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Look at this example there are two lanes in both directions and one middle lane in the middle which serves for cars turning left in both directions (the best is to look at the Aerial background to understand the situation). Currently each direction has its own way, which is good, but it makes it somehow difficult to map the middle lane.

asked 22 May '13, 21:35

gorn's gravatar image

accept rate: 11%

edited 23 May '13, 11:29

andy%20mackey's gravatar image

andy mackey

Looks dangerous as from aerial, as the arrows don't match the junctions. does it have a no overtaking rule or sign in force?

(23 May '13, 11:37) andy mackey

What exactly do you mean by "arrows don't match the junctions". There is a middle lane which can be entered from boths directions by vehicles turning left.

(23 May '13, 11:48) gorn

In the Uk the turning lane would usually serve one turn and the lane would finish at the turning. I can understand the suicide name. I have heard this term applied to a shared overtaking lane which we still have some of, and I guess some may have a service road off it. Careful drivers would enter these by finding an approach from the other direction by using a roundabout to turn back.

(23 May '13, 14:24) andy mackey

screenshot - in answer to your comment gorn these are the arrows that don't match the junctions.

(23 May '13, 14:39) andy mackey

Yes, exactly these arrows denote the middle "suicide" lane which is shared by both directions for cars which serves for cars turning left in both directions. That is the lane I am looking forward to map correctly. Hopefully it is clear now.

(23 May '13, 16:56) gorn

Screenshot shows a very typical, at least for the US, road with a continious left turn lane for turning into and out of the road. I am interested in this as there are a number of roads in my area that have this same characteristic.

I think in this case the use of multiple ways, which in my mind implies a center median that cannot be crossed, is the problem. I'd have one way there and specify the center lane use via a lane tag of some sort.

However I don't see in the Wiki nor in taginfo a well used tag for marking a continuous, both direction, turn lane.

(23 May '13, 18:56) n76

@stf Thanks for perfectly pointing out the problem. The question is how to tak the both-directional middle turning lane.

(24 May '13, 00:07) gorn
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Try something like this ???

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answered 22 May '13, 22:03

cartinus's gravatar image

accept rate: 27%

Do you suggest merging the directions in this example?

(22 May '13, 23:19) gorn

I see that this is a proposal, which was not accepted (in this form), so maybe it is not so good solution ... I do not know.

(22 May '13, 23:21) gorn

Wiki voting isn't always a good indicator of tag acceptance - it just means that the people who participated in the wiki vote (often very few) accept it. Taginfo is a better indicator:

Although it looks like not too many people are mapping suicide turn lanes:

(23 May '13, 14:37) SomeoneElse ♦

For those outside of the US, here is a link describing how it is used and another with some images about the "center turn lane":

I think they parallel ways in the original poster's example should be replaced by a single way as there is no median, curb or barrier to keep the traffic separate. And that way should have a tag of "centre_turn_lane=yes". It looks like that is already used even if not widely, see

I checked a few highways in my area to see how that was tagged and found that it is not tagged at all but in each case there was only one way as I would expect.

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answered 24 May '13, 01:02

n76's gravatar image

accept rate: 17%

This tagging is recognized by the Lane and road attributes JOSM plugin:



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answered 23 Jan '21, 12:57

M1dgard's gravatar image

accept rate: 16%


If they turn left at the same crossing, just add an extra way in between and switch the directions each time again.

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answered 22 May '13, 21:44

Hendrikklaas's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%


If there are just painted lines and no physical barrier, then don't use multiple ways.

(22 May '13, 22:03) cartinus

they use multiple lanes for motorways and they are just lines.

(23 May '13, 11:28) andy mackey

I think in this case the separation is justified - there is a separation in the middle. I have added the turnlanes into your example place and polished it little but, so have a look

(23 May '13, 12:00) gorn

@Andy there is a physical barrier.

(23 May '13, 12:02) scai ♦

I think Andy was referring to the place in original question, where there is no barrier.

(23 May '13, 12:35) gorn
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question asked: 22 May '13, 21:35

question was seen: 7,373 times

last updated: 23 Jan '21, 12:57

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