[Talk-us] Trunk

Paul Johnson baloo at ursamundi.org
Sun Oct 8 19:46:07 UTC 2017

On Sun, Oct 8, 2017 at 2:18 PM, Nathan Mills <nathan at nwacg.net> wrote:

> Riverside in Tulsa is fairly clearly a primary for most of its length. It
> isn't part of a larger trunk route nor is it an expressway.

Fair enough.  It does retain a lot of it's features from when it was the
Riverside Turnpike and it's difficult to get out into (moreso than 71st or
Memorial) and unusually fast for most of it's length, hence why I was on
the fence on that one.  I've retagged it as primary given this additional

> Personally, I think of trunk as more like motorway than like the other
> highway values. Motorway is clearly used only for controlled access
> freeways (excepting short sections in extremely rural areas where an
> Interstate doesn't quite meet the standard). I think of trunk as the same
> thing, but for expressways. For routes that are not primarily expressway, I
> think primary is a better classification. That assumes it otherwise meets
> the standard for primary.

Agreed.  As previously mentioned, I'm inclined to include paper interstates
as trunks as well, mostly because of the unique role such highways play in
the system overall.  Though outside of Alaska, the only paper interstates I
can think of offhand are in Puerto Rico (Interstates PR-*), all of which
are motorways anyway, downtown Tulsa (the unsigned I 444, the entire length
of which shares motorway with about 7 kilometers of US 75), and northwest
Portland (Interstate 505, a spur of I 405, but this may have been an
aborted interstate and shares about 3 kilometers of motorway with US 30),
making this almost certainly an Alaskan issue.  I'm relatively certain all
of Hawaii's interstates are, in fact, signed and motorway.

I can't think of any situations off the top of my head where
> unclassified/residential/tertiary/secondary/primary don't provide enough
> differentiation between sub-expressway roads.

County and rural roads, particularly of the 3- and 4-digit National Forest
routes and...really pick an unpaved section line almost anywhere in an area
bounded by the Rocky Mountain frontier, the Appalachian frontier, the Rio
Grande River, and the permafrost line in Canada.  Unclassified could mean
anything from so steep and unmaintained as to be barely passable by a 4x4
in otherwise pristine weather, to a 15 meter wide, graded-and-packed gravel
road allowing a city car to rip along at 80+ km/h without trouble; a
beat-up, worse-than-unpaved gravel-and-tar car-rolled tarmac to a
smooth-as-glass concrete surface.  Even if you take into account surface
and other qualitative tagging, the relative lack of low-end differentiation
is kind of a big ask for much of America.
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