[Tagging] Pedestrian access tagging

Volker Schmidt voschix at gmail.com
Sat Jan 23 17:58:47 UTC 2021

On Sat, 23 Jan 2021 at 18:07, Brian M. Sperlongano <zelonewolf at gmail.com>

> So, are you saying that this road has legal pedestrian access in Sweden?
> That seems hard to believe.  How would I know from the tagging that I can't
> send a pedestrian down this road?  Is additional tagging needed on this
> road?:
> https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/199230893
> https://goo.gl/maps/HLrQxu5Dh83aCxsL9
> Or is it more that in Sweden, all trunk roads have no pedestrian access as
> a rule but this fact is apparently not documented anywhere that I've found
> (not even in the abandoned defaults proposal)?
We need someone familiar with the Swedish situation to answer that.

I know that we had a genuine trunk road here in Padova, Italy  (dual
carriageway with two lanes plus a 3m wide shoulder, and a 90lm/h speed
limit) that was legally open to cyclists and pedestrians (I used it
occasionally to cycle to work). It now has extra signage that excludes
bicycles and smaller motor cycles, but there is no no-pedestrian sign -
hence I believe, legally it is still open to pedestrians, even though I
would not recommend it.

> My assumption is that a road is passable by pedestrians unless there is
> some kind of tagging that tells me otherwise.
But "passable" is nearly uncorrelated  to "suitable for jogging". I would
use the word "passable" to indicate that it is not physically blocked, so
that I can get through somehow.

If there are reliable rules such as "in country X, this tag means no
> pedestrian access", that is an annoying but perfectly workable rule from a
> router perspective.
This was the intention with the tables in tha wiki page I quoted. But, as I
said I don't know if any router uses them.

Remember that highway=trunk/primary/etc tags are about a road's relative
> importance and say absolutely nothing about the physical characteristics of
> a road.
But, as we are making an effort to "map" these national road classes onto
OSM highway values, we also need to reflect the national access rules  in
the OSM tagging, ie. the above mentioned tables (and routers that reflect

> In many areas, including the Rhode Island example I gave, that particular
> road is the ONLY access to certain residential areas to the rest of the
> road network.  The question of pedestrian routability for those areas is
> the difference between those residential areas being routable to the rest
> of the world on foot, versus cut off from the outside world.
I know for sure, because I rode for hundreds of miles on them, that some
stretches of freeways in the Western US are open explicitly to cyclists (I
don't know if that includes pedestrians) because there are simply no
alternative roads. So I would expect that in your Rhode Island example at
least one corridor exists for pedestrians.

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