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Author Topic: How to designate "other" numbered highways in threads / maps  (Read 1532 times)

M3100

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Are there common standards for designating numbered highways other than Interstates, US highways, and state highways?

For example, in my area there is I-405, US-101, and CA-1.

What would the designation be for Los Angeles County N-17; just N-17?  It would not be obvious to someone from outside the area.

Also, in California and other states (including Arizona), certain sections of decommissioned US highways have "Historic" signs posted along their routes.  Would those be designated as H-US-395?

My own designation for decommissioned routes (that do not have 'Historic' signs and were never renumbered) is X- in front, such as X-US-6 for Figueroa Street. 
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Re: How to designate "other" numbered highways in threads / maps
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2020, 11:46:20 PM »

Regarding Sign County Routes in California they actually do have a standard...albeit incredibly lax:

https://www.cahighways.org/county.html
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Scott5114

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Re: How to designate "other" numbered highways in threads / maps
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2020, 01:40:10 AM »

This is all entirely negotiable depending on the locality and the style guide, if any, of the author.

On Wikipedia, for instance, routes are abbreviated based on the official abbreviation. So it'd be SR-1 in CA, SH-1 in OK, K-1 in Kansas, but AR-1 in Arkansas. County routes are abbreviated CR, like CR N-17.

State DOTs sometimes have strange practices. I-35 in Oklahoma, but IH-35 in Texas (since they have so many different types of routes, they've standardized on two-letter abbreviations for all of them). Missouri always refers to their highways in textual form on signs as "Route" and doesn't allow abbreviations ("Route 13"). This is even done for interstates ("Route I-44").

Some types of highways may have official USPS abbreviations. "Bypass" is often abbreviated to BYP, for instance.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2020, 01:42:30 AM by Scott5114 »
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1995hoo

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Re: How to designate "other" numbered highways in threads / maps
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2020, 08:36:21 AM »

I'd suggest the standard you should use will depend on your audience and the context. If you were posting here on the forum, if it were a thread particular to your local area's roads in the appropriate geographic subforum, using a local convention might be appropriate, but if it were in a more national thread—say, if you were comparing your area's local roads to, I don't know, Florida's—you might want to use something more specific.

The main thing is, like with any other citation format used for any purpose, the information provided should make it clear to the reader what you're referring to. Scott5114 mentions the use of "SR," for example. If you simply used "SR" in a non-state-specific thread without specifying what state you mean, it would be ambiguous because multiple states use that abbreviation. That's why it's very common for people to use state postal abbreviations instead, regardless of what the particular state may use, if doing so will promote clarity. For example: "The speed limit on FL-16 west of I-95 is 60 mph, but the speed limit on VA-20 south of Wilderness is only 55 mph." If I said "SR," it wouldn't be clear what I was comparing. On Wikipedia, this isn't an issue in an article about a specific road because the context will make it clear—the article's title will be, for example, "Virginia State Route 20."

Consider also in the context of giving someone directions whether using this sort of cue might help the person in terms of watching for signs. "Take Route 66 to Route 50 east to Route 236" is less specific than "Take I-66 to US-50 east to VA-236," for example (never mind that in real life you'd be unlikely to refer to 236 in this example because instead you'd say something like "keep straight ahead onto Main Street after passing the Honda dealer on your left"). A fine example of this is in Maryland where a sign east of the Clear Spring exit warns people looking for I-68 west to Cumberland to stay on I-70 because the next exit is for MD-68, a very different road; one reason for this is because so many people give directions like "take 70 west to 68" without specifying.
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vdeane

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Re: How to designate "other" numbered highways in threads / maps
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2020, 01:48:15 PM »

Last I checked, standard roadgeek convention was I-XX for interstates, US XX for state routes, [state abbreviation] XX for state routes (ex: NY 7), and CR XX for country routes (dash usually used only for interstates), although on local threads I've most commonly seen IH-XX for Texas interstates, M-XX for Michigan state routes, Loop XXX for some of the freeways around Phoenix, and CC-215 for the non-interstate portions of the Las Vegas beltway.

