[Tagging] access=designated - what do we think it means?

André Pirard A.Pirard.Papou at gmail.com
Fri Apr 11 23:43:44 UTC 2014

On 2014-04-11 19:02, Matthijs Melissen wrote :
> On 11 April 2014 17:28, SomeoneElse <lists at mail.atownsend.org.uk> wrote:
>> Currently, there are 41,000 things tagged "access=designated (1).
>> I can understand what "=designated" means for a specifc transport
>> type (foot, bicycle, etc.) but not "access".  The wiki (2) also doesn't
>> know.
> The wiki does know:
> | access=designated is not defining what is designated and is
> | meaningless.
> All access=designated tags should be removed.

I'm glad you raised this subject because I had the following dormant for
long in my drafts to send.
I'm glad that nobody understands that tag either and that I'm not stupid.
This is another mad story I will close and archive next to noexit=no.
And the worst of it all is that I was going to ask because, once again,
this tag stands in the wiki as instructions specific to a country for
which it is said to have no meaning.  Yes, a mad fuzzy world.

Good job jobbed,


> Hi,
> A routing software does not use fuzzy but strict logic when deciding
> where moving objects are allowed to go.
> Hence, unlike some other tags, access restriction tags must be defined
> and used strictly.
> I'm trying to understand "designated" in strict way.
> Does it mean that they can go, cannot go or is it adornment?
>>   Tag:access=designated
>> *This tag indicates that a route has been specially designated*
>> (typically by a government) for use by a particular mode (or modes)
>> of transport. *The specific meaning varies* according to
>> jurisdiction. *It may* imply extra usage rights for the given mode of
>> transport (i.e. normally a vehicle is banned, but in this case it is
>> allowed), or may be just a suggested route (e.g. bicycles can in most
>> jurisdictions ride on any street, but some particular streets are
>> recommended and signed as such.) . To indicate an exclusive access
>> see access <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:access>=official
>> <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:access%3Dofficial>, or just
>> use access <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:access>=no
>> <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:access%3Dno> in addition to a
>> mode-specific key (foot
>> <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:foot>=designated
>> <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:foot%3Ddesignated>, bicycle
>> <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:bicycle>=designated
>> <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:bicycle%3Ddesignated>, etc.)
> So, designated means that the route has been designated.
> Dictionary: to mark or point out; indicate; show; specify. to denote;
> indicate; signify. to name; entitle; style.
> But replacing "designated" with any of them doesn't make it any clearer.
> And the specific meaning varies according to jurisdiction !!!
> It may, ..., or maybe ... but what *does* it?
> To me, the word seemed to mean "reserved" or "mandatory" access, but
> we're far from the required certainty.
> Guided by "according to juridiction" I might have to look into the
> driving code but I doubt my GPS software will do it.
> I found this "localisation":
>> *designated = yes:* There's no reason for a "designated" access tag
>> in Belgium as there is no reason why one has more rights over the
>> other on any of these highway types when different vehicle types have
>> access to a road. "designated" is therefore synonym with "yes".
>> Footways could both be signed with a sign that doesn't show a
>> pedestrian at all, and one that does, so basing a designated tag on
>> traffic signs is also flawed. 
> I humbly confess I do not understand.  Why would "designated" be
> unsuitable to qualify a road for the sole usage of pedestrians because
> "no one has more rights over the others on the other ways where
> different vehicle types have access"?
> Looking at the examples...
> A UK /bridleway/:
>   * horse <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:horse>=designated
>     <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:horse%3Ddesignated>
>   * bicycle <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:bicycle>=yes
>     <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:bicycle%3Dyes>
>   * foot <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:foot>=yes
>     <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:foot%3Dyes>
> This seems to mean that horse
> <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:horse>=designated
> <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:horse%3Ddesignated> implies
> bicycle <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:bicycle>=no
> <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:bicycle%3Dyes>
> A UK /footway/:
>   * foot <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:foot>=designated
>     <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:foot%3Ddesignated>
>   * bicycle <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:bicycle>=no
>     <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:bicycle%3Dno>
>   * horse <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:horse>=no
>     <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:horse%3Dno>
> and hence, this is nonsense.

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