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There is a hiking path that is marked as "access=no"; however, this path is actually very popular, and I often find large groups of people traveling along it. I find no warning signs there. So, by the principle of verifiability, should I remove the "access=no" tag?

I felt unsure about it, so I did an investigation, with these observations:

  • An adjacent path has an "access=no" tag added in 2013, with no relevant comment by the user that did it.
  • A path not far from there has an "access=no" tag added a little earlier in 2013, with a note pointing to a website. The same user deleted the note later in 2013, but left the "access=no" tag.
  • The website says "paths X, Y and Z are temporarily closed because of the forest fire" (the note was added in 2010, shortly after the fire)
  • I vaguely remember that in 2011 there were some signs in the area, which said "trail closed for forest recovery"; these signs are long gone now

So what should I do now? "Verifiability" basically says "no signs in the field => access is allowed". However, if it was closed in 2010 for "forest recovery", maybe it's meant to be still closed (5 years were clearly not enough for recovery)? Also, when people enjoy these trails, they would have to go out of their way to find out whether access is allowed (I, for one, don't know).

Should I have bothered with investigation at all, or just remove the access tags?

asked 21 May '16, 09:42

anatolyg's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

If there are no signs on the path and there is no local law that forbids to use this way then there is clearly no reason to tag it as access=no.

Nevertheless you could try to contact the user(s) that added access=no and ask for the reasons.

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answered 21 May '16, 09:56

scai's gravatar image

scai ♦
accept rate: 23%

Hi Anatolyg, next to scai's remark, try to get in touch with the owner or operator of the forest and ask it there.

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answered 21 May '16, 12:15

Hendrikklaas's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%

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question asked: 21 May '16, 09:42

question was seen: 2,334 times

last updated: 21 May '16, 12:15

NOTICE: is being shutdown on 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum