[Tagging] Tagging highway=cycleway without explicit knowledge ofthe law?

Mike Harris mikh43 at googlemail.com
Fri Dec 11 09:29:11 GMT 2009

Roy Wallace says ...

Mike Harris

> -----Original Message-----
> From: tagging-bounces at openstreetmap.org
> [mailto:tagging-bounces at openstreetmap.org] On Behalf Of Roy Wallace
> Sent: 11 December 2009 07:45
> To: Tag discussion, strategy and related tools
> Subject: [Tagging] Tagging highway=cycleway without explicit
> knowledge ofthe law?
> If I trace (from aerial imagery) a path that I'm pretty sure
> would be great to ride on, and that appears to have been made
> nice and wide for cyclists, could/should I tag this as
> highway=cycleway? I know that pedestrians are probably
> welcome to walk on it as well (in Australia, no one is going
> to kick a pedestrian off a bikeway like the one I am referring to).
> Could/should I add an additional tag to clarify that I really
> don't know the legal status/designation/whatever of the path?
> If yes, what should that additional tag be?
I would probably tag it - according to what it looked like - either as
highway=cycleway or as highway=footway and then add foot=yes (or permissive)
and bicycle=yes (or permissive) to make it clear that it is OK both for
cyclists and pedestrians. If I were to be more pedantic I might even add
designation=unknown to make it clear that I didn't know the formal legal
status (although in practice I would regard =unknown as the default value
for designation=*).

> The current wiki definition of highway=cycleway is "mainly or
> exclusively for bicycles". This I cannot be sure of from the
> aerial imagery, nor can I of anything to do with the law.
> What to do...

>The fact that the wiki says that highway=cycleway is "mainly or exclusively
for bicycles" is, imho, one of the main causes of all the confusion over
highway=cycleway and highway=footway. In England, at least, it is very rare
for a cycleway to be unavailable for pedestrians (with the important
exclusion of dedicated cycleways that are segregated - physically or by
markings - both from the vehicular highway and from the footway alongside
vehicular highways ). They are almost always multiuser ways. But there is an
understandable tendency to use highway=cycleway for both cases as there is
no obvious way to differentiate.

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