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Available languages — Key:turn
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Public-images-osm logo.svg turn
Zeichen 297 - Richtungspfeile, StVO 1970.svg
The key turn can be used to specify the direction in which a way or a lane will lead.
Group: Properties
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Status: ApprovedPage for proposal


The turn=* key can be used to specify the indicated direction in which a way or a lane will lead. It is used on the way or ways:

  • from the first indication via road markings, signposts or similar indications
  • to the junction or completion of merge.

This key is mostly used with the :lanes suffix (turn:lanes=*), to tag indicated turn markings for individual lanes. See the section Turning indications per lane on this page.

Note: Due to concerns that turn lanes are infrequently explicitly marked with signposts or pavement markings, and how data consumers are already using this data, it has been suggested that explicitly tagging turn lanes where the turn lane values are assumed by context should also be done.[2]


Value Description Road marking example Signpost example
left left turn (only) Richtungspfeil Links.jpg MUTCD R3-5L.svgFr-B21c2-Tourner a gauche a la prochaine intersection.gifFr-B21-2-Tourner a gauche.gifMUTCD R3-7L.svg
slight_left slight left turn (only)
sharp_left sharp left turn (only)
through going straight through (only) Richtungspfeil Geradeaus.jpg Fr-B21b-Aller tout droit.gifMUTCD R3-5a.svg
right right turn (only) Richtungspfeil Rechts.jpg MUTCD R3-5R.svgZeichen 209-20.svgMUTCD R3-7R.svg
slight_right slight right turn (only) Autobahnkreuz A24 - A10 bei Potsdam - Leipzig - - 3191 crop.jpg
sharp_right sharp right turn (only)
reverse reverse/U-turn (only) U turn A2 Lithuania.JPG
merge_to_left the traffic of this lane has to merge with the traffic of the lane to the left of it (only) Merge To Left.svg US "lane reduction ahead sign" signRight lane ends, one lane remaining on the left, shown with one lane of oncoming traffic
merge_to_right the traffic of this lane has to merge with the traffic of the lane to the right of it (only) Vorankündigungspfeil.svg US "lane ends" signFahrbahn 2.pngFr-C28 ex3.gifNederlands verkeersbord L5.svg
none there are no turn indications on this lane
This value could be skipped for a shorter format, so ||right is equivalent to none|none|right. Some people find the latter more readable.

Turning indications per lane

Usually the turning indications of a road differ from lane to lane. To specify those indications for every lane, the :lanes suffix is used. For details about the :lanes suffix in general, see Lanes.

In short:

  • The key changes to turn:lanes=*
  • View the road in the direction of the osm-way.
  • Add the lane-values to the value, starting with the leftmost lane and ending with the rightmost. Separate each lane-value with a | (vertical bar)

If you want to describe only the lanes of one direction of the road, use either turn:lanes:forward=* or turn:lanes:backward=*. The key turn:lanes:forward=* describes only the turning indications on the lanes in the same direction as the osm-way. The key turn:lanes:backward=* describes only the turning indications on the lanes in the opposite direction as the osm-way; doing so view the road in the opposite direction of the osm-way for this.

Example for a one-way

There are three lanes on a one-way, and the leftmost lane will turn left, the rightmost lane will turn right and the lane in the middle will go straight through the next junction.


Example for a road with both directions

There are two lanes on the road in each direction. Those lanes running in the same direction as the osm-way are considered to be "forward"; the others "backward". The left lane of the forward direction will turn left and the right lane will go straight through and also turns right. The left lane of the backward direction will go straight through, the right lane will turn right and also continue straight through.


Motorway with links and destinations

The following example shows a motorway with two links.

TurnExample6.svg lanes=3
TurnExample5.svg lanes=4
TurnExample4.svg lanes=3
TurnExample3.svg lanes=4
TurnExample2.svg lanes=3

Editor support



Bryan Housel has stated they are adding a visual turn lane editor to iD during July-August 2016.[3]

See also

Renderers and data consumers

OsmAnd supports turn:lanes to show lane recommendations in navigation mode.