[Tagging] highway=service // public road?

Florian Lohoff f at zz.de
Wed May 23 07:18:35 UTC 2018


in the past 10 years or so my impression of a service road was that it
is typically not a public road per se and not part of the other roads
classifications. It is a piece of tarmac built for a specific purpose by
somebody not necessarily the public authorities. The public most likely
does not have a right of way although this might need additional

I now see increasing usage of service roads as a category below
unclassified. People tagging "smaller roads" in the countryside
as a service roads. 

I find this a little disturbing and now got into an argument whereas
my position is the above - broken down into my more strict language:

- If the public has a right of way
- The road is build/run by public authorities
- Its not something obvious like a parking space
- It cant be service

It might not fit 100% everywhere, but no rule without its exception.

The Argument of the usage is:
- It only serves as access to a single house/company/farm.

IMHO It should be driveway (Where there is no right of way and no name)
when its not in public ownership, or unclassified with all the
bells and whistles like a name, maxspeed etc.

To find those roads in my QA tools i dump/highlight roads which
are highway=service and carry a name. The argument behind this is that
at least in Germany only official public roads get names in a process
called "Widmung" 1) - So if it carries a name, either the name has
been copied (E.g. people copying the residentials name to all driveways)
or somebody has "downgraded" a public road to a service.

So i am asking where my misconception is:

- Is service a street category below unclassified/residential?
- Does a service road typically have a right of way for the public?
- Is service usage "just because there is only one house/company/farm"
1) https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stra%C3%9Fenwidmung
Florian Lohoff                                                 f at zz.de
             UTF-8 Test: The 🐈 ran after a 🐁, but the 🐁 ran away
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