Historic segments of US routes seem to be treated the same as bannered routes - Historic US XX.
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kphoger

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Re: How to designate "other" numbered highways in threads / maps
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2020, 02:37:57 PM »

I prefer "CR 16" for rural roads that are simply numbered, but prefer "CH 16" for signed county highways.

That is, "CR 16" is the rural equivalent of "16th Ave", whereas "CH 16" is the county equivalent of "US-16".
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Re: How to designate "other" numbered highways in threads / maps
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2020, 03:11:42 PM »

Kentucky doesn't post county routes with pentagon symbols, and in general, counties don't either. Counties and cities have internal control numbers on KYTC documentation, but these numbers aren't generally posted in the field (sometimes the number is posted on street blade signs, however; it depends on the county.) Internal documents use "CR" for "county road" or "county route" and "CS" for "city street."

West Virginia doesn't have true county roads. The circular markers are for state routes, but they're typically called county roads and are abbreviated "CR."

I've seen Virginia's secondary state routes called "SR," as opposed to primary routes being called "VA."

I don't think Tennessee designates between state primary (the rectangular markers with the state outline with the state name at the bottom of the sign" and state secondary (the triangle markers); I see them called either "TN" or "SR."
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1995hoo

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Re: How to designate "other" numbered highways in threads / maps
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2020, 03:36:52 PM »

I've seen internal VDOT materials that refer to secondary routes by using the form "SC-###[direction] (jurisdiction)"—so, for example, eastbound Franconia Road in Fairfax County would be "SC-644E (Fairfax County)." They use "VA-" for primary state routes, and of course "US-" and "I-" as appropriate. (Yes, they use the hyphen, and not just for Interstates.)
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M3100

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Re: How to designate "other" numbered highways in threads / maps
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2020, 08:30:55 PM »

Thanks all.  It seems I have some leeway here, as local custom varies from state to state (and even different regions).  I had noticed that some posts only use the hyphen when listing Interstates, while others used them for all numbered routes.  PoTAYto/PoTAHto.

I'll also look out for BYP, B.R. (supersedes BUS?), ALT, and whatever other variations are out there.  I am far from the midwest, so I won't even begin to tackle FM (Farm-to-Market) roads or other categories til I am, ahem, "further down the road"...

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Re: How to designate "other" numbered highways in threads / maps
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2020, 08:35:00 PM »

Hyphens for low-numbered state routes should ideally be avoided; those are for congressional districts.
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Scott5114

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Re: How to designate "other" numbered highways in threads / maps
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2020, 02:08:49 AM »

The main thing is, like with any other citation format used for any purpose, the information provided should make it clear to the reader what you're referring to. Scott5114 mentions the use of "SR," for example. If you simply used "SR" in a non-state-specific thread without specifying what state you mean, it would be ambiguous because multiple states use that abbreviation. That's why it's very common for people to use state postal abbreviations instead, regardless of what the particular state may use, if doing so will promote clarity. For example: "The speed limit on FL-16 west of I-95 is 60 mph, but the speed limit on VA-20 south of Wilderness is only 55 mph." If I said "SR," it wouldn't be clear what I was comparing. On Wikipedia, this isn't an issue in an article about a specific road because the context will make it clear—the article's title will be, for example, "Virginia State Route 20."

Right, in some contexts it's important to be clear which state's SR you're talking about. (I missed that the point of the thread was when discussing roads on the forum, and thought the thread was meaning in general writing.) In some threads it will be obvious by context; if I say "SH-3 in northwest Oklahoma City was rerouted recently", clearly I don't mean Texas State Highway 3. In other situations you will want to specify the state.

One fun little hack is that K- and M- always refer to Kansas and Michigan specifically, since those are the only two states that use a single-letter prefix as an official name. The official name of K-32 is not "Kansas State Highway 32" or "Kansas State Route 32", it's just K-32.

Hyphens for low-numbered state routes should ideally be avoided; those are for congressional districts.

