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Public-images-osm logo.svg access
For describing the legal accessibility of a element.
Group: Restrictions
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesmay be used on waysmay be used on areasmay be used on relations
Documented values: 7
Useful combination
Status: De facto


Access values are used to describe the legal access for highways and other facilities including building entrances. The values can be used with the access tag or with tags associated with particular forms of transport. For example access=delivery on a service road tagged with highway=service would imply that all transport modes can use the entrance for delivery only. A building entrance available for pedestrian customers only would be tagged entrance=yes and foot=customers. In addition to transport mode restriction, there may be restrictions relating to height, weight, restrictions may vary by time and day and restrictions may be directional.

Because there are so many access tags for transport modes, you may also use a grouping prefix for clarity. Thus bicycle=yes is sometimes found as access:bicycle=yes, though this is less widely supported by data consumers and adds no additional meaning.

Access tag values

Value Description
yes The public has an official, legally-enshrined right of access; i.e., it's a right of way.
no No access for the general public. Consider using additional access (like foot=yes or bicycle=permissive, etc.) to indicate who can use the element. If only specific transport modes are forbidden, prefer more specific restrictions like vehicle=no or motor_vehicle=no over the general key access.
private Only with permission of the owner on an individual basis.
permissive Open to general traffic until such time as the owner revokes the permission which they are legally allowed to do at any time in the future.
destination Only when travelling to this element/area; i.e., local traffic only. NOTE: This restriction often only applies to certain modes of transportation (e.g., only to vehicles). Take care to use the right transport mode restriction; e.g., vehicle=destination when only vehicle traffic is restricted.

English: "no thru traffic" / "local traffic only" (USA), Dutch: "bestemmingsverkeer/uitgezonderd plaatselijk verkeer (Flanders/Belgium)", German: "Anlieger frei"/"ausgenommen Anrainerverkehr" (Austria), French "Interdit sauf riverains/excepté circulation locale (Wallonie/Belgium)".

delivery Only when delivering to the element.
customers Only for customers of the element. If access is not open to any person willing to pay, consider using private instead. Membership clubs are generally tagged as private.
use_sidepath Can only be used in countries with compulsory cycleways and gives access information on parallel roads. See bicycle=use_sidepath.
dismount Permitted for some vehicle (or animal) only if you dismount. Mostly used for bicycle: Use bicycle=dismount when people are not permitted to cycle (e.g., through a graveyard) but are allowed to dismount and bring the bike. See Bicycle#Bicycle Restrictions.
agricultural Only for agricultural traffic.
forestry Only for forestry traffic.
discouraged A legal right of way exists (see yes) but usage is officially discouraged (e.g., HGVs on narrow but passable lanes). Only if marked by a traffic sign (subjective otherwise).
Disapproved or experimental (proposed?) tag values
designated (disapproved) A preferred or designated route for the class of traffic must be specified by another tag key, such as foot=designated. Using this value with the plain access key, access=designated, has no meaning. (see #Transport mode restrictions)

For compulsory cycleways mapped as separate ways see bicycle=use_sidepath.

Access time and other conditional restrictions

Restrictions may be limited to a particular time or day. Or they may limit the access for vehicles over a certain weight. Such conditions can be tagged as shown in these tagging examples:

  1. Only destination access is permitted during 8am and 5pm on Mondays to Fridays:
    access:conditional=destination @ (Mo-Fr 08:00-17:00)
  2. Motor vehicles heavier than 5 tonnes may only access this street for the purpose of delivering goods:
    motor_vehicle:conditional=delivery @ (weight>5)

Please note that the above tagging style can be used to replace the following time dependent restrictions. It has been suggested that they be deprecated and should therefore no longer be used. date_on=*, date_off=*, day_on=*, day_off=*, hour_on=*, hour_off=*. Also note, that using of conditional tag assumes overt indication of value, which mostly suites as a default value. For example, if access is open on one part of day (on this part of day access=permissive) and is closed on other part of day (on this part of day access=private), we have a situation, when we should mark the object with a tag access=permissive or access=private. There is no concrete, precise and universal algorithm to define, if we should use permissive or private in concrete situation, but we can definitely say, that in such case we can't use access=yes (or not use tag access at all), because access=yes (or absence of tag access) means round-the-clock open access for general public.

For a full description and more examples, please see the conditional restrictions page.

Size and statutory restrictions

A number of statutory restrictions based on height, width, weight, etc. can also be defined. A assumed units are the appropriate SI unit and should be specified without any suffix. For lengths use metres, for weights use metric tonnes and for times use hours. Decimal numbers should include a decimal point. Exceptions include speeds which should be in mph in places where speed limits are defined in these units and times which can include a suffix of 'days' if appropriate.

