappers.

Examples: I remember there are Interstates that are actually unpaved in
places, but tagged like all the rest of the interstates with perhaps
surface=unpaved ect.  I think Alaska might be good examples of this but
haven't checked into it myself.  Another is where the road conditions
change for a mile or two before reverting back.  Especially if this happens
several times in a row it is usually desirable to keep one classification
instead of going back and forth.  Relative conditions of the area also come
into play.  It isn't always a question of the road at that specific point
meeting a set of requirements.

Specifically for your example of US 7 and route 2.   Both seem to connect
the center of burlington to other major roads and populations centers, not
just a local road.

My answer that isn't an answer.... :p

On Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 4:48 PM, Andrew Guertin <andrew.guertin at uvm.edu>wrote:

> Hi,
> There are two active mappers in the Burlington, Vermont area, and we
> disagree about how the roads should be classified, so we're looking for
> more opinions.
> The crux of the problem is the answer to the question: Which is more
> important, outside/official classifications, or physical characteristics?
> The tagging pages on the wiki don't really provide clarity on this
> matter. For example, from [1],
> > Almost all other U.S. Highways get highway=primary. A primary
> > highway generally provides the best route (excluding motorways)
> > connecting adjacent cities or communities
> > Even where U.S. Highways connect only smaller communities, they still
> > merit highway=primary
> but
> > Primary highways generally lack stop signs; however, stop signs may
> > control major intersections in rural areas with low traffic volumes
> > and occur rarely elsewhere.
> The most notable example of this is North Willard Street[2]. It is part
> of US Route 7, but as can be seen with Bing Imagery, it is narrow, made
> narrower by street parking on both sides, and is controlled by stop
> signs. Similarly, Main Street is part of US Route 2, but has many
> lights, and does not even satisfy the "near the highest speed generally
> allowed on surface streets" note about secondary streets.
> Of note, there is in fact no path to get from US 7 south of Burlington
> to US 7 north of Burlington without stopping at at least one stop sign,
> except for the interstate. Should this imply that there just aren't any
> major roads here?
> We're especially interested in input from nearby states--the rest of New
> England and northern New York, but of course anyone with an opinion
> please chime in!
> Thanks,
> --Andrew
> [1] http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/United_States_roads_tagging
> [2]
> http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=44.48388&lon=-73.20368&zoom=16&layers=M
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Dale Puch
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