[Tagging] lanes tag dispute

Kytömaa Lauri lauri.kytomaa at aalto.fi
Mon Sep 19 08:17:02 BST 2011

(sorry to break the thread one more time, but there's no way to reply in-thread
when you didn't have mail delivery enabled when the previous mails were

Martin Koppenhoefer wrote:
>+1, maybe we should specify that lanes is about car-lanes (restricted
>lanes like bus-lanes or cycle-lanes should IMHO be tagged with
>separate tags.)

If there is one globally accepted definition of what a lane is, it's the 
one in the UN Vienna Convention on road signs and signals:

"Lane" means any one of the longitudinal strips into which the carriageway
is divisible, whether or not defined by longitudinal road markings, which
is wide enough for one moving line of motor vehicles other than motor 

At least our legislation has an almost word-for-word translation of that for
defining what a lane is, and I suspect all european countries have a similar
clause. There's no mention of not including bus lanes. The Vienna convention
even acknowledges that local laws define if and when others are allowed
to use such bus lanes.

Martin Koppenhoefer wrote:
>>some countries have bus lanes that are open to all outside rush
>>hours, and/or motorists are allowed to use them for turning right
>for consistency it seems that the current way of tagging does not fit
>for the case described above. You will either be wrong in
>countries/situations where bus lanes are always restricted or you will
>be wrong for the situations where access is allowed some times.

For consistency the value of the lanes key should not depend on who's
allowed to use the lanes at different times, or in which country the
lanes exist. The "may be used for turning" is a traffic rule, which aren't
mapped explicitly. It's easy to add tags to describe when the bus lane 
is limited to buses. Say, for one oneway carriage
 lanes:bus:times=Mo-Fr 07:00-18:00
The other way round you'd have
 busway=lane or lanes:bus=1 (now is there 1 or 0 through traffic lanes?)
and something as ugly (value in the key) as 
 lanes:2:times=Mo-Fr 18:00-07:00; Sa-Su 24h
 lanes:exceptions=Mo-Fr 18:00-07:00; Sa-Su 24h: 2

For a precedent in the osm tagging, I'd mention the key 'capacity'
"Including all special lots, e.g. parking spaces for disabled drivers"


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