[Tagging] bicycle=no

Mike Harris mikh43 at googlemail.com
Tue Dec 8 19:09:09 GMT 2009

I looked at this some time ago when formulating my own practice (for better
or worse!). I could see from the wiki that the access= tag (which I don't
think I have ever used) does have some values that seem to be legal in their
implications e.g. this wiki page's definition of access=yes. But then I
started getting confused:

... Overlap between access=yes and access=official ?

... Access=designated described as 'preferred/designated' - which would seem
to be somewhat orthogonal ?

... "foot=yes The public has a right of way when travelling on foot" on this
page (implying a legal right) but on
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Map_Features#Restrictions we find "foot =
yes / designated / official / private / permissive / destination / delivery
/ agricultural / forestry / unknown / = Access permission for pedestrians"
where "permission" does not necessarily imply a right.

... "foot=yes The public has a right of way when travelling on foot" but
"bicycle=yes The owner has given permission for bicycle access" - permission
from the landowner is surely quite different from a right enshrined in law.


For this reason I abandoned this wiki page ... And for similar reasons I
also abandoned the wiki page
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:access%3Ddesignated e.g. because the
text seems to be (deliberately) ambiguous as to whether there are rights or
whether the usage is as a "suggested" route - see quote

"This tag indicates that a route has been specially designated (typically by
a government) for use by a particular mode (or modes) of transport. The
specific meaning varies according to jurisdiction. It may imply extra usage
rights for the given mode of transport (i.e. normally a vehicle is banned,
but in this case it is allowed), or may be just a suggested route (e.g.
bicycles can in most jurisdictions ride on any street, but some particular
streets are recommended and signed as such.)"

In trying to avoid creating yet another concept myself, I found that the
nearest fit to my (twisted?) logic that already appeared somewhere in the
wiki was at Richard Mann's page

This did seem to keep the concept of legal designation separate from
everything else and (despite the unfortunate similarity of the English terms
'designation' and 'designated', which are used quite differently on their
respective wiki pages) did not seem actually to conflict with anything else
(despite some inevitable overlap). Agreed, this page - and the concepts on
it and those that I am discussing here - stems from a situation that is
perhaps unique to England and Wales (or, even if not, then perhaps unusual
elsewhere). However, IF it is useful for mappers and OSM users in England
and Wales (and I believe it is) and - on condition that it does NOT conflict
unacceptably with local practice elsewhere (and I believe it does not) -
then it still gets my vote as the best option I have found (so far) in the
(inevitably imperfect) open source world of OSM.

Doubtless this debate will continue to the end of the road / footway / path

Here endeth the lesson (;>) ...


> -----Original Message-----
> From: tagging-bounces at openstreetmap.org 
> [mailto:tagging-bounces at openstreetmap.org] On Behalf Of Anthony
> Sent: 08 December 2009 18:10
> To: Tag discussion, strategy and related tools
> Subject: Re: [Tagging] bicycle=no
> On Tue, Dec 8, 2009 at 12:30 PM, Mike Harris 
> <mikh43 at googlemail.com> wrote:
> 	So - question to the group - do people think that foot 
> / bicycle / etc. = yes / no / permissive etc. has any 
> strictly legal implication in their area / usage?
> I certainly did:  http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Access
> access=yes The public has an official, legally-enshrined 
> right of access, i.e. it's a right of way.
> access=no Access by this transport mode is not permitted, 
> public does not have a right of way.
> foot / bicycle / etc. are, I thought, effectively subtags off 
> access=*.
> I'm not very familiar with access=permissive and how it 
> differs from access=private.  It seems to me to be a 
> distinction that's difficult to verify, or at least 
> jurisdiction dependent.  I like the idea, but I'm not sure 
> about how to implement it.
> I also don't see how anything but a strictly legal 
> implication can make sense.
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