Single Track Road?

Hi Folks,

I’m a bit new to this, so apologies if this is covered somewhere, but is there a way to represent a single track road and passing places?

I’d have guessed at attributes like “highway=single_track” or “highway=narrow”, and also a node attribute of “highway=passing_place” of something, but I can’t see it on the wiki. Am I looking for the wrong thing? Is there something more generic?

Thanks in advance,


You’re talking about a metalled (asphalt, bricks, etc) road so narrow that cars cannot pass each other except on special passing places? If that’s the case I think it should be either:

  • highway=track, tracktype=grade1 with some nodes having the attribute passing_places=yes. This contradicts the definition of track though (track being declared as mostly a private road).
  • highway=unclassified, width=x (approx. width in meters) with some nodes having the attribute passing_places=yes. For a public road this might be the best option.

Please note that there are no ‘official’ tagging standards for such situations yet but it’s being discussed in various places e.g. in the wiki (just search on: layby, passing place or tracktype etc).

This doesn’t actually exist yet. I proposed passing_places=true a long time ago.

Being only in proposed state doesn’t mean you can’t use it :slight_smile: If later on is decided that the feature should be tagged differently then the existing tags could be migrated to the new standard.

So using a ‘proposed’ tag is perfectly ok, it’s just that the renderers will probably not use that information (yet).

haha passing places, sigh.

Thin roads are the same sort of highways as wider roads. The width is the variant. width= works for this. This involves more research than basically anyone is willing to do though.

In terms of travelling a road by car, there are 4 width’s that really have any effect, and they also have to consider the sides of the road.

  1. 2 cars can drive pass normally
  2. 2 cars slow down to pass, it’s a near squeeze with one of the car’s tires brushing the side of the road
  3. 2 cars pass and 1 car has to leave the paved road onto the grass
  4. 1 car has to reverse or stop, go to a passing place and the other passes.

The speed’s for these roads vary hugely and therefore really need splitting for route planners. 1) is 50-60mph, 2) 40-50mph, 3) 25-35mph 4) 20-25mph

The ability to pass on a road also makes the width clear to a necessary level to render it, therefore this is the method which I have been using for the last year or so and I can say it works fine after this period of testing this method, primarily for mapping smaller country lanes.

As for the highway=track suggestion. This just doesn’t work, because track is a physical thing which is required with multiple highway types, therefore using this tag makes accurate mapping impossible, and incorrect. Therefore I state the tracktype alone, which is why it is different to surface values, as well it’s lack of overly exact specification for use which don’t work in reality.

Passing place is only useful if you stick it on nodes for each passing spot, and again I don’t think people will be mapping to this level for a long time. To state a road has passing places is obvious, because every road does. (I await the obvious answers to that eagerly)

In the end I suggest you just tag how you want, as this question has been being asked for about 20 months, therefore I wouldn’t expect any resolving of it anytime soon, but what I just said has worked fine for me.

Ouch indeed.

Why ouch? I’ve been thinking of “meetingplaces” (Swenglish) for a while I even have a picture of three I found on a city street. :wink:

We (Ben and I) have been somewhat at odds at each other as to how to best represent single track roads. This goes back a year probably.