I don't think, on a road forum, anyone is going assume [postal abbreviation]-[number] is a congressional district unless a sentence is particularly badly worded. I'd assume the opposite, actually; if someone were to refer to "OK-4" devoid of any context, I'd assume they were referring to the highway through Tuttle, Mustang, and Yukon, not the congressional district I live in.
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kphoger

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Re: How to designate "other" numbered highways in threads / maps
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2020, 09:04:14 AM »

I am far from the midwest, so I won't even begin to tackle FM (Farm-to-Market) roads or other categories til I am, ahem, "further down the road"...

Texas FM roads are really easy.  They are a system of secondary state highways originally designed to connect rural agricultural areas to towns and the primary highway network.  Farm-to-Market (FM) and Ranch-to-Market (RM) are the exact same thing, just that one is more common in farming areas and one is more common in ranching areas.  But, legislatively and numerically, they are the same network.

I usually refer to them on this forum as "Texas FM-#" or "Texas RM-#".  The only reason I stick "Texas" at the beginning is that other states have an official network of farm-to-market roads—even though those networks are not actually signed in the real world as such.  AFAIK, nowhere other than Texas actually has signed farm-to-market roads, so "FM-#" and "RM-#" should suffice.
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cabiness42

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Re: How to designate "other" numbered highways in threads / maps
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2020, 09:35:00 AM »

Indiana does not have standard naming/numbering conventions across counties.

Statewide, there are no designated county highways. One county that I know of, which is Clark, has designated decommissioned state highways as county highways and signed them as such. I refer to those as CH WW.
For any other cardinally-numbered roads, I generally use CR XX
For ordinally-numbered roads, I generally use YYth Rd (or St or Ave)
For named roads, I just use Zzzzz Rd
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Flint1979

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Indiana is setup both at the county and state level pretty good. You can tell where you are at in the county and state pretty easily that way.

A county road like 500 N will be 5 miles north of the Division line. I like it better than Michigan's setup.
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cabiness42

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Re: How to designate "other" numbered highways in threads / maps
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2020, 10:14:11 AM »

Indiana is setup both at the county and state level pretty good. You can tell where you are at in the county and state pretty easily that way.

A county road like 500 N will be 5 miles north of the Division line. I like it better than Michigan's setup.

It is a nice system, but not all counties use it.
 
Elkhart and DeKalb just use even numbers increasing north to south and odd numbers increasing west to east, with an increment of 2 indicating a full mile in Elkhart and a half mile in DeKalb.

Hamilton uses an extension of Indy's street numbering for E-W roads.

Lake county uses numbered avenues for E-W roads, with the numbers being an extension of Gary's street numbering.

St. Joseph names their alphabetically with A=1 mile south/west of county line, B=2 miles, etc., with the N-S roads mostly named for trees and the E-W roads named for people.

Marshall uses alphanumeric names for E-W roads, with numbers representing whole miles south of the county line and A, B, and C representing quarters of a mile. The N-S roads retain the tree names from St. Joseph county.

Some counties have no system at all and roads are just named randomly.
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Flint1979

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Re: How to designate "other" numbered highways in threads / maps
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2020, 10:58:54 AM »

Indiana is setup both at the county and state level pretty good. You can tell where you are at in the county and state pretty easily that way.

A county road like 500 N will be 5 miles north of the Division line. I like it better than Michigan's setup.

It is a nice system, but not all counties use it.
 
Elkhart and DeKalb just use even numbers increasing north to south and odd numbers increasing west to east, with an increment of 2 indicating a full mile in Elkhart and a half mile in DeKalb.

Hamilton uses an extension of Indy's street numbering for E-W roads.

Lake county uses numbered avenues for E-W roads, with the numbers being an extension of Gary's street numbering.

St. Joseph names their alphabetically with A=1 mile south/west of county line, B=2 miles, etc., with the N-S roads mostly named for trees and the E-W roads named for people.

Marshall uses alphanumeric names for E-W roads, with numbers representing whole miles south of the county line and A, B, and C representing quarters of a mile. The N-S roads retain the tree names from St. Joseph county.

