[Talk-us] highway=trunk for NHS routes?

Bill Ricker bill.n1vux at gmail.com
Sun Jan 1 14:26:44 UTC 2017

On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 8:09 AM, Volker Schmidt <voschix at gmail.com> wrote:

> I have just come across this NHS road that I know well: [1]
> This is a winding mountain road, two lanes, many parts without shoulder.
​And the only/best  thru road through these mountains; access from LA to
multiple state/national parks.

I would like to bring the discussion back to my main argument. The property
> of a road "belonging to the NHS network" is orthogonal (independent) to the
> OSM road classifications motorway|trunk|primary|seondary|tertiary|
> unclassified-residential

​Orthogonal as such yes.
But a useful clue as to which road in a rural region is serving the purpose
of a primary or trunk despite not having all the hallmarks of an urban

> Being part of the NHS is not recognazable on the ground, and does not
> allow to defer any useful property for data users (may be apart from the
> smoothness of the surface, because generally speaking there is more funding
> available for maintenance).

Yes,  being the best maintained road for miles around ​
​(going in that direction) is quite recognizable even if not expressible in
words. Growing up rural, you feel it in your bones. Literally.

​​ ​

> Let me turn the argument around:
> NHS roads include roads that fall in many OSM categories, like motorway,
> trunk, primary, secondary (like my last example), and possibly lower
> ​ ​
> If you were to label all NHS roads as highway=trunk you would loose
> important information for the data users.

​Richard's comment suggests the current US misuse of pavement
characteristics to mechanically classify roads in US as substitute for UK
A/B classifications is useless.  It appears to be useful where most of us
live in conurbations, and do most of our driving on roads we know well
anyway, but a mechanical pavement -> ​classification is inadequate to
indicate its relative position in the highway network in the great beyond
where limited access dual carriageways are far away, where we cycle or
drive for pleasure.

> The road property "belonging to the NHS" could be easily tagged by an
> independent, additional tag, something like NHS=yes.

​This and relations should be done at a minimum, and would allow Richard's
cyclemap to promote NHS links up a level of rendering. ​

But we do need to seriously examine if our US definition of trunk/primary
in lieu of UK M/A/B system is fit for purpose outside the compact urban
zones, and then what to do that can serve both the  feeder of a cluster of
mountain parks and the boulevards of Los Angeles.

Bill Ricker
bill.n1vux at gmail.com
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