Road Classification System (talk & poll)

it appears these documents could be the solution to any issue, it clearly says which national highways belong to primary. secondary and tertiary road networks, there is also ΦΕΚ 293Β/1995 about reassignment of provincial roads, i found all of them yesterday

dont overcomplicate things, we wait until the end of February for other opinions…if there are not, we reach an agreement ourselves, with some compromise

about nat_ref we talked about it some months ago, when we decided to use the 1998 Registry of National Highways and found out there are problems (it looks like road operators never took these new numbers into account, so there are differences between the 1998 document and reality, so nat_ref for the 1998 numbers and ref for the actual numbers in use)

example 1: Northern Cretan Highway appears as ΕΟ90α in the 1998 Registry, but ΕΟ90 on the road (nat_ref=EO90α, ref=EO90)
example 2: section Chalastra - Polykastro of E75 appears as ΕΟ1α in the Registry, but EO1 on the road (nat_ref=EO1α, ref=EO1)

as i told nikospag in private…there is no need to step back…this is not a competition…this only works with cooperation

This is the first time I have seen such documents, but that still leaves the issue of trunk being unused if we were to take those literally (e.g. primary to primary), and I am not sure about the rural/urban separation (as it stands on International equivalence).

We’ll address how roads bypass towns and cities where there is one later.

well if you look carefully i already said my opinion (reply #15), i am also updating the wiki

i finished the primary and tertiary national network tables

a lot of primary national highways are already motorways, so no reason to mention them

most of the tertiary highways are those military airport roads, and other minor ones

about trunk i was thinking maybe to include roads that arent motorways yet but they are planned to be as ΦΕΚ253ΑΑΠ suggests

How about:

highway=trunk: Primary National Network
highway=primary: Secondary National Network
highway=secondary: Tertiary National Network

highway=primary: Primary Provincial Network
highway=secondary: Secondary Provincial Network

I prefer that some distinction be made between the lowest class of provincial road and high=tertiary for un-gazetted roads to villages and local roads with priority (is that the correct term?). I am quite late to this, though.

I am not as experienced as all of you are on this subject and therefore my input will be limited. Surely though, I will take some time to study all these documents later this week - and even find out if there are any others that we might be missing. Regardless, I will try to point out a few things and hopefully this would be helpful to all of you - if not just ignore me…

Even if I am not familiar (as a driver) with every road in Greece, I am quite aware of the significance of provincial AND primary municipal roads (κύριες δημοτικές οδοί) especially in the region of Cyclades. The first ones are surely “the most important ones” in the region. The second ones are the “next most important ones”. There is a clearly distinction between those two and at the same time they are both more important than unclassified or residential ones. I really don’t think that BOTH of them could be mapped as “tertiary” or “secondary” roads, so there has to be another way to do that. Let me put it this way: Provincial roads are the main arteries of a local road network and as a result, they get most of the traffic and also most of the attention (as in funds for maintenance). Main municipal roads are also important enough, as they are almost always connected directly to the provincial roads and they do reach a village. They are not unclassified, and they surely aren’t as unimportant as residential ones.

In other words, I completely agree with this:

Here’s an actual example:

According to ΦΕΚ 47Α/1956, the island of Mykonos has two provincial roads:

1: Ormos Agiou Ioannou - Mykonos - Agios Stefanos
2: Mykonos - Ano Meria

There are of course many other roads which connect those provincial roads with other villages (and the airport in this case).

So, why main municipal roads are so important?

One answer could be found on ΦΕΚ 270Δ/1985.

More or less these roads are exactly what OSM wiki defines as tertiary ones. They are surely not as important as secondary ones, and they are surely not unimportant as residential ones. Of course some parts of these municipal roads might nowdays be irrelevant and have no actual use, but those could easily be “unclassified” (as the wiki suggest to do so, in case these roads are now quitter and unimportant).

But, which roads are the main municipal roads?

It’s easy to determine which are these roads just by definition (the same definition of tertiary roads, according to the wiki). Unfortunately, I can’t find a list and of course there are no signs. There are many random official documents (like this one) though, which both confirm their existence and their names.

TL;DR I do believe that a distinction has to be made between the lowest class of provincial roads and “un-gazetted” roads to villages.

Now, if these roads are highway=tertiary , then provincial roads should be highway=secondary or highway=primary, according to their actual classification. The documents which JayCBR provided are indeed helpful in most of the cases.

I’ve noticed though that ΦΕΚ 293Β/1995 doesn’t include the region of Cyclades. ΦΕΚ 423Β/1995 has an answer:


Therefore, to add something to Amaroussi’s scheme, highway=secondary could be used for these cases as well (I am sure he could find some words to describe it… e.g. secondary and unclassified provincial network? non-primary provincial network). Which by they way, I think it is exactly what most of us did, even before we had this discussion.

