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Public-images-osm logo.svg oneway
Oneway schildhb.jpg
Oneway streets are streets where you are only allowed to drive in one direction. Edit or translate this description.
Rendering in openstreetmap-carto
Group: Restrictions
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysshould not be used on areasmay be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: de facto

The oneway tag is used to indicate the access restriction on highways and other linear features for vehicles as appropriate. This means that this tag should be used when this way can only be used in one direction by vehicles. Note that a no entry sign prohibiting entry from one side or across one point of the road, does not automatically imply that the entire road is oneway (look for oneway signs along the road).

Take a look on the access=* page to add more detailed restrictions.

How to Map

Normal use

To mark a highway (or other linear feature) as oneway, simply add a oneway tag:

Note that the oneway tag is defined in relation to the direction the linear feature ("way") is drawn in OpenStreetMap. Identifying the direction of a way describes how to determine the direction of a way in the main OpenStreetMap editors.

If the oneway restriction is in the opposite direction to the drawn way, the fix in most cases is to turn the way around ("reverse way" tool in the map editors) and apply oneway=yes. If in a (very) rare case, the direction of the way cannot be changed, you can instead tag it as oneway=-1.

If the road is only a oneway road in certain parts, you'll have to split up the way in several parts.

Implied oneway restriction

Some tags or tag combinations (such as junction=roundabout, highway=motorway and maybe others) imply oneway=yes and therefore the oneway tag is optional. If a tag implies a oneway value this is noted on the implying tags wiki page. Besides the mentioned tags there is no general agreement which tags imply oneway=yes, different applications may handle this differently, so it is generally recommendable to be explicit in case there is a oneway restriction.

oneway = no

oneway=no is used to confirm that (a part of) a street is NOT a oneway street. (Use only in order to avoid mapping errors in areas where e.g. oneway streets are common, or to override defaults.)

Sub keys / exceptions

Oneway can be used in conjunction with vehicle type in order to tag exceptions. I.e. oneway:moped=no for a one-way streets where mopeds are allowed to drive in the opposite direction, oneway:bicycle=no for bicycles. cycleway=opposite/opposite_lane/opposite_track may be additionally added to clarify bicycle infrastructure and to increase compatibility, see Bicycle for examples. See Key:access for other possible sub-values.

Time conditional restrictions

If a road is one-way at certain times of day, and one-way in the other direction at other times then it can be tagged with oneway=reversible along with applicable oneway conditional restrictions. If the direction changes often, oneway=alternating might be more appropriate.

Data consumers

List of values

  • oneway=yes (discouraged alternatives: "true", "1")
  • oneway=no (discouraged alternatives: "false", "0")
  • oneway=-1 (discouraged alternative: "reverse")
  • oneway=reversible - Roads that alternate between different directions regularly but infrequently. This tag could be used with additional conditional restrictions as explained on its page
  • oneway=alternating - Roads that alternate between different directions regularly and often

The semantics of any other value is undefined and the use of other values is discouraged.

Note: The value -1 is only needed when the direction of oneway travel is in the opposite direction of that used when the way was drawn. One can avoid this situation by reversing the direction of the drawn way before applying the oneway tag.

Interpretation for routing

The oneway tag can be interpreted (for routing purposes) to the generic system as follows:


Orla Perć, oneway hiking route - tagged as highway=path + oneway=yes + foot=yes + bicycle=no + ski=no + snowmobile=no

This assumes that oneway restrictions do not apply to pedestrians.

Although unusual, oneway on pedestrian highways (path, footway, track) is possible in some countries. While it is sometimes represented with the disputed tag: oneway:foot=* it has been argued that the tag foot:backward=no should be preferred, as it doesn't suffer from the problems of the former. In the past highway=path + oneway=yes was used by some mappers to mark that pedestrians may move only in one direction, these situations should be corrected, as oneway only applies to vehicles.

Cases of oneway pedestrian traffic includes some hiking trails (during the high season crowding or for security reasons), border crossing, exit-only passages and more.

Data consumers may always decide to interpret tags however they deem suitable, but they should consider their particular responsibility and interpret tags as defined by the community, i.e. they should not even apply oneway to pedestrians on highway=path and highway=footway (where vehicles may still access, e.g. authorized people or bicycles in some circumstances).

See also