Road names/USA

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For Road Types in the editor see Road types/USA

This page covers road names for the country listed in the page title. For other countries see this page.

Road naming

NOTE: we are in the process of revising the names as they appear in WME. In the near future we may be able to display alternate names for each segment / road, and choose which one of these is the 'common' name. This is also true for road shield generation which is partially broken so shields may or may not be displayed in your area.

If you are not sure about changing the name of a road, it is best to ask in the forum or wait until the changes described above are implemented.

IMPORTANT! Due to upgrades in the client, some naming conventions have changed. The altered conventions will be marked with a bolded *NEW*. These changes have now been finalized. Thank you for your cooperation.

All roads in our base maps came with the names as defined in the US TIGER dataset.

However, you might notice a few problems with the original road names: Some of the names are not the 'common' names (usually, waze will display the 'name' of the hwy while most people know this hwy by its number).

On other examples, the same highway will have a different name on each side (for example, US Hwy 101 going North, and Bayshore Fwy going South).

Some roads actually have two 'common' names (for example, the NJ Turnpike is also I-95 and both are relevant names), but currently we can only display one name per road.

For all these issues, we ask that you currently leave the situation as is. We are working on a few fixes, that will automate the proper naming and also allow multiple names for each segments (with a 'Primary' name as the one being displayed, but other names that bring up the same search results).

Concurrent names

When two or more numbered highways (or interstates) run concurrently (one stretch of road has multiple route numbers), the segment should be named after the primary of the routes. The primary route will usually have one or more of the following attributes:

  • The route whose mile markers are used for the concurrent segment
  • The route whose exit numbers are used for the concurrent segment
  • When the concurrency ends, the route whose path does not get signed as a numbered exit.

The other route number(s) can be entered as alternate names.

In situations where a highway passes through a town, the road in those areas is typically named something other than the numbered route. In these situations the road should be named based on the following conditions:

  • If the local street signs provide guidance with the local name, that should be used as the primary name in the Waze map. The numbered route should be added as an alternate name.
  • If the local signs only indicate the route number, then that should be the primary name and and the local road name should be added as an alternate name.

United States Interstate Highway System I-95.svg.png I-695.svg.png

Components of the Interstate Highway System should be denoted as shown:
I-10 E for Interstate 10, Eastbound
I-310 S for Interstate 310, Southbound
I-35E N for Interstate 35E, Northbound (Only I-35E & I-35W in Minnesota and Texas)
Nearly all interstates are divided highways by necessity, and they should be drawn as such in the map for navigational accuracy.

United States Numbered Highways US 20.svg.png

The naming of highways is, of course, somewhat more complex than that of normal roads. Therefore, conventions must be followed to assure consistency throughout the map.

Certain formatting guidelines must be followed to ensure that highway shields are shown in the Live Map and in the client. Note that currently shield generation is not currently operating at 100%, so some areas do not have the shields on all roads. Waze has said that there will eventually be a process allowing map editors to add shields to road segments in a way that is not connected to the name OF that segment.

US Highways
Federal highways should be denoted as follows. Note that the trailing N, S, E, W cardinal direction indicator is used for numbered highways and interstates which are split into two 1-way segments, per the guidelines.
US-61 S for U.S. Highway 61, Southbound
US-90 W for U.S. Highway 425, Westbound
US-90 Business S for U.S. Highway 90 Business, Southbound
US-90 Alt E for U.S. Highway 90 Alternate, Eastbound
US-199 Spur for U.S. Highway 199 Spur
Also refer to the concurrent names section when the highway passes through a city or town that also has a local name for the road.

State highways State Hwy Sign 35.svg.png South Carolina 170.svg.png Florida 60.svg.png Louisiana 3234.svg.png Alabama 5.svg.png MT-sec-326.svg.png North Dakota 23.svg.png

State Highways
The Live Map will parse "State Rte xx" and "State Hwy yyy" and show a sign badge. However, as different states have different naming conventions (and different shields), this is not optimal for ramps. Local naming conventions are preferred for ramps and exits; this will be discussed below. Consistency within each state is key. *NEW*
The same note for U.S. Highways above applies for state highways. LA-308 in Golden Meadow should have "E Main St" as its primary name since that is the name used in addresses of houses and businesses along the highway.
State routes may also be split if it meets the guidelines.
Each state may use a longer or shorter naming format. See the highway naming by state table for specific formatting of each state.
Long Names
State Hwy 6 for state route/highway 6
State Hwy 99W S for state route 99W, southbound
State Rte 96 for state route 96
Short Names
Use the SR-xxx (meaning State Route, but used for both routes and highways) format instead of State Rte xxx and State Hwy xxx format, but keep the same cardinal, business, etc. extensions as described above.
NOTE: In some states there are other formats used, e.g., in Louisiana, use the LA-xxx format. Refer to the highway naming by state table for specific formatting of each state.
Also refer to the concurrent names section when the highway passes through a city or town that also has a local name for the road.

