>> This info is probably worth recording,
>> but legal status should go into a separate tag.
> Legal status of roads in the US isn't quite as clearcut as it is in the UK,
> where the highway=* tag is literally equal to that country's legal
> classification, plus private roads with significant public passage and/or
> reach.
> ...
> At an absolute minimum, we really need to establish values lower than
> tertiary yet above unclassified, and we definitely do need to make the
> freeway/expressway distinction.

I agree that adding expressway=yes tags to more roads is a good idea.
It might be useful for rendering and routing in some situations.

If we allow highway=trunk to be used for all major highways (not only
those that have certain physical charateristics) this give us an
additional level to work with: in the UK and Spain, highway=primary
links smaller towns and villages since all the major highways are
highway=trunk, which leaves highway=secondary for pretty minor roads
("B Class" in the UK) linking villages and hamlets, while
highway=tertiary is for quite minor roads to hamlets or small
neighborhoods, and "highway=unclassified" is usually for tiny public
roads connecting farms or individual, isolated houses out in the

In the USA, most US highways can be highway=trunk or highway=primary,
most State highways are highway=primary or =secondary, and country or
local roads are highway=secondary or highway=tertiary if they are
significant. I use highway=unclassified for very small roads.

I don't know Alaska well, but I suspect that the one-lane, gravel
borough roads should not be highway=unclassified: they would usually
be highway=secondary or highway=tertiary, like most county roads in
the western USA. If they are the main route to the largest small town
within 100 miles, they might be highway=primary.

Here in eastern Indonesia, most of my highway=primary roads have large
sections of gravel, and most highway=secondary are narrow gravel or
dirt roads (though in Java and Bali they will usually be paved).

- Joseph Eisenberg

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