[Tagging] "width" on streets: Time for a recommendation

Alan Mackie aamackie at gmail.com
Thu Sep 17 07:04:22 UTC 2020


On Thu, 17 Sep 2020, 01:37 Taskar Center, <uwtcat at uw.edu> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> This is yet another example why "sticking" the sidewalks onto the highway
> (as a tag) rather than mapping them as separate ways is appearing to be
> less and less practical. Please see our sidewalk schema proposal
> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/sidewalk_schema>
> from several years ago.
>
This is all well and good for roads without tree cover in areas where the
imagery is good. At other times a tag on the road is the best option if you
don't want to just make up geometry.

>
> I think @Mark brings up really relevant width distinctions, and I believe
> that once we agree that sidewalks require their own geometry, we should
> have a similar discussion about the interpretation of width in the
> sidewalks context.
>
> I look at this issue from the perspective of routing. Routers are
> interested in functional width (which would be Mark's 'driven path'
> option). Even with the consideration of transiency of both of the last two
> of Mark's definitions, 'maintained' and 'driven path' width, this is a much
> better approximation for additional considerations than routing- it can be
> an indicator of traffic stress, it can provide information for the 'slow
> streets' movement, it can also provide a means of reconciling improper
> imports that labeled all roads as 'primary' when they should not.
>
> My last comment has to do with the separation of sidewalks from streets-
> in that in many locales the responsibility of street maintenance falls on a
> different entity than sidewalk maintenance (for example, in Seattle, the
> sidewalk is the responsibility of the homeowner, rather than the
> municipality who IS responsible for the street infrastructure). So it is
> actually advantageous to have these mapped as separate entities so we can
> keep track of infrastructure maintenance.
>
> Best regards,
>
> Anat
>
>
>
> Sent from my mobile. Please excuse brevity and typos.
> On Wed, Sep 16, 2020 at 1:23 AM Supaplex <supaplex at riseup.net> wrote:
>
>> I expect the "width" of a way to be the actual width of the object it
>> represents.
>>
>> It depends on how we define "highway" in the OSM sense. You could also
>> assume that sidewalks etc. are "sticking" on the highway merely for
>> pragmatic reasons. Depending on the point of view, sidewalks and highways
>> represent different entities. (There is no law definition here, I only find
>> a German court decision that deals with street widths and thus means the
>> distance between the curbs, with carriageway and parked vehicles, so as
>> definition 2 above.)
>>
>> But I agree that it would be better to always specify which width is
>> meant exactly when mapping widths on streets (especially to use
>> "width:carriageway" for the rating of traffic suitability). Nevertheless, a
>> default, which meaning of "width" is meant without a prefix/suffix, would
>> still be helpful. Fun Fact: On the wiki highway page - in contrast to what
>> is discussed here - it says since 2012 that "width" means the width of the
>> carriageway (but it does not look like this paragraph has ever been
>> discussed):
>> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Highways#Surface.2C_width_and_lighting
>>
>> Alex
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>>
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