Wikipedia:WikiProject U.S. Roads/Newsletter/Issues/Volume03/Issue03

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

Introduction

Editor: Imzadi1979

Hello intrepid Wikipedia roadgeeks! The leaves are turning, children are planning their Halloween costumes and it's time for another edition of the quarterly USRD newsletter. We have some new names and locations in this issue for you, as well as the project news and activity. We even have some international news for you this issue.

To paraphrase Joe Biden, our top story is a "big f@#$in' deal". Thanks to Svgalberian, there is now a bot that will mass create highway marker graphics and upload them to Wikimedia Commons for the projects. Also from north of the border, Ontario has some good news for which we would like to congratulate them. Our ACR process now has a few articles for your review as well. Our portal covered some new places and some familiar places in new ways. In September, the selected article was a featured list and the picture was from the sunny Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. A county-built and -maintained road is the October selected article, a first for the portal, and Mississippi made its selected article debut in August. We have also started to branch out from static photos in favor of video on the portal as well.

Featured story

Bot automates graphics creation, saves work

Editor: Viridiscalculus

On October 9, the user Svgalbertian introduced the Highway Route Marker Bot (HRMB). This bot edits text in SVG images to output a series of similar SVG images. HRMB then automatically uploads these SVG images to Wikimedia Commons with a custom description. The bot requires as input an SVG template, a free and open source font, and a comma-delimited list of numbers to be place in the outputted SVG images.

HRMB can output highway marker images at a standard rate of about six per minute. Naturally, this is a major time and energy savings compared to the tedious and painstaking process of manually producing highway markers for use in articles. Editors can now use more of their time to improve road articles rather than create the graphics that make them look pretty. As of October 22, HRMB has been used to complete the series of highway markers for Alberta, Texas farm-to-market roads, and old New Jersey cut-out markers; a request for generic elliptical markers has been accepted. As Fredddie said on IRC, the Texas markers would have "taken 35 years" to complete by hand.

Featured Article, eh?

Editor: Imzadi1979
The Don Valley Parkway seen from the Prince Edward Viaduct

Congratulations are in order to our northern neighbours for the first Featured Article for the Canadian Roads WikiProject. On September 24, 2010, Don Valley Parkway was promoted by SandyGeorgia. The article was nominated by Floydian with assistance by Alaney2k throughout the FAC process.

The DVP, as it is sometimes called, is an expressway maintained by the city of Toronto that runs for 15.0 km (9.3 mi) with a maximum speed limit of 90 km/h (56 mph). The parkway was proposed in 1954 and opened between August 31, 1961 and November 17, 1966. Some locals affectionately nickname the road the "Don Valley Parking Lot" because it is constantly congested with traffic.

Reviews needed at ACR

Contributor: Dough4872

In recent months, our A-Class review page at WP:USRD/ACR has been relatively inactive. The page currently has three articles awaiting reviews, U.S. Route 30 in Iowa by Fredddie, U.S. Route 113 by Viridiscalculus, and M-6 (Michigan highway) by Imzadi1979. US 30 in IA has been at ACR since July 17, US 113 has been open since September 16, and M-6 has been there since October 19. As of October 19, U.S. Route 30 in Iowa has been looked at by three editors, with no supports at this time, while U.S. Route 113 has been supported by one editor and reviewed by another and M-6 has been reviewed by one editor. These editors would appreciate their articles to be looked upon and critiqued by other USRD editors in order to be promoted to A-Class. In addition, if you feel a B-Class or GA-Class article meets the A-Class criteria, feel free to nominate it at ACR.

State and national updates

Assessment roundup

Contributor: Fredddie

This summer, our editors continued to make great improvements to the encyclopedia. In the top ten, one state broke the mythical 3.0 barrier, while the most of the other states traded places. Let's look at the stats as of October 22, 2010!

