[talk-au] Discussion D: mapping ACT for cyclists – complying with ACT law

Herbert.Remi Herbert.Remi at protonmail.com
Fri Sep 27 14:02:33 UTC 2019

# Discussion D: mapping ACT for cyclists – complying with ACT law
I hope you can help.
(If you open this plain text post to a markdown editor it will be fully formated. I recommend Typora.)
Abbreviation: ATG - Australian Tagging Guidelines

## The Issue
The way you use a map changes the way you see it. I am very interested in cycling. I am interested in capturing the information for cyclable paths so that maps can be made for all types of biking, including MTBs.

The situation for OSM in the ACT for cyclists is unfortunate. The paths you are allowed to ride with a bike are completely inconsistently tag. The cause is no logical inconsistency between the ATG, the editor presets, the standard rendering practice, and finally the many ways creative mappers have tried to solve the problem in the last decade.

The last is tragic and frustrating as mappers continually undo other mappers work and redo the tags their own preferred way. Over time, the path tagging does not improve but across the ACT become increasingly randomise. Where the congested areas it happens most often. The paths in Commonwealth Park on Lake Burley Griffin has been retagged over and over again, many times each year. Some paths alternate regularly between the footpath and bike path preset, even though neither applies in the ACT according to the ATG. ☹

### Table of ID Editor presents, path types and rendering for each environment
| ID preset                                           | Correct in the ACT        | tagging                                                      | ID editor line style | Mapnik line style |
| --------------------------------------------------- | ------------------------- | ------------------------------------------------------------ | -------------------- | ----------------- |
| ATG and ACT law (Path   shows as the preset symbol) | Legal default path   type | highway=path   bicycle=designated   foot=designated   segregated=no | grey/brown dotted    | blue dotted       |
| cycle path                                          | No                        | highway=cycleway                                             | blue dotted          | blue dotted       |
| cycle and foot path                                 | No but close              | highway=cycleway   bicycle=designated   foot=designated      | blue dotted          | blue dotted       |
| foot path                                           | No                        | highway=footway                                              | grey dotted          | red dotted        |
| cycle ONLY – no   preset                            | Yes (rare)                | highway=path   bicycle=designated   foot=no                  | grey/brown dotted    | blue dotted       |
| pedestrian ONLY – no   preset                       | Yes (rare)                | highway=path   bicycle=no   foot=designated                  | grey/brown dotted    | red dotted        |

Finally, I suggest one simplified way of path tagging for the ACT at the bottom of this text.

**What is the best way to restore consistency across the OSM data set for the ACT?**

## Most commonly used keys
These keys are for bike and footpaths: highway, foot, bicycle, footway, segregated. The tags used in the ACT OSM maps in all combinations are found below. The tags foot=no or bicycle =no is only correct when the path is signed that way for segregated paths and very few have been built. The key footway is used more commonly in the south of Canberra and seldom used in a way which is consistent with the ATG or ACT law, further increasing the inconsistency.

Any of the following combinations of highway, foot, bicycle, footway, and segregated can be found in the ACT.
* segregated=no/yes
* highway=path/footway/cycleway
* foot=designated/yes/blank/no
* bicycle= designated/yes/blank/no
* footway=sidewalk OR missing

## The ATG says
Under ACT law, both pedestrian and cyclists are both allowed to use the “footpath”. Here is the relevant section of the ATG.
“If bicycles are permitted by law then use highway=path.
**Do not use highway=footway unless bicycles are expressly prohibited from using that path.**”
Pedestrian ONLY paths are very rare in the ACT.

What is ALSO very rare in the ACT is bike ONLY path, which the ATG calls the “Australian Cycle Path (bicycle-only sign, pedestrians prohibited)”, and the properly separated shared paths, which the ATG calls "Australian Separated Footpath (bicycle and pedestrian separated by a line)”. The total length of paths of these types in the ACT would be in the order of 10-20km.

## Most common types of ridable paths in the ACT
### Type A
Common: “Australian Shared Path (bicycle and pedestrian sign)” - 329km in 2012.
The ATG says the tags should be:
* highway=path
* foot=designated
* bicycle=designated
* segregated=no

### Type B
Under ACT law, pedestrian and cyclists are both allowed to use any “footpath”. A "footpath" is any unsigned path separated from the road. There were more than 2000km of these "footpaths" in the ACT in 2012. Conclusion: in the ACT, almost all “footpaths” are effectively shared.
* highway=path
* foot=designated
* bicycle=designated
* segregated=no

Type A and type B paths cannot be distinguished from each other with these tags alone. In real life the path markings and signage should help you distinguish the two. Generally, path markings and signage are not in OSM.

## Concluding remarks to paths types in the ACT
There are effective three paths types in the ACT. The ATG recommend Type A and Type B paths are tagged the same way and are 99% or paved, ridable paths in the ACT. I will simply refer to them as the DEFAULT type.

Here is a simple way of changing the default, to the bicycle-only or pedestrian-only path type. Only one tag needs to be changed for corrections. It does not require you to use a preset.

| key        | DEFAULT        | Pedestrians ONLY | Cyclists ONLY  |
| ---------- | -------------- | ---------------- | -------------- |
| highway    | path           | path             | path           |
| foot       | **designated** | **designated**   | no             |
| bicycle    | **designated** | no               | **designated** |
| segregated | no             |                  |                |

I welcome your comment. 😊
Keywords: Australia, ACT, highway, foot, bicycle, footway, segregated, ID editor, The Issue, Mapnik
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