[Tagging] highway=path for *all* mixed foot/bicycle highways?

Greg Troxel gdt at lexort.com
Mon Jan 27 16:14:51 UTC 2020

Jmapb <jmapb at gmx.com> writes:

> Hi all, just noticed this passage on the cycleway=* wiki page (
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:cycleway ):
>> For mapping a separate path (on a separate way) dedicated to cycling
>> traffic use highway=cycleway. Foot traffic is restricted on these paths.
>>   *  Do not use highway=cycleway on paths for both cyclist and foot
>> traffic (such as shared paths). Instead use highway=path with
>> bicycle=designated and foot=designated. Add also segregated=yes or
>> segregated=no) as applicable.
>>    * For paths where cycling is not permissible use highway=footway.
>> If cycling is permissible even if it is not signed but legally
>> permissible on a path, use highway=path (and a combination of the
>> segregated key and designated tag as applicable) and not highway=footway.
> (This was added by wiki user Aaronsta last May, with no change description.)
> Does anyone know if there was a discussion, here or elsewhere, that led
> to this change?

This smells like wikifiddling.

> My own impression over the years has been that mappers use
> highway=cycleway on anything that primarily for bicycle traffic, and add
> access keys for any other permitted traffic. Similarly for
> highway=footway. So "highway=cycleway + foot=yes" and "highway=footway +
> bicycle=designated" are quite common. Is there a general consensus that
> these are better mapped as highway=path?

Overall, I have come to believe that


is *exactly* the same as

  highway=path bicycle=designated

and that any renderer or router that treats them differently is wrong.

However there is the messy issue of default surface values, avoidable by
tagging the surface.

> If so, we might want to consider standardizing the highway=cycleway and
> highway=footway wiki pages with this same rule. And also editing the
> highway=path page, which currently says it's not for use in urban
> situations.

The notion of urban vs not is messy.  I agree that's been part of the
evolving not-really-consensus over the last 10 years.

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