Talk:Key:traffic signals

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"from non-U.S. editors"

A variant that comes to mind is a traffic signal that is a bit like the emergency variant, or a railway crossing signal: normally off, but whenever a bus approaches from the (a not-necessarily-bus-only) side street, it first blinks yellow (here, that's "may proceed with extra caution") for some seconds, and then changes to red to facilitate a speedy passage for the bus; once the bus has passed the detector after the signals, the lights turn back to flashing yellow, and soon off. (There's also a timeout in case the outbound bus isn't detected properly.) At rush hour, the signals can activate on average every few minutes, or every ten minutes late in the evening, or even more rarely. Some of these are for trams, some for buses. Alv 17:11, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

I've since used traffic_signals=bus_priority and traffic_signals=tram_priority for these. Alv (talk) 05:19, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
Hi! I took the liberty of copying a slightly modified version of your explanation of the two tags to the main page. Regards --SelfishSeahorse (talk) 21:31, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

Nighttime-only blinking

I'm stuck on way 19299657, which has ordinary traffic lights that are set to flash yellow (flashing red on cross streets) at night, when there is little cross traffic. – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 06:04, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

I'm not sure there's a proper way to tag this situation other than the standard highway=traffic_signals tag. Such information can easily go out of date as there need not even be a specific time of day where the signals change modes. --Skquinn (talk) 21:50, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
In the years since I posted this question, it has become more common to use :conditional tags for this sort of thing. So I'd probably try and find out when the blinking mode is turned on and off and tag that. But fortunately for me, this particular road has become so busy and congested that blink mode is no longer activated at night. – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 04:06, 1 May 2018 (UTC)


How should we tag British wig-wags at bridges and fire stations? --Amaroussi (talk) 12:48, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

For fire stations, traffic_signals=emergency seems to be the most obvious choice. We have these in the US too where the lights are normally flashing yellow but change to solid yellow and then red when an emergency vehicle is leaving. --Skquinn (talk) 21:51, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

[Closed] What is traffic_signal=signal (or signals)

Today (8 April 2018), close to 96% of the values used with traffic_signal=* are signal or signals. What does that mean ?

I believe both of these values do not give any additional information to crossing=traffic_signal, but it becomes the most used value because these key + values are used by default in OSM iD online editor when adding a pedestrian crossing or traffic signals. Any other idea ?

Djam (talk) 00:01, 8 April 2018 (UTC)

I agree, it looks like tag pollution to me. Does anyone know why iD adds this, and what purpose it is supposed to serve? --Skquinn (talk) 10:45, 8 April 2018 (UTC)

It seems that the wiki page traffic_signals=* doesn't describe the "classic" traffic signal with 3 lights (e.g red, orange, green). Maybe the traffic_signal=signal/signals describes this traffic signal with 3 lights. The meaning of this value should be clarified, and then documented in the wiki, since it is de facto a standard value for traffic_signals=* --Kazing (talk) 10:17, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

traffic_signal=* page has been modified and recommends *not* to use traffic_signal=signal nor signals. Thx to those who fixed it. Djam (talk) 08:10, 2 May 2018 (UTC)

I think iD has been unfairly maligned here. osm tag history shows that traffic_signals=signal was used over 3,200 times, mostly in Helsinki, prior to iD adopting it as the default value for this tag in September 2015. In fact, it was far and away the most popular tag value, dwarfing the next most popular value, traffic_signals=blinker, which had fewer than 500 occurrences by then. It made a lot of sense for iD to adopt it as the default value, especially given that traffic_signals=* had never been put to a vote. (The infobox for highway=traffic_signals currently says "approved", but I can't find any evidence of that tag going through the tag proposal process, either, either on this wiki or on the mailing lists, just a bunch of failed proposals to extend the schema.)

I sympathize with the project's maintainer, who finds the wording on this page objectionable, so I reworded it.

 – Minh Nguyễn 💬 20:46, 24 December 2018 (UTC)

HAWK signals

Here in the US we have a special type of traffic signals (called "HAWK" beacons, for "High-Intensity Activated crossWalK", yes the acronym is a bit of a botch) for pedestrian crossings which stay dark until a pedestrian hits the button to request a "walk" signal/white walking figure. Then they begin flashing yellow, then turn solid yellow, then solid red during the walk interval. then flashing red as the "don't walk" signal/orange hand is activated and begins flashing to indicate no new pedestrians should cross, then go dark again after the pedestrian phase is completed. How should these be tagged? --Skquinn (talk) 07:23, 29 November 2019 (UTC)

Sounds like a variant of a button-activated pedestrian crossing? In that case, highway=crossing + crossing=traffic_signals + button_operated=yes would seem like a good start. It isn't specific enough to be able to distinguish this particular variant. If that's a concern, you might take inspiration from UK matters who have adopted crossing_ref=* for their local variants ("pelican", "toucan", "tiger" etc). --Tordanik 17:38, 21 December 2019 (UTC)

Placement and orientation

What about placement - sideway or overhead (more common in US), and how to tag vertical or horizontal placement. This should be included in wiki. --Plamen (talk) 05:49, 2 April 2020 (UTC)