Wikipedia:WikiProject U.S. Roads/Newsletter/Issues/Volume06/Issue02

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The Center Line
Volume 6, Issue 2 • Spring 2013 • About the Newsletter


Spring is coming to parts of the US, which can only mean the start of road construction season! The state DOTs are not the only ones working to build roads, USRD has been busy with its own construction activities as well. In this issue, we bring you articles on the project's efforts to craft a single standard for the formatting and content of the various lists of highways in each state. USRD has also branched out to establish WikiProjects and task forces on several of the English Wikipedia's sister projects.

In more global news, the Highways Project has its first new subproject since 2009, and we take you "down under" with the founder of WikiProject Australian Roads. The ACR process used by the Highways Project and its subprojects has also received a revamp which has produced quicker turnaround time on nominations without a sacrifice in quality. As always, this issue contains your quarterly dose of state updates and the project leaderboard. Until this summer, keep up on the good work!

Featured story

Project creates route list standard

Contributor: Scott5114
Symbol list class.svg

Wikipedia has long been chock full of lists, covering every conceivable subject, and U.S. roads is no exception to that. Unfortunately, interest in these lists has often been lacking, leading to wildly diverging standards for different states. Now, USRD hopes to change that with a new standard for lists of routes, found at WP:USRD/STDS/L.

The new standard specifies a table with columns for a route designation, length in miles and kilometers, termini, and dates of creation and decommissioning. Two optional columns, one for any local names the highway is known by (intended mostly for use with county routes, but also useful for things like metropolitan freeway names) and a notes column, round out the specification. Lists produced to this standard are light on images; the only graphics that are displayed in each row are the highway's shield, at the very beginning. Sortable columns make the list flexible; users can sort by number, length, or creation/decommissioning date, enabling them to quickly find the information they need.

To generate the lists, editors can use a new suite of three templates, {{routelist top}}, {{routelist row}}, and {{routelist bottom}}. At time of writing, the templates generate a list based upon an earlier, proposed version of the standard; before they are ready to be put into wider service, they will need to be updated with changes required by the final rounds of discussion before the standard was approved. These templates are coded in Lua, the new template programming language recently introduced onto Wikimedia wikis. Lua code features a more expressive syntax than the old Parserfunctions code, resulting in templates with more human-readable code. Experienced programmers will feel right at home writing Lua code, rather than fighting the sea of curly braces typical of templates written in Parserfunctions. Much of the work on the routelist templates has been done by User:Happy5214, who has taken the initiative to learn Lua to benefit the project and assist in the maintenance of its templates. Following the example of the routelist templates, other complex templates (such as {{Infobox road}} and {{jct}}) will likely be converted to Lua as time goes by, in order to make maintenance easier.

The new standard is likely to result in a USRD list initiative, as editors work to convert lists to the new standard. On IRC, User:Imzadi1979 expressed interest in taking Michigan lists to WP:FLC after conversion. Whether initially successful or not, the FLC would be expected to provide invaluable feedback regarding the new standard, which could then be used to improve it and the routelist templates. The result, it is hoped, would be that all fully compliant lists also meet FLC standards, resulting in the proliferation of featured lists across USRD.

Driving down under

Contributor: Evad37
Logo used for the Australia Roads project, a kangaroo crossing sign

WikiProject Australian Roads is a new collaboration aimed at improving the coverage of Australian roads on Wikipedia. I created this project on April 6, 2013 as a means to bring Australian road editors together, so we could help each other out, develop standards for our road articles, and work at decreasing the proportion of Stubs and Start-Class articles, and start getting articles in the upper tier of quality scale, at or above GA-Class. At the time of this writing, our relative wikiwork is 5.51, and our upper tier articles consists of only two GAs.

This is the first new roads project since 2009, and is structured as a joint child of WikiProject Australia and WikiProject Highways. This project can be a bridge between these communities, allowing us to work more collaboratively in improve Wikipedia. Everyone at the US Roads project is welcome to help us out. You can share your expertise and experience on our talk page, where there has already been a substantial amount of discussion.

