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It seems to me that traffic lights are valuable orientation points and having them visible on the map would be desired.

Wiki recommendation for traffic lights on pedestrian crossing (without road crossing):
Traffic signals at crossings for pedestrians redirects to: Key:crossing which tells to use highway=crossing & crossing=traffic_signals

I've tried that but this was not rendered as any visible symbol (?)

I've look how it's done in other places and traffic lights on pedestrian crossings are tagged as highway=traffic_signals Which defies Wiki, but yields a nice icon on the map...

What is the right tag to follow?

asked 08 Nov '10, 16:01

PawelJ's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

You've already answered your question: It's tagged as highway=crossing + crossing=traffic_signals.

The fact that this doesn't show up in a particular map doesn't indicate that it isn't correctly tagged - no map displays all features that are in the database, neither the maps on, nor any other map made from OpenStreetMap data.

Instead, that map apparently chooses to display traffic signals at vehicle junctions (highway=traffic_signals), but doesn't display pedestrian crossings with traffic signals. That's why an icon will show up if you incorrectly tag this node as vehicle junction, rather than pedestrian crossing, with traffic signals.

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answered 08 Nov '10, 16:59

Tordanik's gravatar image

accept rate: 35%

edited 08 Nov '10, 17:04

Thanks! That confirms my understanding of Wiki, but still leaves me uneasy about the lack of any indication on the map. I fully agree that pedestrian crossings are much less important that road crossings, and displaying too much icons would 'pollute' the map. But they are not visible even in the highest zoom level, when they cannot obscure anything because the size of the icon is about the same as the width of the road... And surely to know that you need to "turn after the lights" would be helpful?

(08 Nov '10, 17:25) PawelJ

I personally agree with you, but ... well, I'm not a style sheet dev. This seems like another instance of "Can I influence what gets rendered in the main Mapnik layer" (assuming that the Mapnik layer on is the map that you are referring to).

(08 Nov '10, 18:21) Tordanik

I have also seen that this is tagged as highway=traffic_signals and crossing=traffic_signals. Actually I do not quite understand why there should be any differentiation between highway=traffic_signals and crossing=traffic_signals. All should be tagged as highway=traffic_signals because the do always regulate the flow of vehicle traffic. Sometimes because there is a crossing of roads, sometimes because there is a pedestrian crossing. So highway=traffic_signals and crossing=traffic_signals seems to me a good solution which could still be improved in some why.

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answered 09 Jan '11, 11:55

ALE's gravatar image

accept rate: 14%


One tag applies to how the highway is controlled, the other applies to how the crossing is controlled.

(09 Jan '11, 20:04) Baloo Uriza

I still do not see why we need two different tags for the same issue. If the crossing is controlled by traffic lights then consequently also the highway that is crossed. So highway=traffic_signals for both cases should be sufficient IMHO.

(16 Jan '11, 15:45) ALE

There are traffic signals where pedestrians can cross the road, and traffic signals where they cannot do so. From a pedestrian's perspective, these two cases are fundamentally different. Therefore, we cannot use the same tag for both.

(16 Jan '11, 16:02) Tordanik

I don't want to frustrate anyone by re-asking this question, but I too don't quite follow the logics here, or on the wikis. I'd welcome advice on tagging the following common - but it not totally clear -scenarios, expecting to use any or all of the following tags: highway=traffic_signals highway=crossing crossing=traffic signals crossing_ref=pelican

1) A street with a zebra crossing midway along 2) A street with a pelican crossing midway along 3) A single intersection-node of two streets a)controlled by traffic signals b) with pelican crossings present on each junction.

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answered 15 Sep '13, 17:20

rogerstb's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

You are not alone: I find Tordanik's comment above is the best answer, but I still find it unsatisfactory for things like former roundabouts which are traffic-light controlled. The existing tagging is fine for pedestrians, but imposes costs for other applications, such as routers which must apply cost penalties for traffic lights (& different ones your cases 2) & 3).

(15 Sep '13, 17:48) SK53 ♦

This is the complete instruction to tag pedestrian crossings:

Blindmap renders pedestrian crossings with sound.

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answered 07 Jan '11, 15:16

Kartograefin's gravatar image

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question asked: 08 Nov '10, 16:01

question was seen: 27,800 times

last updated: 15 Sep '13, 17:48

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum