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

Anders Fougner anders.fougner at gmail.com
Fri Aug 28 12:59:57 UTC 2015

Den 28.08.15 14.41, skrev Andy Townsend:
> On 28/08/2015 13:15, Anders Fougner wrote:
>> 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 
>> <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/access_restrictions_1.5#Namespace> 
>> but just not taken into use. It looks good, though...and wouldn't be 
>> so easily misunderstood, I believe.
> Based on past experience, not going to happen, for all sorts of 
> reasons.  Also, I suspect that "access:bicycle" is just as likely to 
> be misunderstood as "bicycle".  In addition, I suspect that most 
> people making these sorts of mistakes are relatively new mappers using 
> an editor that hides tag values from them, so it is also pointless.
> Far better, when you see someone locally tagging incorrectly like 
> that, is to talk to them, explain the problem, and suggest which tags 
> they should be using.  I'm sure most cycle routers do try and take 
> notice of sensible tagging (though there will sometimes be problems 
> that need to be bounced to the router maintainers - 
> https://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/33592375 and 
> http://forum.openstreetmap.org/viewtopic.php?id=32884 spring to 
> mind).  The "surface" tag is the obvious one; specifically for bikes 
> "*mtb:scale* <http://taginfo.openstreetmap.org.uk/keys/mtb%3Ascale>" 
> is probably the most popular locally to me, but near you it might be 
> something else.
Yes, that is how I do it at the moment. We use mtb:scale, surface=* etc 
to tag the mtb trails, and I have discussed the bicycle=no issue with 
peronal messages to approximately 150 OSM users so far. Only 10-15 of 
them have responded, and all of them told me that they had misunderstood 
the tag. When asked, they also agree that they wouldn't have 
misunderstood if it the tag was called "access:bicycle" instead.

I have removed the bicycle=no tag on a whole bunch of trails in Norway, 
after spending too much time reading the local laws/rules in each area 
and sometimes from the responses mentioned above. However, new 
bicycle=no trails pop up faster than I manage to handle.
You can quite easily spot these trails on for example <http://mtbmap.no> 
which renders them in yellow, for example a bunch of trails on this 
location: <http://mtbmap.no/#14/61.2376/10.4558>
Some of them, inside a museum area and a golf course, are correctly 
placed, but I the others are probably wrong...

I usually compare the location with Strava heatmap in order to see if 
people actually cycle there. If it shows that a lot of people cycle 
there, I suspect that the tag is wrong, but I still have to a) ask the 
OSM user whether he consciously placed the tag, or b) check the local 
rules/laws, in order to know whether I can remove the tag...
Even when bicycle=no and mtb:scale are both defined for a trail (it 
happens quite often), I have to do that process.

I suspect that it would be much easier to maintain if the "bicycle=*" 
tag was replaced by "access:bicycle=*".


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