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USA Tennessee.png

This page serves as the primary resource for editors of Tennessee. Review all the sections to better understand how the guidelines for this state might deviate from the overall USA or worldwide guidelines. If you have any comments or questions about this page or state refer to the community links below.

In June 2016, TDOT updated the state FC Maps. Each will have to be rechecked and any changes mapped accordingly. There is a checklist in the to-do section to track progress.

As of April 2016, numbered state highways should be in either TN-xxx or SR-xxx format depending on classification. See the Highway Numbering section for details.


Tennessee is a part of the South Atlantic region, which includes the states and/or territories of:

Kentucky / North Carolina / South Carolina / Tennessee.

Mapping resources


Before editing the maps in Tennessee, be sure to fully review and understand the editing manual.

The Waze user community follows the Waze etiquette guidelines discussed in the Wiki. Be sure to familiarize yourself with these guiding principals while editing the maps and this Wiki, as well as when communicating with other Waze users.

Tennessee State Maps

Traffic and Construction Sources

Mapping Resources - GIS Data

GIS Data for 81 of Tennessee's 95 counties can be found on the state property viewer website. In addition, the counties listed in the table below maintain their own GIS websites. Some of these counties are not available on the state website, while a few can be viewed on both the state site as well as on their own site.

County On State Website? Local Website
Anderson yes GIS viewer
Blount yes GIS viewer
Bradley no GIS viewer
Cheatham yes GIS viewer
Davidson no GIS viewer
Greene yes GIS viewer
Hamilton no GIS viewer
Hardeman yes GIS viewer
Hickman no Property search only
Jefferson yes GIS viewer
Knox no GIS viewer
Maury yes GIS viewer
McMinn yes GIS viewer
Montgomery no GIS viewer
Putnam yes GIS viewer
Roane no GIS viewer
Robertson yes GIS viewer
Rutherford no GIS viewer
Sevier no GIS viewer
Shelby no GIS viewer
Sullivan no Property search only
Sumner no GIS viewer
Tipton yes GIS viewer
Unicoi no Property search only
Washington yes GIS viewer
Williamson no GIS viewer and PDF maps
Wilson yes GIS viewer

Speed Limits

According to Tennessee Code Annotated 55-8-152, the following maximum speed limits apply in Tennessee, with individual counties and municipalities setting lower speeds on individual roads as needed:

  • Interstates and limited access freeways (urban and rural): 70 MPH
  • Divided highways: 65 MPH
  • Undivided and two-lane roads: 55 MPH
  • Residential streets: 30 MPH

Before verifying a speed limit in the editor, it MUST be confirmed either with the street view reticle in WME, reports from "on the ground", or using data provided by individual municipalities if available.

A list of speed limit data collected by editors can be found on this page.



The Waze forum is a great place to find answers to previously asked questions and also a place to ask new ones. Below are links to the forums specific to Tennessee.

Area Managers for Tennessee can be found in the table below.

New editors should consider checking into the formal mentoring program available at no charge.

Recently, a number of Tennessee editors have been actively communicating via the chat service Slack. If you would like an invite, please fill out this form or send a PM with your email to an SM or RC (listed below).

Cities and towns


One of the most common errors when editing the maps is when an editor creates a road and does not confirm the road by setting the city and road name (or stating it has none).

Duplicate cities can be caused by incorrectly named segments and should be corrected following the guidelines in the duplicate cities article.

There are 346 Incorporated Cities and Towns in Tennessee. A list of municipalities in Tennessee is found here:
List of municipalities in Tennessee

ONLY incorporated places in the list above should be used. Census Designated Places (CDPs) and unincorporated towns or communities should NOT be listed in the city field for map features. If any city names not in the list above are encountered on road segments or places, please remove them.

Major roads

4lane road icon.png

Tennessee follows the general road naming and road type guidelines of the USA.

Highway Numbering

Tennessee currently observes the following Standardized Name nomenclature for Numbered Routes:

Road Type Standardized Name
Freeways I-XXX
US Highways US-XXX
Primary State Highways TN-XXX
Secondary State Highways SR-XXX
County Highways CR-XXX

These naming conventions should also be applied to "Old" numbered routes that have become local streets after the completion of new highway alignments. For example, "Old State Rte 33" and "Old US Hwy 70" Should be renamed "Old TN-33" and "Old US-70" respectively. In some cases, it may be necessary to research whether the old route was formerly a state or US highway.

