[OSM-talk] Teaching cyclists how to contribute to OSM

Paul Johnson baloo at ursamundi.org
Mon Jan 20 02:15:39 UTC 2020

On Sun, Jan 19, 2020 at 6:28 PM john whelan <jwhelan0112 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Locally in Ottawa many paths are multiuse there is a path many kilometers
> long along the Ottawa river that has a line marked down the center and is
> very much used by cyclists but according to NCC who own the path it is
> multi-use not bicycles only so is mapped highway=path.  Most City of Ottawa
> paths are the same, bicycles are permitted but they are not cycleways.

Generally speaking I'd consider that highway=cycleway, foot=yes.  Same with
the variation that has lanes but no sidewalks and clearly has pedestrians
walking on it in the Mapillary.  I'd consider it highway=path if it didn't
have lanes, even if it did have vehicle-oriented signage (consider the
older portions of the Westside Regional Trail in Oregon where it's
technically too narrow to have lanes.  Oregon-specific thing: Oregon allows
bicycle lanes to be 1.2m wide if the lane is adjacent only to another
bicycle lane in the same direction or a shoulder; if the bicycle lane is
adjacent to a lane that allows motor vehicles, or is adjacent to any kind
of lane in the opposite direction, then the minimum allowable lane width is
1.82m.  A lot of older MUPs in Oregon are ~3.0m wide, owing to when Oregon
considered all bicycle lanes to be 1.52m minimum, whereas newer MUPs mapped
as cycleways are 3.66m wide minimum.

This paragraph is Oregon-specific geekery and skippable. Springwater
Corridor in Gresham was widened to accomodate 4 lanes and the edge to edge
width is about 6.1m across, with the original intention to be the inside
lanes being about 1.82m wide and the shoulder lanes being 1.2m wide.  End
result, they didn't bother to mark any lanes (consistent with the Portland
segment of the cycleway, which is too narrow to have lanes, and as such the
lane markings haven't been maintained in over 20 years since the rules
changed, as the Springwater Corridor is too narrow to meet code in
Portland), effectively making it a two lane cycleway with 3 meter wide
lanes.  Only other places in Oregon where multiple same-direction bike
lanes come into play off the top of my head would be the Hawthorne Bridge
westbound (where there's a second, narrower bike lane against the curb for
slower cyclists on a hard climb on a street that frequently sees 30,000+
cyclists a day) and the Bush Pasture Parkway (deceptively named).  It's a 5
lane (formerly 8 lane) cycleway (the two middle lanes were converted to a
flush median since I moved away, but when they do soapbox races, my
understanding is they add a spraychalk stripe down the median) on a steep
hill and doesn't really go anywhere, and primarily exists as a soapbox
derby dragstrip (it's on a steep hill), but the city striped it as a
cycleway in order to be able to justify the tax expense.  On the other
hand, they're seriously future proof for when McColloch Stadium is
primarily accessed by bicycle!

> I worked with City of Ottawa bicycle specialist on this starting on why
> one path in a park was marked as a bicycle path whilst another in the same
> park of identical width was not.  Eventually we arrived at all paths except
> those that are marked no bicycles are multiuse paths ie bicycles are
> permitted.

Generally speaking on footway and cycleway, I will explicitly tag the most
common unusual mode.  So, footways that allow bicycles will get bicycle=yes
and cycleways that allow pedestrians will get foot=yes.  I tend to focus a
lot on intent on deciding on footway/path/cycleway.  If it's a true MUP
(like, say, Willamette Greenway in Portland), I'd tag that as highway=path
and bicycle=designated, foot=designated.

If it's a MUP but it's clear the intent was to favor cyclists (ie, formal
lanes, bicycle-specific signage, etc, but it allows pedestrians), then I'd
tag it as highway=cycleway, lanes=*, turn:lanes=* as appropriate,
foot=yes.  Examples would be the Creek Turnpike Trail in Tulsa, Liberty
Parkway Trail in Broken Arrow, Westside Regional Trail in Washington
County, Oregon, and others.

More rare in North America is a cycleway that doesn't allow pedestrians.
Examples would be the Riverparks Westbank and Eastbank cycleways in Tulsa
in specific segments, where foot=no is explicitly (redundantly) tagged.
Where these trails have pedestrian and bicycle facilities on the same
roadway but marked out, then highway=cycleway, segregated=yes,
foot=designated, bicycle=designated is appropriate (such as between the
Arkansas River and River Spirit Casino.

I might suggest Ottawa mappers take a look at the Riverparks Eastbank Trail
and Creek Turnpike Trails as examples.

> Multiuse means skateboards, wheelchairs, skis  etc.  We had 25 cms of snow
> today and many paths are not ploughed.  There aren't many conventional
> bicycles that can use the paths under these conditions.

Fortunately Tulsa tends to lack this problem, with cycleways generally
being plowed, often before surface streets are.
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