[Tagging] Proposed definition for cycleways (was Re: bicycle=no)

Steve Bennett stevagewp at gmail.com
Wed Jan 6 06:15:07 GMT 2010

On Wed, Jan 6, 2010 at 11:11 AM, Richard Welty <rwelty at averillpark.net>wrote:

> within the US, i am increasingly seeing things that might once have just
> been called bike paths
> that are now designated as multi use trails, e.g. the Mohawk Hudson Bike
> Path here in Albany
> has become the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail. Likewise, the Pinellas Trail
> in the St. Pete
> Florida area is officially described as a multi-use trail for the cases
> where it using old railway
> roadbeds.

Yeah, same here. You barely see the term "bike path" at all. From the OSM
point of view, I just see it as a hierarchy:

footway: pedestrians
cycleway: bicycles and pedestrians

There are some countries with large numbers of genuine dedicated non-foot
cycleways, though.

> highway=path+bicycle=designated+foot=designated
> rather accurately describes the intended official usage pattern of this
> class of path. i much
> prefer it to anything cobbed together around highway=cycleway, which is
> inherently asymmetric
> where the official policy for the trail is quite symmetric.
The asymmetry arises from the requirements of the modes of transport:
anything that a bike can ride on, a pedestrian can walk on - but not vice

Anyway, with the realisation that cycleway is actually treated the same as
highway=path,bicycle=designated (I thought this was just a proposal, I
didn't realise it actually worked), everything gets simpler. I'm not even
sure what we're fighting over anymore exactly...perhaps someone can remind

The biggest problem I can see at the moment is I really don't want to tag
anything "bicycle=designated" unless I'm certain it really *is* designated
that way (which I can't do from aerial photography), but I *do* want to tag
it "highway=cycleway" without such certainty. Or maybe I just tag it
"fixme=verify designation".

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