Key:kerb

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Public-images-osm logo.svg kerb
Pram Ramp.jpg
Description
Used to indicate height and thus accessibility of a kerb. Edit or translate this description.
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
Useful combination
Status: de factoPage for proposal

A kerb (American English curb) is the edge where a road meets a sidewalk. As these are transition points between different surfaces and/or elevations, the locations of kerbs are important features to pedestrians, cyclists, and especially to those with reduced mobility (e.g., in wheelchairs).

The key is kerb=*, and is used on the node of a highway=footway, highway=cycleway, or highway=path at the location of the kerb (at the edge of the street). If the kerb is identical on both sides of a crossing, it is possible to add the kerb=* tag to the highway=crossing node, which sacrifices accuracy for simplicity, consider using kerb:left=* and kerb:right=* if the kerbs differ.

Note: As a policy OSM uses  British English terms for most tags in preference to  North American English. In this case kerb=* rather than curb=*.

Tagging

Possible values for the kerb=* are shown in the below table. The heights given here are only indicative, choice of a particular value should depend only on functional considerations. In other words, it is better to consider wheelchair/bicycle accessibility rather than the specific height of the kerb when choosing a value.

These documented values imply wheelchair=yes or wheelchair=no; this means you can omit wheelchair=* unless its value differs from the implied value below.

Value Typical height Implies Typical use Description Example
Icon kerb=flush.svg
flush
~0 cm wheelchair=yes Crossings & driveways Similarly to lowered, except the level transition is unlikely to be apparent, to blind users, by tactile sensation.

It is important to map tactile paving at these locations.

Icon kerb=lowered.svg
lowered
~3 cm wheelchair=yes Crossings & driveways Lowered kerbs are often found at crossing and driveways. They help ensure the crossing can be used by wheelchair users and allow access to drives.

Some names for objects that fall into this category include driveway apron, curb cut (U.S.), curb ramp, dropped kerb (UK), pram ramp, and kerb ramp (Australia).

Use this as a replacement for sloped_curb=yes or both.

Icon kerb=no.svg
no
wheelchair=yes No kerb is present. This can be useful to make it clear there is no kerb present — because there used to be a kerb, or a kerb would otherwise be expected (e.g., because it looks like one might be present judging from aerial photography).
Icon kerb=raised.svg
raised
>3 cm wheelchair=no Bus stops & older kerbs High kerb. Height results in noticeable trouble for wheelchair and bicycles trying to pass it. In many places it falls foul of modern norms for crossings. Typical at bus stops to provide at-level access on and off buses.

At least in the US, this is also the most common kerb at footway crossings before recent accessibility regulations came into existence.

Note that the primary feature of Kassel kerbs, used at bus stops, is contouring to alleviate tyre rubbing when buses stop (not having a raised level), which is not specifically mapped.

†: When used on pedestrian paths it implies wheelchair=no (and may be used to increase the cost of travelling over this kerb by bicycle). This value can also be added to the highway=bus_stop node or platform node/way — in that case it would not imply wheelchair=no.

Icon kerb=rolled.svg
rolled
wheelchair=no Residential streets Rolled kerbs still provide a gutter for water while being traversable by large wheeled vehicles, such as cars and bicycles, but not wheelchairs. They are generally used in lightly trafficked areas, such as planned residential areas, being insufficient for commercial or industrial roads.

Do not confuse with kerb=lowered, which are traversable by wheelchairs.

Icon kerb=yes.svg
yes
any wheelchair=no Some sort of kerb is present, but it can't or hasn't yet been determined whether it is raised, lowered, flush, etc. This may be useful when mapping via aerial imagery (prior to field survey) or if the exact type of kerb can't be recalled.

‡: Cautious routers could consider this to mean wheelchair=no, so whenever possible this value should not be used other than on a temporary basis.

kerb:height=<height><unit>

If exact height of the kerb is know this can also be marked using the tag kerb:height=*. Please state the unit used in the tag.

Examples

Type Tagging
Raised, regular and lowered kerb in the same photo
This shows a raised kerb at the tram stop, a lowered next to it at the crossing, and a regular one closest to the viewer.
Two crossings with lowered kerbs
Red nodes are tagged with kerb=lowered, crossing ways are marked with highway=footway and footway=crossing, crossing nodes are tagged with highway=crossing and crossing=traffic_signals.
Bus stop with raised kerb
Add to either the bus stop or the platform kerb=raised. It is assumed the kerb tag refers to the edge between the road and the platform. If you wish to explicitly map, tag the actual kerb as a way on the platform area.
Crossing over a traffic island with kerb
Use kerb=lowered on the nodes of the footway at the locations of the kerbs. Assuming both sides of the crossing are the same this could be added to the crossing node.
Crossing with flush kerb & tactile paving
Use kerb=flush and tactile_paving=yes on the nodes of the footway at the locations of the kerbs. Assuming both sides of the crossing are the same this could be added to the crossing node.

Related tags

The kerb=* node can also be tagged with tactile_paving=* to assist vision impaired individuals, and is especially important on kerb=flush nodes.

See also barrier=kerb.

Editing with JOSM

In JOSM the Map Paint Style Sidewalks and footways (with knobs on) can be used to visualize kerb=* when used on nodes node:

Sample of Sidewalks and footways (with knobs on) in JOSM. The various kerb=* values are rendered with icons representing them.


Open issues

  1. kerb:height - default unit
  2. kerb tags on ways
  3. Add a normal tag and use raised for bus platform type kerbs*
  4. Remove height guidance and base on local norms*
  5. Document kerb:left and kerb:right for asymmetric kerbs tagged on a crossing node.
  6. Use as sub-key for barrier=kerb.

See also

External links

Possible tagging mistakes

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!