County highways and county roads Baldwin County Route 64 AL.svg.png St Louis County Route 7 MN.svg.png

Text to speech on the client reads CR as "County Road." So "CR-10" is read as "County Road Ten"

Where road names are the same as cardinal directions (N, S, E, W), place the letter designator in single quotes with a lowercase letter (CR-'n' CR-'s' CR-'e' CR-'w') so that the voice prompt will read the letter and not say it as a direction. Double or triple-letter roads with directional letters (e.g. CR-EN, CR-SAL) have not been tested but might be pronounced as if a word.

There is no other TTS abbreviation for county owned roads in any capacity. For these reasons: that county shields may someday be supported (and a named standard makes this easier to implement), and for brevity's sake in turn instructions and map displays, it is suggested (but by no means required) that individual states adopt the CR- standard.

Another standard in use (which is longer, but you may see) is 'County Hwy XX'.

Many states have adopted the short format CR-xxx instead of the longer format. See the highway naming by state table for specific formatting of each state.

Also refer to the concurrent names section when the highway passes through a city or town that also has a local name for the road.

Exit ramps and entrance ramps (on-ramps)

Exit1.JPG
Exit2.jpg

Exit ramps and Entrance ramps are to be set as Ramp road type. The name of the ramp should match the exit or entrance signage as closely as possible. Minimal disparity between sign and instruction is our goal. If done properly, the driver will not have to struggle to compare Waze's on-screen or verbal instructions with what he or she sees in real life on the road.

  • If the exit sign shows a number as well as a street or highway name, the exit ramp should be named "Exit 24: Schwarzenegger Rd".
    • A colon has been added because it adds a pause, making Text-to-Speech directions easier to understand.
  • If the exit is not numbered, "Exit to Kindergarten Ct" will do.
  • If the exit number is assigned and designated by the local roadway agency, but does not yet appear on the sign, it is OK to include the exit number in advance of it appearing on the road sign. This prevents additional updates later when the numbered sign is added to the roadway and it helps visual guidance when other exits before that one are numbered. Drivers can better anticipate their approaching exit.
  • If a single exit serves multiple roads, use a slash with leading and trailing spaces: "Exit 32: Terminator Blvd / Total Recall Rd".
  • If an exit number contains one or more letters, include it exactly as displayed on the sign: "Exit 33B: Running Man St", or "Exits 35C-B-A: Junior Dr / Twins Ave / Jingle Allthe Way". *NEW*
  • Include everything that is present on the last sign prior to the exit. Do not combine all possible pre-ramp signage into the single ramp segment name.
  • If the exit off the main interstate or highway serves multiple exits further down the road, it may be advisable not to name the first exit ramp, but rather name only the ramps which are the first one to a distinct destination. The Waze client will give all the proper exit and keep left or right instructions to guide the driver to the correct exit, even if the first one is not named. That said, this should only be done if the signage for the first ramp is the same as that on the subsequent, named ramp.

For entrance ramps, use this format: "to [street name] [direction] / [control city]", where applicable. For example,

