[Tagging] Busways

Hubert87 sg.forum at gmx.de
Wed Nov 2 19:32:54 UTC 2016

Am 02.11.2016 um 20:01 schrieb Tijmen Stam:
> 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.
In contrast : about one seventh of cases are tagged as 
highway=unclassified. That's a lot in osm.
> Apparently it "feels natural" to more people to tag busways as 
> highway=service.
And they are free to do so. But there can be cases too, where a busway 
is not a highway-service. Just because most sheep are white, doesn't 
mean that all sheep are white. Also, we don't have highway=busway  (or 
That's why I'll state that it doesn't feel natural so natural for people 
after all.
>> 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;
It's not moot. It's exactly what I wanted to ask you. You just described 
one specific type of busway. Who says  that a busway always has to look 
like that.
> the road wouldn't exist if it weren't for buses.
That's a different story.
>> Also, did you consider using "bus/ptv=designated" instead of bus=yes?
> Nope.
> a) what is ptv? Typo of psv?
Yes. (I had Public Transport Vehicle in mind, not Public Service Vehicle)
> 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!
It's uncommon, but fitting.
>> 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 :-)
No. Not contradictory. One should not use highway=unclassified in that 
case. However "residential" could be fine; "service" could be fine( or 
"road" could be fine, if you really can't decide.) But please use local 
> Tijmen / IIVQ

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