State Highway Signage

State highways are divided into primary and secondary classifications and use a different type of signage for each:

  • Tennessee155.pngTennessee Primary State Route signage: use format TN-155
  • Tennessee171.pngTennessee Secondary State Route signage: use format SR-171

Should that road be Primary or Secondary? (Updated May 2016!)

At some point in the future, Waze plans to introduce unique state highway shields onto the map. Application of the appropriate numbering format will ensure that the correct shield is displayed once this feature goes live.

In order to determine which naming format to use, check Street View and the TDOT FC maps ( to verify sign shape. Most US highways in Tennessee are also assigned a "hidden" state route number, in which case one will be unable to find state highway signs in Street View. For example, TN-1 follows US-70 and several other US highways across most of the state from Memphis to Bristol, but is only signed in certain areas. These state highway designations, where they exist, should be listed in the alternate name for the US highway segment.

Also note that state routes can change between primary and secondary designation depending on their intended use. For example, TN-25 in Gallatin has a short stretch that is classified as SR-25.

If primary or secondary status cannot be determined, it is acceptable to default to TN-xxx format.

Highway Naming

See Road names/USA and Road types/USA for general guidelines for naming and classifying roads.

Regarding Local and Alternate Names:

In situations where a highway passes through a town, the road in those areas is typically named something other than the numbered route. In these situations the road should be named based on the following conditions: If the local street signs provide guidance with the local name, that should be used as the primary name in the Waze map. The numbered route should be added as an alternate name. If the local signs only indicate the route number, then that should be the primary name and and the local road name should be added as an alternate name.

Example: TN-13 in Waverly, TN has a Local Name of S Church St. (as indicated by signage). The Primary Street Name of the segments is S Church St., while TN-13 is listed as an Alternate Street Name.

Regarding Overlapping Highways:

When two or more numbered highways (or interstates) run concurrently (one stretch of road has multiple route numbers), the segment should be named after the primary of the routes. The primary route will usually have one or more of the following attributes:

  • The route whose mile markers are used for the concurrent segment
  • The route whose exit numbers are used for the concurrent segment
  • When the concurrency ends, the route whose path does not get signed as a numbered exit.

In Tennessee, most US highways are also assigned a "hidden" state route number. These routes are often unsigned when they share a concurrency with a US highway. For example, TN-1 follows US-70 and several other US highways across most of the state from Memphis to Bristol, but is only signed in certain areas. These state highway designations, where they exist, should be listed in the alternate name for the US highway segment.

Regarding Scenic Routes:

Although Tennessee's roads tend to be quite scenic in and of themselves, many highways are specially designated as scenic routes and are signed with a green and white mockingbird logo. However, the "Scenic" or "Scn" designations should not be included in road names on numbered highways, unless specifically named as such in state GIS sources. Do not treat these like bannered routes when determining road names.

Lists of Highways in Tennessee

A spreadsheet of Tennessee Numbered Highways for tracking renaming to the TN-XXX standard.

Interstate and US Highways in Tennessee

State Highways in Tennessee

Functional Classification

A road's type is determined by a two step method:

  1. Classification via TDOT Functional Classification maps
  2. Possible classification upgrade due to highway type

Step 1: Classification via TDOT Generated Functional Classification

The Tennessee Functional Class Map is updated by the the Tennessee Department of Transporation (TDOT). Using the TDOT maps, the Corresponding Waze Road Type is determined via the following two tables:

TDOT Functional Classification
TDOT Functional Class Corresponding Waze Road Type
Interstate (blue)  Freeway 
Other Freeways and Expressways (brown)  Freeway  (if Controlled-access highway) or  Major Highway  otherwise (see note below)
Principal Arterial (red)  Major Highway 
Minor Arterial (green)  Minor Highway 
Major Collector (purple)  Primary Street 
Minor Collector (yellow)  Primary Street 

Note: The editor should check to see if a road is a Controlled-access highway to determine if it qualifies as a  Freeway . Partially-limited-access roads, however, should NOT be set to Freeway.

If a road is not shown on the Functional Classification Maps, it is deemed as a Local Road with a Waze Road Type of  Street .

Inconsistent switching between road types along a road is not wanted. Consistency is key. Do not change a road type for routing sake or to make it appear on the map at a higher speed.

Sometimes strictly following these functional classification guidelines will generate inconsistent Waze road types at boundaries between urban and rural maps. It is best to use the aerial maps and GPS data to find a logical location where a road should make the change in road type. These types of changes are usually at intersections with other roads (primary street and above) and sometimes incorporate a change in lane count (2-lane road transitions to 4-lane road). Prudent editor discretion is needed at these locations.

