[Talk-us] Tagging a super-two highway (trunk or motorway?)

Greg Troxel gdt at ir.bbn.com
Thu Jul 25 23:42:34 UTC 2013

[catching up; sorry  if this is really redundant]

Chris Lawrence <lordsutch at gmail.com> writes:

> A true "super two" freeway, with no at-grade intersections whatsoever,
> would be properly classified as a motorway under global OSM tagging
> conventions.  These may not be particularly common in the U.S.
> (although they exist), but they are common enough around the world to
> be consistent.
> Sorta-I-93 through Franconia Notch would not technically be a super
> two due to the median barrier; it's two separate one-lane motorway
> carriageways under OSM tagging conventions.

A motorway has to be (IMHO, and from reading the wiki over the years)
all of the following:

  multiple lanes in each direction
  controlled access
  no at-grade intersections

Any significant or other than just-once-really-this-shouldn't deviation
disqualifies it as motorway and then the right classification is trunk
which means something that's sort of like a motorway except that it's
deficient in one or more of the criteria.  There's a fair bit of route 2
in mass that is one lane each way, divided, and controlled access.  But
that's trunk, not motorway, because motorways have at least two lanes in
each direction.

I don't understand why people want to call things that don't meet the
motorway definition a motorway.  Trunk exists to be "almost a motorway
but not quite".  Reading "super two" on wikipedia, that's very clearly
trunk, because super two is not typically divided and is not typically
two lanes in each direction.

If I-93 is really 1 lane in each direction, it should be downgraded to
trunk.  Except that we sort of have a norm that if it is signed
Interstate, it gets a pass on motorway standards.  (I think that's the
wrong thing to do.)

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