[Tagging] path vs footway

johnw johnw at mac.com
Mon Nov 3 23:14:11 UTC 2014

AFIK - footway and path are more toward the width, surface, smoothness, maintenance level, and expected use of the way. a sidewalk often gets tagged as footpath, as would be a concrete walkway in a garden. 

Paths are usually less maintained, less even, narrower, and lower grade surfaces. 

footpath doesn’t imply horses=no, it implies cars=no. 

to me path implies wheelchair=no. 

if they are wide, well maintained, somewhat smooth and hard, and easily passible, then they are footpaths. 

if it is a track for emergency access vehicles that is usually open for hiking, horses, and bikes, then label it is a track instead, cars=emergency or whatever that exact tag is. 

horses can fit on pathways and paths (and pedestrian, for that matter)  - I don’t think the trails you are talking about are exclusive horse paths (a bridleway) so it would just have access for horses added to the path, like bicycle access on a footway vs a Cycleway where the intended purpose is bicycle access. 


> On Nov 4, 2014, at 7:38 AM, Mike Thompson <miketho16 at gmail.com> wrote:
> I am editing trails in a US National Park of which I have first hand
> knowledge.  Nearly all trails in this area have been tagged
> "highway=footway" although most of them are open equally to foot
> traffic and horse traffic. Any reason to leave them as "footways"? The
> wiki suggests that "path" is more appropriate. It would be nice to
> have consistent data, otherwise it suggests that one trail is
> different from the next when if fact they are not.
> By the way, might this be an artifact of the defaults in Potlatch?
> Thanks,
> Mike
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