[Tagging] Street furniture tagging

Stefan Tauner stefan.tauner at gmx.at
Sat Jan 23 13:47:23 UTC 2021

On Sat, 23 Jan 2021 12:50:54 +0100
Grzegorz Szymaszek <gszymaszek at short.pl> wrote:

> On Sat, Jan 23, 2021 at 12:38:25PM +0100, Daniel Koć wrote:
> > This one is for cyclist to rest without getting off the bicycle while
> > waiting for a green light […]  

To summarize:
There exist two relatively new types of street furniture that don't
have proper/widely used tags yet.

The first one is for cyclists waiting (primarily) in front of
intersections/traffic lights to make them more comfortable by not
forcing them to stand awkwardly on the toes of one foot for a few dozen
seconds. These are often constructed as rails to rest one foot per
cyclist on them and often have a handrail. Sometimes they are
constructed as individual bollards.
There does not seem to be a single clear English term for this thing.
The proposed and used cyclist_leaning_rails and variations thereof also
seem to be used for what we tag as amenity=bicycle_parking and
bicycle_parking=stands[1]. Another term widely used is simply footrest
in some combination of bicycle, cyclist etc.

The other type is "leaning rail" or "leaning bench" which is basically
a board or rail the lean against that replaces a bench in a way that
cannot be "abused" by people to lay down and sleep (the forwarding in
Wikipedia on the topic[2] is not a coincidence). They are installed
primarily in the vicinity of public transport stops including train
platforms. The German page for amenity=bench[3] has a leaning bench as
an example.

Grzegorz proposed two ways to tag them[4], either combining them, e.g.,
by using man_made=leaning_rail plus bicycle=designated (and I presume
foot=designated, which is really confusing if you think about it :)
or have some separate tags for them.
I strongly favor the latter approach: While they are both a device to
make waiting more comfortable for humans their usage is very different
with practically no overlap and data users would not have any advantage
when they share a main tag.

We could re-use amenity=bench for the second one with an additional
leaning=only/yes or so. Due to the nature of this type of furniture I
am not so sure that this is a good idea. They don't provide the same
level of relieve than actual benches where you can properly sit on.
This is quite important for many users (think about yourself in the
future when you are >70 years old ;) I am also not convinced that they
will stay for long. I rather think they are just hip with architects at
the moment and I think they are mostly useless. I would probably not
tag them even if there would be a very clear scheme for them.

I am way more interested in the first type for cyclists. I *know* their
usefulness very well and think routers might use them eventually. To me
they are clearly part of the highway realm since their use is
exclusively to aid transportation. Thus I would not mind tagging a
highway=bicycle_footrest. An alternative perspective would be to see
them as a feature of the traffic light. In that case we could them as
an attribute to highway=traffic_signals, e.g., bicycle_footrest=yes.
I'd be interested in helping with a proposal for that.

1: https://www.ledasecurity.com.au/security-products/bicycle-lean-rail/
2: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaning_bench
3: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/DE:Tag:amenity%3Dbench
4: https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/tagging/2020-September/055350.html
Kind regards/Mit freundlichen Grüßen, Stefan Tauner

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