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Hello. I am from Germany and I hope that my question is correct. What's the difference: Residential road and Livingstreet?

asked 05 Aug '11, 16:14

Joghurt123's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 05 Aug '11, 16:48

Tordanik's gravatar image



Most mappers (at least in Germany) use highway=living_street if and only if this sign is present:

Zeichen 325 "Verkehrsberuhigte Zone"

Also see the German wiki page for the highway=living_street tag.

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answered 05 Aug '11, 16:42

Tordanik's gravatar image

accept rate: 35%

edited 22 Mar '15, 08:27

scai's gravatar image

scai ♦


In the US, there's no formal definition for a living street, but it's been used to describe streets that would otherwise fall into the service category but has residential frontages. This differs from an alleyway in that the alley doesn't typically have the frontage.

(06 Aug '11, 08:42) Baloo Uriza

In France, we have a similar street sign as Germany (and many other european countries). Such streets have specific restrictions for vehicles (e.g. very low speed limit, etc) but none for pedestrians (e.g. kids can play freely). Search the wiki about "living_street".

(07 Aug '11, 07:28) Pieren

Some countries, such as Ireland, don't have a concept of "living street" and typically use "residential" instead. So just remember that the answer to this question is contry-specific, and that you should probably check the country's wiki page. There are a few other country-specific tags like this (for example, 4wd=yes in australia), so keep an eye out when the tag doesn't quite seem to fit local distinctions.

(08 Aug '11, 12:19) Vincent de P... ♦

In Turkey there is no formal definition but is a situation like the US'. Usually they are service like roads but have residential frontages and not physically appropriate for use as main roads.

(11 May '13, 09:19) erkinalp

In Brazil, there are two kinds of streets that may be tagged as "living_street". One kind is the street marked with the street sign "Rua de Lazer" (no picture, usually with week days/times where no motor vehicle except those of the people that live around the street), and the other is a kind of street that is in residential only areas (no commerce/industry of any kind allowed), no trucks/buses allowed, usually restricted to the people that live around the street and many times isolated with some kind of barrier (gate, etc.) that allows free passage of pedestrians but no vehicles.

(01 Nov '13, 21:27) MCPicoli

This is incorrect. In a living street, pedestrians legally have "right of way" over cars. The only such legal provision in Brazilian law refers solely to pedestrian crossings. Brazilian law has a responsibility clause (drivers are responsible for accidents involving pedestrians), but that is not a preference clause. Please update your comment to avoid confusing other users. See here for more information:

(21 Mar '15, 20:20) ftrebien

Sorry, but I disagree. There are provisions in many cities, like the Municipal Decree number 48638 of 2007-08-22 in São Paulo that states that some streets are barred from extraneous vehicle traffic, the only ones allowed being the residential owners of said street. These streets are effectively segregated from the common network, for the use of the people that lives there. There are propositions, laws and regulations of the same kind for many other brazilian cities, with the express intention of assuring the pedestrians preference right on the affected street.

(23 Mar '15, 22:08) MCPicoli

(continued) of course, as you mentioned, the CTB assures that the responsibility of preventing accidents always lays primarily on the "stronger" party, that is, almost without exception, represented by the motorised vehicle. This is very different than saying that the pedestrian always have the right of way (think highways) - but that's what happens in what is currently tagged as living_street in Brazil.

(23 Mar '15, 22:17) MCPicoli

@ftrebien @MCPicoli the help platform is really not suitable for policy discussions, I suggest you take them to talk-br or whatever the Brazilian mailing list is called. And when you have reasched a conclusion post the answer here (on a multiple year old, stale, question).

(24 Mar '15, 08:45) SimonPoole ♦

In Australia we have a different sign with a very similar meaning. Our legal term is 'shared zone'.

(01 May '15, 02:36) Ashley Laurens
showing 5 of 10 show 5 more comments

In Poland we have the same sign like in Germany, and I use living_street tag only for roads that have that sign.

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answered 05 Aug '13, 21:32

KoyotGamma's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

In the UK the sign similar to the german one was recently publised as approved for "play streets", were cars have to give way till the children have cleared them to pass. Its new and so only a few councils may be using it. In the past worded signs that mentioned that it was residential and asking for caution from drivers (legend varied).

Interestingly the UK adopted a rual version at the same time for country lanes (I think one is in blue background while the other is in green background with white symbols children playing by a house with a car parked in one with hikers and horses in the other. That is also rare and I'm yet to spot one erected (again council chose the signs for these roads too.

In the past just warning signs for clases of pedestians animials and riden horses where used instead.

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answered 01 Nov '13, 20:33

Govanus's gravatar image

accept rate: 3%

edited 01 Nov '13, 21:06

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦

Quiet Lanes and Home Zones is what you're talking about I think. There's a quiet lane here.

(02 Nov '13, 00:56) SomeoneElse ♦

I also used this in an 1960's UK housing estate where a footpath fed foot only traffic to home frontages. I didn't seem to find any other tag for such a road called a "Walk", though I know it confused some that it was like the dutch idea of removing pavements from roads to slow taffic as it itermingles with the pedestians and bycycles though in Oxford (UK) we have a smilar road that is just described as pedestrianised though cars are banned lots of buses and taxi's can use it.

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answered 01 Nov '13, 21:30

Govanus's gravatar image

accept rate: 3%

In South America, I've often seen residential road used much like in Europe, living streets for more informal streets, often not officially sanctioned, often requiring 4x4, only used for destination travel only

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answered 25 Mar '15, 23:12

joost%20schouppe's gravatar image

joost schouppe
accept rate: 12%

I think the option was developed for the specificly sactioned and signed kind of road, as this has legal set of rules behind it. Besides that type there are lots of low traffic volume routes that get a lot of non-traffic uses as playgrounds etc. It might make sense to create a tagging set to allow warnings on maps were legal signing isn't in exsistance but alerting unfamilar drivers of regular informal playgrounds around a bend could be useful.

(20 Apr '15, 20:50) Govanus

I'd been thinking to try and retag the walks I had above into somethig more specific. Back then I was mainly working from the editor templates and default option lists, these days I generate new tagging for likes of highway=manoeuvring_forecourt for a space used for both turning, as a driveway and a little like a parking aisle but to as it abutters to buildings (like garages and possibly barns) not just parking spaces difined by paint or surfacing.

(20 Apr '15, 20:51) Govanus

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question asked: 05 Aug '11, 16:14

question was seen: 23,039 times

last updated: 01 May '15, 02:36

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