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

Paul Allen pla16021 at gmail.com
Sat Jan 2 22:56:29 UTC 2021

On Sat, 2 Jan 2021 at 21:31, Joseph Eisenberg <joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com>

> Should we remove the reference to "turn-outs" or "lay-bys" from that page?
> 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,

We have passing places in the UK.  For when the road is so narrow that
if there is oncoming traffic you have to reverse back to the nearest one
and pull in so the both of you don't end up stalemated.  We don't call
them laybys.

> 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 can't find that definition in a
> dictionary directly, but wiktionary says "turnout" is a synonym for
> "lay-by" which is defined as "A paved
> <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/paved> area at the side of a highway
> <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/highway> designated for drivers
> <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/driver> to stop in, for emergency
> <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/emergency> parking, or where vehicles
> <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/vehicle> can wait, with larger lay-bys
> possibly having facilities like food vendors
> <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/vendor> or public telephones
> <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/telephone>."

Right.  Emergency parking for when the emergency is that you need to buy
food from a vendor.

A layby is for temporary, but not necessarily short, parking.  Because you
need a break.  They can be so small only a couple of cars fit.  Or they
can be repurposed loops of old road after road improvements and may
be large enough for a food van.  Definitely not turn-outs in the meaning
of passing place.  Not specifically for emergencies, although if your
car is having problems you might hope to coax it along to a layby
so you don't block traffic.  Might be a toilet there, usually not.

You pull into a layby for a rest.  Because you're tired.  Or because you
have a packed lunch to eat.  Or because you need to stretch your

> So some "lay-by" areas might qualify as a rest area,

Depends what you mean by "rest area."  You may be thinking
of a place where there are services like toilets and food.  There's
a wiki page for service areas.

but others are just temporary parking spots, like a turnout.

Not like a turnout as you describe it, where you pull in for a few seconds
to let another vehicle get past.

> 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?

If you're desperate, look for some bushes.  Seriously.  Don't forget, we
don't have such long routes as you, so you can probably hold it in until
you reach the next village (except financial problems mean a lot of village
have closed their toilets).

A layby on the A487 between Penparc and Tremain.  No toilets, no food.

Another layby on the A487 between Penparc and Tremain.  No toilets,
but there's usually a food van.  https://goo.gl/maps/5wBEZgMz3QgSozK99
If you go further along the road towards the end of the layby you can
see the food van.

A layby near Cilgerran.  Or is it?  It doubles as parking for a picnic site
(which has no toilets or food, just a couple of picnic benches).

See https://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/index.php?title=Layby
for more details on what a layby is (it covers a multitude of sins).

I'm not sure if the wiki pages for rest area and service area started
out meaning what the UK thinks a rest area is (layby) and what you think
a rest area is (toilets and food) respectively and were munged by
mappers imposing their own cultural perspectives on the wiki
or if they started with different intent and have been munged
such that rest area almost means layby and service area almost
means what you think of as a rest area.

Maybe we need new tags to sort this mess out and gradually
convert older tagging.

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