[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - Sidewalks as separate ways

David Paleino dapal at debian.org
Sun Apr 3 09:42:49 BST 2011


Hello Ed,

On Sat, 2 Apr 2011 22:26:22 -0400, Ed Hillsman wrote:

> The discussion of the sidewalk issue seems to have stopped. I added  
> some comments in the discussion section of the wiki last week, but  
> there have been no further comments there or here in nearly a week.

I saw your comments on the talk page, but I took them as generally appreciation
-- i.e. there was no question? :)
(yes, the relation is optional)

> I think each of the proposals (sidewalks as separate ways, and  
> sidewalks as attributes of streets) has merit in different  
> circumstances, and the choice of which to use should be optional. Like  
> Josh Doe, I've been mapping sidewalks as separate ways, but that is  
> because I've done most of my mapping in the suburban areas where I  
> work and live. I've tried it a bit in downtown Tampa, and down there I  
> think it makes more sense to tag them as attributes of roads.

Could you clarify why in one case you chose the "separate way", and in the
other case you chose "tagging the main road"? This could be enlightening for
those thinking that the two proposals are in contrast :)

(I myself believe they can cohexist -- I just believe that mapping separate
ways gives the chance of mapping more details, that's all)

> Except for a few block faces and intersections, where the city hasn't
> made curb/kerb cuts for wheelchairs yet. This means that some intersections  
> have some sidewalks where wheelchairs can cross in some directions,  
> but not in all. And for these I would code the sidewalks as separate  
> ways.

This is one of such examples, thanks. However, it seems a bit odd to have
"mixed styles" in one place/city/... :) -- but maybe it's just a matter of
taste ;)

> With regard to routing, sidewalks on college campuses, in parks, and  
> in cemeteries may be interior to a large area bounded by streets, and  
> as a result some may not have an associated street to use for a name.A  
> few sidewalks on a few campuses may have names of their own ("Slant  
> Walk" on the Miami University (Ohio) campus, is one example), but most  
> don't. So routing will need to come up with some other way to refer to  
> them.

I guess the named ones would have a name= attached; for the others, I can
imagine a router saying "turn left at the next footway, 200m" -- just like they
do with unnamed roads (be them unnamed, or the name hasn't been tagged yet).

> This is an unresolved issue, but it's one for the routing, not  
> for OSM to deal with (if there is no name, there is no name to tag).

Right.

> [..]
> Where a street parallels a street, but at a distance, I share the  
> concerns about using relations to associate sidewalks with their  
> streets. Would it work to add a tag "associated_street" and then  
> simply list the name of the street? For example, highway=footway,  
> associated_street="East Fowler Avenue". A value of "none" could be  
> coded if the sidewalk does not parallel a street.

Well, the relation is optional, but there usually is one already.
associatedStreet/street, in fact, is used for housenumbers -- so creating one
for sidewalks wouldn't be "wasted time" -- it's just preceding the housenumbers
mapping :)

But yes, being the relation optional, we can just use plain tags (even though
I'm fond of relations, and believe plain tags can become broken).

> I hope there will be more discussion of these two proposals.

I can't sincerely say why they stopped. Probably temperature became too hot to
continue :) -- I must say I calmed down a bit on my side, I just hope we don't
start again fighting each other ;)

Kindly,
David

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