Finally I would like to thank Rschen7754 and Imzadi 1979 for the help and support they have given this new project, as well as their advice to me and the other project members: Even if we don't always agree with you, it is appreciated.

Meta and Wikidata update

Editor: Rschen7754
Wikidata logo

Our work on Wikidata has continued throughout the winter and spring months. Since the last issue, both phase 1 (interwiki links) and phase 2 (shared data) have been deployed on the English Wikipedia. Estimates are that most USRD articles are represented by an item on Wikidata, and bots are removing the interwiki links from the articles as they are now stored on Wikidata. We are currently finishing up descriptions for 5 remaining states and U.S. Route articles.

The next phase of our work will involve adding actual data to our items on Wikidata. We already have properties for highway system, owner, maintenance, shield, and map. User:Legobot is being used to add a lot of these items, but many still must be added manually. More data types such as for dates, numbers, and geographic shapes are still under development by the Wikimedia Deutschland development team. In the meantime, feel free to help! More information is available at d:WD:USRD.

In other news, we now have a full-fledged WikiProject on Meta-Wiki at m:USRD. The eventual goal is to have a WikiProject on all Wikimedia Foundation projects that have goals supporting the creation of road-related content. Obviously, this is a long-range goal, but this is the first step in that direction. Join today!


ACR becoming active, changing

Contributor: Dough4872
ACR logo

Within the past few months, there have been a lot of changes at A-Class Review at WikiProject Highways. There have been a larger number of articles being sent to the forum. In addition, articles have been getting through ACR quicker as more people have been willing to review an article as soon as it is nominated.

There have been changes to the process in which articles are promoted or demoted. In order for an article to be promoted, it typically must have 3 net supports from reviews, an image spotcheck, and a source spotcheck. Likewise, an article is failed at ACR if it receives 3 net oppose votes from reviewers; however, the oppose votes must provide specific issues that can be worked on. Nominations may also be suspended if there is no activity from the nominator in 30 days, in which the nomination will be removed from the active ACR section until the nominator reactivates the nomination. A suspended nomination is failed if there is no activity within either 6 months of the suspension date or a year from when it was first nominated, whichever comes first.

Standards have also been developed for the demotion of articles at ACR or the improvement of FAs at the venue. In order for an article to be kept at A or FA, 3 net keep votes are needed. An article may be demoted if there are 3 net demote votes that give specific issues that need to be addressed. An A-Class article that is demoted reverts back to GA-Class whereas a FA is sent to WP:FAR, where it can be demoted from FA. Demotion nominations that do not get any comments for 30 days are considered inactive and calls are made to look over the article. If no work is done within a week, the demotion discussion is closed as keep.

USRD Cup wraps up

Editor: Fredddie

In the last issue, the 2013 USRD Cup was about to begin. Now we have reached the conclusion of three months of hard work. We had eight competitors this year: Awardgive, Dough4872, Morriswa, Pzoxicuvybtnrm, Rschen7754, Scott5114, SounderBruce, and TCN7JM. The first round was the format used in previous years where points were awarded for performing various tasks but a generous multiplier was added to give editors incentive to work in states that they normally would not work. Morriswa, Scott5114, SounderBruce, and TCN7JM moved on to the second round. In the second round, points were adjusted to get editors out of the comfort of the first round and to align the competition with the 2013 goals of improving U.S. Highway and Interstate Highway articles. The second round did not last the entire four weeks, though. Morriswa and TCN7JM dropped out due to time constraints.

The final round put Scott5114 and SounderBruce up against each other. In this round, there were only three rules:

  1. Competitors had to claim the same number of points for the same types of edits
  2. Any type of edit could only be claimed 5 times
  3. Point values could be challenged if someone thought they were too high or too low

The Cup lasts through the end of April. It should be a heated matchup until the very end.

State and national updates

Assessment roundup

Contributor: SounderBruce

This is a list of the top ten states as of April 15, 2013.

