[Tagging] Intermittently unprotected cycle track

Tobias Zwick osm at westnordost.de
Wed Mar 27 10:59:07 UTC 2019

Hi Richard

I'd tag this situation with cycleway=track/lane/shared_lane on the road itself. I don't see the namespacing as an issue here.

The rule of thumb I (we?) use to decide whether a cycleway shall better be tagged as a separate way is to look if the cycleway is segregated from the road by more than a curb, such as scrub or a tree row. In other words, so that bicyclists can not simply cross onto the street at any point without a dedicated crossing.


Am 27. März 2019 11:31:18 MEZ schrieb Richard Fairhurst <richard at systemeD.net>:
>Hi all,
>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
>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
>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.
>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
>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.
>Any preferences?
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