Best way to add left turn lanes?

I am such a newbie. I have started by using the simple editor to annotate number of lanes, and bicycle lanes. I loaded JOSM and OMG:D its mindblowing! How do I annotate left turn lanes, should I use the simple editor or JOSM? Any hints from wonderful people would be much appreciated. I’m focusing around way 538852155.



I find tagging turn lanes much easier if I use the turn lanes plug in for JOSM. In that, for your example, I’d:

  1. Select the way.

  2. Use the shift-option-2 key press to open the turn lanes dialog box (that is the Macintosh key presses, might be slightly different in Linux or Windows)

  3. click on “Bidirectional Road”

  4. Select the number of forward (2) and reverse (4) lanes.

  5. Then I’d click the left turn lane icon for the two backward (way direction) left turn lanes.

  6. I also like to check the “Use ‘none’” checkbox but that is optional.

  7. Click on “Ok”

Final result, for the way you gave would add/change the following tags:


Prior to discovering the turn lanes plug in, I’d set all the above tagging manually. A bit of a pain.

By the way, there is another plug in for JOSM that shows you the result of the change lanes and turn lanes tagging. Makes it very easy to see at a glance if you have the tagging correct. Look under “turn lanes” in your alphabetical list of JOSM plug-ins.

Hi n76,

Thank you so much for the info. It’s just what I want to be able to do.:slight_smile:

I am on windows and loaded plugins for turnlanes-tagging (and tageditor) and turnlanes. After restarting JOSM, I can open a window for turnlanes (its blank with edit & validate buttons) but I don’t see how to open a window for turnlanes-tagging. There is a video tutorial on github for turnlanes-tagging but it uses a checked box in Map Paint Styles labeled “Lane and road attributes.”

I know you are on a Mac, but do you have some idea of how to get “Lane and road attributes” to show in “Map Paint Styles” on windows?

Best Regards


On the version of JOSM for my computer, under the view menu at the top of the screen is “Map Paint Styles”. When selected a submenu appears that has a check box for “Lane and road attributes”.

You may have to go into your JOSM preferences and under “Settings for map projection and data interpretation” make that one of the available “Map Paint Styles”

Hi n76,

That worked - I now have Lane and road attributes showing in Map Paint Styles. So thank you again!

I had been working using the simple editor to set the number of lanes, now I can see graphically in JOSM what I did :slight_smile:

I can select the way segment which shows multiple lanes, but cant yet see how to edit - I’ll watch the github video several times to see if I can figure it out



On the Mac the key combination to pull up the turn lane editing dialog is Shift-Option-2. Not sure if Windows has an option key. It might be the alt key for Windows. . .

Thanks n76 !

It IS shift alt 2 on Windows :slight_smile:

Best Regards and thanks for all your help


Another tag that can be useful is “placement” (and “placement:forward”).

But does this plugin handle lanes which appear right before the turn? I mean, the road has 4 lanes (2 forward, 2 backward), but right before the left turn a dedicated line for turn appears.

Then split the way, and tag the new way with lanes=5 (and the other tags as appropiate)

I believe the turn lane display plug in displays the change:lanes=* tagging too. At least I think that is what is doing the trick for me when mapping the solid (do not cross) lines elsewhere. But I will admit that I haven’t bothered adding change:lanes to the turn:lanes I’ve added. I’ve mostly used that tagging where lane restrictions continue for a longer distance than a typical turn lane.

I guess the more detailed way to tag a turn lane would be to break it into two sections, the first incrementing the lane count and tagged with turn:lane. The second section closer to the intersection continuing the lane count and turn:lane tagging but adding a change:lane tag indicating you are not supposed to change into or out of the turn lane from the through lane(s).

I am not aware of a JOSM plug in that assists in the actual tagging of change:lane values. But since I see them displayed on my JOSM and the only plug in I’ve enabled that seems like it could be doing that is the turn lane display plug in, I assume it is the one rendering that tagging.