ΦΕΚ293Β/1995 is based on the older ΦΕΚ47Α/1956, so the rest of them should be there

my proposal about classification is in reply #15

i dont think provincial roads should be in the same category as national highways (even tertiary ones)

they should be tertiary

there are a lot of roads that escaped from this whole network and they should be classified according to destinations:
*primary between cities
*secondary between towns
*tertiary between villages

so every village should connect to the rest with tertiary roads (unless unpaved) so dont worry about municipal roads

Could you please help me understand your suggestion? Why do you think that provincial roads should not be in the same category as national highways? Is this a practical thing? Based on road characteristics? Based on legal distinction?

I did provide an example of how such a distinction is useful - roads of different importance on an island, yet first one is not important as the other - and I am sure I could find many more in Cyclades. Can you please explain to me why this distinction won’t be useful on OSM (or provide an alternative example, or anything). Don’t get me wrong: I am not even arguing here. In all honesty, I am trying to make sense of your proposal so I can clearly understand it.

Do you mean roads that are not classified as either national or provincional?

Hm… seems to be complicated. Let me explain why:

It will surely be hard to define a road based on another feature (city, town, village) that is not clearly defined. If you define cities, towns and villages by population it might be hard to decide based on permanent (μόνιμος) versus actual (πραγματικός) population. If you also use any population for defining cities, towns and villages, you really need to take on account the distinction which is made by ΕΛΣΤΑΤ - the people who actually do the counting: Έννοιες και ορισμοί

If you forget about it’s population, then you can define a city, town or village by other definitions which could easily be found in many popular Greek dictionaries and encyclopaedias (it seems that even on the discussions in wikipedia, people have spent a lot of time trying to establish how these are defined).

For example, the settlement of Mykonos (not the whole island) has a population of 6.467. Is this a village, a city or a town? Based on the most popular English translation it’s a town. Based on ΕΛΣΤΑΤ it’s a city.

But to make things even more complicated, I am sure that you are aware that almost every island in Cyclades has a “Chora”. Chora is by many different definitions a town (e.g… a town is a human settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city). It’s the hub of an island and most commercial activity and services are based on this settlement (e.g. city/town hall, police station, fire station, shops etc). There are Choras which have a population of less than 2.000 citizens.

And finally, if for some reason you define a Town as a settlement of more than 1.999, less than 10.000, then how exactly can you map the road connecting Paroikia (4.522) with Naousa (2.316) at Paros Island? Secondary as per your suggestion for “roads that escaped from this whole network” or tertiary, as your suggestion for provincial roads (ΕΠ2 Παροικιά - Χριστός - Νάουσα according to ΦΕΚ 47Α/1956)?

It now even makes more sense to me to have provincial roads as secondaries instead of tertiaries.

We might even consider a third alternative proposal:

highway=secondary: Provincial Network - regardless of its classification as primary or secondary provincial network

(and to make sure that we cover relevancy, in case they are not important anymore - e.g. roads leading to nowhere or unpaved - they could of course being downgraded partially to something less important - importance was and still is the keyword in this discussion).

Well, I honestly have nothing else to add on this issue. I really hope that we (as a community) reach a consensus on something. I strongly believe that you (and I do mean all of you) are more experienced than me on things like that, so I would much prefer to have you all mapping things in agreement instead of discussing them :).

please try to make your replies smaller, i dont know what to answer first
i ll take it from the top

*about road hierarchy, i think it is common sense that provincial roads are below national, as motorways are above national highways BUT maybe we can tag both tertiary national roads and primary provincial roads with highway=secondary and secondary provincial as highway=tertiary…in any case no provincial road could have highway=primary

*about which roads should be classified according to population, i refer to roads left out of the official documents (without ΕΟ/ΕΠ numbers)

*about city/town/village definition we consider that:
-cities are places with population over 10000 OR former provincial capitals (like Igoumenitsa, Polygyros, Amfissa, Karpenisi)
-towns are places with population over 2000 OR municipality seats
-villages are places below 2000

most islands are municipalities themselves so their capital or chora is a town (even below 2000)

also in this classification:
-primary roads could lead to major POI (major seaports, archaeological sites, border crossings, international airports)
-secondary roads could lead to less important POI
-tertiary roads could lead to every village

i think this is a complete system, covering all aspects

deleted poll

OK. I must admit that those documents where really very helpful. (JayCBR did a good job of finding them)

As you can see there are only 4 tags for 5 network categories. So we can’t have everything we desire.

I really didn’t understand much after reading ΦΕΚ 664B/1995 and ΦΕΚ 735Β/1995 - as I’ve said I am really not familiar with the whole road network in Greece to actually determine the importance of each road just by reading its name. I was already aware that there were 5 categories in existence, but I never found their actual definition. The above documents still don’t provide it. Thankfully, they both have a reference to ΠΔ401/1993 which provides a clear definition for each type of road in Greece.

