[Talk-us] NJ mass road demotions?

Kevin Kenny kevin.b.kenny+osm at gmail.com
Tue Jun 13 15:35:32 UTC 2017

On Tue, Jun 13, 2017 at 10:49 AM, Paul Johnson <baloo at ursamundi.org> wrote:
>  I only saw this since NE2 had mass-upgraded everything in the US highway
> system to trunk nationwide.  Typically, trunk in the US has been meant to
> mean an expressway, ie, basically a freeway, but it might have intersections
> (the midwest is full of these, Tesla's first autopilot crash happened on
> such an expressway).  Or it might be fully controlled, but only a single
> carriageway (Cimarron Turnpike).  Or it's dual carriageway, but only one
> lane on a carriageway (thankfully, this is rare, the only one I remember
> driving on appears to be 2+2 now).  Odd beasts that are more controlled than
> a primary, yet, not a freeway.

Yeah, 'trunk' and 'unclassified' are odd beasts in the US because we
don't really have legal classifications corresponding to the ones of
those names in several European countries.

I pretty much follow the same practice as you. Trunks that I'm aware
of having travelled include Taconic Parkway (most of the crossings are
now elevated, but grade crossings do remain and are quite hazardous),
US 7 in Vermont (crossings elevated, but the carriageway is usually
two lanes plus a climbing lane), Queens Boulevard in New York City (an
urban surface street, but with four median-separated carriageways) and
any number of urban ways with dual carriageways and 'major' crossings
elevated, but at-grade minor intersections and even driveways opening
on the way.

'Unclassified,' I wind up using as something of a catchall for "isn't
primarily residential, and serves the hinterland rather than
connecting two places" If a way is the main route, say, between two
villages, that's at least 'tertiary'. How the road is placarded hardly
enters into the equation. There are placarded and numbered county
roads around here that deserve every designation from 'track' to
'trunk'. I think I could still find placards on some county roads that
have been de facto abandoned since the 1940s and are grown to trees -
but remain public rights-of-way that the hiking clubs encourage people
to use on foot.

Anything 'unclassified' and higher, I explicitly tag surface and
smoothness if either is significant. "highway=tertiary
surface=compacted smoothness=very_bad" is not uncommon out in the
countryside. I'm less assiduous with 'track', which can be presumed
to have a less-than-friendly surface to drive on.

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