[Tagging] Busways

Tijmen Stam mailinglists at iivq.net
Wed Nov 2 19:01:28 UTC 2016

On 02-11-16 19:33, Hubert87 wrote:
> Hi,
> I think you should consider the access rights (access=no, bus=yes) and
> the road classification (highway=service/unclassified) as two separate
> things.

First, I'm not proposing something new, I'm proposing to formalize (by 
documenting on the wiki) a practice that is already widespread, namely 
to tag busways as highway=service.

Worldwide there seems to be a very large preference of highway=service 
for busways over highway=unclassified.

 From taginfo:
highway=service + bus=yes = 16040
highway=service + psv=yes = 35658
highway=unclassified + bus=yes = 1535
highway=unclassified + psv=yes = 5707

Those are not small numbers.
Highway=service in any kind of busway appears to be over 7 times as 
abundant as highway=unclassified, even if this is an undocumented in the 
wiki. Apparently it "feels natural" to more people to tag busways as 

> Ask yourself what kind of highway-tag you would use, if the road was not
> limited to buses only.

In the cases I can imagine the roads themselves are usually very 
specifically designed for bus use only: very hard pavement (often 
concrete instead of asphalt) no hard shoulders, no guardrails, lanes 
narrower than public roads for this speed. All meant to be driven only 
by professional drivers. So the point of "imagining the road not being 
limited to buses only" is moot; the road wouldn't exist if it weren't 
for buses.

> Also, did you consider using "bus/ptv=designated" instead of bus=yes?

a) what is ptv? Typo of psv?
b) I personally haven't used designated a lot. Looking at the above use 
cases, they aren't used a lot worldwide, which is not an excuse to not 
start using them. Thanks for introducing me to the tag!

> P.S.:
> (btw, for clarification: last time I checked, "unclassified" isn't used
> were one can't classify a road - that's what highway=road is for

I am fully aware of that.

But, your explanation if highway=unclassified needing to connect to at 
least one tertiary makes the following case contradictionary:
http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/53672494 is now mistagged as 
residential. It is a busway, sandwiched between two true residential 
roads. The only non-service road type that would apply here is 
unclassified, yet it can't be that one as being only connected to 
residentials :-)

Tijmen / IIVQ

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