[OSM-talk] path or byway ?

Andy Street mail at andystreet.me.uk
Sun Jul 20 00:23:02 BST 2008

On Sat, 2008-07-19 at 16:35 +0100, Nick Whitelegg wrote:
> >What is the limit between "highway=byway" and "highway=track" ?
> Byway is an official byway (a certain class of right of way in the UK), 
> or, if motorcar=no added, a restricted byway.
> A "highway=track" is any other type of track - you can use the 
> foot/horse/bicycle tags to describe precisely what sort of traffic is 
> allowed on it.

What exactly are we trying to achieve with highway=byway? I can think of
two possible uses but both seem to have unresolved issues.

The first is simply to record that a particular way exists and has
certain access rights. In this instance I don't see highway=byway being
any different to highway=track, foot=yes, bicycle=yes, horse=yes,
motorcycle=yes, motorcar=yes and the latter would probably make more
sense to non-uk people.

The second is to record the exact legal classification of the way as a
byway rather than another entity with similar access permissions e.g. a
"Green Lane" (marked with green dots on OS maps with the key: "Other
routes with public access"). In this case the current practise of
tagging motorcar=no to indicate a restricted byway is insufficient as
this afternoon I walked along a BOAT that had also had a traffic order
preventing use by motorcars.

I'm personally starting to favour tagging byways as highway=track with
the appropriate access permissions in the same way that the map features
page now defines highway=footpath as highway=path, foot=yes. The only
issue I can see is that we would need to add a horsedrawn access tag to
differentiate between bridleways and restricted byways.



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