[Tagging] what is the meaning of bicycle=yes on highway=path

Paul Johnson baloo at ursamundi.org
Thu Apr 11 15:48:46 UTC 2019

It's recommended that bicycle and foot get tagged explicitly where there's
no obvious global default (like footway, path, cycleway and motorway).

On Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 09:44 Volker Schmidt <voschix at gmail.com> wrote:

> In the context of cycling-related tagging there is an issue which I would
> like to bring up.
> This regards the tag combination highway=path and bicycle=yes.
> Access tags generally are about legal access (with a few exceptions which
> do not apply here)
> "highway=path" implies "bicycle=yes" (in most jurisdictions) - see the
> proposed Default-Access-Restriction for all countries
> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OSM_tags_for_routing/Access-Restrictions>
> .
> OpenCycleMap renders a "highway=path" with "bicycle=yes" in the same way
> as a dedicated cycleway ("highway=cycleway" with our without
> "bicycle=designated") or a combined foot-cycle-way ("highway=path" with
> "foot=designated" and "bicycle=designated"). A "highway=path" with no
> "bicycle=yes" or with "bicycle=no" is shown with a separate rendering which
> is also used for "highway=footpath" (see
> https://www.opencyclemap.org/docs/)
> The real problem is that many mappers with mountain-bike interest use this
> to distinguish what they consider paths for MTBs ( "highway=path" with
> "bicycle=yes") from paths they do not consider MTB suitable by tagging them
> without "bicycle=yes".
> The problem is widespread and has two different consequences
>    - different rendering of legally identical situations (a mountain path
>    for hikers with permission also for MTB)
>    - identical rendering of two very different things (an MTB path and a
>    city cycleway)
> This confusion is not helped by the iD mappers who are invited to fill in
> the detailed access tables independently of any default values.
> This has come up up (again) in the context of a nation-wide attempt in
> Italy to review all mountain hiking trails of the Italian Alpine Club (CAI)
> and insert them with details into OSM. CAI mappers are discussing whether
> to remove during that operation the apparently redundant "bicycle=yes"
> tagging or not.
> I am sure this has been addressed in the passed and I only have not found
> traces of the old discussions.
> I have no proposal on how to proceed, but would like hear your opinions
> about this.
> Volker
> Padova, Italy
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