[Tagging] bicycle=no

Steve Bennett stevagewp at gmail.com
Thu Dec 10 03:51:55 GMT 2009

On Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 2:27 PM, Anthony <osm at inbox.org> wrote:

> What kind of surface/width changes are we talking about?  I'd support a
> relaxaton of the width tag to support a range of tags (width=2-3).  The tag
> "est_width=2.5" is already in the wiki.  As for surface changes, I don't
> know how common that is, especially not if you don't mind surface=paved.
> Even surface=unpaved is better than what you're going to get out of me if
> you insist I consult a table of bicycle suitabilities, which is nothing.

Heh, I don't tag surface= either. And I don't tag width, because I just
don't think it has enough value to justify the effort. Hence, why I just tag
a long stretch as "highway=cycleway" or "highway=footway, bicycle=yes". If
you want to tag a footpath as just "highway=footway" and leave the bicycle
question to others, that's totally fine. And if one day we come up with some
simple guidelines that don't require you to get out there with a measuring
tape, that would be even better.

(Roy, you don't need to chime in here and tell me that I'm totally wrong.)

That's why I suggest using tags that apply to lots of different interests.
> Knowing the width helps everyone.

You know any software that makes use of width=*?

> Knowing the surface (at least to the precision of paved/grass/unpaved)
> helps everyone.

Ditto. Mapnik and Osmarender totally ignore it.

> Whereas bicycle:suitability=medium helps bicyclists.  Make that some
> bicyclists.  Make that some bicyclists, sometimes.

This is a fairly good point. But I think "helps everyone" is overstating the
case. I don't want to expend effort helping classes of user that don't
exist. Here's my thinking:
1) Pedestrians are very flexible in the surfaces they support. They need
minimal information. I can't see that "width=" is going to matter to anyone.
"Surface=" *maybe*.
2) Bicycles do require this information. People are much more likely to ride
bikes places that they know have good surfaces. They don't need to know the
width precisely, but knowing that the path is "bike path quality" helps.
3) Wheelchairs are extremely sensitive to surface type. A small barrier can
be a huge problem.

If there is information that can be recorded that is useful to multiple use
cases, then that's an argument for recording the information directly,
rather than just the analysis of it. But if the information only serves one
purpose, better to synthesise it into a more abstract representation.

(Of course, lest anyone misunderstand, more information is better. If we had
width=* tags for every metre of every path/road/highway on the planet,
great. I'm talking about the tradeoff between effort and result. I have
finite time, and I'd rather spend it for maximum value.)

> By the way, you mentioned curbs.  I'm kind of shocked we don't have it, but
> I strongly suggest we introduce a barrier=curb.  If I feel masochistic, I
> might even make up a proposal for it.

Do it. Fix barriers in general. They don't (iirc) adequately distinguish
what they're barriering against. There's a big difference between a fence
intended to keep cars out, and one that keeps people out. (Actually I'm
probably just misremembering, you're probably supposed to use access tags).

Oh, and add barrier=barricade, for a low anti-car obstruction.
(barrier=roadblock? I'm thinking of these barriers you often see around
parks here, two vertical poles with a long vertical pole bolted across,
about knee height. Usually treated pine.)

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