Wikipedia:WikiProject U.S. Roads/Newsletter/Issues/Volume03/Issue01

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The WikiProject U.S. Roads Newsletter
Volume 3, Issue 1 • Spring 2010 • About the Newsletter


Welcome back to the revitalized U.S. Roads Newsletter. Its been a while since we had one of these, so we would like to thank all those who are receiving this newsletter for their work around Wikipedia on highway articles in the U.S. In returning the project to a monthly newsletter, the Blog has been retired. Please feel free to send news, information or comments that would have been sent to the blog to our newsletter comments desk. The goal of this newsletter is to keep interested project members informed on the activities of the larger umbrella project. Expect in the future to see more features of events and news from different corners of the project, updates from the Portal, the monthly dose of WikiWork updates and some history from the project archives.

For this issue, we're sending it out to all USRD project members, but if anyone does not wish to maintain a subscription, please let us know so the subscription list for the delivery bot can be updated.

Featured story

US Roads Portal celebrates April Fool's Day

Editor: Imzadi1979

For the third year in a row, the U.S. Roads Portal celebrated April Fool's Day with a special edition. The selected article and the photo for the day are included in this issue of the newsletter, but the other sections were included on the revamp, in case you missed it. The into section sported different route marker shields for the day, including those for I-H1 and I-H201 in Hawaii. The "state highways" featured were Guam Highway 1 and District of Columbia Route 295. Additionally, cutout US Highway shields were used for US 2 and US 102, the latter was the first US Highway designation to be retired in the US.

There were 5 special "Did you know?" selections made for the portal, some of which appeared on the portal before, in more serious forms. The News section was temporarily replace with a "On this day" section, which summarized some actual events involving highways in the US on past April Fool's Days. Alternate photos were used for the links to other portals, including an AMC Gremlin, which was introduced to the North American market 40 years ago on April 1, 1970.

In other portal-related news, NYSR members have started Portal:New York Roads as a supplement to their project. The participation of those who helped to make this year's special edition a success is greatly appreciated. In the future, please keep nominating articles, photos and DYK hooks at the main or New York portals.

State and national updates

Assessment roundup

Editor: Scott5114

All right, folks, it's great to be back. For those of you who weren't a devoted reader of the newsletter before, this is the part of the show where we round up the top ten projects by WikiWork. If you're not aware of how the WikiWork statistics are calculated, you can hop on over to that link and all will become clear. This section is often called "the leaderboard" because the editors in the states involved often have fun trying to pass one another in the standings. Seeing as how the best way to achieve this is to expand and improve articles, it's a great motivator that helps our project! It's all just for fun though, so don't do anything crazy like AFDing all your stubs trying to get listed here.

So, without further delay, here's the list for April 1, 2010!

Rank State Featured article FA A-Class article A GA B C Start Stub ω Ω
1 Michigan 4 4 35 80 85 10 0 704 3.229
2 New York 11 2 128 254 124 193 29 2655 3.583
3 New Jersey 1 2 95 62 14 33 63 977 3.619
4 Utah 3 2 14 31 111 24 0 687 3.714
5 (Arizona) 1 0 5 19 23 56 0 439 4.221
6 Oklahoma 1 0 5 45 21 59 54 848 4.584
7 (Delaware) 0 0 1 3 13 46 0 293 4.651
8 Connecticut 1 0 3 25 51 119 34 1084 4.652
9 Washington 0 3 18 47 25 49 112 1197 4.713
10 Iowa 0 0 1 4 27 84 5 572 4.727

States in parentheses have no project. States listed in italics are task forces.

This is about Situation Normal for the project: Michigan is sitting pretty at the top with a ridiculous relative WikiWork of 3.229, followed by that great bastion of upper-half articles, namely, New York. Its neighbor to the south, New Jersey, sits right below it, followed by the beacon of the West, Utah. Beneath that is Arizona—what few articles it has are of excellent quality—and Oklahoma, Delaware, Connecticut, Washington, and rounding out the top ten is Iowa. If your favorite state is not one of the top ten and you'd like to see where it is you stand, you can always find a full listing at WP:USRD/A/S.

Now, here are the stats for the national projects, so you can see how we're doing overall:

Project Featured article FA A-Class article A GA B C Start Stub ω Ω
USRD 30 18 389 880 872 2799 5502 53931 5.141
IH 7 1 21 55 107 237 178 2889 4.767
US 5 2 23 71 58 234 165 2653 4.754

Another thing that we're tracking is the project's goal to reduce the number of stubs by 3,000 by December 31. That is, our goal is 2967. As of April 1, we had 5502 stubs, which means we need to expand, merge, or otherwise get rid of 2,535 stubs over the rest of 2010. We can do it, with your hard work!

Project reports


Since the last edition of the newsletter 1 1/2 years ago, the Roads in Maryland WikiProject (MDRD) has seen its recognized content increase significantly, from a single Featured Article to three, as well as an A-class article and 17 Good Articles. On the other end of the assessment scale, Maryland still has over 200 stubs among its roads articles, but the number of stubs has decreased by 20% in the last three months. Most of the vanquished stubs have been improved into B- and C-class articles.

