[Tagging] highway=primary/secondary/tertiary - tag according to quality or usage?

Martin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Mon Nov 28 14:36:08 UTC 2016

2016-11-28 13:39 GMT+01:00 Michael Tsang <miklcct at gmail.com>:

> There are some highways which the quality isn't up to the usage, resulting
> in
> congestion. Those highways connects high-quality motorway/trunk/primary
> highways together for long distance traffic, but they only have a single
> lane
> per direction, with lots of traffic lights, junctions, driveways, etc.,
> resulting in slow traffic. Because the absence of roads of proper quality,
> those
> low quality roads become bottlenecks in the whole network.

it's more a problem of the highway network in that area than of the OSM
tagging though. Regularly congested roads with lots of traffic actually
indicate a high importance of that road, IMHO (while situations where this
is due to some event in the area are exceptions, e.g. roads around a
stadion where you only have congestion in case of a match or other event,
or after an accident, construction work, etc.).

> A while ago, I tagged them all with highway=tertiary, consistent with the
> quality of highways around the region, disregarding the actual kinds of
> traffic
> on the highway, and someone retagged them as highway=primary reflecting the
> actual usage for long-distance inter-town traffic,

road "quality" has several parameters and can already be tagged (lanes,
surface, maxspeed as an indirect indicator), highway is about the road grid
hierarchy. What you'd need for very good routing results (and ETA
calculations) is the actual current traffic speed on the individual
segments, something we can't tag in OSM anyway.

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