Some counties have no system at all and roads are just named randomly.
One thing I've noticed too is that an east-west divider in a county is most of the time named Meridian Road or Base Road and a north-south divider is named Division Road. I know Rush County uses Base Road for both.

Speaking of Rush County I find it strange that Rushville has two 4th Streets a block apart. The two Base Roads would intersect in Rushville but I think Rushville creates a gap.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 11:00:55 AM by Flint1979 »
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mrsman

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Indiana does not have standard naming/numbering conventions across counties.

Statewide, there are no designated county highways. One county that I know of, which is Clark, has designated decommissioned state highways as county highways and signed them as such. I refer to those as CH WW.
For any other cardinally-numbered roads, I generally use CR XX
For ordinally-numbered roads, I generally use YYth Rd (or St or Ave)
For named roads, I just use Zzzzz Rd
I like this.  I wish CA would have some way to sign decommissioned routes while keeping the same number.  County routes would work fine.

Nexus 5X

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Max Rockatansky

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Indiana does not have standard naming/numbering conventions across counties.

Statewide, there are no designated county highways. One county that I know of, which is Clark, has designated decommissioned state highways as county highways and signed them as such. I refer to those as CH WW.
For any other cardinally-numbered roads, I generally use CR XX
For ordinally-numbered roads, I generally use YYth Rd (or St or Ave)
For named roads, I just use Zzzzz Rd
I like this.  I wish CA would have some way to sign decommissioned routes while keeping the same number.  County routes would work fine.

Nexus 5X

Usually it’s written into the relinquishment agreement that local authorities have to continue to sign the State Highway.  The problem is that those provisions are almost universally ignored. 
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TheHighwayMan394

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Re: How to designate "other" numbered highways in threads / maps
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2020, 01:14:21 AM »

Minnesota has “County State Aid Highways” which are county roads maintained with state help. These are often abbreviated as “CSAH X” and non-aid county roads just “CR X”. I normally don’t make distinctions and just post “Anywhere County X” or “CR X”.
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cabiness42

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Re: How to designate "other" numbered highways in threads / maps
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2020, 10:56:07 AM »

Indiana does not have standard naming/numbering conventions across counties.

Statewide, there are no designated county highways. One county that I know of, which is Clark, has designated decommissioned state highways as county highways and signed them as such. I refer to those as CH WW.
For any other cardinally-numbered roads, I generally use CR XX
For ordinally-numbered roads, I generally use YYth Rd (or St or Ave)
For named roads, I just use Zzzzz Rd
I like this.  I wish CA would have some way to sign decommissioned routes while keeping the same number.  County routes would work fine.

Nexus 5X

Usually it’s written into the relinquishment agreement that local authorities have to continue to sign the State Highway.  The problem is that those provisions are almost universally ignored. 

For Indiana it's the opposite. When the local authority takes control from the state, the highway signs have to come down. The explanation I've gotten is that when people report a pothole on a signed highway, they call the state and the state doesn't want to get those calls.
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Re: How to designate "other" numbered highways in threads / maps
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2020, 11:47:27 AM »

State DOTs sometimes have strange practices. I-35 in Oklahoma, but IH-35 in Texas (since they have so many different types of routes, they've standardized on two-letter abbreviations for all of them). Missouri always refers to their highways in textual form on signs as "Route" and doesn't allow abbreviations ("Route 13"). This is even done for interstates ("Route I-44").

I thought there was an occasional exception for US Routes in Missouri - I'm recalling a couple on distance/interchange sequence signs (before those switched to using shields) just using "US".  "US 40-61" on I-270 (before I-64 was added) comes to mind.
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kphoger

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Re: How to designate "other" numbered highways in threads / maps
« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2020, 11:08:33 AM »

Minnesota has “County State Aid Highways” which are county roads maintained with state help. These are often abbreviated as “CSAH X” and non-aid county roads just “CR X”. I normally don’t make distinctions and just post “Anywhere County X” or “CR X”.

It also takes some detailed knowledge to be able to tell them apart.
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