[Talk-us] Use of highway=tertiary

Alan Brown adbrown1967 at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 5 19:36:13 GMT 2010

In an urban area, I think of tertiary as being the road you use to go between and through neighborhoods.

I also "aim" for a particular aesthetic:

Between every pair of primary roads, there usually will be one or two secondary roads.

Between every pair of secondary roads, there usually will be one or two tertiary roads.

Of course - it doesn't always work out this way.  In a given area, all secondary roads should have roughly the 
equivalent capacity and significance, and all tertiary roads should have roughly the equivalent capacity and significance.
But following this aesthetic makes a map attractive and useful to the reader.

From: Greg Troxel <gdt at ir.bbn.com>
To: Matthias Julius <lists at julius-net.net>
Cc: talk-us at openstreetmap.org
Sent: Tue, January 5, 2010 7:37:16 AM
Subject: Re: [Talk-us] Use of highway=tertiary

Matthias Julius <lists at julius-net.net> writes:

> Greg Troxel <gdt at ir.bbn.com> writes:
>> Stellan Lagerstrom <lagerstrom at blindsight.com> writes:
>>> We have a user (mk408) who seems intent on turning 3/4 of all
>>> residential streets in the bay area into tertiary.
>>> This seems excessive to me. Most of these are just residential streets,
>>> not thoroughfares, etc.
>>> Views?
>>> Here's one changeset: http://www.openstreetmap.org/browse/changeset/3519089
>> I think tertiary is way overused.  Starting with the notion that
>> highway=secondary should be a state highway, tertiary should be a
>> significant road that people use to get to a state highway, or at least
>> a link between population centers of thousands of people.  Other main
>> roads within a city would then be unclassified.
> Not every secondary highway needs to be a state highway.  I would tag
> roads that have more than just local relevance as tertiary.

Sure, I do too.  But for me to call something secondary, it has to have
the same level of importance to users as a state highwway.  "more than
just local relevance" makes sense for tertiary to me.
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