Wikipedia:WikiProject U.S. Roads/Newsletter/Issues/Volume05/Issue03

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The WikiProject U.S. Roads Newsletter
Volume 5, Issue 3 • Summer 2012 • About the Newsletter

Summer is winding to an end this Labor Day weekend. Around USRD, editors have been updating articles to use {{jctint}} and its family of sister templates to generate junction/exit list tables, with all but four upper-tier articles (FA-, A- or GA-Class) converted to use them. We also have reports in this issue related to various Wikipedia-wide items, like the Wikimania conference held in Washington, DC, in July, and the 4 millionth article.

As a reminder, if you have not done so already, please add your name to the Participants List for the project. As we noted earlier this year, the project did a roll call, and project members have to add their names to the list to be included.

Featured story

U.S. Roads Project Goes to Wikimania

Contributors: Mitchazenia, Daniel Case, Viridiscalculus
Wikimania 2012

Several presentations were of interest to USRD editors. Eternal December: How Awful Arguments Are Killing the Wiki, and Why not to Make Them, originally scheduled as a presentation by Oliver Keyes (better known as User:Okeyes (WMF) or Ironholds), Community Liaison for Product Development for the Foundation, became a panel discussion about the way the community treats new editors, with Oliver arguing that it must change and Protonk arguing the other side, that the community has good reason for doing so. Noted inclusionist David Goodman (User:DGG) delivered a critique of the notability policy, concluding that it is ultimately arbitrary and suggesting a "Wikipedia Two" that could be used for articles that do not meet the existing guidelines. On the technical side, other presentations discussed further integration with OpenStreetMap and building a chat feature into MediaWiki.

Benoît Evellin (User:Trizek) and Erik Möller gave presentations about building infrastructure that is more welcoming for newcomers. In Benoit's case, it was creating more welcoming introduction and help pages in the French Wikipedia, ideas that can be imitated or re-fashioned for the English Wikipedia as a whole or for individual projects so everyone's grandmother—a stereotypical example of a non-tech-savvy person—can participate. Erik argued that Wikipedia has a lousy interface compared to Facebook, and would be more welcoming if its interface was more like that of Facebook. Brandon Harris (User:Jorm) followed up on Erik's presentation by demonstrating some features of the Athena Project, many of which could make Wikipedia a less intimidating environment for newcomers and possibly more convenient for established members.

There were several breakout sessions that touched on photography and how to encourage newcomers to either take pictures or edit. Peter Ekman (User:Smallbones) presented on his project, WikiProject National Register of Historic Places, and offered tips on taking photographs and directing newcomers to the topic or labor areas where help is needed. Petr Brož (User:Chmee2) talked about drawing newcomers, in particular university students, into the Czech WikiProject Protected Areas by offering newcomers chances to go on road trips to observe and record, through pictures or video, the plants and animals of a region. Finally, Olaf Kosinsky (User:Olaf Kosinsky) described his effort in the German Wikipedia whereby he arranged professional photography sessions with members of the German state legislatures, with the stipulation that the photos be of the appropriate licenses to populate Wikipedia articles.

In summary, there were many sessions concerning overall themes that we can apply specifically to our project and more specific sessions that pronounced ideas that could serve our project well. Information about Wikimania, including the schedule of and descriptions of presentations, can be found on the conference website. In addition, video of each of the sessions has been uploaded to WikimediaDC's youtube channel. Wikimania 2013 will be held in Hong Kong, making it a long shot that any USRD folks will make it two in a row for Wikimania.

Driving to 4 Million

Editor: Rschen7754
4 Million articles

Early in the morning on July 13, 2012, similar to our attempts to create the 2 millionth Wikipedia article, Floydian and I attempted to create the 4 millionth article. While we were unsuccessful, Idaho State Highway 48 was mentioned in the press release, and our efforts were mentioned on Wikipedia:Thanks for 4 million articles.

Below is a list of articles created in this endeavor:

Michigan Reaches Milestone

Contributor: Dough4872

In the improvement of USRD articles, many states have seen their wikiwork fall lower and lower. One of these states has been Michigan, which has the lowest wikiwork in the country. This summer, Michigan reached a new milestone. On August 9, H-58 (Michigan county highway) was promoted to A-class, bringing the state's wikiwork to the 2.000 mark. A day later, U.S. Route 41 Business (Marquette, Michigan) was promoted to FA, bringing Michigan's wikiwork below 2.0 to 1.995. This made Michigan the first state in the project to have a wikiwork below 2.000. A special thanks to Imzadi1979 for improving Michigan's articles.

Maple Syrup Report

Driving around north of the border
Contributor: Floydian

As Canadians head to the cottage for the summer, gradual progress has been made at keeping the project-wide stub count below 1000. The project briefly dropped below this milestone, but rose to 1002 during the 4 millionth article drive. Hogie75 has been busily creating New Brunswick secondary highway articles, filling a large gap of missing coverage. In Ontario, work has progressed to get all fourteen 400-series highway and the QEW up to a minimum threshold of a GA - only Highway 407 and the Queen Elizabeth Way remain below that standard. The project wide wikiwork sits at 5.472; Ontario leads the charge at 3.827, placing it between Iowa and Washington on the south side of the border.

