I'd like to determine whether a given U.S. street address is publicly accessible to vehicle/foot traffic. This would include addresses on both publicly and privately maintained roads that are not within a gated community or another access-restricted area.

For instance, 8541 Lake Windham Ave, Orlando, FL 32829 is in a gated community. The openstreetmap tag for this portion of the road is tagged as access=private. However, since OSM data does not include address ranges for each segment (AFAIK), I'm not sure how to associate the address with the private portion of the road.

The U.S. Census Tiger data does include address ranges. However, as far as I can tell from the documentation, there's nothing to indicate accessibility of the segment.

Is there a freely-available way to determine whether a U.S. street address is on a publicly accessible road?

  • Good question, I know RAND published a dataset that provides more global measures of street connectivity, but that is only available at much coarser levels (census tracts). There is also a toolbox for ArcGIS from the City Form Lab that can calculate various measures of connectivity (which you could calculate directly from the TIGER data).
    – Andy W
    Commented May 14, 2014 at 0:48
  • 1
    You could always geocode the data yourself and then associate it to the nearest street in OSM and then grab a tag for that street (if it exists) - if the tag in OSM is really all you want.
    – Andy W
    Commented May 14, 2014 at 0:49
  • Please keep in mind, that even if the US OSM community is growing, a lot of information (esp. that need on-the-ground survey) might be incomplete. So please elaborate first, if the data are available in a appropriated range.
    – Mapper
    Commented May 14, 2014 at 9:55
  • Great points. I may try the geocoding with the PostGIS geocoder (which uses tiger data) and snapping the point to the appropriate segment in the OSM data (which I realize will always be somewhat incomplete). In the meantime, I'll continue to search for a more direct way to identify these roads.
    – danpelota
    Commented May 15, 2014 at 20:28

2 Answers 2


Well somewhat. Navtech data (now NEAR) actually does an excellent job of determining private roads so I think this is your best bet. It is not free but I did once get a trial version of the data for free for a limited time. You will notice a 30-day free trial is available for some products but not all. I think this is your only other option aside from OSM manipulation.


Load both the TIGER data and the OSM data into the same PostGIS enabled database (I would suggest different schemas). Use the TIGER data to locate the road/address and then use its geometry to find the nearest road (by geometry) in the OSM data and display its 'access'.

SELECT access from public.osm_roads order by geom <-> (select st_setsrid(geom,4326) from tiger.tiger_roads where id=16662802) limit 1

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