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Public-images-osm logo.svg highway = turning_circle
Turning circle.jpg
A widened area of road that allows vehicles to turn more easily. Edit or translate this description.
Rendering in openstreetmap-carto
Group: Highways
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: approvedPage for proposal


A turning circle (known as a "cul-de-sac" in the United States) is a widened area of road that allows vehicles to turn more easily. Often, but not always, a turning circle is circular in shape and located at the end of a  dead-end street ("cul-de-sac street", "blind alley", "close", "no through road"), resembling a frying pan. Either there is no central island or the island is traversable (for example, not taken up by parking spaces or greenery).

Where to find them

A turning circle may occur along a road instead of at the end. This can happen when more houses are built later and the road is extended. The nodes of 58489782 (Visualise) on way Arthur Road, Wokingham are examples of this. Typically houses leading up to and on the turning circle are noticeably older than the houses beyond it.

In the United States, turning circles are very common in suburban planned residential areas to increase. In some areas, every street ends in a turning circle, and a turning circle may appear at every bend in a road.


  • Enter a diameter in meters.
  • Use the Key diameter=* For example diameter=10, diameter=12.5 etc.
  • Is the turning circle is a kind of rectangular an not a circle you decide if it renderd different to default. If you enter a value then take the shortest width of the gemometrie.

How to map

Place a node that is part of the road at the center of the widened area and add the tag:

When not to use

For a more detailed comparison of these features, see Circular and widened road features




Photo / Icon Highway types Remarks
For a range of highway types, eg
A turning circle is typically rendered as a circle at higher zooms, in the same style as residential or unclassified highways.
Turning circle on highway track-16.svg For highway=track


As with most tags in OpenStreetMap, this tag is based on the British English term "turning circle", and refers to turning places regardless of shape, including circular, square, triangular and otherwise.

See also