Rank State Featured article FA A-Class article A GA B C Start Stub ω Ω
1 Michigan 14 8 179 9 4 0 0 409 1.911
2 Delaware 1 0 54 1 7 0 0 139 2.206
3 New York 12 2 174 345 114 35 0 2016 2.956
4 Washington 0 2 69 79 54 8 0 633 2.986
5 Maryland 4 1 60 297 61 49 0 1501 3.180
6 New Jersey 1 2 105 43 20 82 0 831 3.285
7 Utah 4 2 12 63 125 20 1 821 3.617
8 Iowa 2 0 16 11 91 12 0 489 3.705
9 Arizona 1 0 12 18 46 21 0 367 3.745
10 Oklahoma 1 0 10 67 39 58 6 703 3.884

The top ten states remained largely the same, with the exception of Washington rising from 9th to 4th by reducing its relative WikiWork to just under 3.000. For complete stats updated almost daily, check out WP:USRD/A/S. Now here is the project as a whole.

Project Featured article FA A-Class article A GA B C Start Stub Total ω Ω
USRD 48 25 849 1186 2498 4210 2194 11010 49487 4.495
IH 10 6 47 36 218 225 16 558 2301 4.124
USH 10 2 57 31 183 292 31 606 2587 4.269
Auto trail 7 0 3 1 9 28 9 57 239 4.193

Since the last issue, we have added one featured article—California State Route 52—and 46 new good articles were promoted.

Project news in brief

  • "Roads designated in XXXX" categories were removed from the articles and deleted.
  • Various discussions have taken place over the provenance and wording of National Highway System status in articles, but a proposal to add this status to the infobox was rejected.
  • Wikipedia:WikiProject U.S. Roads/Assessment/Connectivity was created to track how the upper-tier articles on highways in the US correspond to actual connections in the field. The long-term goal would be to have FAs or FA/As that interconnect on a map.
  • After a feature in The Signpost, WikiWork, a concept that originated with USRD has been exported to all other WikiProjects in the WP 1.0 scheme.
  • With the implementation of Lua scripting on the English Wikipedia, several templates have been converted to use that instead of the older parser functions.
  • Older Good Articles are being audited to make sure that they conform to current standards and expectations. Fix one today!

Task force reports

California

The project to improve California's road articles continues, with California State Route 282 and California State Route 75 becoming A-Class, and California State Route 52 and California State Route 67 becoming featured articles. California now has a WikiWork of 4.128, and six featured articles (the state with the third largest number). —Rschen7754

Georgia

Before the 2013 USRD Cup began, Georgia was one of the worst U.S. states in terms of WikiWork. However, because of lessons in proper stub improvement, the discovery of GDOT's archive of state maps, and extra diligence and time, Georgia has moved up the chart of states, and the state is no longer in the bottom ten. The history sections of several state route articles were added, as were major intersection sections; at least one article received a KML file. —Morriswa

Michigan

As of press time, Michigan has an open FAC, Michigan State Trunkline Highway System. If promoted, this would be the first article on a highway system to become featured. The goal is to see it promoted in time for the system's centennial on May 13, 2013. —Imzadi1979

Oklahoma

The Oklahoma task force has continued to improve articles since the last update in September. Since then, Oklahoma has dropped from 28 stubs to only 6, putting it on track to be one of the next states to be totally destubbed. Improvement has occurred on the upper end of the scale too, with U.S. Route 60 in Oklahoma, U.S. Route 412 in Oklahoma, Creek Turnpike, and Oklahoma State Highway 132 reaching GA status. Creek Turnpike subsequently passed ACR and is currently awaiting comments at FAC. There have also been changes to Chickasaw Turnpike, currently the project's sole FA, to reflect changes made to the route that first appeared on the 2013 state highway map released in January. Also, since the last update, Oklahoma has begun to appear on the leaderboard in the #10 slot. Hopefully we will be able to continue moving up the board in the coming months! —Scott5114

Washington

After a long hiatus, the Washington task force has lowered its relative WikiWork to under 3.000 by doubling the amount of good articles, increasing its total count to 70. Washington State Route 104 was promoted during this period and is currently awaiting A-Class reviews. In addition to the increase in GAs, the number of stub- and start-class articles has decreased from 66 in January to 8 in April. —SounderBruce

