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

Anders Fougner anders.fougner at gmail.com
Fri Aug 28 15:52:17 UTC 2015

Den 28.08.15 16.56, skrev Mateusz Konieczny:
> On Fri, 28 Aug 2015 14:15:56 +0200
> Anders Fougner <anders.fougner at gmail.com> 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.
> Why it would not be "so easily misunderstood"?
Well, I think it could be just because people intuitively think that 
highway=path, bicycle=no means it's a trail not _suitable_ or 
comfortable with a bike. The word access is simply not there, and then 
they don't even think about that as a possibility. And, people not into 
mountain biking might believe that trails are not usable or accessible 
with bikes unless they are paved or otherwise designed for biking.

Similar to the bicycle access issue: If I run an overpass search for 
"highway=path, ski=no", I get a whole bunch of hits in Norway.
100% of these are set by people who want to tell that "this is a trail 
not commonly used for skiing" - i.e. not by people who want to tell that 
"skiing is illegal on this trail". I've never been a place where skiing 
is illegal. I think it's permitted even in the churchyard, on the 
motorway (!) and on the soccer stadium - although people tend to not 
bring their skis to these places.

Some of the other access tags (e.g. wheelchair=*) are also formally 
interpreted this way (according to the wiki). When people put 
wheelchair=no on a mountain trail (and this happens all the time...), it 
is certainly *not* because using a wheelchair is illegal there - it's 
because wheelchair users can't access this trail with their wheelchair, 
since it's too difficult or unpractical. So it is pobably just a 
different meaning of the word "access" in this case...

> Deprecating extremely widely tag and introducing one that would
> be more annoying to use (autocompletion problems) is pointless.
The bicycle tag is used a lot, but as long as it is used incorrectly 
most of the time, it is useless in my opinion. Replacing something 
useless with something better and useful, could be a good idea.
Can you find a better solution?

Another possibility could be to make the OSM editors generate a popup 
every time people use an access tag like this, e.g. ask "Are you aware 
that  bicycle=* is an access tag, i.e. that setting bicycle=no which you 
now tried, means that bicycles are forbidden on this path? Click OK to 
confirm and keep the tag, click Cancel to delete the tag.".
But that would probably be more annoying than changing the tag to 
something involving "access", "permitted" or something else implying 
legal access.

Maybe the autocompletion problems can be avoided by changing the 
autocompletion setting in the OSM editors (JOSM, iD, Potlatch) on forehand?

> The proper way to fix this issue is to improve editors. For start - who
> makes mistakes? iD users? JOSM users?
Everyone... ;)


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