[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - Pedestrian lane

Nick Bolten nbolten at gmail.com
Tue Nov 5 23:51:47 UTC 2019

At the risk of going down a rabbit hole, I'm going to suggest some ways to
think about this that will hopefully spark some discussion related how this
tag could be used with pedestrian navigation.

## Similarities to shoulders and an opportunity to figure out how to tag

Would it be fair to say that the only differences between this feature and
a shoulder are (A) it has paint designating where pedestrians should go and
(B) it has some right-of-way implications? Because it's often the only
pedestrian option in rural areas near me, I'd appreciate having a way to
tag shoulders and then enhancing them with a subtag. e.g., something like
shoulder=left/right/both + shoulder:right=pedestrian_lane.

## Challenges of mapping pedestrian paths as street attributes

As proposed, this tag would apply to streets. I understand the appeal -
it's a minimal change from current maps and the feature is basically just
paint on a street - but I think there are also some potential risks to
describing the pedestrian path this way that would be valuable to discuss.

(1) Intersections, particularly ones with marked crossings.
sidewalk=left/right/no/both has difficulties with this as well. Put
yourself in the shoes of someone trying to analyze the paths a pedestrian
could take using this tag to determine that there is a path using
pedestrian lanes and a crosswalk. There is a street way (way 1) with
pedestrian_lane=right that continues through an intersection. There is a
crosswalk tagged as highway=crossing, crossing=uncontrolled on another way
that shares a node with another street way (way 2). How do you proceed and
associate these path data so that you can reliably say that a pedestrian
path exists that uses that crosswalk? I believe it will require some fairly
nerdy graph analysis I think it could be a significant hurdle for using
this data.

(2) Transitions to other pedestrian paths, such as sidewalks. Pedestrian
lanes are sometimes used as a means to have a "temporary" sidewalk-like
feature, pending some future construction of actual sidewalks. There will
be sidewalks that are half-built, then transition into a pedestrian lane.
How do we tag that situation, given a separately-mapped sidewalk?

With the above issues in mind, what would you think about allowing
highway=footway, footway=pedestrian_lane as a possibly redundant tagging

## Usefulness / data consumption

Knowing where pedestrian lanes are would be very useful, in my opinion, but
the devil is always in the details. Do you have any examples of how this
data could be consumed downstream? Not saying there always has to be a data
consumer, but the exercise could reveal advantages between different

## Other sources

A potentially helpful resource during these international comparisons:
The FHWA defines standards in the United States.



On Fri, Nov 1, 2019 at 2:13 PM Markus <selfishseahorse at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> Following the recent discussion about pedestrian lanes (marked lanes
> on a roadway, designated for pedestrians), i've now written a proposal
> page for a new key pedestrian_lane=*:
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Pedestrian_lane
> Best regards
> Markus
> _______________________________________________
> Tagging mailing list
> Tagging at openstreetmap.org
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/tagging
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