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What is the default value of this key? I don't place oneway=no on two-way streets and only tag one-way streets. --Seav 05:26, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Additional clarification: renderers seem to assume that the absence of the oneway tag means that the road is two-way and the routing softwares seem to assume this too. I think it would be best to explicitly indicate the default value. --Seav 05:28, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Default is oneway=no, except for highway=motorway which implies oneway=yes. junction=roundabout also implies oneway=yes. highway=motorway_link has been a discussion a few times before, and it's best to add the oneway=* tag on those all the time, one way or not. --Eimai 12:59, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
Should this be indicated in the page? --Seav 10:49, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Other implicit oneway=yes cases are: highway=motorway_link, highway=trunk_link and highway=primary_link. --Beldin 21:55, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Allowed values

There should be a listing of what the permitted values are. I've seen a lot of ways tagged with oneway=true - MapLint dislikes that, and prefers oneway=yes as generated by e.g. Merkaartor. I think the valid values are "yes", "no", and "-1". --Tms13 14:12, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

It doesn't look uniform to have oneway either true or -1, or just not set... I'd suggest it to be numerical in the first place, allowing the following values:
  • 0 -> Two-way road, default in most cases, equal to "false"
  • 1 -> One-way road, equal to "yes" and "true"
    • The road is one-way in the direction of arrows (way direction)
  • -1 -> One-way road, no equals at the moment
    • The road is one-way in the opposite direction of arrows (way direction)

This scheme would make road numbering more rational process, but would also require changes to mapping software... --Direc 21:36, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

I dislike 0/1 It is not guessable compared to yes/no or true/false. It's strange to think that 1 is yes Sletuffe 10:06, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm moving my old comment from access to here : Sletuffe 10:04, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Somebody please provide an example of where oneway=-1 is necessary. I haven't found one yet, and I'm not convinced this value is necessary. --tms13 21:02, 4 August 2011 (BST)
#One-way street that change direction by time of day? --Tordanik 21:28, 4 August 2011 (BST)

oneway=yes/1/true no/false/0

The oneway tag is one of the last tag (are there others ?) to have multiple values for the same meaning.

Since yes/no is used about anywhere else but here, I would propose to deprecate 1/true and false/0

That's not such a big deal, but I would find it much easier for every one to agree on a unique one.

Okay yes, that proposal doesn't talk about yes/true or no/false anymore, but that's my fault because I changed it unilateraly, and I regret what I did, since I should have proposed it instead of doing it.

But now, the 1/0 is back on the map feature template, but I think it better shouldn't. ( The user that did that said he did because It shows too much "waring" on the maplint error checker)

what do you thing ? Sletuffe 20:34, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Please please stop worrying about what the value should be. All of the options are perfectly valid and understandable. If I want to tag with a oneway=true then that's fine, as are those that wish to tag with oneway=1 or oneway=yes. Just because maplint doesn't like it doesn't mean it can't be used, it means that maplint needs to have the value added. We want to encourage people to add data, not drive them away because they might use the wrong value! blackadder 12:11, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

I don't agree that oneway=1 is understandable for common people, that's not helping them to create some "geek values". And for the rest, yea/true, I don't care, I just think it complicates things for beginners to deal with two different values. The maplint case or whatever tool is a different problem, I'm only talking about documentation on the wiki here. Sletuffe 23:29, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

One-way street that change direction by time of day?

In Hamburg, Germany we have a one-way street that changes direction from outbound to inbound between 4 am and 12 noon. I've now tagged it oneway=yes:0h-4h;yes:12h-24h;-1:4h-12h to at least attempt to capture this rule. Are there other examples of one-way streets with time restrictions?

You could use these proposals [1] [2] for your situation and put these two tags onto that way:
  • oneway = yes
  • oneway:time{4:00-12:00} = -1
Alternatively use "oneway:time{0:00-4:00;12:00-24:00} = yes" for the first tag, but it should be equivalent.
This way of tagging has the advantage of being documented (but probably not implemented in applications) already. It's using opening_hours syntax. --Tordanik 21:17, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Washington, DC has some of these, and there are some motorways with express lanes that reverse direction, as well as the one-way only Southern Expressway in Australia. Not all of them are tied to time; some may change to suit day-to-day traffic (with strict access control measures in place). I've been using oneway=reversible for these. The Southern Expressway uses FIXME=How on earth does one tag tidal oneways? :) --NE2 05:54, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
How to map a oneway road turned by a traffic light every X seconds or minutes? Something like oneway=reversible + reversible:timer=HH:MM:SS? See also here. Thank you!--Stemby (talk) 15:16, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
We solved this problem by using oneway=no + lanes=1--Stemby (talk) 18:23, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
I think this only a solution for cases where there is only one lane --Jgpacker (talk) 17:57, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
oneway=alternate? It's already used: can we make it an official tag?--Stemby (talk) 14:41, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

