[Tagging] highway=services & "Road Stations" - subtag requested.

John Willis johnw at mac.com
Wed Jan 25 03:17:26 UTC 2017

Summary:  highway=services easily fits modern tollway service areas, but a services=road_station subtag would be a nice addition for “road stations” found on non-motorway roads throughout Japan that predate motorways and are treated differently. this would allow differentiated rendering and searching. 

Example road stations in the middle of nowhere I have personally visited (and just mapped / cleaned up). 
https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/448938620#map=11/36.1415/137.8063 <https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/448938620#map=11/36.1415/137.8063> (small)
https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/468566277#map=11/35.8854/138.8576 <https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/468566277#map=11/35.8854/138.8576> (large) 

 feedback is requested.


Here in Japan, we have British style “service areas” on the motorways, along with rest areas called “parking areas”, usually abbreviated SA and PA, and are easy to tag with the existing tags. http://kitamoto-nikki.keystar.jp/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/kamisato-sic-2.jpg <http://kitamoto-nikki.keystar.jp/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/kamisato-sic-2.jpg> ( Kamisato SA )

However a very old concept of “stations” exists along with it. Back when the roads were foot paths through the country, there would be stations for travellers to stop and rest and possibly take shelter from the weather. http://www.fujiarts.com/japanese-prints/Static%20Sets/Hoeido%20Tokaido/2tokf.jpg <http://www.fujiarts.com/japanese-prints/Static%20Sets/Hoeido%20Tokaido/2tokf.jpg> at some point they were also for other uses (security, domestic migration prevention), but they were mostly named places with designated functions. 

These original road stations have evolved into the modern idea of a “road station” ( michi-no-eki  道の駅 ) - and per the Japanese government, there are currently 1100, They evolved and existed before the existence of the motorways and their SAs. These are used by many people every day who travel older routes that were bypassed by motorways or in more rural areas where tourists are just traveling through on their way to visit a major attraction in the wilderness (national parks, ski resorts, etc).

here is the official government page listing the road stations http://www.michi-no-eki.jp/en/?language=1 <http://www.michi-no-eki.jp/en/?language=1> 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roadside_station <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roadside_station> 

a road station is similar to a service area in that:

- it offers parking, food, snacks (and sometimes gas). 

- it offers a break for drivers from a long drive. 

- it may offer local goods or a view of a local POI. 

- offers information, like driving conditions and local news. 

And it differs from highway=services in that:

- it is not on a motorway (tollway), but usually on a trunk or a primary road, some of which are far away from a town (usually mountain roads), or where major routes meet in a rural or wild area. 

- they are named “road stations” by government, which is a distinction from the SA and PAs found on the tollways operated by the tollway. They are signed as a “road station [name]” by the government
	https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roadside_station#/media/File:Roadside_Station_Seiryunosato_Hijikawa.jpg <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roadside_station#/media/File:Roadside_Station_Seiryunosato_Hijikawa.jpg> , as opposed to a service area which is built into the tollway system, and shown with the SA name: http://fumi.ninja-x.jp/31%209a.jpg <http://fumi.ninja-x.jp/31%209a.jpg> 

- SAs are the only choice for travelers because they are on the tollway system (leaving to visit another location would be expensive), whereas a road station is often the only choice because of the remote location - but there is no exclusivity like the SA /PAs enjoy. 

- Many are made for enticing tourists to stop in local towns they would normally drive through (so they stop and spend money in a tiny town)  - the opposite of a SA or PA, which are there just for the traveller. This is true for many small towns that exist in the “suburban” area of Japan, surrounded by trun roads and tollways people would use to skip the town, so a road station is designated for them. 

- many are on major routes in rural areas, sometimes in areas where there is no other route, so they are the only services available - not a mere time convenience. 

- in the wilderness,  the road station may be the only permissive or safe place to stop in an area, as everything else is private homes or abandoned businesses on narrow roads. 

I understand creating a new value for road station is stupid, since they are so similar on a basic level, but I would like to create a services=* subkey (which seems to just have some random values for some bus lines in Germany?) to tag these road stations as something distinct from motorway services, to allow a “michi-no-eki” icon to easily rendered on known locations. 




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