[Tagging] Highway=rest_area on bicycle or foot routes ?

ael witwall3 at disroot.org
Sat Jan 2 22:36:51 UTC 2021

On Sat, Jan 02, 2021 at 01:28:17PM -0800, Joseph Eisenberg wrote:
> Should we remove the reference to "turn-outs" or "lay-bys" from that page?

Apart from noting that not all laybys are marked with a "P", the
description of the laybys in the UK seems good. The issue is that we
need a special tag, whether that is something like parking=layby which
is already in use, or with a subtag like rest_area=layby.

> In North American English a "turn-out" is a place where you can stop your
> motor vehicle for a few seconds to allow other vehicles to overtake, or you
> might stop there for a few minutes to take a phone call. Usually there are
> no services of any kind:

I only see "turn-out" mentioned at the bottom of the page as a related
term. I think that mappers in regions where that term is in use should
decide how to handle that. Perhaps it has much in common with a layby so
the decision could be to adopt layby for them?  But the description also
fits a "passing place" in the UK which is like a small layby, but in
which parking is definitely not acceptable.  (It is probably illegal?)
However UK "passing places" are almost always on single track roads.

> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turnout mentions that a turnout can be a
> lay-by, pull-out or parking space, though it can also apparently mean a
> "rest area" in British English.

I don't think "rest area" is in common usage in British English. I
suspect that the "lay" in layby may have originally referred to
lying back to relax, although I might be quite wrong. But laybys
are certainly intended to be places where drivers and others "can
take a rest/break", so there is some overlap.

> So some "lay-by" areas might qualify as a rest area, but others are just
> temporary parking spots, like a turnout.

The larger laybys usually with a short separate service road sometimes
fit that description, but there are never (hardly ever?) any fixed
facilities except perhaps for a toilet block.

> As an American, if I were visiting Europe, I would hope to find toilets at
> a "rest area", since that is expected here and "rest" is often a euphemism
> for "using the toilet" by urinating or defecating, e.g. in "rest room"
> (toilet). Is that assumption wrong in any other countries?
Wrong in the UK, but then you would not encounter anything called a "rest
area": such things would be signed as "services" which is pretty
meaningless but seems to have spread from "Motorway service areas".


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