[Tagging] Dispute prevention: meaning of lanes tag

Martin Vonwald (Imagic) imagic.osm at gmail.com
Sat Apr 21 07:42:31 BST 2012

Am 20.04.2012 um 16:58 schrieb Jason Cunningham <jamicuosm at googlemail.com>:

> On 20 April 2012 14:35, Philip Barnes <phil at trigpoint.me.uk> wrote:
> Which prompts another question, do we have a tag for a 'passing place'?
> There is a photo of one on this page
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-track_road
> Tag info shows it does highway=passing_place does get used
> http://taginfo.openstreetmap.org/search?q=highway%3Dpassing
> And there is a page on the wiki for it.

Thanks for that. I would add a recommendation not to count such places for the lanes-count, but instead use the passing-tag. I will add a link to its article.

> And here's another question.
> A twoway single lane highway implies that if you meet a vehicle coming in the other direction the road is blocked. Hence the the common of existence, at least in the UK, of 'Passing Places' mentioned by Philip.
> A twoway two lane highway implies that common road vehicles can drive down the road each within their own lane?
> But there is a third situation that in my area is arguably more common than implied single lane status, and that is a road which is wide enough for cars to pass each other at at crawl, but which would be blocked if a large vehicle meets another vehicle. This I assume is impotant information, especially for routing, because these are roads a car owner would wish to avoid if there is an alternative 'true' 2 lane road, and which a lorry or van should avoid unless they must use the road.
> A while back I went through a period of trying to add lanes, speed limits, and lighting info. This was prompted by the excellent "tools" produced by ITO map eg www.itoworld.com/map/179
> While trying to sort through the confusing speed limit laws in my country, I stumbled across a document advising that roads where two cars could pass slowly or with care, but wider vehciles could not, the road should be considered to consist of  1.5 lanes. Didn't bother to save the document at the time and search engines can't track it down. Does the idea of lanes=1.5 seem acceptable for roads where cars can pass slowly, but wider vehicles will block the road. There is an obvious problem that the decision to label a road as lanes=1.5 is subjective.

In my opinion, lanes=1.5 is a very bad choice. We have a tag for this situation: width . According to taginfo, lanes=1.5 is used, but not too often. What should we do? I would recommend not to use it and advise to specify a width (which is also objective rather than subjective as 1.5 is).


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