Classification of crossings

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Best practices for different types of crossings

Crossings can be classified according to the number of single and split(double) roads involved in the crossing. For each of these there exist solutions to prevent U-turns when they are not allowed in that jurisdiction.

Why prevent U-turns?

  • We do not want Waze to suggest illegal routing. Ever.

In some countries or states, U-turns are only legal when marked as such, but Waze will suggest one on each and every occasion where it thinks it is appropriate. (In Germany U-turns are allowed in most cases, except they are permitted by sign.)

  • Ad-hoc routing is better when U-turns are not possible.

When you divert from the route you are navigating on, leaving the purple line, Waze calculates a new route for you. If it is possible to make a U-turn, chances are that Waze will send you through that U-turn back to where you came from - the purple line was the best route, after all. But - you might have diverted from the purple line on purpose - to avoid a congestion that loomed in the next curve, or a road that is closed for repairs. If opportunities for a U-turn are rare, it is more likely to happen that Waze will route you around the next block or two so that you get back on track AFTER the congestion.

This cannot be remedied completely in editing. A roundabout always allows U-turns. Going around the block can be fast enough to make another try at the original route.

  • U-turns can be prevented by reducing the length of the segment crossing the median to less than 15 m (50 feet) and leaving this segment unnamed.

3-Way-Crossings

  • Simple 3-Way-Crossing (SSS)

Crossing SSS.jpg

Not much to say about this - except that it is the ideal 3-way crossing: simple, stable, solid. Not much can go wrong with this one! If you have to deal with any of the following types of crossing, you may first look if it is possible to turn them into this type, because it prevents a lot of trouble later on.


  • Single road crossing a dual road (SSD)

Crossing SSD.jpg

The next simple type of crossing has limitations. The way it is drawn here there is nothing that stops Waze from plotting a U-turn. Coming over the double road it takes two left-turns to get back on the road you came from. Typically that is NOT what you want.


  • Dual road crossing a single road (DDS)

Crossing DDS.jpg


  • 3 Dual roads crossing (DDD)

Crossing DDD.jpg

When this type of crossing is generated in the basemap, it looks like the image presented here. It allows for U-turns in all directions.

4-Way-Crossings

  • Simple 4-Way-Crossing (SSSS)

Crossing SSSS.jpg

Ah, the "Mother of all Crossings"! We are lucky that almost all crossings look like this. It is possible to define each and every turn restriction with a single node, and U-turns do not happen when all 4 roads in this junction are locked (No, there is no evidence for that. But each and every time a simple crossing does allow a U-turn, at least one of the roads was found not to be locked. If all roads are locked, Waze routes you around a block instead of making a U-turn).


  • Dual road crossing 3 single roads (DSSS)

Crossing DSSS.jpg

This is an ugly crossing if you come from/go to the SE. You get a direction to "Turn left, turn right". First check whether the double road can be made into a single one, so you get a SSSS. If that fails, you may want to join the double lanes into a single node, creating a sort of half-mapcat-bowtie.

  • 2 Dual roads crossing 2 single roads (DDSS)

Crossing DDSS.jpg

This one allows for U-turns to be made if you enter over one of the double lanes.

  • 3 Dual roads crossing 1 single road (DDDS)

Crossing DDDS.jpg

Ugly! If you cannot turn this one into a SSSS or DDSS, consider adding an extra fork on the single road and create a DDDD.

  • 4 Dual roads crossing (DDDD)

Crossing DDDD.jpg

This crossing allows U-turns in each and every direction if no precautions are taken.