Bundesstraße abbreviated B, is the denotation for German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

n national highway
A highway is any public road. In American English, the term is common and almost always designates major roads. In British English, the term designates any road open to the public. Any interconnected set of highways can be variously referred to as a "highway system", a "highway network", or a...



German Bundesstraßen are labelled with rectangular yellow signs with black numerals, as opposed to the white-on-blue markers of the world-famous Autobahn controlled-access highways. Bundesstraßen like autobahns are maintained by the federal agency
Federal agency (Germany)
Federal agencies in Germany are established to assist the country's executive branch on the federal level according to of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany...

 of the Transport Ministry. In the German highway system they rank below autobahns, but above the Landesstraße
Landesstraßen are roads in Germany and Austria that are, as a rule, the responsibility of the respective German or Austrian federal state. The term may therefore be translated as "state road". They are roads that cross the boundary of a rural or urban district...

and Kreisstraße
A Kreisstraße is a class of road in Germany. It carries traffic between the towns and villages within a Kreis or district or between two neighbouring districts. In terms of importance, the Kreisstraße ranks below a Landesstraße , but above a Gemeindestraße or "local road"...

maintained by the federal states
States of Germany
Germany is made up of sixteen which are partly sovereign constituent states of the Federal Republic of Germany. Land literally translates as "country", and constitutionally speaking, they are constituent countries...

 and the districts
Districts of Germany
The districts of Germany are known as , except in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein where they are known simply as ....

 resp. The numbering was implemented by law in 1932 and has overall been retained up to today, except for those roads located in the former eastern territories of Germany.

One distinguishing characteristic between German Bundesstraßen and the world-famous Autobahnen (motorways) is that there usually is a general 100 km/h (62 mph) speed limit
Speed limit
Road speed limits are used in most countries to regulate the speed of road vehicles. Speed limits may define maximum , minimum or no speed limit and are normally indicated using a traffic sign...

 on federal highways out of built-up areas, as opposed to the advisory speed limit (Richtgeschwindigkeit) of 130 km/h (83 mph) in unmarked sections of the motorways. However, once the federal highway is extended as a dual carriageway
Dual carriageway
A dual carriageway is a class of highway with two carriageways for traffic travelling in opposite directions separated by a central reservation...

 (coll. "Yellow Autobahn"), the advisory speed limit is again 130 km/h (83 mph). Most sections of the federal highways are only single carriageway
Single carriageway
A single carriageway is a road with 1, 2 or more lanes arranged within a single carriageway with no central reservation to separate opposing flows of traffic. Two-lane road or two-lane highway are single carriageway with one lane for each direction...

 with one lane for each direction and no hard shoulder
Shoulder (road)
A hard shoulder, or simply shoulder, is a reserved area by the verge of a road or motorway. Generally it is kept clear of motor vehicle traffic...

 pull-out area.

The closest equivalent in the United States would be the U.S. highway system
United States Numbered Highways
The system of United States Numbered Highways is an integrated system of roads and highways in the United States numbered within a nationwide grid...



In contrast to Germany, according to an 2002 amendment of the Austrian federal road act, Bundesstraßen is the official term referring only to autobahns
Autobahns of Austria
The Austrian autobahns are controlled-access highways in Austria. They are officially called Bundesstraßen A according to the Austrian federal road act...

 (Bundesstraßen A) and limited-access road
Limited-access road
A limited-access road known by various terms worldwide, including limited-access highway, dual-carriageway and expressway, is a highway or arterial road for high-speed traffic which has many or most characteristics of a controlled-access highway , including limited or no access to adjacent...

s (Schnellstraßen, Bundesstraßen S). The administration of all other former federal highways (Bundesstraßen B) has passed to the federal states
States of Austria
Austria is a federal republic made up of nine states, known in German as Länder . Since Land is also the German word for a country, the term Bundesländer is often used instead to avoid ambiguity. The Constitution of Austria uses both terms...


Therefore officially classified as Landesstraße
Landesstraßen are roads in Germany and Austria that are, as a rule, the responsibility of the respective German or Austrian federal state. The term may therefore be translated as "state road". They are roads that cross the boundary of a rural or urban district...

, they are still colloquially called Bundesstraßen and have retained their 'B' designation (except for Vorarlberg
Vorarlberg is the westernmost federal-state of Austria. Although it is the second smallest in terms of area and population , it borders three countries: Germany , Switzerland and Liechtenstein...

), followed by the number and a name. They are marked by a blue number sign.
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