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I've never quite understood the way in which signal-controlled pedestrian crossings (in the UK pelicans, toucans etc.) are tagged. This is fine when I'm using JOSM as there are pre-sets, but when I'm using Potlatch I find the exact convention used in JOSM difficult to remember. So to start with I'm never sure whether to use highway=traffic_signals or highway=crossing together with crossing=traffic_signals.

At road junctions when the traffic signals control vehicular traffic as well as the pedestrian crossing I get more confused. For a simple junction (two streets crossing) I could leave a highway=traffic_signals on the junction node, and tag the pedestrian crossings as highway=crossing, or I can remove a single node for the traffic signals and rely on tagging each set of lights together with their pedestrian crossing attributes.

I would like:

  • a description of the standard practice of tagging for signal-controlled crossings (if your answer is fully covered by existing responses to this question how-to-tag-traffic-lights-on-pedestrian-crossing, please avoid duplicating answers);

  • an explanation of why a particular combination of tags are used;

  • how this should be applied to junctions where the signals are controlling both vehicles and pedestrians;

  • and, lastly, advice on linking together traffic signals at junctions (e.g., with a relation). Please don't forget that most cases of junctions are more complex than just two streets crossing.

asked 27 May '11, 10:52

SK53's gravatar image

SK53 ♦
accept rate: 22%


I've also found this a bit confusing, and would love for some more examples and clearer explanations to be added to the wiki, on how advanced pedestrian crossings should be tagged. So once you have received a good answer here, maybe relevant pages in the wiki could be updated based on it?

(29 May '11, 23:50) Martin Holmgren

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answered 06 Jun '11, 19:25

c2r's gravatar image

accept rate: 18%


sorry SK53 if you don't like the page, but it seems to me to clearly state that it should be highway=crossing; crossing=traffic_signals; foot=yes for the case where there is a signal controlled junction with foot crossing facilities...

so I'm unsure what the issue is - perhaps you could clarify with a couple of clear examples?

(06 Jun '11, 20:49) c2r

I down voted your answer because it did NOT answer the question.

The wiki page & the answer I linked to are fine as far as they go. I would like a little more detail and some background. I'm sure that if I find it difficult to remember the tagging after a couple of years its probably not instinctive for others. I asked the question to encourage elaboration of what has already been said, in the hope that this would be useful to any contributor.

(10 Jun '11, 13:25) SK53 ♦

Fairly easy. highway=crossing and crossing=traffic_signals is used for a traffic signal which could be replaced in function from a zebra.

highway=traffic_signals and crossing=traffic_signals is used when its a normal junction Where a pedestrian traffic signals makes a crossing possible.

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answered 04 Nov '11, 12:36

B%C3%BCrste's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

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question asked: 27 May '11, 10:52

question was seen: 8,108 times

last updated: 04 Nov '11, 12:36

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