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

Paul Johnson baloo at ursamundi.org
Tue Jan 5 16:22:50 UTC 2021

On Mon, Jan 4, 2021 at 11:03 PM Stefan Tauner <stefan.tauner at gmx.at> wrote:

> On Mon, 4 Jan 2021 10:50:27 -0600
> Paul Johnson <baloo at ursamundi.org> wrote:
> > > When I read the first mail in this thread I was imagining more complete
> > > rest areas as well like what you would find in Germany and Austria if
> > > they are newly built:
> > > https://www.google.com/search?q=radweg+rastplatz&tbm=isch
> >
> >
> > I wouldn't call that a rest area.  Picnic area, sure.
> Fair enough. But how does this differ from what is documented in the
> wiki and especially the photo depicting such a place.
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:highway%3Drest_area
> I have the feeling people discuss their own experiences with US/western
> motorway restaurants and service areas where truckers often have a
> dedicated parking space to sleep rather than rest areas as they are
> documented in the wiki.

A toilet and the ability to nod off (either in your vehicle or open air) is

> We are not talking about highway=services which
> seems to be more closely what is commonly known as rest area (cf. its
> wikipedia page). Maybe I am confused but I think everybody else is! :D

highway=services is a rest area that has things like fuel and a convenience
store as a minimum, though fancier ones might also have some kind of
restaurant.  Lone Chimney Concessions Plaza checks all the boxes plus video
rental.  https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/82670865

> > I wouldn't mind changing the definition of highway=rest_area to include
> > > such places that were built specifically for the purpose of hosting
> > > resting cyclists.
> > >
> >
> > Eeeh, that makes an important safety distinction unclear.  At proper rest
> > areas, parking long enough to get 8 hours of rest is either designated or
> > at least not unlawful.  Specific facility to sleep is not necessary, but
> > being able to nod off for a while is.
> No idea how you got the impression that highway=rest_area implies any
> of that. Can you please clarify?

The primary purpose of a rest area is to have a safe and reasonably
sanitary place for the traveling public to pull off and take a long nap and
use a proper toilet.  For example, this truck parking area in the Tokawa
Nation is not a rest area.
https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=17/36.61555/-97.34553  It's not even a
picnic area, it's literally just a roadside parking lot.  Doing any other
expected rest area activity's going to risk a littering or open defecation
summons, there really is no reason to even get out of your vehicle there.
I recall it's signed as "Parking Area" but it's been a few years since I've
been on that part of I 35.  If it had a name, then the parking lot would be
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