Step 2: Classification upgrades via highway type

Sometimes, after determining road type in step 1, a road will need to be upgraded if it is an Interstate, Federal Highway, or State Highway. The list below provides the minimum that a particular highway should be classified (e.g. a Urban Collector would be at a minimum a primary street, but it would be upgraded to a major highway if it was a US Highway or a minor highway if it were a State Highway).

  •  Freeway  - Interstates
  •  Major Highway  - US Highways
  •  Minor Highway  - State Highways, US Business Highways

Quick Reference Table

This chart is an alternative presentation of the two steps above which can provide a handy reference.

To use this chart, first determine the functional class of a road. Secondly, determine whether it is a signed, numbered highway in a particular highway system.

Where the column for the road's highway system and the row for the road's Tennessee functional class meet, you will find the proper road type for that particular road.

A number of examples are given below the chart.

Highway Systems
Interstate US Hwy US Hwy BUS, SPUR, LOOP State Hwy Locally-maintained
examples I-40, I-75, I-240, I-275 US-70, US-11E, US-41A US-412 BUS, US-11E BUS TN-1, SR-33, TN-840 Sam Cooper Blvd.


Interstate (blue)  Fw  N/A N/A N/A N/A
Other Freeways and Expressways (brown)
(Controlled-access highway)
N/A  Fw   Fw   Fw   Fw 
Other Freeways and Expressways (brown)
(Partially-limited-access road)
N/A  Major   Major   Major   Major 
Principal Arterial (red)
(Controlled-access highway)
N/A  Fw   Fw   Fw   Fw 
Principal Arterial (red)
(Non-controlled-access highway)
N/A  Major   Major   Major   Major 
Minor Arterial (green) N/A  Major   Minor   Minor   Minor 
Major Collector (purple) N/A  Major   Minor   Minor   PS 
Minor Collector (yellow) N/A  Major   Minor   Minor   PS 
Local/not mapped N/A  Major   Minor   Minor   Street 

For example,

  • A State Highway that is a controlled-access highway classified as a Principal Arterial is a  Freeway .
  • A State Highway that is a partially-limited-access road classified as a Principal Arterial is a  Major Highway .
  • A US Highway classified as a Minor Arterial is a  Major Highway .
  • A US Highway Business Route route classified as a Minor Arterial is a  Minor Highway .
  • A State Highway classified as a Freeway is a  Freeway .
  • A State Highway classified as a Principal Arterial is a  Major Highway .
  • A State Highway classified as a Collector is a  Minor Highway .
  • A locally-maintained road classified as an Principal Arterial is a  Major Highway .
  • A locally-maintained road classified as a Collector is a  Primary Street .

Road Locking

Tennessee currently observes the following Locking Levels for Functional Classifications:

Segment Type Abbr. Lock
 Freeway  Fw 5
 Ramp  Highest lock of connected segment
 Major Highway  MH 4
 Minor Highway  mH 3
 Primary Street  PS 2
 Street  N/A Automatic (1)

Special roads

Drivable roads

Tennessee follows the standard USA guidelines for all of the following special road types.

Non-drivable roads

Review the Wiki guidelines for non-drivable roads to ensure compliance with the general guidelines.

Generally, if a road can't be driven on (i.e. Walking Trail, Pedestrian Boardwalk, Stairway, Railroad, Runway/Taxiway) then it should not be mapped in Waze. This is due to the way the routing engine works, as Waze WILL route users to drive on these "Non-Drivable" road types.

Toll Roads

There are currently no toll roads in the state, so there should be no road segments with the 'toll road' checkbox enabled. The only exception is the three ferries currently operating in state, each of which charge a small fee for passage.

Unpaved Roads

If, after determining functional classification of an unpaved (dirt or gravel) road segment, the road is determined to be  Primary Street  or  Street , set it to the "Dirt Road / 4X4 Trail" type. If, however, an unpaved road is determined to be a  Freeway ,  Major Highway , or  Minor Highway , do not set it as dirt road.

National Park Roads

The National Park Service uses a separate functional classification system for park roads. According to this system, some park roads would be upgraded from Street to  Primary Street . US highways crossing through national parks, regardless of NPS classification, should be set to  Major Highway . There are no state highways in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.


When managing a section of roadway under construction or being closed for a major event, follow the Wiki guidelines on construction zones and Real time closures.

Closures can be requested using the TN Closure Form. This form is monitored by area and state managers.

TDOT provides media advisories on progress of the state-funded construction projects. The updates are broken into four regions, each providing a weekly update. Sometimes special construction events are given. For a current listing see Tennessee Road Closures and Weekly Construction Reports.


