Newbie: How do I tag mixed-use roads in urban areas? And what are ter

Hi, I’m new to OSM and have started off by adding residential streets near where I live? So far I’ve tagged all of these with ‘highway=residential’.

I’ve just mapped some streets which branch off a shopping high street. They are short, mostly cul-de-sacs, and contain a mixture of terraced houses and some businesses. The businesses are generally not shops on the side streets, but small manufacturing or service industry employers.

The highway=residential tag doesn’t seem right for these roads, even though they have some housing on them. What should I use instead?

Also, on a slightly related subject … when should I use the tag highway=tertiary? I have read the OSM wiki and understand the description:

“A “C” road in the UK. Generally for use on roads wider than 4 metres (13’) in width, and for faster/wider minor roads that aren’t A or B roads. In the UK, they tend to have dashed lines down the middle, whereas unclassified roads don’t.”

However, is it right to label a road as tertiary just because it looks like one? What if I can’t come up with any evidence to back up what is essentially guesswork?

How would you label a High Street through a small village or suburb, which has a few shops on it but isn’t an ‘A’ or ‘B’ road?

Tertiary is a bit “if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then…”. My rule of thumb is “does it go anywhere?”. If plenty of people use it as part of a longer route, and it’s sufficiently wide and well maintained, it’s tertiary; if you’d only really use it to get to its immediate surroundings, or it’s narrow, then it’s highway=unclassified.

For the streets branching off the High Street, perhaps the best thing to do would be highway=residential, but put some landuse areas in the right places around it.

Thanks for your help. Looks like I’ll have to go back and do another survey! I’ve been recording the roads, but not specifically where the houses and business are.