[Tagging] Is a sidewalk always adjacent to a traversable road?

Josh Doe josh at joshdoe.com
Thu Aug 25 13:06:52 BST 2011

On Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 4:30 AM, Simone Saviolo
<simone.saviolo at gmail.com> wrote:
> Woah, stop :-) What I meant is:
> - we've always said that each way should represent a linear feature;
> - for highways, this means a carriageway. If a road has a single two-way
> carriageway, i.e., if a car going from A to B can go on the opposite lane
> (the one used by those who go from B to A), then it should be drawn as a
> single way. If there is an actual physical separation such as a barrier (for
> example on motorways) then there are two carriageways and two ways should be
> drawn (*usually* each one would be one-way).
> - it is disputed whether to draw two ways where two lanes are divided by a
> traffic island (which is a legal strict separation, even stricter than the
> continuous line, but not a physical separation)
> - it is even disputed whether to draw a different way for PSV-reserved
> lanes, which are usually delimited by some kind of kerbs (albeit usually
> low) and occasionally allow PSVs to ignore a one-way restriction


> Considering the above, I can hardly see how a crossing (either for
> pedestrians or cyclists or horsemen) would deserve its own way (especially a
> highway=*). The only "need" for it - and mind it, it seems quite a good
> point to have it IMHO - would be routing. For sure, if it seems fit to draw
> the way, it should not be a highway=footway (using pedestrians as an
> example).

A highway=footway is a route that pedestrians are intended to use or
use on a regular basis, it doesn't always have to correspond to
physical infrastructure. In other words if there's a well worn path
through a field or forest that should be considered a highway=footway
(or possibly highway=path, but that's irrelevant here). I don't see
how there's any difference between a route that a pedestrian follows
through a field and one that crosses a street, what we're doing is
describing the *network* of ways that pedestrians travel on.

> I suggest using highway=crossing for that. Using it on nodes is only
> appropriate to mark at what point of the road vehicles may encounter
> pedestrians trying to cross. Secondly, highway=crossing ways would be
> clearly indicated as routable segments that are not actually part of, for
> example, a cycleway network.

For footways crossing streets we have the footway=crossing tag. I
suppose we could get away with a highway=crossing tag instead, but
then of course it's critical to add foot/bicycle/etc=yes/no. And all
data consumers would have to change to work with this new highway
type, not that it's something I'm opposed to, but it's worth
considering if the distinction between highway=crossing + foot=yes and
highway=footway + footway=crossing is worth the hassle.


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