[Talk-us] Sidewalks as footpaths

Serge Wroclawski emacsen at gmail.com
Thu May 8 09:58:42 UTC 2014

Being an American has nothing to do with a really bad data design.
I've been an American 35 years and I think this is really not a good
way to model sidewalks.

The problem (aside from the issue of data clutter) is that the
sidewalk data can't be used for pedestrian routing because the
information about the street is not captured. You can't tell someone
to follow Main Street, because the path is not labeled as such.

In my experience, people trace the sidewalk because it looks pretty in
the renderer. What we really want is better rendering of sidewalk
tags, not data which can't be used.

- Serge

On Tue, May 6, 2014 at 9:36 AM, Paul Johnson <baloo at ursamundi.org> wrote:
> As an American, I'd say tracing out the sidewalk is perfectly legitimate,
> considering jaywalking laws that typically apply in locations with
> sidewalks, the total non universal nature of sidewalks.
> On May 1, 2014 11:40 PM, "Tod Fitch" <tod at fitchdesign.com> wrote:
>> It is my understanding that in the US the roadway design in a
>> urban/suburban environment includes the sidewalks, possibly a
>> parkway/planting strip, the curbs and the traveled way. From that point of
>> view I'd only consider mapping a walkway as a separate way only if it did
>> not run parallel and close to the road.
>> -Tod
>> On May 1, 2014, at 8:35 PM, John F. Eldredge wrote:
>> > Here in Nashville TN, sidewalks in some business districts alternate
>> > every few yards between having concrete extend all of the way to the curb,
>> > and having planted strips with grass, flowers, and small trees between the
>> > sidewalk and the curb. It would be rather tedious to have the tagging have
>> > to alternate between sidewalk and footway every few yards.
>> >
>> >
>> > On April 30, 2014 11:19:31 PM CDT, Russ Nelson <nelson at crynwr.com>
>> > wrote:
>> >> Kai Krueger writes:
>> >>> But in the US (at least in suburbia), the sidewalks are often much
>> >>> more detached from the road with wide grass strips between
>> >>> them. They also sometimes aren't entirely parallel to the road.
>> >>
>> >> Indeed. In Potsdam, NY, we get enough snow that we need those wide
>> >> grass strips to plow the snow onto. But they're not practical in some
>> >> places, so the sidewalk can come close to the road in places. It's
>> >> still a sidewalk, though, and not a "way" of its own.
>> >>
>> >> There is not a wonderful solution for how do map pedestrian routing
>> >> when it differs from road-associated routing.
>> >
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