[Talk-us] Request for community mediation

Greg Troxel gdt at ir.bbn.com
Sun Oct 17 05:15:31 BST 2010


I'm somewhat hesitant to wade into this, but:

  There is debate with the transportation/cycling community about
  whether bike lanes are a good thing or a bad thing.  Around me there
  are some cycle lanes which are entirely within the door kill zone.  I
  would never ride in them, and their presence makes cars think cyclists
  should be in them - rather than "as far to the right as is safe", as
  the law requires.  So to me such a lane makes a road unusable for
  cycling.  (I guess my view is clear on this issue...)

  We have this notion that making up new tags is fine.  I think that's
  not really true - we are after all cooperating on a joint work that is
  intended to be broadly useful - which means a shared ontology even if
  people don't want to admit that.  So I think the more limited notion
  that making up new tags for new situations is fine -- if one thinks
  most others will think they are reasonable or will lead to a consensus
  scheme, and the use of new tags is intended as a step to consensus.
  For instance, I've added amenity=ice_cream but am happy to have that
  be amenity=cafe cuisine=ice_cream and even to have my tags bot-edited
  if the community decides that's what it should be called.  After all,
  it's about representing data and allowing search and display - the
  actual tag rules are not that important in most cases.

  The use of "bicycle=destination" clearly means that it is only lawful
  to bicycle on that road if it is necessary to get to one's
  destination.  I have never heard of that being the case legally - in
  my state bicycles may use any road except limited-access/express
  highways posted for no bicycles.  Adding bicycle=destination to a road
  without some evidence that there is a law that prohibits random
  cycling is hard to reconcile with my notion of data stewardship, and
  it seems reasonable to revert.  It also seems like tagging for the
  router.

  Adding bicycle=avoid seems fairly clearly not based on an expectation
  of and desire for consensus.  It would be constructive to find scales
  for road suitability from major cycling organizations, and to tag
  according to their criteria, much like sac_scale.  Or to propose some
  tags that are closer to being objective, like the width of the area
  one can typically cycle in, and the degree of traffic.  If it's based
  on knowledge from being a cyclist in the community and reflects that
  even hard-core road cyclist think a road is scary, then that seems
  fine.  But that's fairly few roads (perhaps Memorial Drive in
  Cambridge/Boston).  And as Nathan says, if it's "no cycleway =>
  avoid", that steps into the political debate where many others say
  "cycleway with parking alongside it => risk of death, don't do it".  I
  think we have a NPOV obligation much like wikipedia.  So it would be
  fair to have cycleway=lane and cycleway_door_zone={true|false| or
  something like that to express whether one is at risk of being doored
  in the bike lane.

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