[Talk-us] Tagging a seasonally closed roads with uncertain spring opening

Tod Fitch tod at fitchdesign.com
Mon Nov 3 03:14:55 UTC 2014


If someone has a good solution for this, I'd like it too! It is actually a bit worse here in California as both the opening and closing is based on weather and can vary significantly from year to year.

Best I've come up with is to tag the location of the gate and put the following on the gate node:

barrier=gate
access=permissive or access=no
note="Seasonal closure from first snow until spring, see CalTrans website for status"
website=http://www.dot.ca.gov/cgi-bin/roads.cgi

To further confuse the issue, some highways have multiple gates at different elevations and the closure notices are often worded as "closed x miles beyond Strawberry" (or some such) and you need to figure out which gate they are referring to.

If I am sure I will be vigilant when spring comes, I might change the access=permissive to access=no when I see the official status go to closed and then change it back in spring when the road reopens. That is bad form but since the dates fit no pattern and knowing if the road is open or not is a big deal for routers I think it needs to be indicated in some way.

There appears to be some sort of state to state shared database about highway conditions: At least the CalTrans QuickMap application for Android at http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/app.htm shows some road information for highways outside of California. If that is publicly accessible then a tag in OSM indicating how to access that information for a specific closure would allow routing applications to determine the current state without polluting OSM with seasonal changes.

Is there and API to allow routing software to query highway status for all of the US? North America?
If there is such an API then we could come up with a tag in OSM to give the details needed for the specific query for that location.

-Tod

On Nov 2, 2014, at 6:28 PM, Kevin Broderick wrote:

> Having recently moved to Red Lodge, Montana, I'm trying to update some of the map data around here, as a lot of it is untouched TIGER data that seems to be fairly imaginative.
> 
> Just south of town, US-212 is closed for the winter. The closing date is mid-October (varies a little year-to-year, but it is calendar-based) and the opening date is based on when the road is clear of snow, ice, and other debris (i.e. significant variation year-to-year is possible).
> 
> When the road is closed, it is truly closed (per signs and gate); it's not just a "unmaintained, travel at your own risk" situation.
> 
> Anyone have suggestions for tagging this segment of road? date_on and date_off were the best options I came up with in a search, but the variation in opening date seems to make that a bad choice.
> 
> -- 
> Kevin Broderick
> ktb at kevinbroderick.com

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