Two-way streets with no-entry at one or more ends

Some streets are actually two-way, but restrict access at one end (or even both ends, with entry to the street only via a junction in the middle. These often cause confusion in real-life, with drivers assuming that no-entry and one-way are the same. However, once on such a street it is permitted to drive freely in both directions.

How should these be represented?

I've sometimes seen those being entered as really short oneway sections. The best available solution, however, is probably using turn restrictions that forbid entering the street. --Tordanik 15:22, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Not really. A short oneway section is probably the best way to tag it. It's how I've always done it, and actually it fits well with what you see on the ground (generally such a street has a little constricted section on the end, alongside the no entry sign) . Turn restrictions are just for the more rare case where you're allowed to enter when approaching from one direction, but not the other. -- Harry Wood 14:55, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
I can't really imagine what you mean with "little constricted section". In my experience, those roads connect to the junction as a non-restricted road would, but maybe there are local differences. Around here, there are often (redundant) signs with arrows on them in addition to the no entry sign, just like those used for turn restrictions - basically, the signs state a turn restriction for every possibility of approaching the junction -, so maybe that's why using turn restrictions seems more natural to me. If a small section of the road is indeed visibly different, then splitting the way is an easy and good solution, of course. --Tordanik 21:27, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
How about extending turn restrictions to include "no_entry" as well as the more specific restrictions such as "no_left-turn"? This would more clearly express the nature of the junction and allow for map rendering that distinguishes between one-way and no-entry. If the map rendering shows a one-way arrow, one might assume that the whole road is one-way, not just the section at the end. Dnallsopp 12:29, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

oneway exceptions for vehicles

I was asked via mail to add this information as a discussion page entry, so here we go: My proposal for conditional tagging can be used together with oneway and allows to express exceptions to the oneway restrictions - these may be based on time (see above), but also vehicle-specific (or any combination thereof). An example: A situation where busses may use the oneway in both directions can be expressed as

  • oneway=yes
  • oneway:bus=no

Note that this does not provide lane information, though, only directional information (it cannot express whether the busses use their own lane or share the space with other means of transport). We do not yet have a good way to describe lanes in OSM. --Tordanik 19:56, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for that! --Neil.dewhurst 06:14, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

It has to be noted though that the opposite syntax is in much wider usage, i.e.:
* oneway=yes
* bicycle:oneway=no
Another alternative is to make use of ":forward" and ":backward" suffixes:
* bicycle:backward=yes
For Belgium we do have a different meaning for those two: oneway is only used in combination with oneway signs (and as such it's only possible to have bicycle:oneway and moped_A:oneway), backward/forward is for when prohibition signs are used at one end. In the latter case one would rather see something like motorcar:backward=no in that case (1). There's a need to only tag oneway when there's a oneway sign because the traffic rules change in those cases.
Note (1): in this case one would also have to tag only a small part at the end of the road, because the roads aren't oneway and one is allowed to turn around his car in the middle of the street and drive the other direction. --Eimai 11:51, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
bicycle:oneway may be in wider usage (which is of questionable relevance, because cycleway=opposite has been recommended as the "official" way to handle this situation until now), but it is not part of a general concept. While conditional tagging is a consistent idea that can handle a lot of different situations, bicycle:oneway and similar keys seem to be invented to solve a single problem at hand. (This is no problem, of course, it is even desirable - but single-problem solutions like this should be replaced when a more general approach is invented.)
Btw, I agree with the usage of *:forward - these tags are interestingly synonymous with the tags proposed as part of conditional tagging. --Tordanik 12:56, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Your choice for oneway:bicycle is actually just as arbitrary. Whether or not it is part of some "bigger proposal". This oneway:bicycle usage was already there before you wrote the proposal. Yeah sure, we also have cycleway=opposite, but try to work that out in a country which also often excludes mopeds class A from the oneway restriction. And before saying that your proposal is better, I want to see it worked out formally anyway, so something non-human can also make sense of it.
btw, I was also just saying that *:forward shouldn't be a synonym of oneway:*. It can be the case just for access rules, but there's more to consider as well, and mapping one with the other can result in inaccuracies. --Eimai 13:57, 29 August 2009 (UTC)


The image is quite confusing. Please replace it with an explicit definition of a oneway street. By the way: the image is taken from wikipedia and the german text on wikipedia for this sign tells something like "traffic sign jungle".

