[Tagging] Road hierarchy

Paul Allen pla16021 at gmail.com
Thu Aug 8 11:41:50 UTC 2019

On Thu, 8 Aug 2019 at 12:18, Peter Elderson <pelderson at gmail.com> wrote:

> To be practical, I think I will retag the clearly residential roads now
> tagged as 'unclassified' in my town, to 'residential'. Some roads are now
> tagged as residential, but the main function is getting through the
> village. These tend to give access to housing as well, but houses are
> separated from the road by e.g. broad pedestrian pavements, parking lanes,
> stretches of greenery, a row of trees, kerbs, and/or separate cycleways.

Sounds sensible to me.  Except I wouldn't let the pavements, greenery,
trees, etc. influence
me.  If the main function is getting through the village then it's a
through road even though
it has houses that are barely separated from the road and don't have
pavements.  There are
a few houses in my area where the front door opens straight onto the road,
which is an
officially-designated tertiary.

> If e.g. a bus uses such a road I will retag it as unclassified. I would
> use quaternary if I could be sure of rendering and routing, which I am not.

"Quaternary" is a term used by me purely to make clear that "unclassified"
arose from the UK
through-road hierarchy of A roads (primary), B roads (secondary), C roads
(tertiary) and
U-for-unclassified roads (quaternary).  Unclassified doesn't mean, as the
guy who recently
edited the wiki thought, uncategorized.  It's not for roads you don't know
the purpose of, it's the
fourth level in the hierarchy with an unfortunate choice of name.  If you
don't know what
the road is for and can't decide, then use highway=road.

So I wouldn't recommend using "quaternary."  I would be very happy if OSM
switched to
using quaternary instead of unclassified but, for various reasons, that is
very unlikely to
happen.  Ill-conceived values like "unclassified" which are historical
accidents are one
of the reasons this list exists.  Had this list existed back then we'd
probably still be
arguing whether to call the fourth level "unclassified" or "quaternary." :)

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