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Public-images-osm logo.svg access = designated
A way marked for a particular use. Only used with a specific mode of transport! Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: restrictions
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesshould not be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)
Status: approvedPage for proposal

See also: UK public rights of way for mapping in the UK.

The designated value, when used with a mode of transport key, indicates that a route has been specially designated (typically by a government) for use by a particular mode (or modes) of transport. Typically it is used on ways legally dedicated to specific modes of travel by a law or by the rules of traffic. The specific meaning varies according to jurisdiction. It may imply extra usage rights for the given mode of transport.

The value designated is not meant to imply that OpenStreetMap access=* permissions have been automatically "designated" only to that transport mode! If an element is meant only to be used by specific designated transport methods (overriding whatever defaults may exist for that way), use access=no in addition of the *=designated value. See Transport Mode Restrictions using "access" for further clarification; access=* is the top level of a transport mode hierarchy of restrictions.

For example: access=designated makes no sense but bicycle=designated makes perfect sense.

designated ways are intended to be usable for the designated purpose(s). If real world usability does not match designation the ways should be still tagged as designated with additional tags such as for example smoothness=horrible to describe the real world (un)usability.

"designated" vs "yes"

Along the approved proposal (see :talk) the author explained the difference between *=yes and *=designated as follows :

"designated" indicates that:

  • The route is probably suitable for use by the mode of transport in question (but the surface may have deteriorated after signs were put in place, for example).
  • There are visible indications that a route is intended for use by the mode of transport in question (e.g. a sign saying "bike route")


  • In a jurisdiction where mopeds are allowed on cycleways, a path signed as a cycleway with no exception restricting mopeds would be bicycle=designated+moped=yes, because there is a sign indicating that the route is intended for biycles, and there is no indication that mopeds are restricted.
  • A path signed as a cycleway which is legally usable by pedestrians only because there is no alternative footway would be bicycle=designated+foot=yes, because there is an indication that the path is intended for bicycles and no indication that pedestrians are restricted.


Snowmobile route: All village streets

Some places have designated snowmobile routes everywhere

The trail marked with the sign shown in the example picture (top right):

A UK bridleway:

A UK cycleway:

A UK footway:

A truck route[1] in the USA:

A motorway exit allowing only hov=* vehicles, and restricting any other type

A footway (continental Europe): Zeichen 239 - Sonderweg Fußgänger, StVO 1992.svg


A cycleway (continental Europe): Zeichen 237 - Sonderweg Radfahrer, StVO 1992.svg


A combined footway and cycleway: Zeichen 240 - Gemeinsamer Fuß- und Radweg, StVO 1992.svg


A segregated combined footway and cycleway: Zeichen 241-30 - getrennter Rad- und Fußweg, StVO 1992.svg

Note that there is also access=yes and its variants that is correct in many cases. For example a footway where cycling is legal, but is not a cycleway:

See also