Rank State Featured article FA A-Class article A GA B C Start Stub ω Ω
1 Michigan 5 5 48 91 69 0 0 650 2.982
2 New Jersey 1 2 99 51 19 47 50 964 3.584
3 Utah 3 2 14 44 96 27 2 693 3.686
4 New York 11 3 128 118 294 142 39 2733 3.718
5 Delaware 0 0 3 23 13 24 0 247 3.921
6 Maryland 3 1 22 142 122 187 10 1954 4.012
7 Arizona 1 0 5 13 33 47 0 416 4.202
8 Connecticut 1 0 3 5 163 54 8 991 4.235
9 Iowa 0 0 3 6 74 46 0 550 4.264
10 Colorado 2 0 4 3 59 39 13 526 4.383

States in italics are task forces. Unlinked states have no project.

Michigan was able to break 3.0, which means the average article in that state's project is a B-Class article, by adding nine good articles and improving an A-Class article, Capitol Loop, to featured article status. By reducing the number of Start-Class articles, Delaware jumped ahead four spots while Maryland and Iowa jumped ahead one spot. Interestingly, Arizona, Connecticut, and Colorado were static for the quarter, yet they each dropped two spots in the top ten. Check out WP:USRD/A/S for current stats, updated daily.

Let's check out the project as a whole.

State Featured article FA A-Class article A GA B C Start Stub ω Ω
USRD 31 19 428 771 1716 2694 4876 52778 5.010
IH 7 1 32 36 186 192 133 2675 4.557
USH 5 2 33 42 119 233 150 2735 4.683

Over the summer, we improved 33 Stub-Class articles, which puts us closer to our goal of eliminating 3000 stubs before December 31, 2010. Unfortunately, we still have 1909 stubs to improve to reach our goal of 2967. With only 70 days left in the year, we have to eliminate 28 stubs per day to reach our goal. It is possible to accomplish this feat, but we will need an even bigger push from everybody to get it done!

Project reports

Delaware

Back in March, all Delaware road articles were completely destubbed through the addition of route descriptions and major intersections tables. Since then, progress has begun on destarting Delaware road articles by improving them to B-Class quality. This effort has been achieved by adding history sections to existing articles, which already contain a route description and major intersections table. As of October 19, Delaware currently has 24 Start-Class articles remaining, which is about half the number when the destarting process began. A special thanks to Viridiscalculus for locating the DelDOT historical map archive for use in the history sections. —Dough4872

Maryland

The retirement of the minor routes list was accomplished at the beginning of August when all remaining highways in the list were moved to the List of state highways in Maryland shorter than one mile. While there are still about ten stubs remaining under the aegis of this project, there are no numbered state highways among those stubs, so their elimination can be considered low priority. The effort to de-start all articles is now in full swing after a lull during the summer. As a result, Maryland now has more B-Class articles than C-Class articles, and the B-Class total is expected to surpass the Start-Class total by the end of the year. The Resources section of the WikiProject front page was reorganized, with subpages created for three different sets of resources: highway location reference documents, official state highway maps, and State Roads Commission reports. With the discovery of the set of state highway maps at the Maryland State Archives website, the sections of the timeline for which there are no resources are much smaller, allowing improved history within articles. —Viridiscalculus

Michigan

As detailed to the left, Michigan has seen some improvement over the last quarter. The last Start-Class article was expanded on September 15, meaning that all MI articles have each of the "Big Three" sections. M-117 (Michigan highway) was the article expansion/resassessment that pushed the state down to 3.000, and the passing of M-20 (Michigan highway) to GA status cracked the mythical barrier on September 30. —Imzadi1979

Minnesota

In September, all remaining Minnesota highway stubs were expanded, except for a number of very short roads that were merged into List of Minnesota state highways serving state institutions. That list covers state highways that are mostly driveways and short loops serving state hospitals, prisons, and other facilities. The effort to get Start-Class articles expanded to C or beyond has begun, and in the past month the articles for highways 1 through 50 have been done. Most of the higher-numbered highways are shorter and thus easier to create junction lists for, so by the end of the year the number of Start-Class articles should be quite small. Thanks go to Imzadi1979 for finding electronic copies of official state highway maps from 1940 and earlier, which will make referencing history sections easier. —Sable232

Latest Roads news from Wikinews
Read and edit Wikinews

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

News in brief

  • Discussions in August led to the amendment of MOS:RJL to require a distance conversion factor in a table footer on all junction lists. The alternative was to require a second column with the converted values listed, a method that will be used in the UK.
  • The previous Article Improvement Drive with details coming later this year.
  • Several editors from Puerto Rico started a discussion on whether or not the Portal:U.S. Roads or Portal: Roads should be in the portal box on the bottom of articles. The result was to prefer the former since the latter does not cover the U.S. at all.
  • Speaking of portals, Portal: U.S. Roads gained featured portal status on September 1.
  • Pulaski Skyway was nominated for a featured article review that is still open.
  • Interstate 15 in Arizona was the featured article of the day on September 13.

