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

Craig Wallace craigw84 at fastmail.fm
Mon Dec 14 18:38:32 GMT 2009

On 14/12/2009 16:37, Mike Harris wrote:
>> 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.
"definitely impossible"? That sounds like a challenge... I'm sure some 
people could ride (parts of it) on a mountain bike (or on a horse).
The surface tag doesn't need to exact, just the typical (or worse part?) 
for each section.
Also, it sounds like its worth using some extra tags, eg sac_scale / 
mtb:scale, especially for the upland hiking trails. Or maybe even 

> 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 ... )
Yes, I agree, surface=unpaved doesn't say much about what the path is 
made of, just that its not tarmac / concrete etc. For the examples you 
describe, it would be more useful to use something like surface=gravel 
or surface=compacted.


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