More recent happenings include a reorganization of Maryland's route lists and establishment of a plan to retire the minor routes list. The reorganization of the lists, which was completed at the end of March, includes a new top level summary page for the overall highway system, the splitting of Interstates and U.S. Highways into separate lists, and the division of the Maryland state highways into multiple lists to cut down on file size. Retiring the minor routes list is a long-term project involving splitting out state highways that can support their own articles and combining those highways that cannot stand alone with related highways, with a goal of obviating the list to no longer beg the question "what is a minor route?"


A lot has changed since the newsletter was retired nearly a year and a half ago. Article improvement has continued, tripling the number of GAs, to 34 now. Two more FAs have been promoted and there is a net increase of one more A-Class article. On the bottom end of the assessment scale, the stubs have been expanded, the start-class has been reduced to an eighth of the count from the last newsletter. Additionally, there is a featured list and a featured topic that have been created since the last newsletter.


Since August 2008, the Oklahoma subproject has improved by leaps and bounds. We now have 45 B-Class articles, up from 27 when the last newsletter was published. Also, for the first time in the subproject's history, there are less stubs than there are Start-Class articles; we have 59 starts and 54 stubs. Many of these stubs were shed in the last month—21 stubs were fixed or merged from August 2008 to March 1, 2010, but from March 1 to April 1, we had 17 stubs done away with.

Featured content hasn't been a very high priority for Oklahoma, however. On April 1, we still had the same one featured article and five GAs that we did when the last newsletter was published. A sixth GA has passed since then, Oklahoma State Highway 32. Right now, however, OKSH is focusing on improving its stubs, much like the rest of the project.


Since the last newsletter of September 2008, the Utah project has seen a few more GAs (SR-101, SR-143, SR-161, SR-201, and SR-202), a new A-class article (SR-103), and the elimination of all its stub articles. However, a significant decrease in editor activity has resulted in the project dropping to fourth in the leaderboard during the hiatus of the newsletter.

Latest Roads news from Wikinews
Read and edit Wikinews

Visit Wikinews to read and write news articles in more detail.

This month in USRD history

From the talk page archives of USRD:

2006: SRNC: The Page Move Wars

2007: Project Standardization discussions

2008: Second ArbCom case closed.

2009: GA/B-Class article audits and the Multi-state highway naming convention developed

Selected article

Eastbound IL 22 approaching the traffic signal at Quentin Road. Riding on concrete lanes coming up to the intersection that has dual left turn lanes, two thru lanes, and one right turn lane.

Illinois Route 22, also known as Half Day Road for part of its length, is an east–west state highway in northeastern Illinois. It runs from U.S. Route 14 (Northwest Highway) in Fox River Grove to U.S. Route 41 (Skokie Highway) in Highland Park. It travels a distance of 19.7 miles (31.7 km) and is one of the few roads that runs almost entirely across southern Lake County while also providing access to southeastern McHenry County. Throughout its length, it shifts between two and four lanes as it passes through a frequently changing setting of scenic forestry and smaller populations, as well as busy intersections and larger developments.

It originally started as State Bond Issue Route 22, a massive loop around the Chicago area in 1918, similar to the path of the modern Interstate 294. The roadway was later shortened in 1935, and it has retained its current, much shorter route ever since 1937. During the 1990s, it became the subject of much concern for local residents regarding expansion which slowed down any progress for capacity improvement. By the late 2000s, the delays have come and gone and it has emerged as a state route that has been largely modernized to deal with heavy traffic. Recent construction projects have rebuilt the Route 22 bridge over the Tri-State Tollway to accommodate a widening of the latter, while future improvements are planned that would widen the remaining two-lane sections to four lanes.

Selected picture

LA 1040 evening mood and oaks 20100111.JPG
Sunset over Louisiana Highway 1040.

Selected article for April Fool's Day

Solid rock spire protruding from the desert.

U.S. Route 491 is a much maligned north–south U.S. Highway. The inspiration for such timeless classics as Natural Born Killers and AC/DC's Highway to Hell, the highway was perhaps best described by the USA Today with the headline "Everyone dies on that highway." The highway is so hated its signs are frequently attacked with chainsaws, by people crashing their cars into the signposts and the occasional volcano. The highway has made rural Utah a haven for potheads and devil worshipers, and is proof the state is so backwards, even the mileposts run in the opposite direction. The hatred is so intense two of the United States, Arizona and New Mexico, have outlawed the highway, with the latter having gone so far as completely ripping up the pavement and starting again. In fact, the only people who seem to actually like the road is eBay, where signs are known to fetch a premium.

Selected picture for April Fool's Day

A residential street labeled as "Interstate 173"

Interstate 173, complete with a 30 mph (48 km/h) speed limit sign in the background, shown here routed on a residential street in Clinton, New Jersey.

From the editors

We're gonna do this more!

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 May. Any and all contributions are welcome. Simply let yourself be known to any of the undersigned, or just start editing!

On a side note, long-time project member, Rschen7754 has "retired" from editing on Wikipedia. He was active from the beginnings of the project, seeing the best and worst of the project's activities in his time here. At this time, we don't know if he'll be back editing now or in the future, but we wish him all the best.

Contributors to this issue

Issue 1 | Issue 2