[Tagging] "Feature Proposal - RFC - bicycle=use_cycleway

Robert Whittaker (OSM lists) robert.whittaker+osm at gmail.com
Wed Nov 13 23:53:47 UTC 2013

On 13 November 2013 23:06, Matthijs Melissen <info at matthijsmelissen.nl> wrote:
> In the Netherlands, segways, rollerblades, and skateboards are allowed
> on bike paths. In Austria, segways and rollerblades are allowed on
> bike paths, but skateboards are not. In Germany, segways are allowed
> on bike paths, but rollerblades and skateboards are not. Do we really
> want to tag every German path where there is a bicycle sign with
> segway=yes, rollerblade=no, skateboard=no? And possible a much longer
> list of vehicles that are treated as pedestrians under one legislation
> but as bikes somewhere else? Also, if the law changes, for example to
> include or exclude Segways, we would need to change all tags, even
> though nothing has changed on the ground.
> In the long run, I think it would be good if routers will be aware of
> the jurisdiction a road is in, and then derive the implications of a
> bike=no sign for other types of vehicles.

In which case,I don't think the already well-established access tags
are what you should be using for this. bicycle=no means "you can't
ride a bicycle along here", not "there's a no cycling sign" that also
has other implications for different classes of user. If someone
(additionally or alternatively) wants to tag that a certain way has a
certain (most likely) country-specific status that implies certain
access restrictions on it, then it would be better to use different
tags for this. This way the ordinary access tags keep their usual
standard international meaning, and so can be used by routers etc that
are not aware of the specific rules. If people choose not to
explicitly tag segway=yes, that's fine, there will just be no explicit
information about segway use on that way. If there's a different tag
specifying that it's an official German Cycleway, then routers that
are aware of what that means can derive all the associated access
rights from that.

(In the UK, we use designation=* for certain special classes of public
right of way. Though many people will also add the associated access
tags that implies, presumably in part because most routers aren't
currently aware of how to interpret the designation tags.)

In short, I don't see why you can't tag the roads you're talking about
with bicycle=no (or maybe something like bicycle=restricted for the
cases where more significant use is allowed) and then add a second tag
along the lines of bicycle:restriction=DE:use_cycleway to capture the
fact that the legal exclusion of bikes is because of X country's
parallel cycleway rules. There's no need to add half-a-dozen extra
access tags if you don't want to. Routers that aren't aware of the
specific rules will get things right most of the time without needing
any adjustment. Routers that are aware of the rules will have a
specific tag to look for that allows them to apply the right rules for
that stretch of road. Not only is more information captured with this
scheme, if the legal implications of DE:use_cycleway change at any
point, there's a convenient key to use for any automated changing /
checking of the access tags that is desired.


Robert Whittaker

More information about the Tagging mailing list