[Tagging] Intermittently unprotected cycle track
richard at systemeD.net
Wed Mar 27 10:31:18 UTC 2019
Let me introduce you to one of London's better cycleways:
You might look at this and think "that doesn't look like 'better' to me,
it's full of 45-degree bends". And based on OSM you would of course be
In reality it isn't full of 45-degree bends. It's a continuous straight
route. But although it's mostly protected (i.e. concrete barrier
separating it from the car lanes), the protection gives out at junctions
and crossings, so turning traffic can cross. Here's an example
(apologies for Google link):
Currently, it's mapped in OSM as a highway=cycleway for the segregated
bits, and then it rejoins the highway=primary road (with cycleway=lane)
where the barrier gives out.
This is correctish in terms of tagging but not in terms of geometry. The
current mapping implies 45-degree turns which the cyclist doesn't have
to take - they just continue straight on. Breaking geometry to enable
tagging is bad in itself, misleading on renderings, and unsurprisingly
confuses the heck out of routers.
How should we represent this?
My gut feeling is that it would be better to map it as a continuous
highway=cycleway but with 'protected=no' for the bits where the concrete
divider isn't there.
Another alternative might include deleting the cycleway completely and
just using cycleway=track on the car road, but this seems suboptimal as
you can't then easily apply tagging that applies distinctly to the
cycleway (surface, route relation membership, etc.) without lots of
Or we could just go with highway=cycleway and no additional tagging, on
the basis that 'unprotected' is implied by the pedestrian-crossing tags
and the junction geometry - i.e. obviously there's no protection there
because we have a junction which cars can turn across.
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