Washington State Route name and ref tag changes

And that table I made was just trying to collect all that info in one place, so don’t take it as a hard and fast rule that needs to be followed.

I say this without any rancor or hopes of there being any: “statewide tables of data” (for example, in a wiki) are a long-valued method of both establishing some good seeds being planted, a way to communicate “we’ve completed this much so far” status, and as a dialog channel for the same contributors or others to continue to “grow it out” (to completion).

We’ve done this (or breaking apart to “one wiki per state”) for railroads, bicycle routes, admin_level=* values, highway classifications and signage, hiking and equestrian trails (in some cases) and more. It works. It’s a good idea. We don’t always have to follow it, but we have, we can, and I’ll ask people to consider “maybe we should.” But it’s true, we don’t consider it a hard and fast rule that needs to be followed.

As a lifetime Washington resident, I’ve never heard of our state highways referred to with a WA prefix. It’s SR for state highways, US for us highways (although most people just say highway before the number), and I for interstates. Looking at the history, it has never been officially referred to with a WA prefix either. Pre-1964, they were referred to as primary and secondary highways, and afterwards, SR. Although it originally meant “Sign Route” instead of “State Route”. 1964 state highway renumbering (Washington) - Wikipedia

I’m a Washington resident and while I don’t have a very strong opinion on this topic, I find @Minh_Nguyen’s arguments (both in this thread and over in the Utah thread) persuasive. It seems that data consumers should (and mostly do) use route relations to figure out what state a highway is in, and shouldn’t be parsing ref tags (since several states already prefer SR or SH in their highway refs instead of the state postal abbreviation). Given that SR is clearly the correct designation according to WSDOT, and also seems to be more commonly used colloquially, I think changing over to using SR in highway ref tags in Washington would be fine, and I wouldn’t oppose someone making the change via mass edit.

Seems like people are on board. This is my first time working on a big edit that involves other people. How long are these sorts of things usually open for discussion before it’s considered ok to move forward?

There are a number of things to say about this. Briefly, and similar to how one contributor might address another in a changeset comment, allowing a week, as long as two weeks perhaps, continues to feel like an adequate amount of time. But changeset comment timeframes are more like a “reach out and make contact” stretch of time. With something like this, where the interactivity (using this Discourse software) is much more interactive — back and forth between people can be as little as minutes or hours.

Since it was 3 days ago you asked this question, I’d say it is “about that time” for others to chime in IF there is continuing discussion needed. If you wanted to be extra polite or show that you are “patience-minded” or perhaps that you would appreciate some mentoring-by-going-first (someone else showing YOU how they might best take some initial steps), you could ask for that.

If things seem to be stalled or slowing down, you might consider singling out one poster in this topic with whom you perhaps resonate, or you’ve “seen them around” (and maybe “like their style”) you might ask them, either private message or in the forum, if they’ll take some initiative, with you watching as they do so (maybe they see that you are asking for some mentoring and they take you under their wing and show you the ropes with some targeted technical pointers on accomplishing something specific). While you could take some initiative yourself, especially as this is your first time as you say, I’d steer towards asking to be included in the process of what others might do. Failing that, you might post here some steps you might (carefully) take and ask an open-ended “How does that sound to others?”

You get the idea, and your openness makes me say that you are on the right track. Oh, and there is no “hurry” in OSM, things take as long as they take. Good luck, have fun!

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Thanks, I’m looking into actually putting the changeset together. Is there a way I can share the changeset so others can review it prior to committing it to the actual map? I’m looking at using JOSM to do the work.

Yes, you can save your work from JOSM to a file and share that.

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In not-quite-as-precise-as-1964 (California had a Great Renumbering this year, too), OSM seems to be rolling-our-own-as-we-go: certain map and wiki agreements 2020-2, imports and edits around 2007-9, what we now have are early sketches that have become fully-flowered fields! Seriously, we invent part of it right now, sketching it out amongst ourselves. (For about 20 years!) We neatly write our own history into the API, that’s neat.

Maybe not quite as historical and “milestone” as a statewide network numbering protocol Great Renumbering (those get their own Wikipedia articles), we do have a decades-evolving canvas of highways, for sure. It is evolving nicely, I say.

OSM is pretty amazing, everyone. Thanks for as much harmony as we enjoy!

Postscript: Saving JOSM files of pure OSM data benefit with a .osm suffix by some operating systems. It doesn’t hurt and sometimes disambiguates. Net gain for those sorts of data files saved from JOSM.