From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
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.

Many ways are designated, or intended for certain road users by the traffic authority, by rules of traffic or the owner.

Designation does not imply a prohibition to other road users (see Transport mode restrictions). Nevertheless, depending on jurisdiction, a designation of a way for particular road users may have implications for other road users (including prohibition). These however are usually only explicitly tagged if they are explicitly indicated (see Good practice). So, if a way is explicitly prohibited for all other road users, tag access=no additionally to *=designated.

Designation is usually indicated by signage or markings, but not necessarily. For example, sidewalks are usually not signed, even though they are designated for pedestrians. This is why some tags already imply a designation for certain road users, such as highway=footway (for pedestrians) or highway=bridleway (for horse riders).

Designation does not make any statement about whether the way is actually usable for the designated purpose. A rundown designated cycle track is still a designated cycle track, even if it is unusable due to for example smoothness=horrible.

"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