[Talk-ca] Road designations

Jonathan Crowe jonathan.crowe at gmail.com
Thu Dec 11 17:37:44 UTC 2014

Your example road looks like an edit in progress: someone changing the road
from tertiary to secondary and leaving it unfinished. (Lord knows I've done
that plenty of times: starting an edit, discovering it's *much* bigger or
more complicated than I thought it was when I started it, and having to
stop midway through and come back to it later -- sometimes much later.)
Changing road types can be a messy process, especially when you're dealing
with a CanVec import that breaks the road into individual segments at each

In the first case, the connection should be a secondary_link, not a
tertiary or tertiary_link, I think.

In the second case, it would be appropriate to continue the edit, changing
the rest of the road from one to the other, whichever you think is the best
type for the road in question.

The map is never in a finished state.

On Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 9:10 AM, Adam Martin <s.adam.martin at gmail.com>

> I have a question for the group regarding the designation of various roads
> within city regions. Specifically, with reference to primary, secondary,
> and tertiary roads. What exactly is the criteria being used to designate a
> road as one or the other? I know that the wiki provides guidance, but it
> does not appear that the guidance is always followed.
> For example, this is an area inside Montreal:
> As you can see, there are two secondary one-way roads here (orange) and a
> yellow tertiary road connecting them together in the lower right. I cannot
> fathom why that roadway would be tertiary - it's just a simple connection
> between the roads and should likely not be considered tertiary. Especially
> given the guidance on the wiki "*The highway
> <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:highway>=tertiary tag is used for
> roads connecting smaller settlements, and within large settlements for
> roads connecting local centres. In terms of the transportation network,
> OpenStreetMap "tertiary" roads commonly also connect minor streets to more
> major roads.*"
> Here is another example along the same roadway in Montreal:
> Here we see a similar connection as before, but this one is designated as
> a residential road. But we also get to see a very interesting thing occur -
> the two one-way secondary roads suddenly transform into two tertiary
> one-way roads. The problem here is that there does not seem to be a reason
> for that changeover in the road type; the road continues as two one-way
> roads through the Parc industriel d'Anjou area. The position of the change
> also appears to be random or arbitrary.
> I'm seeking a bit of clarification. I like to be cautious with changing
> road types in regions just in case there is a reason I am not aware of for
> them to be designated in this way.
> Thanks,
> Adam
> _______________________________________________
> Talk-ca mailing list
> Talk-ca at openstreetmap.org
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk-ca

Jonathan Crowe
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