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

stevea steveaOSM at softworkers.com
Mon Jan 4 08:53:40 UTC 2021

If I were a cyclist, I might feel differently if it were miserably-raining or hot-as-Hades, but Goodna Creek Rest Stop looks like more of a joke than what I would call a “Rest Stop.”  I do not mean to offend, and I realize that automobile operators pulling into “my” California Rest Stop can use the restroom, fill a canteen, buy.a reasonably-priced ice cream bar (frozen pretty solid, even on a hot day) and make a phone call, all while the kids are running the dog and filling his water bowl after they clean up after him.  THAT’S a rest stop.  You can even do this if you are a cyclist (and the road allows cyclists, some do).

It would seem that in Australia and Italy, an entirely unique tag must be invented, or perhaps simply the individual amenities (building=roof, bicycle_parking=6 might be “all she wrote” for Goodna Creek) can be included on a node, nodes or tiny (beach-towel sized?) closed way.

On Sun, Jan 3, 2021 at 5:29 PM Volker Schmidt <voschix at gmail.com> wrote:
> Maybe this was not clear in my question: these mini-rest-areas are all on foot-cycle or cycle-only paths, not on roads open to motorized traffic. 
> They have no (toilet) services and mostly no tables. I suspect that somewhere in the thicket of laws here in Italy there is one that says "on every x km of new foot-cycle paths or cyclepaths there has to be a rest area of at least x square meters with at least one bench, one rubbish bin, a bicycle rack and an (empty) information board. I'm sure the law does not say they have to be in nice places, because most are not. Also most of them are tiny, noy much more than beach-towel size.

Beach-towel sized and “mini”-rest-area, indeed.  I almost want to coin highway=bicyclist_mini_rest_area but that’s a hack and not specific enough (add the word Italian in front of it?).  But really, if a beach-towel sized spot from rain or sun and maybe a not-so-safe rack to park a bike is all you get, put those few amenities tagged on a node, as that’s all that seems is deserved.  These don’t seem to be close to what appears to be my lavish comparison for what automobile operators have (or have gotten used to) in California.  (We are a car culture here, many might say snootily so).  Not apples and oranges, apples and hippopotami.  Volker, if Goodna Creek more closely resembles what you are talking about in Italy, I had no idea these were so “sparse."

On Jan 3, 2021, at 4:26 PM, Paul Johnson <baloo at ursamundi.org> wrote:
> I wouldn't call those rest areas at all.  The kind of rest area on cycleways are more analogous to the motorist version, or in a couple cases, serve both a major thoroughfare and a major cycleway.  Only difference between what motorists can do that bicyclists can't (in most cases) is sleep in their vehicle.

Yes, I’d agree with Paul here:  if you can’t sit on a bench (and you can’t “sleep ‘in’ your bike"), even though the law might call them a rest area, or mean them to be treated as one, I don’t think OSM should call them this.  Again, I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining as I compare (or snooty/snobby), but I almost can’t see the point of these, except to comply with some vague, poorly designed Italian law.  It seems there is some misunderstanding in my mind as to “what’s the point?” of these, and I believe that is a warning to me that I’m misunderstanding something, which I don’t want to do.

> Do we even need a specific tag for this?  Suffice to say a small plaza with a bench, information board and a place to pull a bicycle off the cycleway or path is a pretty global phenomenon, but is it really more than just checking the boxes for features that a pretty common group of design standards requires at regular intervals to just all occur in the same place out of convenience?  I feel like a motorist equivalent to what you're describing is an emergency parking pullout with an emergency telephone and a milepost, albeit oriented more to human than mechanical endurance and having a primarily nonemergency application.  It's not like we tag those as highway=rest_area…

Yes, if the amenities really are standardized and identical over a wide area like a whole country, I can see a specific tag being invented, otherwise, I’d go with the “pepper a node or small polygon way with the appropriate amenities” approach.  We may also be getting hung up on the word “rest,” as it’s meant in the USA, this is much more full-featured (as I loll on the phone, eat my ice cream sandwich and watch the kids run and water the dog).  As “rest” is meant on Italian bicycle routes, it means more like “get out of the way of the traffic on the bike route on this beach towel, maybe under a roof from the rain or hot sun, and if perhaps (if you dare) park your bike here and walk off-cycleway.”  Those are two VERY different ideas of “rest” area.

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