So which one do you prefer as a better oneway image?

--WanMil 16:28, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

None ;-p I would prefere one which does not make use of any words of any language. Such as an image with a real car comming from and a [4] sign. But I failed to find one. sletuffe 16:31, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
The swedish variant? --WanMil 18:25, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Speed limit per direction?

Does anybody have an idea how to map a simple (bidirectional) street which has different speed limits per direction? I think that two parallel unidirectional ways are kind of misleading. Any opinions?

-- NachtSpazz 00:40, 10 October 2012 (BST)

Key:maxspeed suggests maxspeed:forward=80 and maxspeed:backward=100. --Tordanik 16:17, 10 October 2012 (BST)
See Lanes for one approach --tms13 20:00, 10 October 2012 (BST)
But note that these have different meanings - they are not always interchangeable and there are situations where only one is correct. If maxspeed depends on what lane you drive on, maybe even with different maxspeeds for lanes that go in the same direction, you use Lanes. When maxspeeds depends on driving direction rather than lane (e.g. even if you use a shared lane for either direction), then maxspeed:forward/backward need to be used. There are cases where both tagging conventions can adequately model a real-world situation, though. --Tordanik 12:22, 11 October 2012 (BST)
Thanks for the replies. Actually, it is well explained already on Key:maxspeed#Driving_direction. I somehow missed that. -- NachtSpazz 23:49, 22 October 2012 (BST)

Oneway tag without oneway sign exists

Tag oneway=yes can, does, and must exist also without a "oneway street" traffic sign: think dual carriageway roads, where the carriageways usually only have a no entry sign at each intersection, but demand the oneway tag. One osm way is not a one-to-one representation of a road, but tries to convey a reasonable and usable abstraction of a part of the network. It's the original "used when this way can only be used in one direction" that matters - just split the ways where necessary.

As mentioned in the recent mailing list thread, real world vehicles have length and need to move forward (and/or backward) to turn around, so around each "no entry" sign (or similar signs for limited sets of vehicles) there is always a short section where a driver can no longer choose to start moving/turning in the forbidden direction without ending up driving past said sign; that short section is in practice oneway. Only what's present beyond the sign can then tell us whether the rest of the street (the other part of the split way) may or may not get the oneway tag, but it doesn't change the only allowed traffic direction on that short bit. I'm not saying that the no entry relation is bad in some places, but this made up requirement for a oneway street sign is already distracting mappers. Alv (talk) 07:09, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

Does oneway:bicycle also apply to cycleway=track or cycleway=opposite_track?

Somebody argues that oneway only applies to the lanes of a highway and not to those facilities like cycleway=opposite_track or cycleway=track. Actually cycleway=opposite_track is not interepreted by many routers to be usable against the oneway direction for cyclists. So you may have to add oneway:bicycle=no to fix this issue. I do not have a fix oppinion on that, but it is nothing good if this remains undecided, because mappers may remove this information and make the map unusable.--U715371 (talk) 19:55, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

After reading Key:oneway#Sub_keys_.2F_exceptions again, I am pretty sure that oneway:bicycle=* applies to cycleway=opposite_track. I think it is decided already. Closed.--U715371 (talk) 23:36, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

Request for removal of the One Way tag

This tag is completely inadequate and should be removed.

The correct tag should be motor_vehicles=forward under the 'allowed access' options. --pmailkeey 2016:6:8:12:30

Broken link - Set of tags that imply oneway=yes according to iD editor

The Set of tags that imply oneway=yes according to iD editor link is broken. As far as I can tell, the information is only available using this code search.

It may be simpler to just write "In the iD editor oneway=yes is implied by highway=motorway and highway=motorway_link" -- Zstadler (talk) 04:56, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

I found where the list moved to in iD and updated the link. Mrwojo (talk) 01:18, 24 July 2016 (UTC)