[Tagging] How to tag pedestrian lanes?

Markus selfishseahorse at gmail.com
Sat Oct 19 19:44:44 UTC 2019

Hello everyone

I have a disagreement with another mapper (changeset comments in
German [1]) regarding the mapping of pedestrian lanes, i.e. lanes on a
roadway reserved for pedestrians (example [2]), and would like to hear
more opinions.

[1]: https://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/75900746
[2]: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pedestrian_lane.jpg

The other mapper thinks that pedestrian lanes should be tagged like
sidewalks (pavements), because sidewalk=* or footway=sidewalk just
means a footpath along a road, and that the absence of a kerb can be
tagged [sidewalk:<right/left>:]kerb=no.

However i think that a sidewalk requires a physical separation to the
roadway (usually a kerb). While a sidewalk provides some safety for
pedestrians, a pedestrian lanes does not. In order that data consumers
know that it may be less safe for pedestrians to use a road with a
pedestrian lane compared to a road with a sidewalk, i think it is
important to tag pedestrian lanes differently. (The tag i used was
pedestrian_lane=<left/right/both>). Besides, the distinction between
physical separation or road markings is already made for cycleways: if
there is a physical separation we tag it cycleway=track, if there are
only road markings cycleway=lane. So it only seems logical to also
make the same distinction for sidewalks and pedestrian lanes.

Thank you in advance for your replies.

Best regards and have a nice Sunday,


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