[Tagging] shared driveways

Greg Troxel gdt at ir.bbn.com
Fri Nov 20 21:07:47 GMT 2009

  Please don't take the following as me arguing with you.  I'm just
  trying to understand.

No problem - it's a useful discussion and a hard question.

I think the bottom line is that one has to understand the actual
legal/use distinctions made by the experts, and then figure out how much
of that to represent and how in the map.  Neither of us knows that.  I
am tempted to go ask the police, but I bet they don't know, because it's
never the edge case that matters to them.

  I once got a ticket for an expired registration while parked in a
  private driveway.  I wound up getting out of the ticket on some other
  technicality, though, so I don't know whether or not the ticket was

Hmm.  in my town (mass) there was a guy with 10 unregistered cars in his
driveway.  He got hassled under zoning which prohibited storage of more
than 1 unregistered car.  But the police did not care because they were
not on a (public|private) way, so it was not an unregistered vehicle

  I could use that as a distinction, but then roads through apartment
  complexes would be tagged as driveways?  See
  (apartment complex, hence one owner and no individual frontage, hence
  all one parcel - should Belmere Pkwy be highway=service,

Well, that's how I would tend to see it, but it being in practice street
like and large and having a name makes it feel like it's fair to label
it as if it were a private way.  I wonder if it really is a private way
and the parcel data is out of date.

  > I don't understand if a person has a right of access to private ways
  > like they do with public ways.  But it's definitely much more reasonable
  > to just go on one than to go on someone's house lot.

  Not where I live.  Where I live (and both states where I used to live,
  and I suspect in most of the US), if there's a legally installed
  fence/gate (or "no trespassing" sign), and you bypass it, you're
  trespassing, whether it's a "private way" through a gated community or
  a private driveway going to someone's house.  And if there aren't any
  such "no trespassing" signs or gates/fences, you're not trespassing -
  after all it's not trespassing to walk up to someone's house and ring
  their doorbell, or to drive down a shared driveway (think a long
  narrow shared driveway on a flag lot) to deliver a package.

Here it's the same.  Actually 'trespassing' is 'being on the land of
another without permission', and it's not illegal.  The offense is
'trespass after notice' and that fits 100% with the signs and norms you
describe (with the minor definitional change).

In mass, private ways look like public streets, and I have never seen a
"no trespassing" sign on one.  Sometimes you can't tell they are a
private way (vs public way) unless you go look at town records.
Sometimes there is a small 'private way' notation on the sign.  I
suspect it would be improper to put up a no trespassing sign on such a
road.  On a driveway (in a gated community, on a person's house), no
trespassing signs are not at all odd.
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