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Public-images-osm logo.svg crossing:continuous
Ryland Road continuous footway.jpg
Whether a path continues uninterrupted across a road. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: crossings
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)

highway=crossing node or footway=crossing way

Useful combination


Status: approvedPage for proposal

A continuous crossing, also known (depending on location) as a continuous sidewalk, footway or cycleway, is a type of crossing design where a path (e.g. highway=path, highway=footway or highway=cycleway) continues uninterrupted across a road (e.g. highway=residential).

As a result, vehicles have to cross a section of footway or cycleway, instead of pedestrians or cyclists having to cross the road.

How to map

The tag can be used on nodes node tagged with highway=crossing or on ways way tagged with footway=crossing. It has the same meaning on both.

A continuous crossing may or may not have markings, tactile paving, a (typically flush, if it exists) kerb or any of the other properties commonly found on crossings. What matters for deciding whether a crossing is continuous or not is the overall visual impression: There is no, or very little change in surface for the pedestrian or cyclist. Their path continues without interruption, while from the perspective of a vehicle travelling along the crossing road, there is a clear break. Typically, this means at least a kerb (e.g. kerb=lowered) and an obvious surface change (e.g. from surface=asphalt to surface=paving_stones) and often also a rise in level (so the crossing also functions as a traffic_calming=table).


Key Value Description Example
crossing:continuous yes A path continues uninterrupted across a road.
Ryland Road continuous footway.jpg
crossing:continuous no The path is interrupted as it meets the road.
Crossing marked with a traffic sign 20190517 184744 HDR.jpg

In some cases, it may not be obvious which of the two highways is the "path" and which one is the "road" (e.g. when a very wide highway=cycleway meets a highway=pedestrian). In such cases, the value of the highway=* key can be put in crossing:continuous=*, to indicate which of the two highways continues without interruption, e.g. crossing:continuous=cycleway. However, the tag is only for pedestrian and cycle crossings. It is not intended for use on road intersections.


Example Tagging
Ryland Road continuous footway.jpg

A continuous footway. A very detailed approach to mapping this situation would be:

In this example the change in level for vehicles on the side road is very subtle, so the crossing probably does not qualify as a traffic_calming=table.

The give way lines could be mapped separately.

In practice many mappers would likely omit some of these tags. Simply tagging the crossing as highway=crossing and crossing:continuous=yes should not be considered "wrong" but merely a less detailed description.

Continuous pavement in Edinburgh.jpg

Both the footway and the cycleway continue uninterrupted across the side road. Although there is a minor rise in level for the cycleway, there are tactile pavings on the footway (on the right) and the paving stones on the footway look subtly different, the overall visual impression is still that the footway and cycleway continue and it is the side road that is interrupted.

If the footway and cycleway are mapped as a single way (highway=path with bicycle=designated, foot=designated and segregated=yes), then a very detailed method of mapping this situation could be:

Again, many mappers would likely omit some of these tags.

Note: The tagging suggestions above are for illustration only, to show situations where crossing:continuous=yes could be used.

Other examples


Notes on usage

A sidewalk continues across a private driveway. Most mappers would leave this node untagged
  • When the road that crosses a continuous sidewalk is a minor service road, such as a driveway or a car park entrance, there is community consensus that this is not worth tagging explicitly; instead the node should simply be left without any tags.
  • Although this tag should be used whenever this visual design is present, its legal implications differ around the world. Continuous crossings may or may not imply pedestrian priority over vehicles. Similarly, when used for sidewalks crossing side roads, they may or may not imply that vehicles entering the main road from the side road have to give way to vehicles on the main road. Data consumers will need to infer any implications for traffic rules based on the jurisdiction.

Software support


In JOSM, the Map Paint Style Sidewalks and footways (with knobs on) can be used to highlight highway=crossing nodes and footway=crossing ways tagged with crossing:continuous=yes.

Rapid and the JOSM Sidewalks plugin synchronize crossing:continuous=* between the way and node representations of a given crossing. [1]


As of April 2024, no renderer is known to make use of this key. When a footway meets a road (as an example), renderers typically draw a continuous road on top of the footway, creating a gap in the footway. If the tag crossing:continuous=yes is present, they could instead show a gap in the road and a continuous footway.

Deprecated tags

In the past some mappers have used crossing=pavement to express the same idea, but the same tag has also been used with a different meaning more like crossing:markings=surface, i.e. a crossing that is marked only by a change in paving material (from the perspective of a car). There was also an informal proposal in 2020 to use continuous_sidewalk=yes. Both keys have been deprecated.

If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag.
Automated edits are strongly discouraged unless you really know what you are doing!
If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag.
Automated edits are strongly discouraged unless you really know what you are doing!

See also