Proposal talk:Highway:minor

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I don't see this being useful in Australia. The word itself isn't in common use here. Rather than replacing the term "unclassified" with "quaternary", as a rural mapper I find that I don't have enough categories for routes which don't qualify as tertiary. Should a name change be warranted, a word like "local" would have more meaning. Drlizau 28/08/08

I agree with Drlizau. Quaternary is not a word in common use here in Australia, and presumably many other places - it also has the potential often to be mis-spelled as "quaternery", which may create problems. I don't see a problem with the current use of highway=unclassified, so long as it continues to be explained properly on the Map Features page. But if enough people think it needs changing, how about going back to highway=minor instead (what it was originally) - "minor" is shorter than either "unclassified" or "quaternary" (so quicker to type and harder to mis-spell), and its meaning is quite obvious. Jackb 28/08/08

  • The word is not in common use in the UK, and it is not obvious word I would think of. I don't think there is a big problem with highway=unclassified. Chillly 12:13, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
  • I’d personally like to see unclassified renamed. I’ve met enough people (German users, mostly) who thought that the value was used for a highway with undefined (as in “not yet mapped”) type. --Tordanik 17:45, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
  • From common sense unclassified is really a bad choice. But quaternary is not better because it is in the line with primary...tertiary. And this road types often / most times have a "ref" (road number), which quaternary roads never have. I'm for it, to find a replacement for unclassified but please something, that is less confusing. --Zottel 18:34, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
  • "unclassified" is pretty confusing for me. Using "minor", "local" or "byroad" ("Seitenstraße") would be much better. --David Schmitt 13:07, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

This should rather be solved in the editors than in the database, i.e. a note together with highway=unclassified that explains that this is a quaternary road. For example, in JOSM's preset menu, next to the icon can say unclassified (quaternary). --Skippern 13:46, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

  • I'm not sure if I'd support this or not. If it were to go to a vote, I'd like to see the proposal changed to "highway=minor". My rationale...
I don't think the term 'quaternary' is any clearer than 'unclassified'. Also 'unclassified' can be an official designation - eg: the UC26 as photographed for CBRD as well as being used to designate a road (in the UK) which has no number. However, I agree 'unclassified' could be confusing for editors from elsewhere. I'm on the fence as to whether it is worth changing at all, but if 'unclassified' were to be replaced I would probably support the term 'minor' over anything else suggested so far. 'Local' could easily be confused with 'residential' or 'service', neither of which are appropriate, and 'Byroad' is too close to 'byway' if you ask me.
That said, isn't a Byway Open to All Traffic (BOAT) legally the same as a road in the UK? We could tag every 'unclassified' road as 'byway' with surface=paved - but I don't think that is wise idea. I have noticed that Norfolk sign all their unclassified roads as 'Byway' or 'Byway to...', but was pleasantly surprised when such roads turned out to be not only surfaced but often double track. --CunningPlan 08:44, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
I also think that highway=minor would be much better. --Nighto 02:42, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Refocusing Proposal

Based on comments above, quaternary is also obviously a confusing description, as such, I've changed the proposal to Minor roads, and the tagging highway=minor to suit. --Thomas Wood 00:27, 20 June 2009 (UTC)


It's hard enough to distinguish between unclassified/residential/service. Adding "minor" to the mix would make that worse, unless there "unclassified" was deprecated entirely.

Would love to see some clear rules about the differences. Would "minor" rank above or below "residential", or is it for streets that are *like* residential, but don't have houses on them?

Currently I'm probably abusing "service" by using it for those really tiny weird residential streets you sometimes find: only wide enough for one car, frequently with a strange surface like bricks or pavers, laneways, etc. More clarification is probably needed more than another tag - but I'm still open to the possibility. Stevage 04:19, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

highway=service looks nice with the mapnik renderer but it is true it is not the appropriate tag to describe the physical thing. I propose highway=residential should be rendered thinner than highway=tertiary

Deprecate highway=unclassified or not?

At the proposal page it reads "This proposal aims to deprecate the highway=unclassified tag.". My opinion is that unclassified should be left as such in cases where the classification is unknown. Once the road has been verified to have a classification it can be given highway=minor. --Kslotte 11:39, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

highway=road should be used if classification is unknown, but there are quite a number of roads without classification, so I would say that both tags can live, highway=unclassified and highway=minor can mean two different things. Besides, not every country have enough levels of road classification to use every type, and some have too many levels of classification.
In Brazil here I live there are 4 levels of funding/administration of roads, which in turn can be broken down in 3 or 4 levels of importance/quality, in theory that give us up to 16 different levels of classification. --Skippern 12:23, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Unclassified is just a name for any proper roads that don't have a higher classification. Newbies just need guidance if they don't read the documentation - and they already have to read, or how else would they know what highway tag to use for any road? Alv 14:12, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Merging of highway:rural and highway:estate

As many has written that to many highway tags is confusing. So, IF we need an additional highway, we should take into use only ONE highway type. As I see "highway:minor" seems to be the best naming. This means that rural and estate highways wont make it through the proposal process. Could we gather all essential information and merge them into one proposal?

Restarting this topic

Working on HOT mapping, it seems many fail to use unclassified (instead opting for secondary often, perhaps believing those are the "minimal" category)... and unclassified is used all kinds of strange places. This represents a wide range of internationals working on it, probably, including Ecuador locals on the current topic. I don't know what to do to start a proposal, but seems this is overdue. Perhaps it could be given plenty of warning and then transitioned into? JeopardyTempest (talk) 08:08, 21 April 2016 (UTC)