So, if someone missed the definitions of the 5 road network categories of Greece, like I did, here they are roughly translated :

  1. Primary National Road Network (NRN) is the part of the NRN which links a) the most important urban areas with each other, b) Greece with other countries, either directly or via ports.

  2. Secondary NRN is the part of the NRN which links Primary National Roads with each other or with big urban areas, ports, airports or places of extreme tourist importance, OR they are roads which have been variated with the Primary National Road Network (= ή είναι οδικοί άξονες για τους οποίους έχει γίνει παραλλαγή με Βασικό Εθνικό Δίκτυο).

  3. Tertiary NRN is the part of NRN which have been replaced with newer roads of NRN, or serves traffic to areas with archaeological, historic, tourist or developmental interest.

  4. Primary Provincial Road Network (PRN) is the part of the PRN which links urban areas with the NRN, and also with areas of archaeological, historic, tourist or developmental interest.

  5. Secondary PRN is the part of the PRN which links Municipalities (or Κοινότητες), except the capital of a state, with each other.

Keep in mind that this ΠΔ is for the implementation of ΒΔ465/70 (something about gas stations), as it was modified by articles 2 and 3 of Ν3155/55

The roads of the Country are classified as a) National, b) Provincial and c) Municipal.

Are we still missing something? (oh, there are lots of useful info regarding their maintenance on N.3481 which also has lots of interesting data on various subjects and answers too many questions which are unfortunately unrelated to this topic).

Edit: Vote removed.

I suggest the following:

trunk - primary national roads AND roads planned to become motorways (under ΦΕΚ 253ΑΑΠ/2015)
primary - secondary national roads
secondary - tertiary national roads AND all provincial roads.

I still prefer a distinctive category for minor roads to villages and minor roads with priority: I speak from the mainland’s point of view and not remote islands, whereas not all classes of roads exist for the latter.

So, unless I am still missing something, after carefully reading the definitions of each kind of road, I think that tertiary national highways are as important as primary provincial ones (provincial roads in Cyclades are neither primary or secondary) and since I do believe that main municipal roads have some importance (i.e. tertiary), I do like this proposal far more better than other ones.

Edit: Vote removed.

After carefully reading ΠΔ401/1993 that mtraveller posted (post #31) i think that i must reconsider my voting (see also post #30 for more reasons).
Please give me some time to do so. I must also say that Amaroussi has a point. I will post my vote later.

PS @JayCBR. Can you add Amaroussi’s proposal, as proposal 4, to the poll list please? (on post #29)

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i believe the distinction between primary and secondary provincial roads is an update, based on their actual state and use in 1995, which is way better than 1956, i think is wrong for both of them to be in the same category, it would be a bad depiction of reality

i have checked regions i know about and found that:
-primary provincial roads are in good condition and actually serve traffic with very few exceptions
-the majority of secondary provincial roads are in bad condition (unpaved sections, no lines, no signs), they are broken (parts never constructed) and they serve remote villages

I am concerned about the limited range of classifications that we have on OSM. Although I try my best to try and fit it into Greece’s unique system of roads, while leaving a class for village and un-gazetted priority roads in common with many countries, we should also expand on the use of surface and smoothness. It is true however that due to the financial situation, the difference between primary and secondary provincial roads are a lot more profound. If this is the case, then what about:

motorway - motorways (under ΦΕΚ 253ΑΑΠ/2015)
trunk - primary national roads AND roads planned to become motorways (under ΦΕΚ 253ΑΑΠ/2015)
primary - secondary national roads AND primary provincial roads.
secondary - tertiary national roads AND secondary provincial roads.
tertiary - other priority roads.
unclassified or residential - every other public-access highway.

We will address how to deal with un-gazetted main roads, junction structure and bypasses later.

I really don’t know if this is feasible or not, but regardless I would like to share my thoughts with you. This is not even a proposal, because you are the ones which spent most of your time mapping these roads and I am really not familiar with the whole road network in Greece. These are just my thoughts which hopefully might help you to reach a consensus. If you like it, then do take it under consideration or propose it and/or modify it yourself as you see fit :). JayCBR please don’t include this on proposals unless someone else does so, and once again, thank you for taking the time to organize all this (sorry for another long post, I guess I should start blogging instead).

