[Tagging] Tagging highway=cycleway without explicit knowledgeofthe law?

Mike Harris mikh43 at googlemail.com
Mon Dec 14 16:37:29 GMT 2009

Mike Harris

> -----Original Message-----
> From: tagging-bounces at openstreetmap.org 
> [mailto:tagging-bounces at openstreetmap.org] On Behalf Of Anthony
> Sent: 14 December 2009 14:47
> To: Tag discussion, strategy and related tools
> Subject: Re: [Tagging] Tagging highway=cycleway without 
> explicit knowledgeofthe law?
> On Mon, Dec 14, 2009 at 4:26 AM, Mike Harris 
> <mikh43 at googlemail.com> wrote:
> 	I would not at this stage
> 	support the re-invention of a meaning for highway=path 
> that - although
> 	perhaps reflecting the purpose for which it was 
> originally intended (cf.
> 	Frederik's message - apparently a 'non-specific or 
> multiuse path') differs
> 	from the way it seems to being used 90% of the time (an 
> ill-defined and not
> 	legally designated hiking path 'not otherwise 
> specified' and probably
> 	unsuitable for any traffic other than pedestrian).
> Well, first of all, what you describe would still be 
> correctly labeled as a "path".  However, I have to really 
> doubt that 90% of ways tagged with path are "probably 
> unsuitable for any traffic other than pedestrian".  Maybe 90% 
> are unpaved, but unpaved does not mean "unsuitable for any 
> traffic other than pedestrian".  And there's already a tag 
> for surface=paved/unpaved.  That's my problem with the 
> current usage.  We shouldn't have a tag for surface=unpaved 
> and a second tag for highway=surface_probably_unpaved.

100% of the paths I tag as highway=path are definitely impossible for
anything other than pedestrians - perhaps I'm in a more rural area than you?
E.g. undefined paths across fields interrupted by gates, stiles, etc. - or
upland / mountain hiking trails across moorland / bog / scree / rocks. On
these the surface changes so often with the terrain that the surface= tag,
which I use widely in other circumstances, is not very helpful.

> On Mon, Dec 14, 2009 at 5:37 AM, Richard Mann 
> <richard.mann.westoxford at googlemail.com> wrote:
> 	highway=path for rough paths
> 	highway=footway for paved paths
> Can someone at least write a bot to go around changing path 
> to footway or vice-versa if the surface=* doesn't match?  Or 
> (and I know this is never going to happen), put some code on 
> the servers to disallow highway=path + surface=paved and 
> highway=footway + surface=unpaved?

Although I don't necessarily disagree with Richard, I suspect that I use
=footway more and =path less than he implies. Neither is right or wrong -
just praxis. But I don't think we should start sending bots around while the
whole area is still debated so much - just look at the length of this thread
and all the others that precede it! And the complexity of the implied debate
on the consolidation page on the wiki.
> 	bicycle=yes if bikes are definitely allowed, and 
> unlikely to be revoked
> 	bicycle=permissive if it looks like the land is private 
> and someone could attempt to ban cycling in future
> What about bicycle=no?  Is that the default?  If so, I have 
> to object.  The default needs to be bicycle=unknown, or else 
> it needs to be jurisdiction specific.
> 	highway=cycleway only used for well-engineered & 
> public/permanant cycle tracks (ie could you safely do 20kph on it)
> This could work too, with perhaps a jurisdiction-specific 
> definition only for cycleway.  My only two (relatively small) 
> problems are 1) something needs to be done quickly about 
> inconsistent data like bicycle=path + 
> surface=concrete/paved/asphalt/etc or bicycle=footway + 
> surface=grass/ground/sand/unpaved/etc, before it gets too out 
> of hand.  And 2) you just can't make the default bicycle=no.
> Oh yeah, and "rough" should be "unpaved".

Unpaved is not necessarily rough - I know of plenty of cycleways / footways
/ paths / tracks that have a smooth compacted gravel surface that I would
regards as unpaved but allows cycling at well over 20 kph (usually without a
bell and at great peril to walkers - only kidding bike-guys - well almost
only ... )

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