  • "to I-10 W / Baton Rouge"
  • "to Clearview Pkwy N / Mandeville"
  • "to US-90 Business W"
  • "to LA-1 Thibodaux / Lockport" *NEW*
  • Similar to combined exit ramps, when multiple on-ramps combine before merging into the main interstate or highway, it is advised to name the last common ramp with the conventions listed above. This will usually be the last ramp which is the one which actually joins the main interstate or highway.
  • Using "Ramp to", "West", "WB", and "Westbound" should be avoided as "WB" is pronounced "double-you bee" and not 'westbound.' Further, the "to" will be automatically omitted from Text-to-Speech instructions. Do not omit the word "to", because this could cause confusion with, say, the "Select entire street" function.
  • State highways: When naming ramps and exits that lead to state highways, local naming should be used. This will maximize the clarity of navigation prompts for the majority of users in a given area. *NEW* For example,
    • In New Jersey, highways are generally colloquially referred to as "routes". To distinguish from other (federal) highways, a sign for State Route 45 in New Jersey should say "to State Rte 45". In this case, the abbreviation "to SR-45" may also be used.
    • In Louisiana, state highways are generally colloquially referred to as "LA" (ell-ay) followed by the highway number. A ramp to Louisiana Highway 308 should be say "to LA-308".
    • In North Carolina (NC), state routes are generally colloquially referred to as "NC" followed by the route number. A ramp to NC Highway 55 should be say "to NC-55".
  • Similar to exit ramps, put multiple destination information, even from multiple signage, onto the single on-ramp name. Major destinations or highways/interstates can be included, but don't go crazy and add every possible town and city in that direction. "to US-90 Business W / to I-10 W / Miss River Brg / Baton Rouge" is fine.

New streets

Sometimes, there is a brand new road that does not yet have a name visible to drivers. Or the person who used the pave option did not leave a note giving the name of the new road. In these cases, it is okay to leave the name of the road blank by marking the "None" checkbox next to the Name field in the Address Properties in the editor. Always make sure to choose the proper road type and confirm the other road details to ensure that the road appears on the client app.

Incomplete segments or red roads

Incomplete.jpg

Be sure to select country, state, enter the city name or check No City, and enter a street name, or check No Street. Until you do this, your road will not be routable and will not show on the client map. These incomplete segments are colored bright red in WME.

This must be done on all streets created in WME, and on all streets created with the client "Pave" function.

"Paved" streets must also be connected to their adjacent roads, and turn restrictions must be set in order to be routable.

Abbreviations and acronyms

Only abbreviations that Waze recognizes should be used within the editor. Since Waze uses TTS (Text-to-Speech) prompting, it is important that the correct abbreviations are used to produce the correct speech output.

A basic rule of thumb is, "when in doubt, spell it out".

Refer to the Abbreviations and acronyms page for a list of suffix abbreviations.

Construction zones and closed roads

This standard has recently changed (Feb 2014). Please pay close attention to the changes.

This section describes the naming of roads that are closed. See the article Road closures for instructions on how to enact a closure on a road segment. The closure should be enacted before renaming the road segments.

This section also describes what actions to take when a road remains open, but there are significant changes to it while construction completes.

Brief closures

Roads can be closed using the Waze application for brief closures. Don't change the map for closures that will last less than about a month. Instead, use the Waze app Road Closed reporting function.

Long term closures

When a road is closed to traffic for long-term construction, after you close the road, add "(Closed)" to the end of the road name. Example, "Ramble Dr" would become "Ramble Dr (Closed)".

Major construction without closure

When a road is under long-term construction, but is not closed, add "(Construction Zone)" to the end of the name. For example, "Tamble St" would become "Tamble St (Construction Zone)".

When construction is complete, remove "(Construction Zone)" from the name, and be sure to reattach any roads which may have been disconnected.

If there is a significant change to traffic patterns or geometry (lane shifts), adjust the geometry, connections, and restrictions of the segments to match the current traffic pattern. You must be able to monitor the area, and readjust once the construction is complete, or when additional changes are made during construction.

The following is a list of situations that warrant use of the "(Construction Zone)" suffix:

  • Major, long-term construction (usually lasting at least one month)
  • Long term lane closures or lane shifts (typically lasting for the duration of the construction, or for a month or more at a time)
  • Temporary recurring lane closures or lane shifts, if 1) the recurrence is regularly occurring over a long period and 2) they often occur during heavy travel hours (roughly from 6 am to 8 pm)
  • Construction with no semi-permanent recurring or lane closures or lane shifts, but where small lane closures and slow-moving construction traffic are common during heavy travel hours

"(Construction Zone)" should not be used for the following (unless one of the other conditions above is met):

  • Short-term construction (usually lasting under one month)
  • Temporary lane closures or lane shifts, if the closures or shifts occur through the night (for example, between 10 pm and 5 am)
  • Construction with no lane closures or lane shifts, even with possible occasional construction traffic

Official sources of mapping information

Being in the Waze community of editors means sharing information you discover and learning from the discoveries of others! You can see some of the (old) official sources of mapping information (US only) provided in the forum or check out the (new) mapping resources wiki page (preferred).

Feel free to add new resources as you find them.

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