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

Tod Fitch tod at fitchfamily.org
Mon Jan 27 17:52:09 UTC 2020

Grabbing some random images off the Internet, here are some highway=* and how I’d tag them:

highway=path [1]
This may or may not allow horses or bicycles depends on local signage and regulations.

highway=footway [2]
This may or may not allow bicycles, depends on local signage. My decision point between path and footway is if a wheelchair or baby stroller could be easily pushed along the way.

highway=cycleway [3]
This may or may not allow foot traffic (usually allowed but maybe not if there is a parallel footway).

Maybe it is just me, but the character of these are quite different to me. Major point being a path is not a footway and is not likely to be found in an urban or suburban environment in my part of the world.

If one were to say they are all “paths” and they are distinguished by things like surface, width, designated or allow modes of transportation then we could also dispense with motorway, trunk, primary, secondary, etc. highways and simply distinguish them by things like surface, width, direction of travel, allowed modes of transportation, maximum speeds, etc. too. But having values of footway, path, cycleway and bridal way allow a short hand that allows the map users (and renderers) to use a set of assumptions about the way. And it allows mappers to quickly categorize the way. I personally would find it tedious to the point of probably not mapping if I had to estimate surface smoothness and width (both of which can vary wildly) along the length of a hiking trail to indicate this was a “path” rather than a “footway”.


[1] https://www.christopherplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/smoky-mountain-hiking-trails-romantic-.jpg
[2] https://houstonconcreteraising.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/GettyImages-157284009.jpg
[3] https://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/085c322bafe51f2640815fb843bd5dafc8d72095/c=36-0-623-440&r=x404&c=534x401/local/-/media/2016/07/27/Milwaukee/mjs-hikebike23_-nws_-sears_b.jpg

> On Jan 27, 2020, at 9:27 AM, Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com> wrote:
> Am Mo., 27. Jan. 2020 um 16:37 Uhr schrieb Jmapb <jmapb at gmx.com <mailto:jmapb at gmx.com>>:
> And also editing the
> highway=path page, which currently says it's not for use in urban
> situations.
> this seems very strange and is likely the result of fiddling. In the areas I am aware of, path is the standard way to map mixed mode ways regardless of context (urban or not).
> Cheers,
> Martin
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> Tagging mailing list
> Tagging at openstreetmap.org
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/tagging

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