[Tagging] highway=footway - Advanced definition: Distinction footway vs path

johnw johnw at mac.com
Thu Aug 6 01:50:21 UTC 2015

> On Aug 6, 2015, at 7:49 AM, Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com> wrote:
> and you can also make combinations without having to decide for footway, cycleway or bridleway. Also, without any further access tags, path is neutral and open to all unmotorized means of transport (unlike footway, cycleway etc.)

In a national park, where I have a trail through the wilderness, where foot and horse traffic is allowed, but not bikes - this makes perfect sense.
 These are the rules for the the trails in my state parks. mountain bikes (for recreation) are only allowed on fire roads (tracks). 

So… It is a path. Where horses and people are allowed. 

If I have a cycleway that is built to cycleway specs (paved, rounded turns, lanes, and no stairs), but peds are still allowed, then it is a cycleway with foot access =yes

I would never consider tagging that as =path with foot & cycle =yes. I would consider a cycleway tagged as such mis-tagged and correct it. 

It plainly is not a path. it is a concrete walkway built to accommodate bicycle (commuter & daily life) traffic. It is built to a much higher grade than a path, and expectations of usage is very different.

If I have a sidewalk along a road, where it may be implicitly signed that bikes are allowed (like most of Japan), but it is built to footway specs (tons of poles, driveways, road crossings) - it is a =footway with bicycle=yes. The amount of ambiguous walkways based on their grade and construction for usage is very rare. And none of them could be confused with a 60cm wide dirt path through the forest.  

walking/biking to the mall and walking/biking through the wilderness have very different expectations of grade of the way. There are variances - but: 

Sidewalk  ≠ Path 

Motorway ≠ track 

we reflect that in the roadway tags. it should be equally obvious in the non-roadway tags as well. We don’t have a highway=main tag that could cover tracks to motorwayish roads, because that is bad ambiguous tagging! this issue with path exactly the same, IMO. 


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