Wikipedia:Arguments to avoid in place and transportation related deletion discussions

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Several attempts have been made in the past to establish separate guidelines for the notability of populated places, streets, roads, highways, and other geographic-related subjects. To this date, none have been accepted. As a result, geographic-related articles are still bound by the general notability guideline. (Some types of transportation-related subjects have been accepted as inherently notable, including those that are part of a numbered road system.)

Very frequently, geographic-related subjects find themselves at AfD. There is even a category of AfD called places and transportation where these can be found. It is quite common for these to face various arguments to be kept or deleted, regardless of what the guidelines state.

In addition to the common arguments to avoid in deletion discussions, the following is a list of arguments that are not recommended when participating in such a discussion:

Existence[edit]

  • Keep Here it is, on Google MapsI found it 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)

Existence≠Notability. Detailed online maps like Google Maps or Mapquest or various printed atlases will show every street. But there cannot be a standalone article about every street or road in the world or in any city or town. See WP:MILL for more details as to why.

Named after[edit]

  • Keep Because this area has this name, so do many local businesses – Carry on 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Keep There is an apartment complex bearing the name of this neighborhood – Just like me 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Keep There is an annual festival bearing the name of this community – Let's celebrate 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)

Neighborhoods generally are not legally defined areas. They are informally named communities which often do not have official boundaries and in some cases overlap. Those meeting the general notability guideline can have articles. But some communities are named only by word of mouth or for commercial reasons. All too often, there will be no published sources on these.

Population[edit]

  • Keep More than 10,000 people live here – Megalopolis 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Keep Has a greater population than many other places that have articles – Bigger=Better 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Delete Only 50 people live there. Obviously not a very important place. – Microcosm 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Delete Abandoned village where no one lives any more – Ghost town 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)


To put it simply, people living in a place≠reliable sources, and the lack of population does not show the absence of sources. Books and article will not get published automatically just because people move in, and there may actually be quite a lot of writing about an historic town that no longer exists.

Road length[edit]

  • Keep Road is 19 miles long – Long Road Ahead 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Delete Street is only two blocks long – Why Not Just Walk 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)

The length of a road is not a source of information for the road, the type that brings about notability. Since we already know not all roads can have an article based on the fact they are shown in every map (see WP:MILL for the reason why), we cannot use a number, such as length of the road to determine which roads are included or not. It is very possible for a very short street to be notable, especially one in a major city that has some well-known history behind it.

Road type[edit]

  • Keep Has a concrete median strip and multiple lanes in each direction – Into The Great Wide Open 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Delete Is a secondary road – Keep Quiet 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)

There are various reasons why a road has (or lacks) certain features, such as multiple lanes, certain types of dividers, etc. Nevertheless, these features are not references. It is the jurisdiction in charge of a road that has its own standards as to how to build each road, and it has no correlation with the number of published sources.

Map portrayal[edit]

  • Keep Is found in most undetailed maps that show only main roads – Standout 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Keep This map shows this street in a line much bolder than all the rest – Magic Marker 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Delete Is so unimportant, it is not shown on folding maps that do not have full detail – Something's missing 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Delete This neighborhood is not shown on any maps at all – Secret colony 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)

Each map publisher has its own standards that determine which streets and roads are included and which ones not, and for those they include, which ones are thicker or thinner or colored a certain way. In no way does this correlate with the number of published sources that can be found on that road that would determine its compliance with the general notability guideline.

Neighborhoods generally have no official legal definition, and often have no exact boundaries, but are informal names for communities. Still, they can meet the general notability guideline by having coverage in multiple reliable sources.

Importance as a street[edit]

  • Keep Is found within a central business district of a major city – Going Downtown 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Keep Carries most of the traffic through this town – Bottleneck 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Keep Is named Main Street – What's in a name 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)

A busy street in a major city is by far more likely to have published sources than the cul de sac in some far out suburb. But it is not assured. If you write an article saying nothing more than "It is a major street that runs through the downtown area of [city]," you are not providing any information different from what the naked eye and the map can provide. This is no different from a pure dictionary definition and is of no value to an encyclopedia.

Google test[edit]

  • Keep Google the name of this street and you will get over two million hits – Honorable mention 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)

The number of GHits is not by any means a measure of notability. There are many reasons why a street may find itself on countless websites, all without a single source that can establish its notability. These include one or more houses being for sale on that street, leading to addresses being mentioned on real estate sites. A resident on a side street could be operating a business out of their house, all with the address named. Not to mention, there could be a non-notable shopping center with non-notable businesses on that street. The bottom line is, the Google search itself could be a useful tool to find sources, but is not a notability establisher.

Trivial coverage[edit]

  • Keep Splatter Road has been the site of 3 homicides in the past 10 years that have all received news coverage mentioning this location – Danger Zone 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Keep Bus Number 27 is reported as being in 4 accidents in the past year – Russian Roulette 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)

When a news event occurs on a street and that street is mentioned, the article is primarily on the event, not the street, and in accordance with the general notability guideline, this is not considered to be significant coverage for the street, bus, etc. Besides, the event itself is not likely to be notable.

Geographic scope[edit]

  • Delete Only those living in Columbia have heard of Lakeville The Out of Towner 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Delete Why have an article on King Street? Only those living in Libertyville are familiar with it. – Get Lost! 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)

A small town, suburb, or village or a neighborhood, street or road within is by definition a local interest. Some neighborhoods like Hollywood or TriBeCa and some roads like Pennsylvania Avenue or Sunset Boulevard get attention from far beyond their hometowns, though this is not a requirement. Many communities, streets, and roads, especially those with histories, have been written about in great detail in published sources, and are therefore notable.

Notability is inherited[edit]

  • Keep A notable landmark with an article is located on this street, and that article mentions it is on this street – Standout 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Keep There is an exit to this road off the highway – Next Right 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Keep There is an article on this railroad, so therefore there should be an article on every stop along the track – Next Stop 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)

Actually, notability is not inherited. Unless there is sourced information beyond the rudimentary details that can be printed in a short list or chart, there should not be a standalone article on that subject.

Crystal Ball[edit]

  • Keep Construction on this development has already begun – Can't wait 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Keep This is a road half the people in this city want built – Part of the campaign 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a place to foretell future events. Without sourcing stating that the road, railroad, etc. is going to see the light of day, Wikipedia is not the place to broadcast news of it.

Other stuff exists[edit]

  • Keep London has articles on all of its individual bus routes, so should Marshallville – What about us? 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Delete This city has already exceeded its quota for the number of streets with articles – Too much attention 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)

Levels of sourcing vary from one road, bus system, etc. to the next. While there could be dozens of books written on one, there could be nothing but common detailed maps on another.

Likewise, each city varies in how many streets it'll have in which articles can be written. In the past, there was an essay written called one street per 50,000 people. This could never be a guideline because no limits can be set. There is bound to be a disparity in the number of notable streets per resident from one city to the next.

See also[edit]