User:Nilfanion/M5 RJL

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  1. The header/footer hasn't been copied across to the other versions: It can be visualised without it!
  2. I've added the A38's concurrency with the M5 - not sure if that's been correctly displayed - or if we even want to display in UK context.
  3. Dropped the "J" from junction numbers. M5 J2 is used as shorthand for "M5 junction 2", but when the context is clear (as on maps) just "2" is used. This is in a table in a column labelled junction, so context is pretty obvious...
  4. No mention of onward routes for simplicity. eg J4a and J12 don't mention the M40 and A38 respecitvely - just the roads they meet (M42 / B4008). Those onward roads should be mentioned in final RJLs, but its simpler without them.
  5. I've separated the roads at each junction onto separate lines. This makes it clearer when that matters (eg junction 30).
  6. If we are going to use the road numbers like this as "shields" we really need to standardise the widths.
  7. For the two carriageway destination example: I have reordered the info to put the destinations side-by-side. I've also switched the order so the "in the direction of the road" (A) carriageway is first. Putting northbound first, when southbound is the primary direction, is just north-south bias


In version 1 and 2 onwards the coordinates have been removed. There is no "global standard" nor MoS section prohibiting their use. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 10:28, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Yes I know. I dropped them from 1 for simplicity (don't want to add a {{reflist}} here) - its a literal copy/paste from the guideline. I didn't add them into the later versions as not sure how best to add, and they are secondary to the primary point of this which is the layout of the other content. A coordinate column like in 1a might be optimal approach? If so, put it with the location data or at the extreme right? Equally could drop them from 1a. That would make it clear its not the coordinates that are in question.
IMO coordinates are useful, but aren't a substitute for location info (or vice-versa).--Nilfanion (talk) 10:37, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
I know where this is going to go, but if we were able to change the text output of {{Coord}}, I would say the junction column is the best place for it. But that will never happen. –Fredddie 12:22, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
This table is too wide. If we visit Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Images#Image preferences, we see that images should not exceed 800 px in width. By implication, a table should be compressible to 800 px. My screen is 1920 px in width, so I viewed this trial at half-width and it was a squeeze.
I then made a copy of the M23 motorway article in my own space and replaced the RJL with one of Nilfanion’s RJLs. When playing around with the screen width, large white blocks appeared when the screen got too narrow. Clearly, something is wrong – could it be that we have too many columns?
It might be worth visiting RJLs in other Wikipedias - how did they get around the large number of columns? Martinvl (talk) 13:28, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
What general rule did you use for the Location column. You had a spot of bother with J30 which you eventually allocated to being in the border of Exeter and Clyst St George, Exeter being a city and Clyst St George a village. If Clyst St George is so small that it is not signposted from the motorway, is it appropriate to list it in the location column? I think not! According to the ecclesiastical parish of Clyst St George (here, the civil parish has a population of 633. Another alternative would have been "East Devon", but is that really appropriate – it stretches all the way to the Dorset border. Can you think of a better compromise?
If road identifier icons are going to be adopted, we really need to sort the sizes out – in their current form they look horrible; moreover, repeating them to get a clickable link is just wrong. In addition, having the "chopsticks" on the motorway signs is incorrect – as per the TSRGD, the "chopsticks" are used when one is entering as motorway from ‘’outside’’ the motorway system, not from within the motorway system.
Martinvl (talk) 14:22, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
There is no such requirement for a limit on the width of tables. Indeed, it would be insane to specify a limit in pixels, on an element whose conent is measured in ems. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:13, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
On the contrary - the output device is the computer screen whose width is measured in pixels. While the input might be measured in ems, if the output is to be fit for purpose, it should be suitable for the output device. While it is of course possible to adjust text size (and therefore ems per line of text), the prudent designer verifies that his output is designed in such a way that it suits the screens of the majority (if not all) the users, prefereably when the screens are operated in default mode. Martinvl (talk) 18:07, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
"On the contrary"? OK; please state Wikipedia's limit for table widths, with a citation to a policy page. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 21:47, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
I'm with Andy here. Table widths are a red herring. If I look at this page from my smartphone (4.3-inch diagonal), all of the examples are legible within reason. –Fredddie 22:28, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
With regards to J30 it is on the boundary of the civil parish of Clyst St George, and the unparished area of the city of Exeter. Those are two areas at the same level administratively (Exeter and East Devon also work, but as you say East Devon is still vague). Clyst St George is an inconsequential village, but that is the location of the junction. In road terms its a non-entity, but its location is its location. That is why location and destination complement - Clyst St George would never get mentioned in the destinations (and it isn't), but it is its location. Anything else would be inaccurate. Ditto Exminster for J31 - again too minor to mention on motorway road signs but it is the location of the junction.--Nilfanion (talk) 21:01, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
May I put the proposition that if the location is notable, it will appear as a destination, if it is not notable, why bother to list it? This leaves possibility of using East Devon instead of Clyst St George, but in the United Kingdom, nobody cares about district councils (except for the one you live in). So, is this column really appropriate? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Martinvl (talkcontribs)
Strongly disagree with that, as becomes clearer if you look at a better example than M5 J30. A few reasons: First is junctions with long-distance routes may well not mention the junction's location as a destination, even if the junction is in the middle of a primary destination itself. Secondly the location of the junction tells you something quite different about the junction that its destination list, each are useful, encyclopedic facts in their own right. Prime example of this is M5 Junction 15 - if that article didn't mention the word "Almondsbury" it would be missing significant information. That's despite fact Almondsbury is not signposted on any motorway, nor does the junction have anything to do with the local council. The location of the junction different to the junction's destinations and just as ignoring the destinations and only showing the location is missing key info, the reverse is true too.--Nilfanion (talk) 10:19, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
While you are welcome to propose a change in {{Coord}}'s output on its talk page, (have you ever done so?), there is no need to do so. Further, its visual appearance is configurable in your user CSS, if it offends you. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:13, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
To date I have not had the need to do so, but if the RJLUK set of templates is to be accepted, I might well do so. Meanwhile I have written an additional template in that family of template which, at the moment, does nothing more than streamline the current input. If a change is proposed and accepted, then we would only need to change the template and the changes woudl riupple through across the whole system. Martinvl (talk) 18:07, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Direction-specific information[edit]