Selected articles

August
MS 172 shield along westbound US 72 at eastern terminus

Mississippi Highway 172 (MS 172) is a state highway located in Tishomingo County, Mississippi. The route runs 12.074 mi (19.431 km) from U.S. Route 72 (US 72) near Burnsville east to US 72 near Oldham, just west of the Alabama border. The route is a two-lane undivided road its entire length and runs mostly through wooded areas. It also passes through the town of Iuka, where it has an intersection with MS 25.

What is now MS 172 was originally designated as part of the Lee Highway auto trail in 1920 before becoming part of US 72 when the U.S. Highway System was created in 1926. The route was briefly US 78 before being redesignated US 72 by 1932. The route was fully paved by the end of the 1930s and served as a part of US 72 until 1986, when a new divided highway was built to the south. By 1998, the former routing of US 72 was designated MS 172.

Selected pictures

August
animated GIF of the bridge collapse
A video of the collapse of the I-35W Mississippi River bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota on August 1, 2007
September
The High Five Interchange at I-635 and US 75 in Dallas

The Interstate Highways in Texas cover 3,233.4 miles (5,203.7 km) in the state. The freeways are maintained by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) as the state agency responsible for all state higwhays, including the Interstate Highways in Texas. There are nine primary routes, six auxiliary routes and the two branches of Interstate 35 (I-35) into I-35E and I-35W, that provide access to both Fort Worth and Dallas. The Interstate Highway with the longest segment in Texas is I-10 at 878.6 miles (1,414.0 km). The shortest Interstate Highway in the state is I-110 at 0.9 miles (1.4 km).

The construction of the Interstate Highway System in Texas actually began well before these routes were designated as Interstate Highways. A 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Gulf Freeway (I-45) between Galveston and Houston was opened in 1951, eight years before it was designated I-45; it was also the first urban expressway in Texas. The opening of a 6-mile (10 km) section of I-27 in 1992 completed the system. Planning is ongoing for a proposed extension of I-69 southward from its current terminus in Indiana through Texas to the United States – Mexico border. If built, I-69 will extend about 650 miles (1,050 km) across Texas, from the Louisiana state line in the Texarkana-Shreveport area to South Texas.

September
Highway 139
Puerto Rico Highway 139 southbound in Barrio Maragüez, Ponce, Puerto Rico. The City of Ponce and the Río Portugués channel are in the near background and the Caribbean Sea is in the far background.
October

Brockway Mountain Drive is a 8.883-mile (14.296 km) scenic highway in the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan just west of Copper Harbor. Access to the road is gained from M-26 from either Eagle Harbor to the west or Copper Harbor to the east. The drive runs along a cliff on the Keweenaw Fault and climbs to a height of 1,328 feet (405 m) above sea level, 726 feet (221 m) above the surface of Lake Superior. Several turnouts along the route allow for views of Copper Harbor, Lake Superior, and undeveloped woodland. The road was constructed by the Works Project Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933, and has been recognized for its scenic nature. Brockway Mountain Drive was called "one of the best fall color views and mountain biking areas" by Michigan Living. It was also named "most beautiful bike ride in the United States" by Bicycling Magazine in 1995.

An autumnal panorama from the top of Brockway Mountain with Lake Fanny Hooe and Lake Superior in the distance and Brockway Mountain Drive descending the hill.
View from atop Brockway Mountain
October
US 20A and NY 15 1 edit.jpg
Eastbound on U.S. Route 20A and New York State Route 15 in Lakeville

From the editors

Since the newsletter returned in April, it has been decided to keep to a quarterly schedule in the future. This is the final regular issue for 2010. The next quarterly issue should be out in January. Look for a possible special year-end wrap up around the holidays in December.

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 January. 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 2 | Issue 3 | Volume 4, Issue 1