Routing restrictions

One-way restrictions

Ways may have different access restrictions for each direction. The most simple case is a way designated as a oneway road:

Driving is only allowed in the direction of the way.
Driving is only allowed against the direction of the way.
Default. Access is allowed in both directions (this key/value combination does not normally need to be added to ways, unless another tag such as highway=motorway implies oneway=yes).

For more complex direction dependent restrictions, the postfixes :backward and :forward can be used on the keys, for example:

When a road has a oneway cycleway next to it that must be used, and a cyclelane in the other direction.
When cyclists are allowed to travel in both directions on a oneway street (but no lane is present).

Also in use when cyclists are allowed to travel in the opposite direction:

Only if a separate lane exists.
Only if a separate track exists.
Consistent with tags based on conditions. Note: This was previously tagged as "bicycle:oneway=no", but this is deprecated.

The oneway tag can be translated (for routing purposes) to this generic system as follows (oneway restrictions presumably do not apply to pedestrians):

Lane dependent restrictions

Main article: Lanes

Access restrictions may differ between lanes.

Heavy good vehicles are not allowed on the leftmost lane of a road with three lanes.
Buses are not allowed on the leftmost lane of a road with three lanes in forward direction. The rightmost lane is a designated bus lane.

Transport mode restrictions

Use the access=* key to describe a general access restriction that applies to all transport modes.

In theory, adding access=yes to highway=footway could be read as changing default restrictions (which usually are foot=yes and vehicle=no for highway=footway) to yes, highway=footway + access=yes means "road, which is open for all pedestrians and vehicles".

In practice, this combination is often used by mappers to modify (rather than enlarge) default values: for example, access=permissive with highway=steps is very unlikely to be traversable by a truck, whatever the tags may say.

To avoid ambiguity, you may therefore want to avoid general tags access=yes and access=permissive, and use more specific transport modes where appropriate. For example, to distinguish a footway with open access from one with private access, use tags like foot=yes and foot=private instead of access=yes and access=private.

Where different restrictions apply to different modes of transport then mode specific tags can be used. These modal tags each have a place in a hierarchy in which keys become narrower in scope as they branch out from the root.

For example:

  • access=yes, foot=no means that all transport modes except pedestrians can use the element
  • access=forestry, foot=permissive implies that forestry vehicles can use the route legally and that pedestrians can use it by currently but that permission may later be withdrawn.
  • See examples section for more examples.

Land-based transportation

This hierarchy is different in each country. So it's possible that your country has vehicle classes which aren't in this list, doesn't have some which are, and some vehicle classes may even have a different definition from the one listed below:

  • access=* (category: any land-based transportation mode)
    • Moving without a vehicle
    • Sinnbild Reiter.svg horse=* (horse riders)
    • vehicle=* (category: any vehicle)
      • Non-motorized vehicle
        • Single-tracked
        • Double-tracked
      • motor_vehicle=* (category: any motorized vehicle)
        • Single-tracked
          • Sinnbild Kraftrad.svg motorcycle=* (a 2-wheeled motor vehicle, allowed to drive on motorways)
          • moped=* (motorized bicycles with a speed restriction; e.g., at most a 50 cc engine or max. speed of about 45 km/h)
          • Sinnbild Mofa.svg mofa=* ("low performance moped", usually with a maximum design speed of 25 km/h)
        • Sinnbild Kfz.svg Double-tracked (category: motor vehicles with more than 2 wheels/more than 1 track)
          • Sinnbild PKW.svg motorcar=* automobiles/cars
          • tourist_bus=* describes a bus that is not acting as a public transport bus service
          • goods=* (light commercial vehicles; e.g., goods vehicles with a maximum allowed mass of up to 3.5 tonnes)
          • Sinnbild LKW.svg hgv=* (heavy goods vehicle; e.g., goods vehicles with a maximum allowed mass over 3.5 tonnes)
          • Sinnbild Traktor.svg agricultural=* (agricultural motor vehicles; e.g., tractors) that have additional restrictions; e.g., a 25 km/h speed limit)
          • atv=* a.k.a. Quad (bike) (Restricted to or permissive for vehicles 50 in, 1.27 m, or less in width) still in proposal stage. You may want to use maxwidth=1.27 instead.
          • snowmobile=*
        • By use
          • psv=* (public service vehicle)
            • Sinnbild Kraftomnibus.svg bus=* (a heavy bus acting as a public service vehicle)
            • minibus=* (a light bus acting as a public service vehicle)
            • share_taxi=* (a light bus acting as demand responsive transit)
            • taxi=* (taxi)
          • hov=* (high-occupancy vehicle/carpool, varies by location; e.g., at least one passenger)
          • car_sharing=* (car sharing vehicles)
          • emergency=* (category: emergency motor vehicles; e.g., ambulance, fire truck, police car)
          • hazmat=* (motor vehicles carrying hazardous materials)
          • disabled=* (holders of blue badge, UK, or other such disabled persons' permit. Used on traffic signs to exempt said group from access restrictions; not just regarding parking)

