Farm road

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dirt road for agricultural use
Dirt road with medium vegetation
Forest path in Lower Saxony
Path to forest management in the Ligurian Alps

As rural roads are in Germany routes designated as dirt roads, forest roads or water service roads. According to a judgment of the Federal Court of Justice of November 18, 1975, one speaks of field, forest , meadow, vineyard and other farm roads regardless of the paving, if they

  • predominantly serve agricultural or forestry purposes and
  • have no supra-local significance


The subdivision of the farm roads is based on the "Guidelines for rural road construction" ( RLW for short ) below:

Connecting routes

RLW 2016: “Connections connect individual agricultural and forestry facilities, farmsteads and hamlets with each other and with neighboring places or connect them to the communal and regional transport network. They connect local path systems and enable inter-municipal traffic. They take on general rural traffic as well as agricultural and forestry traffic. Connecting paths can be used all year round, even with high axle loads. "

RLW 1999 and 2005 still differentiated according to the passability

  • Connection routes with greater traffic importance (can be used all year round with high axle loads)
  • Connection routes with less traffic importance (not accessible all year round with high axle loads)

Dirt roads

Dirt road on Farm Kanaan in Namibia

RLW 1999: “Field paths serve to develop and partially manage agricultural areas. They make the land accessible and create the conditions for the economical use of agricultural technology. They also serve other purposes, such as B. the removal of wood and recovery. "

RLW 2016 divides the dirt roads "according to traffic load, function in the road network and development service" into

  • Main economic routes (RLW 2016: for wide-meshed development of the field, often used multifunctionally)
  • Farm roads (RLW 1999: paved or naturally solid, accessible all year round if the weather is suitable)
  • Green paths (RLW 1999: unpaved, can be driven on in suitable weather)

Forest paths

RLW 2016: “Forest paths serve to develop forests. They enable or facilitate u. a. the transport of wood and other forest products, of people and resources, the recreation of the population and the management of recreational traffic. "

RLW 2016 divides the forest paths into

  • Timber removal routes (mostly accessible year-round with trucks, cars and work machines, also serve for pile-up , provide connection to public roads)
  • Service roads (only accessible with cars and machines, serve to further develop the area)

RLW 1999 and 2005 still differentiated in

  • Driveways (paved or naturally solid, usually accessible all year round, divided into main routes and feeder routes according to function in the route network and use)
  • Skidding routes (unsurfaced, accessible by all-terrain harvesting machines, to back wood from the stock to the driveway)

Other rural routes

RLW 1999: “The field and forest paths are usually also open to pedestrians and cyclists, and limited to riding. In addition, it may be necessary to create additional special paths. These other rural routes are then usually led independently, separated from general, agricultural and forestry traffic and marked as such. "

RLW 1999, 2005 and 2016 differentiate

  • Footpaths (RLW 2016: sidewalks) and hiking trails
  • Bike paths
  • Bridle paths
  • Cattle drives (cattle drives)

Forestry ways

The forestry paths (also forest roads ) can in turn be divided into the following types of paths:

Construction engineering

Depending on the intensity of the expected use, the paths can be designed with one or two lanes. If encounters or overtakes are rarely expected, it is sufficient to create alternative points. The paths have a width between 5.0 m (two lanes) and 3.0 m (one lane). The transverse slope of the roadway should be between 3.0% ( asphalt ) and 7.0% (without asphalt, e.g. with a water-bound surface) to ensure adequate drainage .

In order to keep the surface sealing and the costs low, often only lane tracks (lane paths) are created. In this case, only the rolling track is paved, the space between the vegetation remains unpaved. Depending on the building material, these paths are also called asphalt lanes or concrete lanes . For farmers and cycle tourists, lanes are considered to be farm roads that have been paved in accordance with the landscape. Lane tracks are usually 80 cm wide (central reservation 90 cm). Filling the central and hard shoulder with a void-rich gravel mixture also ensures a more balanced water balance in the path area.

An even more environmentally friendly variant of the concrete lane is the Kolonnenweg , effectively a lawn paving stone , of the GDR border systems. In addition to the green median, these have overgrown gaps within the lanes.


Right of way

On a farm road, the general principle of right before left (see right of way ) is suspended if the field or forest path leads to a (different) road. The driver coming out of the dirt road always has to pay attention to the right of way without the need for a right of way sign ( § 8 Abs. 1 Ziff. 2 StVO ).

People who are supposed to have right of way and who are supposed to be given the right of way, coming from the right side of a side road that may be difficult to see, have to feel their way into the main road like someone who has to wait. If they do not, they are at least partly to blame for relevant accidents (OLG Rostock of February 23, 2007 8 U 40/06, complicity there 40%).

Level crossings

Field path secured with a St. Andrew's cross over the meter-gauge railway line Ponts – Sagne – Chaux-de-Fonds near La Sagne in the Neuchâtel Jura

According to § 11 EBO, it is not necessary to set up a St. Andrew's cross (sign 201 StVO) to warn road traffic at level crossings on rural roads. Rail traffic always has right of way.

