[Tagging] Pedestrian access tagging

Dave F davefoxfac63 at btinternet.com
Sun Jan 24 00:58:17 UTC 2021

AFAIA, foot=* was always indicative of legal access. That no suitable, 
agreed term to indicate the subjective (in)ability ie danger levels, 
doesn't mean the foot tag should act as a substitute.


On 22/01/2021 21:55, Brian M. Sperlongano wrote:
> I operate a site which tracks completeness for runners/joggers attempting
> to run every every street in their city.  As a data consumer, I extract
> streets in a city which are accessible to runners.  For example, I assume
> that streets tagged access=private, foot=no, or highway=motorway are not
> accessible to runners (among other tagging filters).
> I often field questions from users when they encounter data which is
> unexpected, such as "this is a private road" or "this road doesn't exist in
> reality", and direct them to OSM to make the appropriate edits.
> One category of road that I DO include is highway=trunk.  In many places,
> it is just fine to run along the shoulders of trunk roads, and so I include
> them by default (provided that they don't have other tagging such as
> access=private or foot=no that would cause me to exclude them.
> One of my users sent over this link which shows a road tagged highway=trunk
> which is clearly not accessible to runners (or at least, those that are not
> suicidal):
> https://goo.gl/maps/HLrQxu5Dh83aCxsL9
> In my area, I would simply tag a road like this with foot=no, as any
> pedestrian router would obey this tag, and no pedestrian router should
> route over a road like this.
>  From talking to other mappers, there may be a European/American divide over
> how foot=no is applied.  The feedback I've heard rather consistently from
> US-based mappers is that they apply a "reasonable person" standard to roads
> like this, and tag foot=no any place where a reasonable person would
> conclude that pedestrian access is physically impossible (as in this
> example), in addition to places where it is signed as illegal.
> The European view seems to be that foot=no is ONLY applied in places where
> pedestrian access is signed as illegal or otherwise codified in law.  This
> viewpoint goes on to say that routers should come up with some algorithm
> that combines shoulder width, the presence of sidewalks, perhaps speed
> limit, etc., to make a determination as to whether a road is traversable by
> pedestrians.
> This strict viewpoint creates a considerable for any router trying to
> determine the pedestrian suitability of a road.  The shoulder:width key is
> barely used, and even the shoulder=* key overall has only 50K usages -
> inconsequential when compared to the 1.3M usages of highway=trunk.  There's
> no obvious way to tell whether a carriageway is boxed in with guardrails
> without doing some kind of spatial query.  I could look at shoulder:width=0
> + sidewalk=no for this particular case, but that would inappropriately
> exclude roads which have no paved shoulder but perhaps are low traffic or
> for which you could step aside when traffic comes the other way -- a common
> situation in more rural areas.
> The documentation on this tag on the wiki takes the European view of
> "legality only".  If my characterization of how foot=no is used in the US
> is accurate, this wiki description is not appropriately descriptive of how
> the tag is used globally.  Since foot=* is a de facto tag rather than an
> approved proposal, I believe at a minimum a description of actual use is
> appropriate there if there are true regional differences.
> There is also a tag motorroad=yes which might work here, but it is unclear
> as to whether this is a "strict legality" tag or represents a different
> concept.
> Interested in hearing community thoughts as to how you make use of the
> foot=* tag in your area and recommendations on how to tackle this problem
> generally from a data consumer perspective.
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