User:Dulahey/Oklahoma Highway Classification Proposal

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This page describes Oklahoma-specific determinations for implementing US Highway Classification values.


In Oklahoma, we use the same standard as defined on the US Highway Classification page.

The top category, highway=motorway should only be applied to roadways that are either signed Interstate highways or have ALL of the following characteristics:

  • Grade separation
  • Limited access via on/off ramps
  • No at-grade intersections or traffic signals (although on-ramps may have traffic control devices)
  • Divided carriageways
  • Designed and maintained to support high speeds over long distances

In particular, roads which briefly exhibit motorway-like characteristics for short distances should not be tagged as a motorway.


See United States/Highway classification#Trunk.

As the top non-motorway classification, highway=trunk should be applied in the following cases:

  • In areas of high population density, to expressways that meet most, but not all, of the requirements for highway=motorway, and provide connectivity between motorways and other trunk roads. These roads should also be tagged expressway=yes.
  • In areas of medium to low population density, to the most important non-motorway roads that provide principal, long-haul connections between population centers of regional importance."

Important Regional Centers

The following cities in Oklahoma are considered important regional centers:

City 2020




Oklahoma City 1,279,071 1 Core of Oklahoma City-Shawnee Combined Statistical Area (CSA), Capital
Tulsa 767,186 2 Core of Tulsa-Muskogee, Bartlesville CSA.
Lawton 90,381 3 Core of Lawton Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), Ft. Sill Army Base.
Stillwater 56,721 4 Core of Stillwater Micropolitan Statistical Area (µSA), Oklahoma State University
Enid 51,308 5 Core of Enid MSA, Vance Air Force Base.
Bartlesville 37,290 6 Core of Bartlesville µSA, Home of Phillips Petroleum Company
Muskogee 36,878 7 Core of Muskogee µSA, Northeastern State University
Ardmore 24,725 9 Core of Ardmore µSA, Good industry and distribution centers. Halfway between OKC and DFW.
Altus 18,729 11 Core of Altus µSA, Altus Air Force Base.
Durant 18,589 12 Core of Durant µSA, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, HQ of Choctaw Nation
McAlester 18,171 13 Core of McAlester µSA, Largest city in rural SE OK.
Ada 16,481 15 Core of Ada µSA, East Central State University, HQ of Chickasaw Nation
Guymon 12,965 17 Core of Guymon µSA, Panhandle State University, Firmly the largest city in the OK panhandle
Woodward 12,133 18 Core of Woodward µSA
Idabel 6,961 25 Largest city in deep rural SE OK. Perhaps Texarkana should be used instead.

*Surrounding cities with 5,000 population or greater added into total.

Potential Regional Centers

  • Ponca City
    • Blackwell and Ponca City mostly serviced by I-35. US-60 not worth Trunk status as it parallels US-412 too closely.
  • Duncan
    • Being the core of a µSA bolsters the argument for OK-7 and/or US-81 to be trunk routes.
  • Miami
    • Serviced by I-44.
  • Tahlequah
    • Perhaps warrants a Trunk route on US-62 between Muskogee and Fayetteville?
  • Elk City/Clinton/Weatherford
    • Hard to choose which of these three similarly sized cities gets the nod, but all are serviced by I-40.

Out-of-State Important Regional Centers

Important nearby regional cities and towns outside of Oklahoma.

City State
Amarillo TX
Dodge City KS
Wichita KS
Joplin MO
Fayetteville/Springdale AR
Fort Smith AR
Texarkana AR, TX
Dallas TX
Wichita Falls TX
Taos or Raton NM

Trunk Roads

The following roads are the principal routes between pairs of important population centers, and not serviced by highway=motorway, and thus should be tagged highway=trunk. If the road, or portions of the road have the physical characteristics of an expressway, then expressway=yes may be added to indicate the method of construction.

The trunk classification of these roads should terminate either at a motorway or at another trunk-classified road to ensure network continuity. The only exception to this rule is in the case of cities of regional importance where the sole principal trunk route terminates at a city due to terminal topography.

When a trunk road passes through a town or community, its importance to the road network means it should retain the trunk tag. Use other descriptive tags such as maxspeed=*, lanes=*, width=* to indicate the changes to the physical road construction inside the town. Exception: If there is a trunk or motorway level bypass that through-traffic is expected to use, then the portion of the original trunk that passes through town may be downgraded to primary.

From To Trunk Routing Notes
Clayton, NM Springdale, AR US-412 Clayton is not considered an important regional center in New Mexico, but it was determined by mappers in New Mexico to not continue the US-412 trunk routing west of Clayton to Taos or Santa Fe. Instead, tie-in to the US-87 trunk route between Amarillo, TX and Pueblo, CO. It was decided this was adequate to connect the Oklahoma panhandle to the front range cities.
Albuquerque, NM Wichita, KS US-54
Woodward, OK Oklahoma City, OK US-270, US-281
Altus, OK Stroud, OK US-62, OK-7, OK-1, US-377 Start at Childress? Or Memphis on the way to Amarillo. East of I-35 is debatable, or even East of I-44. Will leave Ada disconnected.
Ft. Worth, TX Wichita, KS US-81 Perhaps too redundant to I-35, especially north of Enid.
Stillwater, OK OK-51, US-177 There's a good case to be made for putting a trunk through Stillwater between I-35 and US-412.
Ardmore, OK Idabel, OK US-70
Dallas, TX Joplin, MO US-69
Paris, TX Bartlesville, OK US-75 North of Bartlesville needs to be discussed by KS. US-75 all the way to Topeka, or blend with US-169 to Kansas City.
Idabel, OK Ft. Smith, AR US-259, US-59 US 71 in AR instead, or some combination of the two?


Primary routes are routes connecting small, incorporated settlements, or linking other primary, trunk, or motorway roads to other roads or places. Use this tag on State or US routes connecting multiple incorporated settlements or other important roads, but not important enough to receive trunk classification. This tag can also be used on very important city roads.


Secondary routes are the most important County roads that link to many smaller county roads or small settlements. They may also be minor state routes.


Tertiary routes are County or city roads. A county road that serves as any sort of through route should be considered a tertiary road regardless of paved status.


Use the Unclassified tag for any very small linking road, or for any non-service road that does not serve houses. Ex: Industrial park roads.


Use the Residential road tag strictly for roads that are not through routes, such as roads in subdivisions, or dead-end county roads that serve houses.


Tracks are roads that are mainly used for forestry and agriculture. Track roads are not maintained by the city or state for traffic to travel on. These would be roads serving: A managed forest used for forestry, A national forest or Wildlife Management Area, or a farmer's field. an example of a major track road is FS 500 in the Talladega National Forest.


This page is discussed on the #local-Oklahoma Channel of the OSMUS Slack.