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Special route

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Special route

Types of special routes found in the United States
Truck Business US 17 ends at its parent in Elizabeth City, North Carolina

In road transportation in the United States, a special route[1] is a prefixed and/or suffixed numbered road that forms a loop or spur of a more dominant route of the same route number and system. The dominant route is generally referred to as the "parent" or "mainline", while special routes are also unofficially or neologistically known as child routes or auxiliary routes.[2]

Special routes are included in many highway systems in the United States; most are found in the Interstate Highway System, U.S. highway system, and various state highway systems. There are numerous types of special routes, each possessing generally defined characteristics and having defined relationships with the parent route. Types of special routes: Business Route, Scenic Route, Truck Route, Spur Route, Alternate Route, Bypass Route, Connector Route, Toll Route, Temporary Route, Loop Route, Permanently signed detour route, and Divided Route (see List of divided U.S. Routes)

Contents

  • Nomenclature 1
  • Special route types and respective behavior 2
    • Business, City, and Bypass routes 2.1
      • Business Interstates 2.1.1
      • Truck routes 2.1.2
    • Alternate Truck Routes 2.2
    • Alternate and Optional routes 2.3
    • Spur and Connector routes 2.4
    • Scenic routes 2.5
    • Toll routes 2.6
    • Loop routes 2.7
    • Temporary routes 2.8
    • Emergency detour routes 2.9
    • Divided routes 2.10
  • History 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5

Nomenclature

In the field, the special route is typically distinguished from the parent route with the use of auxiliary words or suffix letters placed on the route shield or on an adjacent sign, known as a "banner" or "plate" or according to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, a "route sign auxiliary sign".[3] A common roadfan synonym for special route is "bannered highway" or "bannered route", terms coined from the presence of these companion signs.[4][5][6] The term is not all-encompassing however, as not all special routes have these banners.

The standards organization only advocates four types of special routes: business, bypass, alternate, and temporary. AASHTO suggests that transportation authorities of the United States decommission other types of special routes and/or replace such obsolete designations with another type of route.

Some old alignments of routes may also be informally known as special routes (despite some that do not intersect the parent route). These older alignments may be given street names like "Old U.S. Highway 52", or in some rare cases, be signed with route shields attached to "Old" or "Historic" banners (such as decommissioned sections of former U.S. Route 66 that are still driveable).

In the case of U.S. state route systems, special routes are generally restricted to primary state routes, not secondary state routes, though Missouri has three supplemental routes with short spur routes, and the 500-series county routes in New Jersey have alternate, bypass, spur, and truck routes.[7]

A few highways have two special route designations. Some of these doubly designated special routes are:

There is also an example of a route with three special route designations. U.S. Route 30 Alternate Truck Business provides an alternate truck bypass of U.S. Route 30 Business in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

Special route types and respective behavior

Business SH-9 in Hobart, Oklahoma ends at its parent route. The center SH-9 shield is topped with a "BUSINESS" plate, which is how business routes are typically marked.

Routes with special designations in the U.S. have typical behavior that distinguishes them from other routes. There are, however, many exceptions to the common behavior, depending on the situation.

Business, City, and Bypass routes

Business routes (also known as city routes) can be loops or spurs and generally traverse through or near population centers (usually towns and small cities). They are usually signed with "business" or "bus" auxiliaries or a "B" suffix) Most business routes are the former alignments of their parent. Bypass routes (rarely known as "Relief routes") typically go around population centers and are newer and faster than their mainline and/or business route counterparts.

