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Public-images-osm logo.svg footway
Sidewalk and zebra-crossing.jpg
Sidewalk tags for footways Edit or translate this description.
Group: Highways
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Documented values: 3

or highway=path
or highway=construction

Status: approvedPage for proposal


The key footway=* refines the tag highway=footway for sidewalk (called pavements/footways in UK) mapping.

Use it together with highway=footway to map sidewalks alongside or crossing a street. In particular, this tag (combined with name=*) allows to differentiate between highway=footway as sidewalk associated with a parallel carriageway (to constitute the street) and highway=footway that incidentally are parallel to a street. It is also used with highway=path where it represents sidewalk (for example for sidewalk that is combined footway and cycleway). It may also appear on sidewalks under construction (for example highway=construction + construction=footway).

It is recommended to map the sidewalk as property on the street if the sidewalk is just attached with a kerb and not separated by a road verge or other barriers. See Sidewalks for more details and a comparison of the two tagging approaches. See also the comprehensive explanation for bicycle way tagging.


Key Value Element Comment Photo
footway access_aisle way Marked footpath in a parking lot, typically between two parking spaces, to facilitate access to parked vehicles Van accessible parking.jpg
footway crossing way A pedestrian crossing, usually connecting two sidewalks Zebra-crossing sm.jpg
footway sidewalk way A sidewalk alongside a street, separately mapped with highway=footway Sidewalk and zebra-crossing.jpg
footway both / right / left / none Deprecated!

Please use sidewalk=* instead to tag a sidewalk as additional information to a street.

Usage for sidewalks

To start using this tag, map the sidewalk as a way alongside the carriageway, with the following tags:

You might use additional tags:

Connecting ways

Connections of other ways with to the street should always be made as in reality: If a way terminates on the sidewalk don't map a connection to the carriageway. If a way goes over the sidewalk to the carriageway just draw the way trough to the carriageway with a shared node on the sidewalk way.

The latter also holds true for connecting highway=footway/path: The access permissions for sidewalks usually don't allow other access than pedestrian and without the connection routing might be broken. If a way allowed for bicycles terminates on a sidewalk consider adding bicycle=dismount for the shortest sidewalk route to the carriageway.


If walking is illegal on a road then use foot=no, given that most roads are assumed to be available for use by pedestrians unless they are motorways. For motorways consider adding foot=yes if walking it allowed, or add a sidewalk=* tag which should also be interpreted as meaning that walking is allowed. See access=* for a more general discussion about legal access issues.

Usage for crossings

The process is as follows:

  1. Create a perpendicular footway=sidewalk way way connecting the sidewalks on either side of the street.
  2. Tag the perpendicular way with highway=footway and footway=crossing
  3. Place a highway=crossing node node at each point where this perpendicular section crosses the carriageway (often only one point, more for a dual carriageway or complex junction).

You might use additional tags:

Notes: Where there's no sidewalk on the opposite side but where the crossing is used to access a park, playground, building entrance, service road. etc., draw the perpendicular footway from the sidewalk footway to the crossing node on the carriageway.

Add cycleway=crossing if the crossing can be used by cyclists without dismounting, however where cyclists are required to dismount then add bicycle=dismount) to indicate that the route can be used by cyclists on foot.


The following examples show the range of sidewalk/crossing mapping of an intersection from very detailed to less detailed.

Image Discussion
Example for tagging as separate way
Crossing four-way intersection moved kerbs 2016.png
Example for combination of tagging as property and as separate way - full crossing & kerb mapping
Crossing four-way intersection combination.png
Example for combination of tagging as property and as separate way - light crossing & kerb mapping
Crossing four-way intersection combination light.png
Example for tagging as property
Crossing four-way intersection implicit.png

Use of a relation (optional)


To couple the sidewalk to its respective street, the ways can be added to a relation of type associatedStreet. The proposed type street is another commonly-used street aggregation relation. The following roles work in either.

(Traditionally, both relation types are used for a very different purpose - for linking houses to the street whose name is used in their address, rather than the street they are physically accessible from -, which accounts for most of the existing uses.)

Element Role Recurrence? Discussion
way street or <empty> One or more The multiple ways that form the carriageway
way sidewalk One or more The multiple ways that form the sidewalk and the crossings

Using relations for this purpose is very much optional, and you may wish to omit this in order to keep your mapping simple.

Taginfo statistics:

  • 2016-08 around 4000 elements with role sidewalk

See also