As a though, if we want to reduce the clutter, may I suggest the use of arrows for destinations that are signposted in one direction only. For example, for J5, we use

A38 Droitwich, Bromsgrove— Preceding unsigned comment added by Martinvl (talkcontribs)
As far as I can tell, that doesn't help - rather it introduces more clutter: The meaning of the downward/upward arrows may be plain to you, but needs an explanatory note, especially when the arrow may not match the cardinal direction. Adding (Northbound only) is equivalent, self-explanatory but is more wordy. I'm not convinced of the value anyway: Sure the advance signs are different, but when you get on the slips the signs tell you to go west at the roundabouts to Droitwich and east to Bromsgrove, regardless of which carriageway you just left.
I'm also concerned that such a note could be misinterpreted. J5 destinations = "Droitwich, Bromsgrove (Northbound only)" appears to suggest Bromsgrove is only accessible Northbound not Bromsgrovw is only signposted Northbound.--Nilfanion (talk) 10:31, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
This brings us back to the original discussion of a few years ago - UK JRLs listed the exact signs displayed on the motorways (as is currently the case) at the expense of location information - the editors of the US RJLs preferred to emphasise location at the expense of conformance to the actual road signs (a computer screen is not wide enough to accomodate both). I, amongst others, have been an advocate of each country's editors deciding for themselves what is appropriate for their own country, others however advocate a "one-size-fits-all" approach. There has been deadlock ever since. Martinvl (talk) 12:56, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
And the more I think about it the more uneasy I get with the existing reliance on advance direction signs and the two carriageway method. Its which roads/places are accessible from a junction that matter, not what is on the signs. The info on those signs is a guide, but its not exactly the same set of data.
A prime example of this on the M5 is junction 7, where all 4 slips terminate on a single roundabout with the A40 and the B4084. The B road is a much less important route, so its not mentioned on the motorway's advance signs, but nonetheless it meets the M5 at the junction. Its surely encyclopedic to note which classified roads meet a motorway at a junction, and where they go to.
If you step back and think, having two distinct sets of destinations is very easy to misinterpret. On the basis of Version 1a, a reader could naturally assume Evesham is accessible from the Northbound M5, but not from the Southbound M5. That source of confusion needs addressing somehow. As far as I can tell the destinations from both carriageways are identical, unless its a limited access junction. Given that I don't see much point in maintaining separate lists.--Nilfanion (talk) 21:26, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
If you look at Junctions 6 and 7 together, you will see that Evesham lies between the two, signposted from J6 on the southbound carriageway and from Junnction 7 on the northbound carriageway. Re your comment on teh B4084, how do you define which localities are notable and which are not. If there are no strict rules, you will end up with monster lists as everybody adds in their own favourite town that can be accessed from that junction. For example, should we add Sandhurst, Blackwater, Camberley, Frimley, Farmborough, Aldershot and Farnham as being accessible from Junction 4 of the M3 (which is not too far from wher I live)? If not, how do we trim the list and why? Sticking to just the localities on the exits signs provides a clear criteria for inclusion.Martinvl (talk) 06:02, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
The problem here is you are binding yourself to a single source of information - advance direction signs - when there are plenty of other sources (eg signs within the junction complex). Evesham isn't signposted from J7 southbound because its entirely stupid to use J7 to get there (you'd already have left at J6), but it is still a destination accessible from J7 Southbound and is signposted in the junction complex. Ditto Pershore. You don't need strict rules for inclusion to generate a functional list - you wouldn't list all the primary destinations along the M4 at J15 for instance.--Nilfanion (talk) 11:10, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Are you advocating a free-for-all. Which of the following seven towns would you include at J4 on the M3: Farnborough (57,147), Aldershot (33,840), Farnham (38,000), Camberley (30,155), Sandhurst (20,803), Ash (17,549), Frimley (12,739). For the record, the A&E is at Frimley while the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst is at Sandhurst.
Also, if the DfT wish to divert traffic away from a certain road, do you think it wise to do otherwise. For example, Farnham used to be signposted from J5 of the M3, but this is no longer the case - it appear that the DfT want traffic to use the A331 rather than the A287. Somebody from out of area might look at a map and then add Farnham to J5 as well as to J4. Martinvl (talk) 12:21, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
No, I am just saying do not rely on a single source (the advance direction signs) which may leave stuff off for various reasons. DfT / Highways Agency / councils may deliberately leave destinations off those signs, for such reasons as encouraging traffic to use the optimal route. Or just because they've run out of room on the sign so choose to only mention the top 3. Neither of those is reasons for us to skip encyclopedic information - the advance signs do not define the destinations, and the destinations do not define the advance signage.
If a classified road meets a motorway at a junction, then that classified road really should be mentioned in the motorway's RJL. Info about which roads are at a junction can be deduced from the maps. Signs within the junction complex generally give more detail that the advance signs and are also a valid information source. And also government documents, which could well state the destination list.--Nilfanion (talk) 13:15, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
If we choose to use {{Jct}} for UK, it was set up (in 2007) with a limit of four cities. Granted, it was designed with the US in mind, where most big green signs list at most two control cities for direction, it can work for UK. Iff space is an issue, could we not include locations with an indirect connection, such as "London (M40, M1)" in J4a above? –Fredddie 22:37, 7 April 2013 (UTC
I'm not sure if {{jct}} needs tweaking with regards to number of destination it can call. However J4a might be a counterexample, as I think both long-distance London and the North East are of relevance to that junction, as they better describe the onward route, than the other destinations (which are relatively local).
In general, I'd prefer to use {{jct}} multiple times for each route at a junction - as A38 – Birmingham (south), A491 – Stourbridge makes the situation clearer than A38 / A491 – Birmingham (south), Stourbridge. That reflects one UK/US difference (signed multiplexes are rare). Another difference is the UK's high use of roundabout interchanges, which often give full access between 5 (or more routes) at a single junction (something relatively rare in the States?). Combine those and while there is potential for more destinations at a UK junction, that's offset by multiple template calls.--Nilfanion (talk) 10:18, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Notes column[edit]