Tennessee follows the USA standard for Places. Do not deviate from the guidelines without first obtaining consensus to do so via the state forum linked on this page.

Please follow general worldwide guidelines for mapping Places.

Place Locking

A Place can be locked at 3 once it minimally has the following information:

  • Correct Category
  • Name - Formatted with Title Case (Use capital letters for the first letter in each word)
  • Area or Point as appropriate with Destination Point in the correct location
  • Address - House number and correct street name

Please try to fill in all information available, but those items are the minimum.

Airports and hospitals should be locked at 5. Other important places such as major tourist attractions prone to editing and major parks can be locked at 4 or 5 as necessary to protect their integrity.

Place Update Requests

When moderating Place Update Requests (PURs), please be aware that they are not added to the map until the Wazer hits Done. This means that a passenger of a car may take a great photo of a business, but be a block or two down the road before it is added. Zoom into the map where the Place was added and ensure they are where they are supposed to be, moving the point if necessary.

Chain Name Harmonization

In an effort to keep common Places the same across the region, the South Atlantic wiki page now has a list to reference. The list includes Names, Alt Names, Categories, and Websites of Chain companies across the region. If you do not see a Chain listed and feel it should be added, please fill out this form to submit it for review.

Team UR Handling

For best practices and etiquette, see the Update request wiki page.

Tennessee editors encourage teamwork in handling URs. URs are not owned by the first responder. If another editor has first hand knowledge of the issue and can make the necessary corrections to the map to solve the reported issue, they are free to do so. Editors must comment on a UR when closing them, even if the editor is the original reporter.

When a UR does not contain enough information or the fix is not obvious, we have found that a 1/4/8 system works well for generating a response from the reporter. For example:

Day 1

Within 24 hours (1 day) after an Update Request has been submitted, an editor should provide a response to the Update Request to get the process started. This starts a seven day clock.

Day 4

If the reporter has not commented after 3 days (4 days since initial comment) a second message is sent reminding the reporter that we need more information about the problem they encountered to fix the issue.


"Just a reminder: We have not received a response on your report. If we don't hear back from you soon we will infer everything is okay and close the report. Thanks!"

Note - While the 4 day reminder is not required in the South Atlantic region, we have seen a large number of responses from them and encourage their use.

Day 8

If the reporter still has not commented after 4 more days (8 days since initial comment) a message should be sent telling the reported that we were unable to fix the problem and this report is being closed. The Update Request then needs to be closed as Not Identified.


"The problem was unclear and volunteers didn't receive a response so we are closing this report. As you travel, please feel welcome to report any map issues you encounter. Thanks!"

Old User Reports

The 1/4/8 rule has been very successful in our busy areas with editors maintaining them. There are some areas outside of our reach and occasionally as we venture off the beaten path, we come across a report that has been there for quite some time. We feel these reports are as valid as the reports opened yesterday and they should be given the same courtesy of response as new reports. Give the reporter at least 7 days to respond before closing as Not Identified.


Not every camera-looking device at an intersection is a speed or red light camera. Generally speaking:

  • Camera2true.png
    Rlc truvelo speed cam.jpeg
    a speed camera takes a photograph of a vehicle when it passes by the camera at too high a speed.
  • Camera4true.png
    Rlc white.jpeg
    a red light camera takes a photograph of a vehicle that enters an intersection after the light is red. In some areas, it takes the photograph when a vehicle is not clear of the intersection some period after the light turns red.

Be sure to know your cameras before accepting new camera reports.

When adding a camera, be sure to review the camera placement recommendations.

Laws regarding speed and red light cameras vary between the states and territories, so be sure to understand the details of camera legality in Tennessee.

Red Light and Speed cameras are used in various municipalities throughout Tennessee. These municipalities include Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Germantown, Clarksville, Murfreesboro, Hixson, Red Bank, Morristown, Johnson City, Kingsport, and others.

There are also cameras mounted on traffic signals that are used as part of the signal control. These compare sequential images of the intersection approach to determine if there is a vehicle (car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, etc) waiting and will trigger the sequence. These devices CAN NOT issue tickets and should not be mapped.

There are traditional traffic monitoring cameras covering most of the major highways in the state. These send live video to TDOT & local media and serve ONLY as a traffic monitoring system and should not be mapped.

How to Identify Cameras.

To do list

To do list.png

Many states and territories keep an active list of pending or closed actions that need to be done in the state by the editors. All editors are welcome to contribute to the list of activities.

