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Image for highway=service

How about this image for the ValueDescription template?

Usage of service

In my understanding a service way leads exclusivly to an amenity and ends there as a deadend. Is this correct? In my area I find many highways tagged as service, which go on. --Kaivi 10:52, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

(The following may be a problem particular to France). For example, a public road, on public land, maintained by the local authority, without any buildings was marked as highway=service because the contributor considered it to be unpaved. Another similar road that passed through a hamlet was marked highway=service because the contributor considered that it served the hamlet. There are many similar examples in the same area, but I have not had replies from the contributors justifying their use highway=service. Am I wrong in thinking that this usage for ordinary unclassified roads and tracks is TOTALLY incorrect?--TinyTrouble (talk) 11:21, 23 February 2022 (UTC)

Usage of service for farm access roads in France

One standard for the environmental impact assessments of farm produce defines delivery "at the farm gate" reflecting the assumption that roads and tracks tracks leading to farms are private and are part of those farms (service=driveway?). In my area of France (and, so I am told, the rest of France), farm access road are usually maintained by the local authorities on public land and are, therefore, an integral part of the public road network (including an implicit "priorité à droit" on exit, as well as obligatory road signs and markings). This is not the case for private driveways. A number of contributors have marked these roads as highway=service, while many more have marked them highway=unclassified.

The definition of highway=service is unclear and, as any road gives access to something, almost any road could be classified as a service road.

Setting aside service=alley (which is a very, very, serious problem), in my understanding, the essential feature of highway:service is that it is a not a part of the public road network. Although there may be public access, possibly restricted, the land is private (even if owned by the municipality for access to a car park or sports facility...). If this is roughly true, then farm access roads should not be marked highway=service in France unless the road is known to be private.--TinyTrouble (talk) 12:57, 23 February 2022 (UTC)

Exact Definition?

It is:

"Service" is a road with a task/mission/assignment: Generally for access to a building, motorway service station, beach, campsite, industrial estate, business park, club house, etc. This is also commonly used for access to parking, driveways, delivery and alleys. In normal case a service road is paved.

It is NOT:

It is a road that is NOT used by everybody every day - it's not a common road used like residential. It's maybe NOT as broad as a common road. It's NOT a road with general access restrictions, but sometimes there are restrictions. It's also NOT a kind of a track - paved or not - most tracks do have access restrictions!. It is NOT just tagged "service" because there is no classification (unclassified).

What do you think about this definition? --EinKonstanzer 19:03, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Those seem like the characteristics of most ways that are and should be highway=service. Rather "more often paved than unpaved", I could easily point to many unpaved service roads, especially service=driveway ones. Many enough to say thay it's not "in normal case ... paved". Alv 19:34, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
Much better than the wiki page, but does does not mention the essentially private nature of all the examples except service=alley. But an alley is rarely "for access to a building, motorway service station, beach, campsite, industrial estate, business park, club house, etc." as defined here. An alley frequently joins two other streets or roads and, therefore is not included in either the existing definition ("Generally for access to a building, service station, beach, campsite, industrial estate, business park, etc.) or this new definition. Remove service=alley and replace it with highway=alley and many of the definition problems will go away.--TinyTrouble (talk) 12:57, 23 February 2022 (UTC)

name=* on driveway service roads?

I have always tagged driveway service roads with the name of the connecting residential street. This is "correct", yes? --Olejorgenb 06:55, 13 May 2011 (BST)

No. The house's addresses might be on the residential road, but that doesn't give their driveways a name. A service road might have a name, but they seldom do, and then it should be signposted at the start. Alv 10:27, 13 May 2011 (BST)
Agreed. Boston posts names like "Public Alley 22", so these would be tagged. But ordinarily a service road will not have a name. --NE2 17:35, 13 May 2011 (BST)
Agreed. Unless the service way has a posted name, it should not be tagged with name=*. --Codesman (talk) 01:19, 18 May 2020 (UTC)

how do routing engines interpret / use highway=service ways?

Would it be worth documenting how some of the main routing engines interpret ways tagged with highway=service? I am specifically thinking about educating users to ensure that they are aware of how the tagging is interpreted and to ensure they include relevant features to ensure accurate routing

One example where it would be useful is whether traffic will be routed through an industrial estate which has highway=service or around it.

Care would be needed to ensure mappers didn't start mapping for the router rather than what is on the ground.

--Dónal (talk) 15:23, 4 September 2020 (UTC)

is access=* required?

What is the correct way to tag service roads on a hospital grounds where there are multiple entrances from the local road network?

Normal road traffic should not route through the campus but there is nothing stopping them. HGVs should never route through the campus (tight turns, etc). Cyclists and pedestrians likely should route through the campus because the permeability exists and while it is a private hospital, access for patients is permitted (i.e. access=permissive is implied).

Can share an example if useful...

