From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Available languages
Public-images-osm logo.svg highway = residential
Road in a residential area
Group: Highway
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodes
may be used on ways
should not be used on areas
use on relations unspecified
Useful combination
Status: Approved

This tag is used for roads accessing or around residential areas but which are not a classified or unclassified highway.

This is a useful guideline if you are not sure whether to use "residential" or "unclassified" for streets in towns:

  • residential – street or road generally used only by people that live on that road or roads that branch off it.
  • unclassified – Unclassified roads typically form the lowest form of the interconnecting grid network (below highway=tertiary roads). (See also highway=unclassified.)

See also:

  • highway=living_street - a street where pedestrians have priority over cars, children can play on the street, maximum speed is low.

How to map


To map a residential way nothing else than a simple way is required. Add the highway=residential tag to it and a name=* if appropriate.


Picture/Description Tags Mapnik
a simple residential way. a way with


United States – TIGER data import

The large scale TIGER data input of United States street data appears to have overused the highway=residential tag. A significant proportion of these roads could be tagged as unclassified under the guideline mentioned above.