Proposal to create new article type Route.
This type of article addresses the needs of a different audience to that currently covered in Wikivoyage but is still addressing the needs of the traveler.
Although having some similarities to itineraries the articles are aimed at travelers wanting to get from A to B rather than experience the journey and points of interest between A and B. More similar to major roads and rail lines pages on Wikipedia but but less encyclopedic and concentrating more on facilities useful for travelers and then linking to other pages on Wikivoyage.
It is aimed at business travelers, tourist, families and groups such as sports clubs and school groups who need to get to a particular destination by modes of transport such as car or train were the journey is of a reasonable length. In someways an extension of the route-box but providing information that you would not really want clogging up city locations articles with.
Mainly aimed at major roads and highways but also can apply to rail lines and cruise/ferry lines.
- City articles cover things to see and do and facilities (eat and sleep) at a location not between locations.
- City articles mention ways to get to a location but do not detail those routes.
- Itineraries cover things to see and do and facilities (eat and sleep) along a notable route were the route itself is a tourist attraction. Does not cover major, but mundane roads and rail lines.
- Travel topics can cover methods of traveling but not specific routes.
It does however appear this idea has been attempted before with wikitravel. See Wikivoyage talk:Routes Expedition. (Wrote most of this before reading the talk page of old expedition) However it is worth raising again with new people as well as the original people and particularly considering the use of web pages has changed from PCs at work and home to mobile devises while on the move.
Information on the article
- Towns (with article links) along the way. As well as key points of interest. (Can include one or two duplicates that are in the city article but only listing on side near the highway if a large city.)
- Service stations - fuel and fast food along (on or just off) the route (with brand names). Example German Autobahns have Autobahnraststätte on the highway but also have Autohöfe which are off a particular exit. Some are very basic others have a good reputation and popular stops for frequent travelers in the know. Many are not near a town, or anything worth seeing, so do not justify placement on or the creation of a city article.
- Where the good restaurants, diners, and truck stops are, near the route.
- Hotels, Motels and car camping places along the route not in city articles.
- Where there are pull offs (rest areas) and which have toilet/washroom, vending machine faculties.
- Toll fees and payment methods/locations.
- Emergency points such as shelters, gravel/salt containers, emergency phones in rural areas.
- Radio frequency and web address for local traffic information.
- Quality and type of the road. Single or multi-lane, night lighting and road marking (i.e. good to drive or not in the dark).
- Peak traffic times to avoid if you can.
- Shopping possibilities, for suppliers or local specialties, along the route.
- Alternative routes, i.e. if the Brenner Pass is closed or slow moving what alternatives are there or instead of using the I-94 and you have time to see some of the smaller towns use the Red Arrow Highway (US 12).
- For trains what faculties are available such as restaurant car or in carriage/seat food services, wi-fi (free or charge)
This is aimed at a different reader group than most articles are today. City articles are about enjoying the location as a tourist or know what faculties such as hotels and restaurants are there for business visitors. This is aimed at the working traveler (sales people, technicians, craftsmen, delivery drivers, truckers), or club groups, friends on road trips and for families with restless children in the car, where things that you would not want in a city article such as fast food places and toilets become more important.
- I drove from New York City to Albany and back. On the way used the main highway. Traffic was heavy and slow, it would have been useful to know where exactly the service stations where and what faculties they had. On the way back I used a less major but scenic road, failed to find any places along the way to get something to eat, exits I tried were not successful.
- I drove from Detroit to Chicago with some time free so wanted to have a good lunch at some individual local family run establishment rather than the usual fast foods on the side of the highway. Did find one but added nearly an hour to my journey with random driving.
- Many frequent drivers have a fuel card from a major company, saves on paperwork and cost if you use that brand. Do not always know were they are along a route. Other people have loyalty cards or points to collect/use at a particular brand.
- Want to save some money and come off the highway for cheaper fuel outlets than the on highway service stations. For example in the U.K. major supermarkets are a good place to fill up with fuel, but if you do not know the area well often do not see them just of the motorway exit until you pass.
- Have been on highways in large urban areas such as Los Angeles and Detroit, and needing fuel. Not sure where is a good and safe place to exit.
- Travel often on German, French, Benelux and UK motorways/autobahns. These have service stations but very variable on quality and facilities. Would be useful when planning a long road trip (I sometimes drive for many hours) were to stop for quick break and refreshments.
- Find a city page on Wikivoyage that has route-box but do not recognize the symbol of the route. Would be good to be able to click on the icon (function is already there and used when there is an itinerary) and get to page with information about the route.
How to document
- Linked from the icon on route-boxes to route article. (Except were route has itinerary article so link to that or route is just in one region and can link to get around section of article that has sufficient information).
- Links from road and rail references in "Get in" section of City and Region articles.
- Could be simple text based article with links like Pacific Coast Highway or Route 66, or with markers like Trans-Canada Highway.
- Could be a structured list of listings with coordinates similar to a Wikivoyage itinerary like Rheinsteig#Walk
- Could be a graphics schematic like rail and canal routes infoboxes are illustrated on Wikipedia. w:Main Line (NJ Transit) (route map or station list), w:Llangollen Canal#Route
- Could be table like "exit lists" on Wikipedia w:Bundesautobahn 61#Exit list, w:Interstate 75 in Michigan#Exit list
- Geo map link, possibly with gpx data.
- Providing useful everyday information for travelers.
- Another reason for people to come to Wikivoyage.
- Another way people find Wikivoyage, via search engines and link from articles on Wikipedia.
- Provides another method of navigating Wikivoyage and discovering existing articles.
- The biggest one (after should we do this) is where to set the limit. Yes to US interstates and European E roads but how about other lower designated roads? Is anything listed in a route-box fine or too far?
- As well as the main route any other sections recommend for the page template?
- How to grade status - outline, usable, guide, star.
- Rules on delete if stays empty for many months.