Help with numeric street names

When I’m mapping roads with numeric names, for example “4th Street” or “Fourth Street,” I don’t know whether to spell out the number or use its ordinal. I could just use what is on the street name sign, but I’m not sure what OSM prefers.

OSM prefers what is on the street sign.

In the areas I know with numbered streets that would be the number, usually of the form “22nd Street”.

But in other areas they may be signed differently.

In the early days, circa 2010, I recall that there was a preference for the ordinals, at least in the United States. This may have been influenced by what was in TIGER. The street name signs can’t always be taken literally. Some cities can be very idiosyncratic, going as far to alternate between styles on every other block…

Or every other sign…

At the intersection of Broadway and East 8th Street, a conventional street name sign says “E 8th St”, abbreviating as much as possible. However, an illuminated sign hanging just above it reads “Eighth Street East”, spelling out each word. Meanwhile, a distinctive gateway sign a few steps away consists of a metal figure eight on a tall pedestal.

What will probably serve users best is if you maintain a certain degree of consistency. If the city happens to be as idiosyncratic as these cities and you want to express that, there’s a whole tagging scheme for traffic signs that you can use.