South Africa/Naming Ramps

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Basic reasoning

The idea behind ramp naming is that the name displayed in the Waze client should match the signage the driver will see on the road. We don't need to replicate the signage exactly, but it should be close enough that it is recognizable to the driver, while not overwhelming them with an overly long TTS announcement. In cases where the signage is at odds with other information (including road names and such), the information on the signs (ie. what the driver actually sees) should usually take precedence over more "correct" information (that will simply be confusing to the driver).

Some of the descriptions below refer to specific South African road signs; see this page for information on how to identify these.

Ramp types

We can differentiate between three types of ramp segment.

Highway entrance

An entrance is a ramp that connects a regular road to a highway. For a freeway onramp, this will have a signpost of type GB1 through GB4. For other types of highway, this might be a signpost of type GD1, GD2, GD10, or GD12 instead.

The usual format for the labels on these signs is a directional arrow, a road name (eg. N3), and a road destination city (eg. Germiston), like so: "← N3 Germiston". In this case the ramp in Waze should be named "N3 Germiston".

You should include the minimum information necessary to distinguish this ramp from others nearby. For example, usually the signposts only distinguish between different directions of a highway by the destination city; thus the ramp name in Waze should *not* include the direction in the road name, and including the city name is vital to identify the ramp unambiguously. If the direction of travel is explicitly listed on the sign, as sometimes occurs, then including the city name may not be necessary; "R24 W" or "R24 E" would suffice. Note, however, that if a ramp segment is simply left blank, the name of the next segment in the route will propagate backwards and Waze will identify the ramp by that name; since this will usually be something like "R24 (W)" or "R24 (E)", naming the ramp would not be necessary in this case.

Highway exit

An exit is a ramp connecting a highway to a regular road, allowing one to exit the highway, or any connecting ramp that is specifically signposted as an exit. An exit will usually have an advance warning sign (GA2), another sign as the ramp begins to split away (GA3), and a GA4/GA4(E) sign in the split between the ramp and the highway as they achieve separation.

The GA3 signpost is the most important one when labelling an exit ramp. This sign will include the exit number (unless the exit is unnumbered), the area closest to the exit (eg. "Sandton"), the destination route, and either the name of the road itself or the destination cities.

Exit ramp naming is similar to entrance ramp naming, but instead of the "to" prefix, we now include the exit number like: "Exit 95: R511 William Nicol Dr". The area ("Sandton") is left out, as this adds too much clutter to the exit name and does not provide much additional benefit. Again, you only need to include as much information as is necessary to uniquely identify the ramp; if there is only one ramp leading to the R21 west, then there is no need to use a longer label like "Exit 143: R21 W Pretoria / Centurion" where "Exit 143: R21 W" would suffice.

If the exit is not numbered, keep the above format simply omitting the exit number; eg. "Exit: R511 William Nicol Dr".

Connector

A connector is a ramp connecting a highway to another highway, allowing one to transfer between the two highways. If a connector is signposted as an exit, the conventions for labelling an exit should be followed; otherwise, the connector is usually treated the same way as an entrance.

Additional notes

Blank ramp names can be used to great effect in order to reduce the length of ramp names in cases where the signage lists multiple destinations. For example, often going left from the offramp will lead to one destination, while going right will lead to another, and both of these are mentioned on the initial offramp sign. Instead of labelling this ramp like "Exit 113: R24 Johannesburg / R24 OR Tambo Int", leave the name blank; then label the ramp to the left as "Exit 113: R24 Johannesburg" and the ramp to the right as "Exit 113: R24 OR Tambo Int". This way, the name of the final ramp will propagate backwards to the blank ramp as per standard Waze rules, and the driver will only be presented with the information for the route they are travelling.

Make sure that the ramp name is recognizable on the initial exit sign, however. For example, if one of the destinations is not listed on the initial sign, then it is important to give the initial ramp a name that reflects what is seen on the initial sign, rather than allowing a different name to be presented that looks nothing like the sign the driver will see. See the Junction Style Guide for more detail on this subject.

In cases where a ramp leads to a simple intersection with another road, there is usually no need to split the ramp and label the segments by destination. For example, the offramp from the N1 to William Nicol Dr (R511) identifies the left-hand direction as "R511 Fourways" and the right-hand direction as "R511 Randburg / Sandton", but this only appears right before the ramp split, which is a small split. In this case, the directions waze gives ("keep left" or "keep right") are unambiguous, so labelling the ramp simply as "Exit 95: R511 William Nicol Dr" is sufficient to identify the ramp to the driver without complicating things. The segments after the ramp splits should be left blank unless they are very long, allowing the name of the destination road to propagate backwards. This will lead to an instruction like "keep left onto William Nicol Dr (R511)" which should be clear to the driver.