|highway = rest_area
|Place where drivers can leave the road to rest, but not refuel.
|Rendering in OSM Carto
|Used on these elements
|Status: de facto
|Tools for this tag
How to Map
Where the location of these features is known it is best to map them as separate features:
- toilets=yes/no - Indication of whether a feature has public toilets.
- drinking_water=yes/no - Indication whether a feature provides drinking water.
- bin=yes/no - Indication whether a feature provides garbage bins.
- picnic_table=yes/no - Indication whether a feature provides picnic tables.
The junction way from the highway is mapped with highway=*_link and where pedestrians are allowed it is tagged highway=service. Another addition such as service=parking_aisle is only suitable for subordinate services ways in the parking lot.
Individual amenities can be mapped as separate nodes:
- amenity=toilets - public toilets.
- amenity=drinking_water - A drinking water fountain or tap.
- amenity=waste_basket - a trash bin.
- amenity=recycling + recycling_type=container - a recycling bin.
- leisure=picnic_table - a picnic table.
If exits to rest areas are considered to qualify as motorway junctions (it appears there is no consensus on this), then this is mapped with highway=motorway_junction. Add name=* in the form "Rest area xyz". But no ref=* is set.
In Australia, a wide variety of rest areas exist on major roads: see the Australian_Tagging_Guidelines/Roads page for guidance.
In the UK, lay-bys are marked with a blue-background "P" symbol, identical to that used for parking areas. The most common variety is a simple, rather short, extra lane next to the highway with a concrete surface and a couple of litter bins. Some are set further back in the form of short loops of service road, and may feature mobile fast food outlets, toilets etc. (In the UK, it is legal to leave HGV trailers parked on these, but not on those not separated from the road, so some road users (truckers) may be concerned with the difference.) Lay-bys are not found on UK motorways: by law rest stops on motorways must be full-fledged service areas.
In the U.S., the vast majority of Interstates have only rest areas, not service areas. One must exit the highway to find fuel or food. The main exception is on a tolled Interstate or other tolled motorway, where service areas are the norm.