[Talk-us] Trunk

Kevin Kenny kevin.b.kenny+osm at gmail.com
Fri Oct 6 17:17:40 UTC 2017

On Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 10:00 AM, Richie Kennedy
<richiekennedy56 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Perhaps I should make it clear that I am willing to pull a **full NE2
> defense** of the position that a controlled-access Super 2 is properly
> tagged as motorway.

Do we have differing definitions of a Super Two?

My personal threshold for 'motorway' is that potential conflicting traffic is
grade separated.

I'm not comfortable with tagging as 'motorway' any road that has
at-grade opposing
traffic. (Example: US 7 in between Arlington and Rutland, Vermont.
Access is fully controlled, but there is
no grade separation between opposing lanes. Climbing lanes are provided on
steep grades, but passing in the oncoming lane is lawful in some straight and
level sections.)

And I'm not comfortable with tagging as 'motorway' any road that has at-grade
crossing traffic. (Example: Taconic Parkway east of the Hudson in
eastern New York.
Dual-carriageway for the entire length, and all crossings with major roads are
elevated, but there are occasional minor roads and driveways that
cross at grade.)

I'm not planning to tag or retag anything; I don't have a dog in this particular
fight. I write this message as a data consumer. But I think that the
tagging seen
in http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=19/41.88704/-73.76900 is utterly
nonsensical. What the Sam Hill does it mean to have a 'motorway' that
you tag as 'trunk' for barely the width of the intersection so that you can
put a grade crossing on it? It might silence a warning about placing
a grade crossing on something as a motorway, but there's no useful
information to a driver.

It's worse than useless - it raises the false expectation that the road is a
motorway when it is not. It has grade crossings; it has narrow shoulders (not
necessarily a disqualifier); it has the same speed limit as primary roads
in its vicinity. It's a trunk road, or would be if we had designated trunk
roads in the US. Tagging it as a motorway encourages unsafe driving,
and at the threshold of an intersection is not sufficient notice to drivers
of a downgrade.

It would bother me a little to have either of these roads labeled
'primary'. It would bother me a lot more to have either one labeled
'motorway'. And the current tagging of Taconic Parkway offers the
worst of both worlds.

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