In some cases, due to urban sprawl over time, land around bypasses can become developed, expanding the population center outward and creating a misnomer with the term "bypass" (e.g. U.S. Highway 17 Bypass in Myrtle Beach). Approaching a population center, it is common for the parent route to split between a business route and a bypass route and rejoin to form the parent on the other side.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) defines a business route for U.S. highways as
...a route principally within the corporate limits of a city which provides the traveling public an opportunity to travel through that city, passing through the business part of the city; while the regular number is used to obviate passing through the congested part of the city. This "Business Route" connects with the regular numbered route at the opposite side of the city limits.[8]

AASHTO defines bypass or relief routes for U.S. highways as:

...a route which is established for the purpose of designating a route which entirely by-passes a city or congested area and joins in with the regular numbered route beyond the city or congested area.[8]

Business Interstates

Business Loop Interstate 85

AASHTO defines a category of special routes separate from primary and auxiliary Interstate designations known as Business Interstate routes. These routes do not have to comply to Interstate construction standards, but are routes that may be identified and approved by the association. The same route marking policy applies to both U.S. Numbered Highways and Interstate highways; however, business route designations are sometimes used for Interstate highways.[9]

Known as Business Loops and Business Spurs, these routes that principally travel through the corporate limits of a city, passing through the central business district of the city. Business routes are used when the regular route is directed around the city.[9] They sport green Interstate shields, as opposed to the normal red and blue, with the word "Business" replacing the normal "Interstate" word on the upper portion of the shield.

Truck routes

Truck routes were initially known as Bypass routes, and were loops created as a means to divert through truck traffic away from population centers, but the designation was changed to "bypass" in 1959-1960 by AASHTO. Today, Truck routes exist as alternatives for the mainline routes that are ill-suited for large truck travel[10] with obstacles (such as low clearance bridges, sharp turns, or steep grades) or with conditions that could create dangerous situations to smaller vehicles. An example of such a route is U.S. Route 1/9 Truck in New Jersey, which bypasses the segment of U.S. Route 1/9 that uses the Pulaski Skyway, a skyway on which trucks are banned.[11]

Alternate Truck Routes

There are alternate truck routes in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, Chester County, Pennsylvania, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. They bypass weight-restricted bridges over creeks and rivers. They are mainly routed on major highways and freeways and other roads they intersect to bypass that specific bridge. An example of an alternate truck route is Pennsylvania Route 82 Alternate Truck which bypasses a weight-restricted bridge over East Branch of Red Clay Creek. All of the alternate truck routes were signed in 2013.

Alternate and Optional routes

Alternate routes are loops that provide alternative alignment for a parent route. They are usually signed with an "alternate" or "alt" auxiliary or an "A" suffix. They generally traverse through a different settlements or different city neighborhoods than the parent route, but roughly remain parallel to the parent. Unlike business routes and bypasses, their relationship to population centers varies from case to case. Alternates also can be quite longer than most other special routes with some spanning over 50 miles (e.g. US 1A in Maine and US 74A in North Carolina).

Prior to 1960 there were "optional" routes in the United States that were synonymous with alternate routes. As a means of providing uniformity, the "Optional" term was phased out in the 1960s.

AASHTO defines and specifies that alternate routes should have the following behavior:

An "Alternate Route" shall be considered a route which starts at a point where it branches off from the main numbered route, may pass through certain cities and towns, and then connect back with the regular route some miles distant. Since it is the purpose of the U.S. numbered system to mark the best and shortest route available, an alternate route should be designated only where both routes are needed to accommodate the traffic demand, and when the alternate route has substantially the same geometric and structural design standards of the main marked routing. It is recommended that in case an alternate route is marked, that the shorter and better constructed route be given the regular number and the other section designated as the "Alternate Route". It is further recommended that the Highway Department erect signs at the junction points of the regular and alternate routes giving the distance between the cities or points concerned... In no instance should an alternate routing be used for the purpose of keeping an obsolete section on the U.S. numbered system after a new routing has been constructed and available to traffic.[8]

Spur and Connector routes

CONN M-44 is a Connector route.

Spur routes are spurs, splitting from the parent route without returning. They usually end in a settlement or area not served by the parent. Connector routes are spurs that connect the parent route with a nearby prominent route, usually an Interstate highway (e.g. CONN M-44 connects M-44 to Interstate 96). Both Spurs and Connectors are generally very short in length, not spanning more than ten miles (16 km).