--Dónal (talk) 15:32, 4 September 2020 (UTC)

If there's no actual legal restriction as you mentioned, this responsibility falls on the router, not OSM. You can map physical properties such as width=*. Depending on your laws, "access for patients is permitted (i.e. access=permissive is implied)" may not be always correct. You may consider ownership=* (and designation=* if present in your jurisdiction). ---- Kovposch (talk) 10:08, 5 September 2020 (UTC)

Roads on an industrial site

How to tag service roads on an industrial site? If i tag them just highway=service, they are rendered bigger than the driveway (highway=service + service=driveway) to the industrial site. Dafadllyn 15:04, 14 March 2021 (UTC)

It's ok, I also tag them that way. Sometimes you can add access=private as well. maro21 18:02, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
A road leading into an entire facility, similar to those into carparks, shouldn't be service=driveway. It should only be for roads to individual buildings. That being said, you can think of other service=* values if needed. ---- Kovposch (talk) 03:26, 15 March 2021 (UTC)

service vs. unclassified, conflicting definitions

There are some discrepancies between this page and highway=unclassified, and the wording leaves a lot to interpretation and opinions.

This page suggests that service is a road which ends on some feature with no through traffic (leading to a building, a parking place, etc). Is is also specifically exclude frontage roads as an example to tag according to function and not purpose. By following this definition a road with throughfaring traffic (where both end is open, connecting to other roads or tracks) cannot be service, so it should be unclassified.

However unclassified declares itself as "considered usable by motorcars" and also "In rural contexts, narrow paved roads with only private access for motorcars (maybe public access for agricultural motor-vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians) should be tagged as highway=service and motorcar=private (maybe motor_vehicle=agricultural)", suggesting that unclassified requires to be motorcar=yes and suggests that "narrow paved roads with motorcar=private" should be tagged as service.

These definitions quite contradict one another.

Take a pretty common road type in Europe, which goes on the embankment of a river, which generally paved, narrow, legally open for walking and bicycling people, often part of the national/international bicycle-road network, and closed for motorcar traffic (usually only waterworks' cars are allowed). What's that? Cannot be "unclassified" since motorcars aren't allowed, cannot be service since it doesn't "leading to something". Some people tag it this way, some that way. That's not good.

Either service should mean "one level below unclassified" and soften the wording even more ("generally" to "in many cases", for example), or unclassified shall drop requirement for motorcars and suggesting service for "narrow paved roads w/ private motorcar access". I'd support the latter: I would rather use unclassified here, but that's an opinion.

Your inputs are welcome. --grin 14:52, 30 September 2022 (UTC)

Service ways are usually motorised and intended for motorcars, though occasionally they may be restricted to motorcycles. Service ways are definitely one functional level below highway=unclassified and highway=residential as the vast majority are not publicly managed/owned, except for service=alley which may be public.

Take a pretty common road type in Europe, which goes on the embankment of a river, which generally paved, narrow, legally open for walking and bicycling people, often part of the national/international bicycle-road network, and closed for motorcar traffic (usually only waterworks' cars are allowed). What's that?

It should be highway=footway+bicycle=yes if it is mainly intended for walking, highway=cycleway+foot=yes if it is mainly intended for cycling, or highway=path+foot=yes+bicycle=yes if its main intended use is unclear or evenly split. --Fernando Trebien (talk) 00:47, 8 November 2023 (UTC)

Massive service roads

Not just the ususal road around the back leading to the dumpster. OK, I'll use


Jidanni (talk) 06:55, 25 August 2023 (UTC)

Not sure why you posted it here, seems to be not actionable as far as this page is concerned Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 09:13, 25 August 2023 (UTC)

Not public?

The text Service roads are not parts of the public road network, and may not always be accessible to the general public, which can be explicitly specified by an additional access=* tag. was recently added but I found no discussion about this. This appears to conflict with the standard usage in many countries stated in OSM tags for routing/Access restrictions. Is this change correct? --Fernando Trebien (talk) 14:31, 7 October 2023 (UTC)

I added that text recently, in order to provide a proper definition. It is not supposed to mean that access to service roads is generally restricted (on the contrary), but only that they are privately owned and maintained; any restriction is supposed to be defined by access tag. However, I can see that the two can be easily conflated in reading, and I will try to recast the sentence to avoid misunderstanding. Duja (talk) 09:18, 9 October 2023 (UTC)
There is a related discussion going on at Talk:Tag:service=alley. I've found many of these ways in different countries which don't seem to be publicly owned and I'll post my findings there later today, so maybe wait a little before changing that text. --Fernando Trebien (talk) 20:04, 9 October 2023 (UTC)
A private way open to the public would normally be tagged as access=permissive. For most types of service=*, I think it makes sense to assume that in practice motor_vehicle=destination is either the intended or the practical access type (though not necessarily the legal one), even for public service=alley ways. Perhaps some of the examples I just posted on Talk:Tag:service=alley illustrate some of these situations in different countries. --Fernando Trebien (talk) 17:49, 13 October 2023 (UTC)