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Public-images-osm logo.svg traffic_calming = island
A traffic island is a small area that temporarily separates two different traffic directions, or a non-traversable area in the middle of an intersection. Edit this description in the wiki page. Edit this description in the data item.
Group: highways
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesmay be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)
See also
Status: de facto

A traffic calming island is a structure for the purpose of slowing down traffic, separating at least two lanes of a highway for a short distance[1]. The width of the island is usually under a few meters. The island doesn't necessarily have to have a right-of-way indicator. The area of the island itself can be drawn using area:highway=traffic_island, but the traffic calming feature is meant to be used as a point on the way itself, or tagged on part of the way.

Note that as of mid April 2023, only about 3% of pedestrian crossings with pedestrian refuges (crossing:island=yes or the deprecated crossing=island) are also tagged with traffic_calming=island. So as a data consumer, if you are looking for all traffic islands, you should look for crossings with the tags mentioned, too.

How to map

A traffic-calming island between the lanes of a 2-lane road.

For an island between two lanes of a carriageway, either:

Tags to use in combination

For traffic islands drawn as an area area:


  • One possible rendering may be as a small hollow dot in the middle of a node, or a small hollow line in the middle of a way. When creating software, these choices are yours.
  • None, currently, by the osm-carto layer.
  • iD-Editor: Example-object

See also



  1. It's not clear yet if this tag is to be used for solid and/or painted islands. As has been pointed out here (Proposed_features/Road_divider_areas, Feb 2022) and here (What’s the traffic_calming=island area?, Feb 2023).