Scenic routes

Scenic routes, in terms of special routes, are loops of a parent route that traverse through an area of natural or historical significance. Only one route in the country remains with the official Scenic designation: US 40 Scenic.

Toll routes

Toll I-376 in Pennsylvania

Toll routes, in terms of special routes, are loops that are faster than the parent route, but are tolled. The other usage with the promulgation of the 2009 MUTCD is to use a new yellow toll plate above the marker along tolled segments of highways.[12]

Loop routes

Georgia Loop 10 is a loop route.

Loop routes, in terms of special routes, are loops that form a complete radial around an area, having at least one intersection with the parent route. Because of their circumferential nature, Texas State Highway Loop 1604 is a rare example of a loop route that does not intersect a parent route; instead, it provides an outer radial of the San Antonio metropolitan area, while I-410 serves as the inner radial for the city and intersects its parent twice.

Temporary routes

Route 41 Temporary signage in Haddonfield, New Jersey

Temporary routes complete a gap between two segments of a parent route that exists because the parent route through the area has not been fully constructed. They serve as a long-term detour until the parent route's planned path is completed, at which point the Temporary designation is either removed or replaced by another designation such as Alternate or Business. Temporary routes generally traverse along roads of a lower standard than the planned mainline. An example is US 191 through a copper mine north of Clifton, Arizona.

AASHTO defines and specifies that temporary routes should have the following behavior:

In the erection of signs for numbering routes, it is necessary in some cases to carry a number temporarily over a road that ultimately will not be the permanent location of that number. Great care should be taken by the State Highway Departments in seeing that when numbers of this character are permitted, that a standard strip carrying the words "Temporary" shall be placed on the staff above the number. This will obviate much hard feeling when it is necessary to change a number to the permanently established route. [8]

Emergency detour routes

Emergency plate
Emergency I-94 shields in Coloma, Michigan

A rare type of special route, known as the Emergency Detour route, is signed with an auxiliary "Emergency" banner that is colored orange, indicating a temporary traffic control sign. The purpose of these routes is to offer an alternative in the event that the parent route is impassable, due to either a traffic jams, traffic collision, or road closure (for a variety of reasons). Emergency U.S. Route 31, which offers an alternative crossing of the Grand River in the event that the bascule bridge in Grand Haven, Michigan is unavailable for motorists,[13] is one such route. According to the Michigan Department of Transportation, "This route would only be used in emergency situations and worst-case scenarios impacting the entire bridge structure."[13] Emergency Interstate 94 follows Interstate 94 throughout much of southern Michigan.[14]

Ontario, Canada is one jurisdiction outside the United States with a very prevalent system of these roads.

Other governments have a variation on this concept, though not always a "special route":

Divided routes

US 25 splits in Tennessee into US 25E and US 25W

Some U.S. Routes are given directional suffixes to indicate a split of the main route — for instance, U.S. Route 25 splits into U.S. Route 25E (east) and U.S. Route 25W (west) between Newport, Tennessee and North Corbin, Kentucky, and U.S. Route 9W is an alternate of U.S. Route 9 between Fort Lee, New Jersey and Albany, New York. These splits were in the system of United States Numbered Highways from the beginning, and were used when two roughly equivalent routes existed.

They are usually loops, but some have been spurs, though since they use directional letter suffixes, they are not generally considered "bannered routes". The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials no longer assigns these numbers, and in theory current ones are to be eliminated "as rapidly as the State Highway Department and the Standing Committee on Highways can reach agreement". This policy was adopted by 1996; however, many of these routes still exist, mostly in Tennessee.

History

Originally in the United States, the terms used for special routes were "City", "Truck", and "Optional". In 1959-1960, the terms were changed to "Business", "Bypass", and "Alternate", respectively; however, the "Truck" banner is still used today on many routes, especially those where trucks are prohibited on the mainline (for example, U.S. Route 1/9 Truck in Jersey City, New Jersey, which routes trucks around the Pulaski Skyway, which bans them). The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has called for the removal of "alternate" routes, though some still exist.

See also

References


-- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p
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