Selected articles

January
I-80 rolling through western Iowa

Interstate 80 (I-80) is a transcontinental Interstate Highway in the United States, stretching from San Francisco, California, to Teaneck, New Jersey. In Iowa, the highway travels west to east through the center of the state. It enters the state at the Missouri River in Council Bluffs and heads east through the southern Iowa drift plain. In the Des Moines area, I-80 meets up with I-35 and the two routes bypass Des Moines together. In Ankeny, the interstates split and I-80 continues east. In eastern Iowa, it provides access to the University of Iowa in Iowa City. I-80 passes along the northern edge of Davenport and Bettendorf and leaves Iowa via the Fred Schwengel Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi River into Illinois. The I-80 corridor was originally served by two competing auto trails, the Great White Way and the River-to-River Road, which later became U.S. Route 32 (US 32) in 1926 and then US 6. In the early 1950s, plans were drawn up to build a limited-access road called the Iowa Turnpike until the Interstate Highway System was created in 1956. Construction of I-80 took place over 14 years, with the road being opened in parts between 1958 and 1972. By the 1980s, I-80 had fallen into disrepair in Iowa and across the country. Federal funding was freed up in 1985 to allow reconstruction of the highway.

Selected pictures

January
Chinook june1.jpg
Washington State Route 410 approaching Chinook Pass.
February
US-60 and SH-51 part ways in Seiling after spending their first 60.2 miles concurrent

U.S. Route 60 (US-60) is a transcontinental U.S. highway extending from near Brenda, Arizona to Virginia Beach, Virginia on the Atlantic Ocean. Along the way, 352.39 miles (567.12 km) of the route lies within the state of Oklahoma. The highway crosses into the state from Texas west of Arnett and serves many towns and cities in the northern part of the state, including Arnett, Seiling, Fairview, Enid, Ponca City, Pawhuska, Bartlesville, and Vinita. US-60 exits Oklahoma near Seneca, Missouri. The first 60.2 miles (96.9 km) of the route, from the Texas line to Seiling, is also designated as State Highway 51 (SH-51). US-60, as originally designated, did not enter Oklahoma. Instead, it ended in Springfield, Missouri, continuing east from there. AASHO approved an extension of US-60 on May 29, 1930, which extended it west through Oklahoma to Amarillo, Texas. US-60's extension displaced US-164 in its entirety; that designation was then retired.

February
U.S. Route 1, Florida Keys.jpg
U.S. Route 1 along the Overseas Highway in the Florida Keys.
March
I-270 at its interchange with I-25

Interstate 270 (I-270) is a 7-mile-long (11 km) highway in the northeastern part of the Denver–Aurora Metropolitan Area in the U.S. state of Colorado. It overlaps U.S. Highway 36 (US 36) for its entire length. The western terminus of I-270 is at the interchange with I-25 and US 36. It heads eastward to an interchange with I-76, where the mileposts reset because of a previous freeway extension. The freeway heads southeast and comes to meet Vasquez Boulevard, where it enters Commerce City. The road crosses Quebec Street before ending at I-70. Ground was broken on the first segment of I-270 in 1965, and the freeway was completed three years later, stretching from I-70 to Vasquez Boulevard. The road was then extended to I-76 two years later. The section between I-25 and I-76 was completed in 1999. Since completion, this section has undergone much construction to renew bridges over Clear Creek and Washington Street. Because the western end of I-270 is close to the junction of I-25 and I-76, some traffic movements to I-25 can only be made by using I-76.

March
I-90 Park City MT.jpg
Westbound Interstate 90 west of Park City, Montana.

From the editors

The next quarterly issue should be out in April. The editors of the newsletter would like to hear from you, the reader. What do you like about the current format? What should be changed? Removed? Added? Your comments are needed.

Lastly, remember that this is your newsletter and you can be involved in the creation of the next issue released in the fall. Any and all contributions are welcome. Simply let yourself be known to any of the undersigned, or just start editing!

Contributors to this issue

Issue 1 | Issue 2 | Issue 3