I have been looking at other ways of trimming the width of the table without loosing any significant info. It struck me that the notes column carried very little information - in fact with the dual destination columns, everything in the notes column could comfortable be accomodated in the two destination columns. On the few occasions that we might need a note, we could use the approach taken for J11A at User:Martinvl/M5.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Martinvl (talkcontribs) 13:41, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Not convinced. There's plenty of stuff we might want to note that doesn't fit naturally into the primary columns and is not about the destinations. Concurrency info, how the Severn bridge only tolls westbound, where the M4 bus lane is, when you have a TOTSO etc. Its logical to include details of limited access too (destination column(s) can only ever describe the exits). Its simpler to work out what note goes with what text if its displayed inline, but gets awkward if you keep having to look at footnotes.--Nilfanion (talk) 13:27, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
How many notes would you expect on average per RJL table? Less than one? One? The note can be a footnote to the table rather than to the article - see Junction 11A on User:Martinvl/M5 as an example - on eof Britain's major motorways with just one note. If you are not too sure where the footnote is, click it! The existance of westbound only tolls are already well handled by the article M4 motorway. Incidently, I did not identify a need for any other notes on the M4 RJL. Martinvl (talk) 18:02, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Any time a colored background is used (not necessarily talking about the M5 header, more the table cells), a note of some sort is required per WP:ACCESS. The Gloucester Gateway services row needs an explanation if it is to have a color. –Fredddie 23:00, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Having a note does not mean that you need "note" column - see User:Martinvl/M5 to see how I handled the Gloucester Gate services. Martinvl (talk) 06:21, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
Having notes inline as opposed to footnotes becomes more appropriate when the number of notes gets higher. I would expect a long-distance route like the M5 to have not one or two, but several - so inline notes make more sense. For a start the destination column(s) can describe limited exits, but can't describe limited entrances. So J10, J18a, J29 need notes in addition to the complex 11a. Both ends of the motorway, junction with M6 and J31, need to explain where the road goes - the onward route to Plymouth isn't a destination you have to turn off at J31 to reach - and there's no sign on the M5 saying "non-motorway traffic"... J27 and J31 could mention the A38 multiplex. Gloucester Gateway needs a note, and those services at junctions could also benefit (to say how they are accessed via surface roads, not directly from motorway). That's already over half a dozen (IMO too many for footnotes).
There's plenty of other info that could be worth mentioning as a note: Historical info like former juncions (eg termini of the Cullompton bypass), and realignments/renumbering of the roads it needs, the fact 18a is much more recent that 18. Or the fact the M50 terminates on the M5...--Nilfanion (talk) 09:48, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
If you visit an old version of the M898, you can see how I handled the end points; likewise an old version of the M602. As I said earlier, the Gloucster Gateway can be handled in-line. Martinvl (talk) 10:41, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
The destination column should contain, well, destination information. :) Neither "Continues as Axx" nor is "not open yet but will be soon" are bits of destination information.--Nilfanion (talk) 11:39, 8 April 2013 (UTC)