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Wikipedia:WikiProject U.S. Roads/Michigan Plan

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The Michigan Plan is a method for organizing articles for a state's highway system on a state level. Named by Imzadi1979, it is used by several states, most notably Michigan. The plan organizes this collection of articles into three different tiers, and it can apply to interstate systems like the United States Numbered Highways as well.

Tier One: SystemEdit

This is the highest level of the plan, and it usually has just one article. This one article is a prose-based account describing the important aspects of a highway system. This article should include details on the signing practices, numbering schemes and history of a single system of highways. A reader should come away with a big-picture view of the system.

Because we use summary style, this article does not attempt to handle everything about the system. Instead it relies on articles at lower levels of the plan to flesh out the specifics. Some details, like the longest and shortest highways will be repeated in the Tier-One article to provide a sense of scale to the system, but the rest of the length information is handled by the next level.

Tier Two: ListsEdit

This next tier lists all of the highway designations in the system along with the key statistics on each. Because most states have at least three designation types, and there are usually more than a few examples of each type, this level has at least three list articles normally. Lists are split by subsystem, grouping together all of the Interstate Highways in a state, for example.

Key information from the Tier-One article is repeated, along with additional details, to provide a good prose lead section to each list. In the Pure Michigan Byway article, details specific to that scenic designation are included to accompany the list of byways. Typically in the Michigan Plan, business routes and other "special routes" are listed with their appropriate parent types; Interstate business loops are listed in a separate table in the list article along with the Interstate Highways. Each state may require a slightly different scheme to organize the lists based on state-specific factors.

At this level, the tables should follow WP:USRD/STDS/L.

Note at the present, the Michigan lists are still a work in progress, but the list articles on the Interstates and byways have been promoted to FL status and provide a good example of a lead for such an article.

Tier Three: ArticlesEdit

The lowest tier of the Michigan Plan includes all of the individual highways' articles. There is no guarantee that every designation will have its own article. In terms of special routes, these may have separate articles, like M-28 Business (Ishpeming–Negaunee, Michigan), or they may be merged into a parent highway's article, just as U.S. Route 2 Business (Ironwood, Michigan) is a section in U.S. Route 2 in Michigan. These special routes may also be collected into their own dedicated list, like Business routes of U.S. Route 10 in Michigan. Common sense is used at this level to decide if a topic warrants a separate article, or if that topic is best covered combined with a related highway or group of highways.

Support Structure: Templates and stuffEdit

Each of these articles uses an infobox. At the bottom of these boxes, there will be a set of "browse links". The first line will list the name of the state-level system, ideally linked to the Tier-One article described above. The second line of browse links will contain the links to the list articles described in Tier Two above. These links are present at the bottom of {{infobox road}} as well as {{infobox state highway system}} to bind together the articles on the system, the lists and the individual highways.

In addition to the links handled through the bottom of the infobox, there are some navboxes to link upper-tier articles in the hierarchy. There are too many highway articles to use navboxes on Tier-Three articles. All levels use categories to bind groups together.

Another piece of support structure is a portal. Every Michigan highway article links to Portal:Michigan Highways, but other states that lack their own portal should link to Portal:U.S. Roads and their appropriate state portal(s). This also gives readers of one article a way to further explore the topic, providing samples of other articles they may find interesting to read.