[OSM-talk] Sidewalks

Roland Olbricht olbricht at mentzdv.de
Sat Apr 25 09:29:43 UTC 2015

Dear all,

our current pedestrian routers often don't give street names, but instead only instructions like "look for the line on the map".
To improve that I would like to encourage mappers to give separately mapped footways their proper name instead of leaving them without name.

The suggestion had been widely discussed with the German community. Finally we found the following approach:

Keep separation rules as already established:

A sidewalk (or bike lane) shall be mapped as a separate way only if a pedestrian cannot cross the car lanes at any point, i.e. there are fences or grass strip between footway and the car lanes.

Change the tagging suggestion for separated sidewalks and bike lanes:
- Sidewalks should carry "highway=footway" + "footway=sidewalk" + "name=Name of the Street" (already in widespread use)
- Bike lanes should carry "highway=cycleway" + "cycleway=sidewalk" + "name=Name of the Street" (similar problem)

Currently, both the suggestion of "footway=sidewalk" (similar for cycling) and copying the name is not suggested consistenly in the wiki. Are there any objections to clean-up the wiki with that regard?

Side effects on other tools are almost uniformly positive:
- Having the name multiple times on the various chunks of a street is a standard OSM policy.
- Renderers could handle abundant name tags by ignoring names on ways tagged with "footway/cycleway=sidewalk"
- Routing engines actually can improve by having the name of the road
- Quality assurance tools would also profit by having more hints for checking

Best regards,


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