[Tagging] Proposal to Change Road Classification, Road Surface, Road Condition, and Add Number of Lanes

David Bannon dbannon at internode.on.net
Tue Mar 8 23:48:53 UTC 2016

Wow Alberto, you have put a lot of thought into this. I agree its needed 
and think the model would serve us a lot better than the way its done 
now. But I see a couple of problems, first, we have a huge data set 
using the existing model. Very hard to change that. Secondly, I suspect 
not all contributers to OSM are familiar with the sort of roads that 
have prompted your proposal. So, wide spread support may be a bit hard 
to find.

But I'd be the last to suggest you give up something just because its 
impossible !

So, lets pick it over.

Firstly, maybe your categories might need to be a bit finer grained.  
For example, the jump, in Rural, 3 Tertiary and 4 Unclassified is too 
big. I live on a rural road, its not a connecting road and it is owned 
and maintained (occasionally) by the Municipality.  So its definitely a 
public access road but not one a routing engine should consider (except 
start and end stages of course). Such roads are very common.

I am not sure I like the classification you use for C Road Condition. It 
seems a bit too focused on maintenance models rather than providing an 
indication of how a traveler might find it. I suggest what a map (or 
whatever) user wants to know is "should I use this road ?". And that, of 
course, is dependent on vehicle, maybe affected by weather, maintenance 
cycles and so on.

Alberto, I'd like to see this model refined, lets make out that we are 
starting fresh, get it right and then look to see if some of the result 
can be incorporated into the current model, or even a long term transition ?


On 06/03/16 01:25, Alberto wrote:
> Dear OSM staff, contributors, and users:
> I have read the definitions, concepts and description that OSM uses to 
> characterize (tag) roads and noticed that OSM does not establish the 
> difference between inter-urban (rural) roads and urban roads 
> (comprising mostly avenues and streets). Therefore, I propose to 
> *replace the existing OSM road classification with a "functional 
> classification"* that would allow OSM *"to better model and better 
> visualize"* the actual road network. I have noticed that you have been 
> challenged to adapt to the differences found in each country. If the 
> following classification is adopted, it will be a "*universal 
> standard*" and you will not need to adopt different criteria for 
> developed or developing countries, like the OSM example for East Africa.
> It would be useful to define a road class (paved/unpaved) and a road 
> surface type (concrete, asphalt, surface treatment, gravel, earth). I 
> also propose to reduce the options for road condition to only five 
> categories defined by the need for maintenance or rehabilitation. I 
> can provide a technical definition using the International Roughness 
> Index (IRI) for paved and unpaved roads.
> I am fully aware that these changes present a major challenge for the 
> existing, coding, renderer, editors, etc. However, I am confident that 
> introducing these changes (and adding the number of lanes) will not 
> only simplify the mapping tasks, but would substantially improve the 
> quality of the OMS products, particularly given the fact that many 
> other layers are highly dependent on the quality of the road network.
> I am a Civil Engineer (MS Stanford) with training on urban planning 
> (MIT) with more than 20 years of experience working with international 
> organizations like the World Bank and the African Development Bank on 
> roads and highways in more than 50 countries, but mostly in 
> Sub-Saharan Africa, South America, South Asia, East Asia and the 
> Pacific, and Eastern Europe.
> Alberto Nogales
> 202-257-8726
> *
> *
> *Rural (Inter-Urban) Roads - Located outside of urban areas*
> *Classified Road Network. *Generally falls under the responsibility of 
> the National, Provincial (State), Municipal/Local Government to build, 
> operate and maintain.
>     *1.* *Primary* Roads - National, Main, Trunk Roads outside of
>     urban areas that connect the main population and economic centers
>     of the country. Typically under the responsibility of the National
>     Government and with high levels of traffic.
>     *2.* *Secondary* Roads - Regional, State, Provincial Roads are the
>     main feeder routes into, and provide the main links between
>     primary roads. Typically under the responsibility of the
>     Provincial Government and with medium levels of traffic.
>     *3.* *Tertiary* Roads - Municipal, Local, Rural Roads that connect
>     the smaller towns to intermediate cities. Typically under the
>     responsibility of the Local Governments and with low levels of
>     traffic.
> *Unclassified Road Network.*
>     *4. Unclassified* Roads. Mostly private roads or of unknown
>     responsibility to build and operate. Typically maintained by local
>     communities or by private mining, forestry, or agricultural
>     enterprises.
> *Urban Network- Located within the boundaries of urban areas*
>     *1/2/3.* *Highway.* [Expressway, Motorways] Parts of the Primary,
>     Secondary or Tertiary Roads that go across an urban area. Parts of
>     the National, Provincial Network. Expressways with limited access.
>     Typically no pedestrian or bicycle access.
>     *5. **Arterial*. [Route, Boulevard] Connecting key areas of urban
>     activity with higher traffic levels and longest trip lengths. High
>     speeds with minimum interference to through movements, like those
>     used by bus routes.
>     *6.* *Collector*. [Avenue] Provides land access and traffic
>     circulation within urban areas. Penetrates neighborhoods,
>     collecting and distributing traffic between neighborhoods
>     and arterial network. Medium traffic levels with moderate trip
>     lengths. Medium speeds with frequent interference to through
>     movements.
>     *7. **Local*. [Street] Road used to provide access to adjacent
>     land and to the collector network and to higher order of streets.
>     Lower traffic level with through traffic deliberately discouraged.
>     Low speed.
>     *8. **Path*. [Lane, Passage] Narrow mostly single lane in between
>     buildings or behind a row of houses without sidewalks. Single
>     direction and lowest level of traffic and lowest speed.
> *Add Classification for "Non-Motor Vehicles" that will not use the 
> term road nor highways, like bicycle lane, pedestrian paths, etc.*
> *Total Road Network = Primary + Secondary + Tertiary + Unclassified + 
> Urban*
> *
> *
>     *1. Paved*
>         *1.1 Concrete*
>         *1.2 Asphalt*
>         *1.3 Surface Treatment*
>     *2. Unpaved*
>         *2.1 Gravel*
>         *2.2 Earth*
>     *1. Very Good. *Roads do not require any capital costs. Recently
>     completed and/or very good quality and high standard.
>     *2. Good. *Roads largely free of defects and require only minor
>     maintenance work.
>     *3. Fair.* Road with defects that require periodic maintenance
>     like resurfacing or regravelling, or grading.
>     *4. Poor. *Roads require partial rehabilitation, strengthening or
>     partial reconstruction.
>     *5. Very Poor.*  Road requires full rehabilitation or full
>     reconstruction.
> *D. NUMBER OF LANES AND/OR *ROAD WIDTH*. *The functional 
> classification can be further improved by providing the number of 
> lanes and traffic flow direction, and the width of the main 
> carriageway. it is also useful to indicate if the road is physically 
> divided or not by a median or other. As for the urban roads indicate 
> if the roads have sidewalks or not.
>     *1. 1 LANE*
>     *2. 2 LANES*
>     *3. 3 LANES*
>     *4. 4 LANES*
>     *5. 5 LANES*
>     *6. 6  or more LANES*
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