From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Available languages
Public-images-osm logo.svg highway = motorway
A4-passante di mestre dd.png
High capacity highways designed to safely carry fast motor traffic.
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

The tag highway=motorway is used to identify the highest-performance roads within a territory. Typically, these controlled-access highways have a minimum of two lanes in each direction that are separated by a barrier. Motorways are commonly referred to as a freeway in American and Australian English. Non-motorised traffic is banned from using these roads in most territories, with some exceptions, for example rural motorways in western U.S.

For roads that do not meet the above requirements consider using highway=trunk. See Highway:International equivalence for guidance on the use of motorway in different countries.

Use highway=motorway_link for shorter link roads (sliproads/ramps) leading to and from a motorway.

Implied values

While the box on the right lists some implied tags, they have been changed several times, they are often country-specific and the community does not agree about the implications. Please tag them anyways to clear out any doubt.

How to map

highway=motorway, lanes=4, oneway=yes, int_ref=E 451, ref=A 5, destination:Darmstadt

A motorway is normally represented by a series two parallel ways, one for each carriageway tagged with highway=motorway. These ways should all point direction of travel and be tagged with oneway=yes. In the less usual case of a motorway where traffic travels in both directions along the same carriageway use a single way and tag it with oneway=no. When drawing parallel ways, place the nodes for each direction next to each other, which results in a better representation on most maps. The following tags may be applicable:

Tagging scheme for highway=motorway
Tag Description Example
name=* Name of the motorway. Autostrada dei Fiori
ref=* Reference name. A 3
oneway=yes See section #How to map
lanes=* Number of lanes. 3
maxspeed=* The maximum speed which is allowed (in km/h). 130
minspeed=* Minimum speed which a vehicle must be capable of to use the motorway (in km/h). 50
destination=* Name of town for the direction of the motorway. Normally the town written on the sign wich belongs to the motorway-link. Frankfurt
carriageway_ref=* In the UK, the reference number for the carriageway, as displayed on Highway Agency signing B

Consider adding the all of these ways to a relation of type (what type of relation? PeterIto 02:47, 20 January 2013 (UTC)).

Use highway=motorway_junction at each point along a motorway with numbered exits to identify the exit number.

International equivalence

Country Roadsign Description More
Australia Motorways, freeways, and freeway-like roads.
Divided roads with 2 or 3 lanes in each direction, limited access via interchanges, no traffic lights. Generally 100 or 110 km/h speed limit. For example: Hume Freeway.
Australian Roads Tagging
Austria Autobahn Autobahn WikiProject Austria/Autobahnen
Belarus автомагистраль (avtomagistral')
Belgium nl:autosnelweg fr:autoroute de:autobahn maxspeed=120 km/h
Brazil Autoestradas, >80 km/h
Czech Republic DálniceRychlostní silnice Dálnice & Rychlostní silnice WikiProject Czechia/roads tagging
Denmark Motorvej Motorvej Danish Map Features
Dominican Republic Autopista
France autoroute (A) Fr:Map Features
Germany Autobahn Autobahn WikiProject Germany/Autobahn
Greece Αυτοκινητόδρομος Αυτοκινητόδρομος
Indonesia Jalan Tol
Israel Dálnice Kwish Mahir
Italia Autostrada, compresi i raccordi autostradali come le tangenziali di Milano e il Grande Raccordo Anulare di Roma. It:Italian Roads Tagging
Hong Kong Hong Kong road sign (Expressway Begins).svg Designated expressways and other public roads with expressway-like rules. HK:Hong Kong tagging
Hungary Autópálya
Korea Korean Highway 3.svg Divided, grade-separated highway with 2 or more lanes in each direction designated by a red and blue shield (toll roads). Also, some National Routes (blue oval) which have been upgraded to Motorway status (toll-free). Ko:Map Features
Korea Motorways
Netherlands Autosnelweg Autosnelweg Kaarteigenschappen
Norway No sign-MotorwayStart Duel-502.pngNo sign-MotorwayStart Singel-503.png Motorvei & Motortrafikkveg
Poland Autostrada WikiProject Poland/Klasyfikacja dróg
Portugal Auto-estrada – the national road institute changed the reference to IP (Itinerário Principal) or IC (Itinerário Complementar). There are still some "Auto-estradas" not renamed so they keep the name.
Romania 5.1 (Road sign).gif Wikipedia Autostradă
Russia 5.1 (Road sign).gif автомагистраль (avtomagistral'), которая уже имеет статус trunk. RU:Map Features:highway
Slovak Republic DiaľnicaRýchlostná cesta Diaľnica & Rýchlostná cesta
Spain Autopista/Autovía WikiProject Spain/Autopista Normalización
Sweden Motorväg Sv:Map Features#Vägar
Switzerland Autobahn Autobahn / autoroute
Turkey 5.1 (Road sign).gif Wikipedia Otoyol
UK motorway
US A freeway, turnpike, or interstate
Grade-separated highway, normally divided with 2 or more lanes in each direction. Access by ramps only. This includes all Interstate Highways (with a couple of rare exceptions) and some US and state highways (or portions thereof).

Quality tool