[Tagging] Subject: Feature Proposal - RFC - highway=social_path

John Willis johnw at mac.com
Wed Jun 15 15:38:57 UTC 2016

> On Jun 15, 2016, at 11:11 PM, Andy Townsend <ajt1047 at gmail.com> wrote:
> So tag the different characteristics (surface, width, etc.), and let renderers decide whether to render the difference or not?
> I have to say I'm really struggling to see the problem here.


Why is a tertiary rendered differently from residential? Is the road itself fundamentally different? Not really. Its rendering shows us what to expect, in the broadest possible terms. 

Why is a cycleway rendered differently? Is it reflecting its legal status or its assumed condition that it is made for bicycles? Would you expect to find random staircases in a cycle path? 

People have different expectations of conditions based on its classification. 

Would you expect to find  rocks the size of footballs jutting out of a sidewalk? For it to suddenly vary in width wildly and randomly for its entire length?  Perhaps a section where you have to balance on a log to cross a difficult bit to get into a grocery store?  Horse manure on your jogging track around the school? Ankle deep mud on your walk between the parking lot isle and the foot court in the mall? 

People would complain bitterly about whoever made the path in the rose gardens have a spot where you swing your legs over an onerous Boulder in the middle they couldn't dig a trail over. 

All of these would be expected and routine conditions found on all but the smoothest and most well maintained of trails - and expected by users of trails. 

Conversely, 4cm uneven pavement can knock an old lady over. I would never have to look for blazes, spray painted markings, or ducks to make sure I am still on the walkway through a city park around a playground. 

All of these separate things can be defined - like the length of my fingers or the size of my feet - but none of them really define what species it is. Concrete walkways through a rose garden and a backcountry trail are different species of foot path. They may occasionally share some characteristics - but they are different as a trunk road to a residential road - massively different expectations. The cut-through in a field made by joggers along a fence may be pretty flat and easy to walk, but they are not the same species as a sidewalk or compacted path through a temple. 

I don't know what else to say, I have ran out of examples and analogies to illustrate my opinion. 


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