[Talk-us] Bicycle Shield Rendering

stevea steveaOSM at softworkers.com
Tue Apr 3 22:44:22 BST 2012

>That just reminded me... Chicago and Tulsa have city routes.  And
>these edge cases (city routes and state secondary/supplemental routes,
>especially oddball (Oregon) and extreme (Texas) cases) make for great
>prepwork to render cycleway network trailblazers (which tend towards
>obscenely diverse in much of the US).

Please!  At least in the USA (and here we are in the talk-us pages), 
a very simplified beginning to this approach really should start with 
the MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices) standards for 
bicycle route signage.  This is already well-referenced in OSM's wiki 
here:  http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Cycle_routes#United_States

Beginning with only two shields (perhaps three, perhaps four 
beginning in California with local routes) will keep this MUCH 
simplified while still adhering to widely-adopted standards (again, 
at least in the USA).

The ncn (national) route shield is shown in that wiki section as 
ncn_ref, and the rcn (statewide) route shield is shown in that 
section as rcn_ref.  MANY if not MOST states (I don't have a source, 
just a gut feeling) use these.  These would be the better "seed" two 
to start with (in my strongly-held opinion).

THEN, there are local signs.  That wiki section shows the generic 
green "Bike Route" sign (that exact text below the bicycle glyph) as 
appropriate for ways tagged with "bicycle=yes" but this does not 
fully capture how to sign local route NUMBERS in an lcn network, 
which are rapidly emerging, especially in California.  To wit, the 
Bay Area is becoming rich and well-connected with actual and proposed 
local and regional bicycle networks which rather nicely display in 
Cycle Map layer.  Some are deployed and signed (like San Francisco), 
some are deployed and not signed (or well-signed, like VTA/South 
Bay/San Jose/Silicon Valley), some are just getting started and are 
proposed only (display in Cycle Map as dashed lines, like Santa Cruz).

True, for LOCAL bike routes, there is wide variation.  However, I can 
say that the MUTCD does allow the "SG45" sign designation for local 
bike routes in California.  This is a portrait-orientation 
rectangular sign of white background and dark green border trim, with 
an oval inside of that, again with a dark-green border trim.  The 
lower two-thirds of the oval is dark green and shows the bicycle 
glyph in the center in white, and a number (one, two or even three 
digit) in the bottom (again, in white on the dark green background of 
the lower two-thirds of the trimmed oval).  The upper one-third of 
the oval is white, and designated "City Bike Route" in a cursive 
script of dark green.  Well, this is in the generic MUTCD depiction: 
specific cities put something specific to that city in the upper 
third of the oval.  For example, San Francisco's (excellent) lcn 
(local cycleway network) has a Golden Gate Bridge logo in the top 
third of the oval.

You can see this here: 
although that is in monochrome, the green and white version is nicer, 
and should be used for a local bike route shield if that is what is 
desired, but I can't easily find a color/green-and-white version on 

See Cycle Map layer in the US (in fact, take a look at the Bay Area 
of California here:
Do zoom in (especially San Francisco) to see numbering, as at zoom=9 
it's a pretty wide-area view and only shows (proposed) national route 

Andy Allan, author of Cycle Map layer, is currently using rather 
plain-looking landscape-orientation rectangles with numbers (or 
sometimes letters as abbreviations of named bicycle routes), but he 
does get the colors "right" to correspond to various levels of the 
hierarchy (red = national, light blue = regional, or statewide in the 
USA, and dark blue = local).  While these suffice nicely (for now), 
he might be informed to read this thread and consider merging a 
future Cycle Map layer shield improvement scheme with Phil! Gold's 
(excellent so far, but clearly in the earlier, though 
now-better-known-as-it-is-being-more-widely-discussed phase) shield 
improvement scheme.  Andy's contact information is info (at) 
gravitystorm (dot) co (dot) uk.

Delighted to discuss this,

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