State and national updates

Assessment roundup

Editor: Fredddie

This is a list of the top ten states by average WikiWork as of August 28, 2012:

Rank State Featured article FA A-Class article A GA B C Start Stub ω Ω
1 Michigan 11 5 176 16 5 0 0 425 1.995
2 Delaware 1 0 53 1 7 0 0 137 2.210
3 New York 12 2 164 274 170 57 1 2123 3.122
4 New Jersey 1 2 105 43 19 83 0 832 3.289
5 Maryland 4 1 50 263 72 85 0 1603 3.375
6 Utah 4 2 12 63 125 19 2 822 3.621
7 Arizona 1 0 12 18 46 21 0 367 3.745
8 Iowa 1 0 16 9 91 14 0 493 3.763
9 Washington 0 3 37 42 52 52 25 821 3.891
10 Minnesota 0 0 3 5 198 13 0 878 4.009

There was no vertical movement in the top ten since the last issue. However many states lowered their average WikiWork. For complete statistics, updated daily, check out WP:USRD/A/S. Now, here is a look at the project as a whole.

Project Featured article FA A-Class article A GA B C Start Stub ω Ω
USRD 42 21 777 1019 2349 4080 2474 49272 4.578
IH 8 4 47 39 206 227 24 2318 4.177
USH 10 2 49 34 170 291 38 2565 4.318
Auto trail 7 0 3 0 9 29 9 241 4.228

Since the last newsletter, two new featured articlesU.S. Route 41 Business (Marquette, Michigan) and California State Route 57—and 144 new good articles were promoted.

Project news

  • The {{U.S. Roads WikiProject}} template, which serves as the project's talk page banner, has been upgraded added to it is a |needs-jctint= parameter to track articles using hard-coded junction/exit list tables versus the various templates. Upper-tier articles are tracked separately as well now.
  • The banner has also been set to automatically determine if an article has a KML file in place. Editors still need to use |needs-kml=na if an article does not require a KML, but they can remove the parameter completely in the future.
  • Using a tool hosted on the toolserver, project members substantially reduced the number of disambiguation links in USRD articles. Please check in periodically and help correct these links in the future.
  • Wikipedia:Notability (geographical features) has been proposed that would cover highway articles in addition to other geographic features.
  • All FA- and A-Class articles have KML files, and 248 GA-Class articles still need one.
  • Open reviews for USRD:

Task force reports


Alaska has promoted its first two Good Articles, Hope Highway, and Portage Glacier Highway. Portage Glacier Highway failed an A-Class Review, and List of Interstate Highways in Alaska failed a Featured List Candidacy due to size. Alaska's WikiWork has fallen below 5.000 to 4.935.—Awardgive


California is now 11th in the nation in article quality, passing up Connecticut. Recently, several California articles have been converted to templates, with the help of Happy5214 (talk · contribs) and PhATxPnOY916 (talk · contribs). Quite a few CA articles have also become Good Articles, including California State Route 55, California State Route 70, California State Route 188, California State Route 198, California State Route 282, and California State Route 266. CA is now at 4.166 in relative WikiWork. All California GAs now have an attached KML file. —Rschen7754

Task force reports, continued

With the 2012 June-July GAN Review Round, Delaware has seen a rapid increase in good articles. Since the last newsletter, the number of good articles has more than tripled from 14 to 53 while the wikiwork has fallen from 2.857 to 2.210. However, one of the new GAs, Delaware Route 17, was subject to a GAR and an AFD with concerns over the quality and notability of the article. It was able to survive both venues. —Dough4872


Georgia was one of three states in the Southeast, with North Carolina and South Carolina, that saw small improvements thanks to discovery and application of GIS data for those states. Georgia's data is accessed via a Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) application called GeoTRAQS that provides a variety of data on segments of highway throughout the state in a map-like format, including running totals of mileage for particular segments of highway and the total length of a highway in a county. The GDOT website also contains a near comprehensive set of state highway maps. These resources were enough for Georgia to gain its first highway Good Article: User:Viridiscalculus worked on and nominated Georgia State Route 40 and the article passed on June 29.—Viridiscalculus


An often overlooked component of the the USRD project is the content that belongs to the various US territories in the Pacific and Caribbean. As a part of the GA by number contest sponsored by Dough4872 (talk · contribs), Guam Highway 1 was advanced to GA status on April 20, 2012. This was the first Good Article for USRD in a territory, building on work initiated by Stratosphere (talk · contribs) in 2008. Since then, all existing articles have had their junction lists transitioned to the updated MOS:RJL formatting through the use of {{GUint}}, although there are still nine redlinks on the list of highways for the island territory.—Imzadi1979


