Highway tagging samples/urban

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This page shows some real streets and their correct tagging. This is just supposed to be a guide and a help for getting started. Of course you don't have to use tags exactly the way they have been used here.

But please do your tagging according to Editing Standards and Conventions and refer to the highway tag usage for exact road classification. For the latter there might also be a separate page for your country.

Note: highway classification is hard to explain using photos. You need local knowledge about how important each road in highway graph.

Picture Description/Remarks Tags OSM Carto
Dscf0172 600.jpg Primary with directions separated by tram line

Mapnik rheinstr.png
Highway Tram01.jpg Secondary street with embedded tramrails. The tram lines are tagged separately left and right of the highway (see Trams).

Dscf0385 600.jpg Primary with parking lane and separated footway/cycleway
Dscf0181 600.jpg Residential street, oneway, with cycleway in opposite direction


Dscf0179 600.jpg Minor street on the outskirts of town. Please refer to Highways
Residential.jpg Residential street, probably in a suburb


Dscf0245 600.jpg Residential street, probably in a suburb
Dscf0487 600.jpg A path, apparently not for horses DA Lindenstr mapnik.jpg
Cross-street no-trucks.jpg The crossing street does not allow trucks (Heavy goods vehicles)


Through street:

Suicide-lane.jpg This is a 5-lane road, with a center “suicide lane”, where cars can be going in both directions while preparing to turn.

Technical term for the center lane is a two-way left-turn lane (TWLTL).

Highway-path motorvehicleno.jpg 2.5m wide asphalt concrete path. It is signed “No motor vehicles,” and local knowledge [1] indicates that it is a shared use path (“...is a hiking and biking trail...”).
Path-footyesbicycleno.jpg An urban path with no signs at all. Not really suitable for cycling but it's not forbidden, either. Area is public space so access not forbidden. Use on foot known to be possible and legal.


Path-lighttraffic.jpg A path designated for pedestrians and cyclists equally. Possibly horse access is not allowed, depends on local law.


Path-nomotortraffic.jpg An urban path on which motorized vehicle access is forbidden. As above but no guarantees on passability. Likely without restrictions on horses. Access on foot and on a bicycle is known to be legal and possible.
Path-footdesignated.jpg A designated footway.


Oak Park Boulevard.jpg A sidewalk without signs if drawn as a separate way. For sidewalks only separated by a kerb some mappers have used sidewalk=* on the carriageway.