If ΦΕΚ 664B/1995 and ΦΕΚ 735Β/1995 extends ΠΔ401/1993, which was issued for the the implementation of ΒΔ 465/70 as it was modified by articles 2 and 3 of Ν3155/55, which states that «Αι οδοί της χώρας διακρίνονται σε α) Εθνικάς, β) Επαρχιακάς και γ) Δημοτικάς ή Κοινοτικάς», it seems that we basically have three different types of roads, with two of them having some sub-categories. To put it on other words, National Roads are basically our primary network (most important ones), Provincial Roads are our secondary network (less important) and Municipal Roads are our tertiary network (least important) (don’t confuse this with either OSM values for the highway key, or sub-classes of each type of road). Now, if OSM only had 3 different types of highways, then national roads would be highway=national, provincial roads would be highway=secondary and municipal roads would be highway=tertiary. Of course, motorways are clearly defined, therefore they should go to highway=motorway. Now, by definition (see wikipedia), trunk roads are “strategic roads”, therefore they are indeed the most important national roads which connect major cities. In other words, these are the primary national roads as defined by 1995 ΦΕΚs and roads planned to become motorways. This leaves highway=primary for secondary national roads AND for tertiary national roads. If tertiary national roads are in a bad shape they could also be downgraded to highway=tertiary. This leaves the highway=secondary clear for Provincial Roads. All of them. If they are indeed bad, they could also be downgraded to highway=tertiary. Again, this leaves the highway=tertiary more or less clear for Municipal Roads, which are by definition tertiary roads and priority roads ( In fact, just by checking municipal archives, almost all of the current priority roads seem to be the main municipal roads, which are already tertiary on OSM, as they can be easily be distinguished due to their importance.

In other words, how about something like…

Disclaimer: This is not a proposal but merely a thought:

motorway - motorways (under ΦΕΚ 253ΑΑΠ/2015)
trunk - primary national roads AND roads planned to become motorways (under ΦΕΚ 253ΑΑΠ/2015)
primary - secondary national roads AND tertiary national roads (tertiary national roads could be downgraded to tertiary based on their actual condition and importance).
secondary - primary provincial roads AND secondary provincial roads (secondary national roads could be downgraded to tertiary based on their actual condition and importance).
tertiary - main municipal roads and other priority roads, downgraded tertiary national roads, downgraded secondary provincial roads.
unclassified or residential - every other public-access highway

To make this easier, we could have a page on the wiki with all the national roads, their class as defined by ΦΕΚs, their relation on OSM, and their actual highway value on OSM. Later, this could be extended for provincial roads. By default, most of the roads would be on their default highway value, UNLESS, tertiary national roads or provincial roads are downgraded according to their actual conditions - and those roads should be noted on this page. You could also add a note at their OSM relation (ΦΕΚ for classification and reasons for downgrade if applicable). I think that this covers almost everything: a) JayCBR’s concern that provincial roads are less important than national roads. b) JayCBR’s concern that some provincial roads are in a bad shape, c) Amaroussi’s and my own concern that municipal and priority roads should be tertiary ones d) nikospag concern about having too many tertiary roads. This also stays true to the actual definitions of our road network based on the previously mentioned ΦΕΚs AND is helpful for routing AND follows the verifiability rules of OSM.

Now, as I said, I don’t really know if something like this is feasible or not, but at least I believe it’s somehow logical.

I ran some tests the last couple of days. I downloaded the whole Greek road network (even unclassified roads) and I tried to simulate the next 3 cases. After that, I ran some routing tests for each case. (Testing cases was only for provincial roads)

Case 1: tertiary: all provincial roads.
Result: A vast network of tertiary roads, very confusing to the eye, and even worse on islands. Many routing problems.

Case 2: secondary: primary provincial roads and tertiary: secondary provincial roads.
Result: Better looking map than case 1, less confusing to the eye. Some routing problems solved.

Case 3: secondary: all provincial roads.
Result: Good looking map, minor roads to villages were distinctive. Islands were looking very good too. Almost all routing problems solved.

To define what I mean by “routing problems” i will give just an example that caught my eye, among many others. At the map below there are 2 provincial roads. ΕΠ7 (primary provincial road) and ΕΠ30 (secondary provincial road ).

In the above cases 1&2, to go from Κεντρικό village to Δεσύλλας village, routing was going through the small tertiary road that connects these two villages directly.

In case 3, routing was going though the secondary roads. (as it should be)
Map is here

So my conclusion is that all provincial roads must be tagged at least as secondary roads.
Other minor roads to villages and other priority roads must be tagged as tertiary, as they are now.
Of course secondary national roads must be tagged as primary

Please give me some time to study what we can do about tertiary national roads.
(Greek road network is really a pain in the ass :))

I also think that mtraveller’s opinion, about downgrading some roads to tertiary, must be taken into account as it adds some flexibility to the system. But keep in mind that by downgrading roads, routing problems can emerge easily. Anyway, we can discuss about exceptions later.

PS. I think that voting system is too confusing. (or is just me?).

The voting system is too confusing.

There has to be a special reason for downgrading classified roads below the minimum (e.g. cars banned in Hydra). Just because it is single lane does not justify downgrade if it is good quality.