One of the goals being made is to create articles for the first 98 state highways created in 1921. I have a list going on, but the largest article is over at LA 1, a remnant of the Jefferson Highway. All highways that are being created are from before 1955, with their own vintage shield. Any helpful photos or historical notes can be added, as I want these articles to be a true reference point for historians. Maps and route descriptions will be added, and the 98 should be completed soon.—Mcdonaat


While it's still a way down the leaderboard, Missouri is starting a long journey upward. With the discovery of MoDOT's Flex Map Viewer, we are now able to list lengths and create junction lists for every route to three decimal places. With MoDOT's extensive historic map collection, Missouri should be in the top half on USRD before long.—Fredddie


Montana recent received its first good article, Montana Highway 48. With the help of the Montana Road Log, which allows editors to milepost junctions up to three decimal points, and allows editors to see construction and reconstruction dates for highways, Montana should be on its way soon.—Awardgive

North Dakota

North Dakota only has 37 articles and none are above C-Class, but the state's articles have seen much improvement in the past month with many Stub-Class and Start-Class articles being upgraded in the "Big Three" sections. If a reliable source for North Dakota's articles can be found, North Dakota should see its first GA in the near future.—Thecatchernumbersevenjooooemauer


During our anti-stub drive last year, many states were able to reduce their stub count all the way to zero. Oklahoma was not one of those states, however, so stub expansion continues to this day. At time of writing, Oklahoma has 28 stubs remaining. It is anticipated that the stub count will further drop to 25 or lower during September. Oklahoma tends to expand stubs slower than other states because expansions are usually done from Stub to B in one fell swoop (rather than just expanding to Start as is often done elsewhere, and gradually expanding on to higher classes later). Aside from stub expansion, there's still lots to do in Oklahoma—many articles need to be updated to use more reliable sources, and ten U.S. Highways that pass through the state do not yet have state-detail articles. Look for U.S. Route 60 in Oklahoma to become the newest article from this set soon. —Scott5114


With the help of the 2012 June–July GAN Review Round, Texas has promoted 11 new good articles, including 10 of the 11 highways in the state's Recreational Road System. Texas now has a total of 17 GAs, the ninth highest in the nation.—Awardgive

Editor's note: The length of some of Texas' recent GAs has been questioned in a similar fashion to the debates that surrounded the article from Delaware.

Selected articles

US 20 approaching Springville from the west

U.S. Route 20 (US 20) in Indiana is a main east–west highway that is parallel to the Indiana Toll Road. The western terminus of US 20 is at the Illinois state line and the eastern terminus is at the Ohio state line. US 20 through Whiting, East Chicago, and Gary is concurrent with US 12 twice. The route varies between one-way, two-lane, and four-lane streets, in northwestern Indiana. East of Gary to Michigan City, the road is a two-lane highway. From Michigan City to west of South Bend, US 20 is a four-lane undivided highway. The route then heads around the west and south sides of South Bend and Elkhart. East of Elkhart County Road 17 (CR 17), US 20 is two-lane rural highway. (more...)

Selected pictures

Bixby Creek Bridge, The Big Sur, California.jpg
The Bixby Creek Bridge along California State Route 1 in Big Sur, with the Pacific Ocean in the background
SR-103 is visible on its original alignment in Ogden

State Route 103 (SR-103) is a 0.225-mile-long (0.362 km) urban minor arterial state highway in the U.S. state of Utah. It branches off from SR-126 in downtown Clearfield and extends east to Interstate 15 (I-15), terminating at Hill Air Force Base. The entire route is located in Davis County and was formed in 1965 coinciding with the construction of I-15. The eastern terminus has changed hands in the same location several times since its designation, and the route was eventually given the moniker of 650 North in 1979. SR-103 is one of four Utah state highways that connect to Hill Air Force Base, the others being SR-97, SR-168 and SR-232, and has the second lowest average daily traffic, higher only than SR-168. (more...)

Interstate 10, Loop 202 & SR 51.jpg
Looking east at the Mini Stack, an interchange in Phoenix, Arizona between Interstate 10, State Route 51, and State Route 202.

Guam Highway 1 (GH-1), also known as Marine Corps Drive, is one of the primary automobile routes in the United States territory of Guam. It runs in a southwest-to-northeast direction, from the main gate of Naval Base Guam in the western community of Santa Rita in a general northeasterly direction to the main gate of Andersen Air Force Base in the community of Yigo. It passes through Guam's capital, Hagåtña, as well as intersecting various other territorial highways. Along its route, the highway runs through tropical forest areas, urbanized commercial areas, and residential neighborhoods. The US Military built the road starting in 1941. Construction ceased with the Japanese invasion in December 1941 and resumed in 1944. The highway was formally dedicated to the US Marines by the territorial governor in 2004. (more...)

Seward Highway (1).jpg
Looking north on the Seward Highway portion of Alaska Route 1 as the highway approaches the Kenai Mountains.

From the editors

The next quarterly issue should be out in October or November. 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.

Imzadi1979 is taking suggestions to rename the newsletter on his talk page. The best suggestion will be used for the Fall 2012 issue, and the contributor will receive a barnstar.

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 2 | Issue 3 | Volume 6, Issue 1