[Tagging] Tagging highway=cycleway without explicit knowledge of the law?

Roy Wallace waldo000000 at gmail.com
Sat Dec 12 08:06:37 GMT 2009

On Sat, Dec 12, 2009 at 4:16 PM, Steve Bennett <stevagewp at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sat, Dec 12, 2009 at 3:15 PM, Anthony <osm at inbox.org> wrote:
>> So, what's your definition of "cycleway"?
> Do you mean the tag, or the reality? If the reality, then I could
> describe several classes of bike path and multiuse path and pedestrian
> path.
> I would distinguish:
> 1) pedestrian paths, footpaths etc which provide access to buildings
> etc, with an optional tag for legalities of bikes. These are paths not
> suited to bikes, but you might do so.
> 2) generic paths, like through parks, public areas etc. They were
> generally designed for pedestrians, but if you're there on a bike,
> you'll use it. Again, optional tags for legalities.
> 3) bike path/multiuse path. Generally long, smooth, few obstructions,
> and frequently with an actual name (as opposed to other paths that
> never have names, only destinations). Honestly, there's no difference
> between a multi use path and a bike path, except perhaps width and
> legalities.
> I would like to tag these something like:
> 1) highway=footway (with bicycle=no implied)
> 2) highway=path (with bicycle=yes, foot=yes, car/vehicle=no implied)
> 3) highway=cycleway (with bicycle=yes, foot=yes) implied.
> Note I said *like to*...that's some kind of proposal, not what I'm
> actually doing.

Seeing as we're throwing around proposals, here's another :) Sorry, I
don't like your's, because:

1) I don't think it's explicit enough (i.e. you can't infer the
meaning directly from the tags)
2) it mashes together "access", "suitability", "through parks",
"designed for", "you'll use it", "long", "smooth", "have names", ...
there's way too much going on here - I think with these kinds of
definitions we'll just end up in the same situation with the same
problems we already have

So here's my (proposed) scheme:

highway=path (deprecate footway and cycleway!!)
*=yes/no (deprecate unless we are confident that current usage always
refers to legal status)
*:legal=yes/no (e.g. bicycle:legal=* - for those who want to map the law)
*:signed=yes/no (e.g. bicycle:signed=* - for those who want to map
what's on the ground)
*:suitable=yes/no (e.g. bicycle:signed=* - for those who want to map
designation=* (official classification, i.e. read from a legal document)

(Plus encourage the use of source:*=*, and use surface=* and width=* as usual)

Notice there's no *necessity* for "suitability" or "predominantly used
by" rubbish, which we will never unanimously agree on. If you want to
map this, do it with additional tags. We've tried mashing this into
the highway=* value, and it HASN'T WORKED :-P

Is there anything missing? Those who want to map "what's on the
ground" can map signage+surface+width, those who want to map the law
or suitability can also do so - but in the above scheme they *don't

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