Not in the list:

Hybrid cars, electric vehicles, other no-emission vehicles (e.g., hydrogen powered).

Car hire with driver.


Sinnbild LKW mit Anhänger.svg [W] road_train (should that be "hgv_caravan" ?).

Other configurations of hgvs - [W] B-double, double-B doubles and 2AB quads.

Water-based transportation

  • access=* (category: any water-based transportation mode)
    • boat=* (covers small boats and pleasure crafts, including yachts)
      • motorboat=* (boats and yachts using motor, on Way also for sailing boats using the motor)
      • sailboat=* (boats and yachts using sails, on Way doing way with sail, not using the motor (according to the definition of the Colreg))
      • canoe=* (boats without sail or motor, such as small dinghies, canoes, kayaks, etc.)
    • fishing_vessel=* (covers fishing vessels of any size)
    • ship=* (covers commercial vessels of any size and any trade)
      • passenger=* (ships carrying passengers, either as a scheduled service (ferries, etc.) or as cruise)
      • cargo=* (any type of cargo ship)
      • isps=* (International Ship and Port Facility Security Regulation.)

As suggested, see discussion.

Rail-based transportation

  • access=* (category: any rail-based transportation mode)

Nodes, ways and areas

Tags of "access" group can be used for nodes, ways and areas. There are different priorities in OSM-community, where to put access tag: to area (usually it is a square, which have some specific conditions of access), to line (usually it is roads inside square) or to node (usually it is gate in barrier, which surrounds square, where there is a possibility to enter the area). Note that access tags mark legal status of territory and barriers and warning signs are only physical reflections of restrictions in area. In such manner, area with private status should have appropriate values, even there is no surrounding barrier or it is broken. Note, that different entrances can have different access values and different roads inside area can have different access values too. For example, we have area with permissive access - so we mark it with access=permissive. But there are several entrances, one of which is designated for all people, and other - only for persons, which have key. So we mark one entrance with access=permissive and other - with access=private. Another example - we have botanical garden with permissive access, which have roads, which are designated for public, and roads, which are designated only for staff of garden. In such case we have access=permissive at one roads and access=private (or access=no) at another.

When you are tagging some area, it is your decision, where to put "access" tags: to area, to entrances or to roads inside area (because nobody can bring you to add some tags somewhere), but removal of correct tags, which were put but someone else, is a mistake (and is close to vandalism). If you like to put tags to areas, do it, if you like to put tags to roads inside areas, do it, if you like to put tags to entrances, do it. But don't delete tags from type of elements, which you don't like.


  • bicycle=yes The public has a right of way when travelling on a bicycle.
  • horse=designated The route is designated for use by equestrians.
  • motorcycle=unknown It is unclear whether motorcycles can use this section.
  • motorcar=private The owner must give access to cars on an individual basis. Access by car is private; e.g., on a private road.
  • goods=no General goods vehicle traffic is not allowed.
  • hgv=no Heavy goods vehicle traffic is not allowed.
  • boat=no Waterway is not available for boat traffic.
  • oneway=yes + psv=opposite_lane The street is one way for cars but there is one opposite lane for buses and taxis.
  • maxweight=7 The weight limit is 7 tonnes.
  • maxaxleload=3.5 The restricted weight limit per axle in tonnes; e.g., 3.5 t.
  • maxheight=2.5 The maximum vehicle height is 2.5 meters.
  • maxdraught=1 The maximum boat draught is 1 meter.
  • maxspeed=110 The maximum speed limit is 110 km/h.
  • maxspeed=55 mph The maximum speed limit is 55 mph.
  • maxstay=14 days The maximum stay permitted; units in the tag as either hour/hours or day/days.
  • access:bicycle=yes Alternate form of the above. Less supported by data consumers.
  • access:horse=designated Alternate form of the above. Less supported by data consumers.
  • access:boat=designated Alternate form of the above. Less supported by data consumers.
A one-way street with a contra-flow cycle lane

A one-way street with a cycle lane in the opposite direction:

See also