Higher priority:

  • Highway naming: As of April 2016 we're now using the TN-xxx and SR-xxx formats for state routes, replacing any old variations such as "State Highway xxx" or "TN Hwy xxx" - remember to look for these both in primary and alternate names.
  • Speed limits: All interstates and freeways in TN are complete, but all remaining road types from Major Highways down to streets need speed limits set.
  • Some Place Categories: Make sure that high priority places (airports, hospitals, gas stations, police/fire, schools, major parks), are mapped correctly and completely according to regional guidance, and locked at 3 or higher.
  • Map Update Requests and PUR: All editors are invited and encouraged to work on any Update requests in their editable area.

Lower priority:

  • Basemap: The idea here is that as one progresses through the high priority items, any segments that are edited, and any touching a state or US highway, should pass Validator checks: directionality and turn restrictions are correct, for example. Basemap farther away from these roads, however, is lower priority but should be given attention if there is time or if you are fixing something else nearby.
  • Cities: We're no longer naming Census Designated Places, only incorporated municipalities. Removing them is not high on the list, but if you edit segments with an incorrect name on them, remove the name.
  • Existing places: Reviewing these, and making sure that existing places are correct and meet standards for each place type. Once complete (correct name, categories, address, location, area/point), they can be locked at 3.

Here are a few spreadsheets for tracking progress of...

Numbered State Highways



Fire Stations

The progress of various other items by county

Area Managers

The table below identifies the editors also designated as Area Managers or higher who are editing in Tennessee. If you have any questions, please consider contacting them directly as needed. If you are an Area Manager that covers Tennessee, or a USA Country Manager that does a lot of work in Tennessee, please add yourself to this list (alphabetical by username) in the correct rank section.

The editor who also serves as the Regional Coordinator for Tennessee is automatically listed at the top of the table. That editor may not be highly active in this state and therefore may not be listed separately in the table.

Tennessee — Area, State and Country Managers
Regional Coordinator(s): [RC] ottonomy (PM)
Username Area Managed Comments
Country Managers (South Atlantic region)
(Add to or edit Country and State sections of table)
xanderb(6) [PM] Profile L6.png Statewide Badge LocalChamp.pngBadge Mentor Local Champ.pngBadge CountryManager.pngBadge StateManager.pngBadge MapRaider.png
Covers SAT region
crazycaveman(5) [PM] Profile L5.png Statewide Badge CountryManager.pngBadge StateManager.png
Resident of SC
Covers SAT region
State Managers (South Atlantic region)
grsmhiker(5) [PM] Profile L5.png Statewide Badge StateManager.pngBadge Mentor.png
Super_D(4) [PM] Profile L4.png Statewide Badge StateManager.png
Area Managers
(Add to or edit this section)
bart99gt(5) [PM] Profile L5.png West TN Badge StateManager.png
MS State Manager
jwe252(5) [PM] Profile L5.png Statewide Badge StateManager.png
Covers SAT region
kirkosaurus(5) [PM] Profile L5.png Middle TN Badge AreaManager.png
Resident of state
n4dog(5) [PM] Profile L5.png Chattanooga Badge StateManager.png
AL State Manager
SteveInArk(5) [PM] Profile L5.png West TN Badge StateManager.png
AR State Manager
jlspence99(4) [PM] Profile L4.png West TN Badge AreaManager.png
Made2Map(4) [PM] Profile L4.png Middle TN Badge AreaManager.png
ropaswan(4) [PM] Profile L4.png West TN Badge AreaManager.pngBadge MapRaider.png
Super_D(4) [PM] Profile L4.png East TN Badge AreaManager.png
theemike(4) [PM] Profile L4.png East TN Badge AreaManager.png
BoredFish(3) [PM] Profile L3.png McMinnville Badge AreaManager.png
dandann00dle(3) [PM] Profile L3.png East TN Badge AreaManager.png
davidhperry(3) [PM] Profile L3.png East TN Badge AreaManager.png
jbpace63(3) [PM] Profile L3.png Middle TN Badge AreaManager.png
kiwiflyer10(3) [PM] Profile L3.png Middle TN Badge AreaManager.png
thom_p(3) [PM] Profile L3.png SE TN Badge AreaManager.png
UberGenius(3) [PM] Profile L3.png Middle TN Badge AreaManager.png
Resident of state
VTPearce(3) [PM] Profile L3.png East TN Badge AreaManager.png
ZackTN(3) [PM] Profile L3.png Middle TN Badge AreaManager.png
saywh3n(2) [PM] Profile L2.png Middle TN Badge AreaManager.png

Other states and territories

USA CommonState.png
The other states and territories of the USA can be found in the navigation box below. Press the "show" button to open the box.

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