Usage restriction

In Baden-Wuerttemberg , dirt roads are dedicated to common use , but only as restricted public roads for the management of the adjacent agricultural and forestry properties. It can be reported as an administrative offense if a country lane is driven on without a special permit. A separate blockage with traffic signs is not necessary, as the dirt roads are already closed due to their designation as restricted public roads.

In North Rhine-Westphalia farm roads are not dedicated as public roads or paths, but remain private roads, even if they have become the property of the city or municipality in the meantime. It is assumed that farm roads originally (some when the communal areas were divided at the beginning of the 19th century) originated from the ownership of the adjacent land and are still intended for their use.

Traffic safety obligation

According to a ruling by the Higher Regional Court of Koblenz on April 7, 2003 (Az .: 12 U 1829/01), the requirements for road safety are significantly lower for dirt roads than for other roads. In the case of dirt roads, the owner does not need to take any special precautions against the typical hazards in such terrain. Mountain users (especially “secondary users” such as cyclists, hikers and riders) must expect bumps, potholes, stones and tree roots on the paths. Warning signs and danger signs usually do not have to be set up. In the event of damage due to typical hazards, the road owner or building contractor is not liable .

Intervention regulation

Concrete lane with a green median

Construction of commercial roads - regardless of the ecological function of roadsides - can lead to ecological disadvantages, especially to barrier effects to the detriment of small animals. As a rule, it therefore constitutes an interference with nature and the landscape. In some places, federal states have made commercial road construction exempt from nature conservation law, z. B. Hessen in the expansion of farm roads on the same route and water-bound structure (cf. § 13 Paragraph 3 No. 10 Hessian Nature Conservation Act of 12/2006). The principle of minimizing interference, which is not repealed depending on the type of license, B. Lane paths with a structurally stable central strip of vegetation to reduce ecological barriers.

See also


  • Peter Dietz, Wolfgang Knigge, Hans Löffler: Forest development . A textbook for study and practice with a special focus on forest road construction . Parey, Hamburg and Berlin 1984, ISBN 3-490-02116-9 .
  • German Association for Water Management and Cultural Building eV [DVWK] (Ed.): Guidelines for rural road construction (=  DVWK rules for water management . No. 137 ). Bonn 1999 (RLW 1999).
  • DWA German Association for Water Management, Sewage and Waste eV (Ed.): Guidelines for rural road construction (=  DWA set of rules . Worksheet DWA-A 904). 2nd editorially corrected edition. Hennef 2005 (RLW 2005).
  • DWA German Association for Water Management, Waste Water and Waste eV (Ed.): Guidelines for rural road construction (RLW). Part 1: Guidelines for the layout and dimensioning of rural roads (=  DWA set of rules . Worksheet DWA-A 904-1). Hennef 2016 (RLW 2016).
  • Additional technical contract conditions and guidelines for the paving of rural roads (ZTV LW 99/01) , edition 1999 - version 2001. FGSV Verlag, Cologne.
  • H. Lorenz: Current regulations in rural road construction ( Memento from September 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF file; 2.1 MB), TU Braunschweig, Institute for Roads, Braunschweig 2007
  • Doreen Schleuder: The contribution of the road network to the development of rural areas . Neubrandenburg 2012 ( [PDF; 12.3 MB ; accessed on October 14, 2016] Master's thesis University of Neubrandenburg).
  • Board of Directors of the Deutsche Landeskulturgesellschaft (Ed.): Paths to the Future !? New requirements for rural infrastructures (=  publication series of the Deutsche Landeskulturgesellschaft . Issue 9). Müncheberg 2012 ( [PDF; 13.2 MB ; accessed on October 14, 2016]).
  • Hubertus Bertling, Hartmut Kriese, Harald Lütkemeier: New planning approaches in rural road construction . In: zfv - magazine for geodesy, geoinformation and land management . 140th volume, issue 5, 2015, p. 320–326 ( [PDF; 2.5 MB ; accessed on October 14, 2016]).
  • Jürgen Knauss: Paths and enclosures. Structural lines in the cultural landscape (=  booklets on geography and history of the cultural landscape . Booklet 2). Agricultural and Open Air Museum Schloß Blankenhain, Blankenhain 1999 (24 pages).
  • Thomas Starkmann: Straight to the goal - road network and land consolidation . In: Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe (Hrsg.): Paths through the landscape . Münster 2006, p. 28-32 .
  • Martin Sorg, Hubert Sumser, Heinz Schwan: Mapping and evaluation of dirt roads in the cultural landscape. (PDF) LNU - Landesgemeinschaft Naturschutz und Umwelt Nordrhein-Westfalen eV, 2014, accessed on October 15, 2016 (ecological mapping and evaluation of dirt roads).

Web links

Commons : Dirt Roads  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Commons : dirt roads  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Commons : Forest Trails  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Federal Court of Justice judgment v. November 18, 1975 Az .: VI ZR 172/74 ( Memento from December 20, 2016 in the Internet Archive )