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Available languages — Tag:highway=residential
Public-images-osm logo.svg highway = residential
Road in a residential area
Group: Highways
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysshould not be used on areasuse 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 highways.

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 for local traffic within settlement.
  • unclassified – Unclassified roads typically form the lowest form of the interconnecting grid network (below highway=tertiary roads). Roads serving for interconnection of small settlements. (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.
  • surface=* - the surface of the street

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

Further information: TIGER fixup#Wrong highway classifications

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