[Tagging] Access tags (general question, but mostly regarding bicycle)

Anders Fougner anders.fougner at gmail.com
Fri Aug 28 12:15:56 UTC 2015

as probably most of you are aware of, common access tags such as foot=*, 
bicycle=* etc. are every often misunderstood by the people contributing 
to OSM. The problem is that people, unless they have read the wiki, 
believe that these tags define whether it is _possible_ to walk or cycle 
along a path, instead of the actual meaning (whether it is permitted).

Thus, we have a bunch of trails tagged with "bicycle=no" because people 
think that these trails aren't nice to bike, typically with a normal 
road bike or hybrid bike, even though the trail might be awesome with a 
mountain/trail/freeride/allmountain/downhill bike... And on a map using 
the access tags to show where to bike, it will typically be shown as 
illegal to bike on these trails, due to these wrongly placed access tags.

To manually correct all these access tags, i.e. confirm whether it was 
actually illegal to bike there or whether the OSM tagger just had 
misunderstood the access tag, is a hassle since it is often hard to get 
hold of the local laws/rules.

So we should consider replacing the tagging scheme with one which isn't 
misunderstood so easily.
The use of access:foot=*, access:bicycle=* has been proposed at 
but just not taken into use. It looks good, though...and wouldn't be so 
easily misunderstood, I believe.

PS. This issue may have been discussed here or on the wiki before, but 
I'm a new member of this mailing list and I haven't managed to find a 
real discussion of this issue, other than the very short one at 


Anders.Fougner at gmail.com
+47 97158863

Sent from my Commodore 64

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