Road types are important for both routing and map display:
- When planning a route, major roads will sometimes get priority over smaller roads.
- For longer routes, some lower road types will often be ignored outright in favor of higher-type roads.
- Since freeways are given the highest priority of all, having other high-type roads is necessary to provide viable alternatives to the routing server in case freeways are clogged with traffic.
- When viewing the map, more important roads should appear at the far zoom levels. Without proper types, the zoomed out display can be misleading.
The below.and road types each have their own special rules. The , , and types are designated using a set of minimum criteria, as explained
Occasionally, if deemed necessary for proper routing, a particular road's type may be set higher than as prescribed in these rules. If a road has a higher type than set forth in these rules, there may be a reason for it. Some roads do not have the route designation or functional class to merit being assigned a highway type on their own, but they are intended to connect two highways and are signed as the way from one highway to another. Where these connections are supported by signage, the road type of the connecting road should match the lower of the two roads that it connects. This preserves routing continuity and prevents Waze from pruning out valid routes.
In rare cases, a particular road may require a lower type than as prescribed in these rules. Contact your regional coordinator before lowering the type of any road past the bounds of the rules.
Road types do not affect naming. See Road Naming (USA).
A highway is an arterial road.
Highways roads are the backbone of the traffic network. They serve a dual purpose:
- to carry traffic over long distances, from one city to another, and
- to carry traffic from collector roads to freeways, where applicable.
Several systems of numbered highways exist in the United States:
- the Interstate Highway System
- the United States Numbered Highways
- various State Highway systems
- various County (or Parish) Highway systems, in some states
Waze's definition of "highways" includes all these, but it also includes other roads that are not necessarily a part of any numbered highway system. In other words, think of the dictionary definition of "highway" ("a main road, esp. one connecting major towns or cities") rather than the legal definition of the term.
Waze distinguishes three classes of highway:, , and .
Airport runways and private airstrips may be mapped using the Runway/Taxiway road type. The Runway/Taxiway type is for display only and must never connect to drivable road segments. If a drivable road and a runway cross, set the elevation of the road below that of the runway and ensure there is no connection. Draw each runway as a single segment and lock it to prevent lower-ranking editors from attaching a road. Do not form junctions where runways cross each other.
Name each runway using the word Runway and the runway designations with the lower number first and a hyphen between runway numbers (e.g., "Runway 16R-34L".) For the "City" field of runway segments, check "None" to avoid any chance of city smudging.
Despite its title, the Runway/Taxiway road type should never be used for an aircraft taxiway because it would render the same as a runway and confuse the display. Taxiways not intended for frequent access by street vehicles should not be mapped at all with any road type. Taxiways that do commonly serve street vehicles as well as aircraft, for example at fly-in communities, may be mapped as Streets provided they remain disconnected from any runway.
Residents of most urban communities have very short driveways between the named road that they live on and the garage or carport on their property. In general these very short segments should not be mapped, because they have no name, would clutter the map in the client app, take a lot of time to draw, and would greatly increase the overall size of the Waze mapping database with very little return.
In the case of very long driveways, it may helpful to a driver to see the driveway mapped on the client app or even necessary for Waze to determine how to reach the destination. In those cases it may be prudent to add a road. See the article on Driveways for more information.