Proposed features/Junction

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Status: Draft (under way)
Proposed by: Ivansanchez
Tagging: junction=*
Applies to: linear
Definition: Complex road junctions, and parts of those complex junctions
Rendered as: N/A (applies mostly to routing)
Drafted on:
Proposed on: 2008-06-30
RFC start: *
Vote start: *
Vote end: *


I'm tired of only being able to use "roundabout" for the "junction" tag. There is much room for improvement. Also, seeing the overcomplicated types of road junctions in existence, it makes sense to build on top of that.

Also, adding more semantic detail to complex junctions should enable router software to build better directions.

This applies to ways that already have a highway=* tag.


I'll make two groups of junctions: junction elements and complete junctions.

Junction element tags are to be applied to individual ways; complete junction tags are to be applied to relations encompassing all the junction elements that are connected.

Junction elements

Tag Description Picture(s) Aerial image(s)
Either junction=slip or junction=ramp A slip (or slipway) is any piece of road that connects road A with road B, not being part of neither of those. (Add pictures) (Add images)
junction=traffic_circle A traffic circle is a section of road in which the traffic describes a circle (d'oh!).

It is different from a roundabout in the sense that a traffic circle is generic, and a roundabout has certain rules regarding vehicle priority.

Traffic circles in which the traffic priority scheme is different from a roundabout should be tagged as traffic circles. (Image shows "give way" signals, not direction arrows)

Junction traffic circle.png
Note the white lines in the pavement, giving priority to vehicles entering the intersection
junction=roundabout; implies junction=traffic_circle A roundabout is a subtype of traffic circle, in which the vehicles inside it have preference over the vehicles about to enter the roundabout.

Please note how the "give way" signals are located at the entrance to the roundabout. (Image shows "give way" signals, not direction arrows)

Junction roundabout.png (Add images)
junction=raindrop; implies junction=roundabout A raindrop is an uncomplete roundabout, in which it is impossible to make a full circle. The shape of the traffic isle inside the raindrop gives it its name. (Add pictures) Junction raindrop aerial.png
junction=braid or junction=weave; implies junction=slip A braid is a short section of one-way road where traffic "weaves"; two roads join into the braid (in an inverted "Y" shape), and then the braid splits into another two roads (in a "Y" shape). Usually, the traffic coming from the left will depart to the right, and vice versa (hence the term). (Note: In USA engineering terms, "braiding" is an arrangement, typically involving at least one bridge, specifically to avoid a "weave" configuration as described here.) Junction braid.png Junction braid aerial.png
junction=onramp; implies junction=slip An on-ramp is a one-way slipway that connects a non-motorway to a motorway. Residents in USA, replace the term "motorway" by "freeway". Auffahrrampen Gö-Holtensen.png (Add images)
junction=offramp; implies junction=slip The opposite of an on-ramp, an off-ramp is a one-way slipway that connects a motorway to a non-motorway. Abfahrrampen Gö-Holtensen.png (Add images)
junction=racket; implies junction=slip A racket (from the spanish "raqueta") is a slipway in a same-level crossing that allows vehicles to reduce speed and stop prior to crossing the road transversally. A racket is always exterior to the crossing, and always has a "stop" or "give way" traffic signal. (In USA, especially New Jersey, this is called a "jughandle".)

The term "racket" or "perform a racket (maneuver)" also applies to any junction where the driver has to leave the road to the exterior, in order to cross the road. E.g. when turning left on a spanish cut roundabout.

Junction racket.png Junction racket aerial.png
junction=leaf; implies junction=slip You know what a cloverleaf exchange is, right? A leaf is the staple element of a cloverleaf - a sliproad that describes a 270 degree turn. Kleeblätter KS-Mitte.png (Add images)

Complex junction relation

As said before complex junctions will be mapped as a relation. Here is the structure suggested:


Key Value Discussion
type junction
junction See table link is for clover leaf and similar type junctions; just omit this tag for junctions like cross-roads and simple single-bridge motorway junctions (unless someone can suggest a vocabulary for them)
grade_separated yes if it is grade separated (perhaps this can be used to imply layering and bridges without having to individually model each?)
name a name if the junction has a name (e.g. "Charlie Brown's Roundabout")
ref a reference if the junction has a number (e.g. junction 10 on a motorways would be "10")


Way or Node Role Recurrence? Discussion
Way Node (blank) one or more the ways and/or nodes comprising the junction (a typical grade separated motorway junction would combine ways, but a simple cross roads only has a node comprising it. A single carriageway crossing a dual carriageway might include the two nodes and the link between the carriageways in the junction.
Node location_hint optionally one a hint to a renderer as to where a good place to put the the junction number or name on the map

Complex juntions

Tag Description Picture(s) Aerial image(s)
junction=exchange or junction=interchange or junction=link A generic name for complex junctions that don't have any other narrower description. (Add pictures) (Add images)
junction=cloverleaf; implies junction=exchange You already know what a cloverleaf is. Two motorways (or freeways), four external slipways, four leaves. AS Bernburg.png Coverleaf-aerial.jpg
junction=trumpet; implies junction=exchange You also know what a trumpet is. Two motorways (or freeways), one ends at the other. Großwechsungen.jpg (Add image)
junction=parclo or junction=partial cloverleaf; implies junction=exchange A cloverleaf exchange that has fewer than 4 leaves. AS Kirchberg.png (Add images)
junction=stack; implies junction=exchange A four-way exchange with no leaves or weaving, and paired (simmetric) slipway bridges (or even tunnels). Knooppunt Prins Clausplein kaart.png (Add images)
junction=diamond; implies junction=exchange One motorway; two on-ramps; two off-ramps. The ramps merge at a non-motorway on a bridge or tunnel. AS Aschenhütte.png (Add images)
junction=dumbbell; implies junction=exchange A diamond exchange in which the crossings between the ramps and the non-motorway road are replaced with two roundabouts; there is a single bridge or tunnel connecting the two roundabouts. Junction dumbbell.png Junction dumbbell aerial.png
junction=roundabout exchange; implies junction=exchange A diamond exchange in which the crossings between the ramps and the non-motorway road are replaced with one roundabout. This (large) roundabout spans over (or under) the motorway by means of two separated bridges (or tunnels). This roundabout may be represented as a relation, encompassing the bridge and the non-bridge segments. Junction roundabout exchange.png
Note that in this particular exchange there is only one bridge that spans under all the roundabout
junction=cut roundabout or junction=split roundabout; implies junction=exchange A roundabout that is cut down by the middle by one of the incoming roads. The name is a literal translation of the spanish "Rotonda partida", which can translate to either "cut roundabout" or "split roundabout".

Please note that the blue line in one of the images is also a "racket maneuver" mentioned earlier. This maneuver is the only (legal) way for the blue car to turn left; there is an implicit turn restriction that prevents it from turning left in the main road.

Junction cut roundabout MOPU.png Junction cut roundabout UPC.png
Legal maneouvers in a cut roundabout
Please note how the "racing line" effect on the road color occurs on legal turns.

Feel free to add more types of complex junctions during the draft phase of the proposal.


Please use Talk:Proposed_features/Junction to discuss this proposal.