Pedestrian path Discussion View history

Pedestrian paths (US English) or walking trails (default English) are a set of non-drivable road types with unique properties and which are created as a category separate from other roads. Although the names of these types may suggest that Waze supports routing for pedestrians, in fact the Waze app is intended only for drivers of motor vehicles, and Waze has no plans to support any other application. Waze editors instead use pedestrian paths for a few different applications that improve routing or display for drivers, and these applications are described in the sections for each type.

Use of pedestrian paths requires special care and caution, because cyclists and pedestrians who use Waze near drivable roads can harm routing for drivers! By Wazing at speeds different from nearby traffic, they can create false traffic indications and even influence Waze's records of average road and turn speeds. Therefore, editors should only map roads that increase usefulness to Wazers driving motor vehicles, and any road that only encourages or benefits non-driving Wazers should not be mapped.

Note: As this is guidance for the USA, this page uses US English "translated" names for these road types. The default international English interface in Waze Map Editor uses different terms for these, which are given in parentheses.

General characteristics

Pedestrian paths are the only road types which can be connected to other roads without creating a junction node. When dragged to a drivable road segment, they instead create a virtual node, also known as a phantom node or walking trail node. The virtual node does not cut the segment that it is connected to but modifies it. It doesn't store turn data, nor does it allow routing into a non-drivable road connected to it. Because of the presence of virtual nodes, it is not possible to convert segments between pedestrian path types and other road types. This is why they must be created as a category separate from other roads.

In the client pedestrian paths appear similar to  parking lot roads  and disappear before them when zooming out, so they are not visible at typical freeway speeds. Their names are displayed in the same way as  local streets .

House numbers

House numbers are supported on all three pedestrian path types, but navigation to them does not work in the same way for all. If a house number is located on a non-routable pedestrian path or stairway, the user will be navigated to the closest point to the stop point of the HN on the closest routable segment nearby. If a house number is located on a routable pedestrian path, the user will be navigated to a node between the path and a drivable road that provides the best route. Just as with drivable roads, if destinations are addressed using house numbers on any pedestrian path, it is essential that the path's name and city fields be set accordingly so that searching for the addresses will work.


The three pedestrian path types are:

  •  |   |   |   |   | Walking Trail |   |   |   |   |  or routable pedestrian path
  •  |  |  |  |  | Pedestrian Boardwalk |  |  |  |  |  or non-routable pedestrian path
  •  | | | | | Stairway | | | | | 

Routable pedestrian path link to this section

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The routable pedestrian path (default English: walking trail) is the only type among the three pedestrian paths that has an effect on routing, and it is the only type that snaps users to it. This type should never be used where effects on routing are not desired.

If a routable pedestrian path is closest to a destination or start point of a route, users will be routed to or from a junction of the path with a drivable road, which can be far away from the destination they are hoping to reach, but not onto or through the routable path itself. Because of this, routable pedestrian paths can cause confusion and significant routing issues. Therefore, they should only be used in rare cases to improve routing to and from destinations located on them. Never use this type for ordinary hiking or cycling paths. Most hiking and cycling paths should not be on the map at all.


Routable pedestrian paths have a fixed walking speed of about 2 m/s that is added to the drive time in internal calculations but does not affect the drive time displayed to users. Because of this, if a routable pedestrian path is connected at both ends to drivable roads, during navigation Waze will choose whichever end of the walking trail gives the best route to the destination.


In rare cases, connected routable paths can bring drivers to destinations where otherwise Waze might fail to offer the best route. For example:

  • A concert pavilion in an urban park accessed by a pedestrian path from a distant parking lot.
  • A train station reachable from either side of the tracks but with no drivable road across them.
  • A rest area accessible from both directions of a freeway but with separate and unconnected parking lots.
  • A destination addressed on a non-drivable footpath.
  • An important Google area place, such as an airport, whose center brings users to an incorrect road. Instant ASR ("OK Waze") navigation uses Google places exclusively, without redirecting to linked Waze places, and some Google places cannot be linked to Waze places anyway.

A connected routable pedestrian path may be used to route drivers to such destinations. Lock the path as this is uncommon usage that may puzzle other editors.

Orientation or destination applications involving foot or bicycle paths that do not require routing, such as marking where an obvious bicycle path crosses a road or where a trailhead is located, should not use this type. Use non-routable pedestrian paths, stairways or places as appropriate.


Routable pedestrian paths are drawn like other roads, except that the button must be used rather than the button or I shortcut, and when connecting to a drivable road segment, a virtual node is created rather than a junction node. As of May 2018 virtual nodes do not work correctly in routing, however, so routable pedestrian paths must be connected to junction nodes rather than virtual nodes. This may require cutting the drivable road segment with a normal street and deleting the street before creating the routable path. Name them with whatever name is found on signage or in official use.

Make sure that the path is closest routable segment only to the desired destination(s) and that it is not the closest routable segment to any undesired destinations, either from Waze or an external provider like Google.

Non-routable pedestrian path

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Non-routable pedestrian paths (default English: pedestrian boardwalk) have no effect on routing and do not snap drivers to them, as drivable roads or routable pedestrian paths do. This makes them safe for use in mapping certain non-drivable roads as navigational references or for other special non-routing purposes.


GPS tracks show Waze usage on this non-routable path close to an interchange.

There are certain cases where mapping non-routable paths can benefit drivers. For example:

  • A trail is visibly obvious and useful as a landmark in relation to a destination or turn.
  • A trail parallel to a nearby drivable road has GPS tracks that show frequent improper Waze use. Mapping it indirectly benefits drivers as it protects the speed history and real-time traffic data of the nearby road.
  • A trail is a significant destination in itself that people would drive to but without a discrete trailhead or access point.

Bike paths, hiking trails or other walkways that do not benefit drivers should not be mapped.


Non-routable pedestrian paths are drawn like other roads, except that the button must be used rather than the button or I shortcut, and when connecting to a drivable road segment, a virtual node is created rather than a junction node. The default pedestrian path type is routable, so that must be changed to non-routable after drawing the path to avoid unexpected routing effects. When non-routable paths had routing effects, most editors tended to disconnect them. Now that they don't have routing effects, they should be connected to drivable roads. If they are connected where no junction node exists, they will create a virtual node and will keep the segment intact. If they are connected at an existing road junction, they will be added to the junction node and will not create a virtual node. Either method of connection works correctly for non-routable paths; do not cut road segments just to connect a non-routable path. Name them with whatever name is found on signage or in official use.

Stairway link to this section

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Stairways and non-routable paths look the same in the app and do not snap Wazers to themselves, unlike other road types.

Stairways appear and behave identically in the app to non-routable pedestrian paths. They have no effect on routing.

In general, the applications and methods of creation of non-routable pedestrian paths apply also to stairways. Certain public stairways are visually obvious and/or useful as destinations for drivers. These can be mapped with the stairway type. After using the button to draw the path, change the type from routable pedestrian path to stairway and add whichever name is on signage or in official use. Connect existing stairways to other roads.