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A note on a tunnel local to me, points out that routing providers are sending cyclists on a 30km detour around a freeway tunnel as it is tagged bicycle=no. The tunnel is a major connection in the area, as it is the access to an important ferry terminal.

Cyclists are not permitted to ride through the tunnel, but the free shuttle bus is a more sensible option than the 30km detour. I can not think of any way to get routing providers to recommend cyclists take the tunnel. The shuttle should really be added as a public transportation route, but this won't effect the routing.

Am I overlooking anything? Is there anything I could do to improve the mapping, even if it doesn't result in the routing engines changing their behaviour at present?

asked 13 Apr '17, 20:45

keithonearth's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%

edited 16 Apr '17, 10:54

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦

It's something I've wondered about supporting for's routing. At present I don't know of any bike router that supports this as an option. But there are certainly locations where it would be sensible (e.g. Alpine tunnels).

I'd suggest: map it using a sensible, not-too-arcane solution (i.e. no nested relations or hard-to-parse tags); document what you've done; hope that other people follow your lead; and then maybe routers will pick it up in due course.

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answered 14 Apr '17, 19:43

Richard's gravatar image

Richard ♦
accept rate: 18%

edited 16 Apr '17, 10:55

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦


Thanks for your reply Richard! Would a single relation (ie unnested) meet the requirements of routing providers? Using a public transport relation seems to me to most accurately way to represent the situation on the ground, but I thought that this would not be usable by routing software.

The other suggestion I've received is to use a new tag, eg a bicycle=shuttle tag. I'd think that routers would just ignore this tag, and with the bicycle=no tag gone, would route cyclists through the tunnel. Am I correct about this? Would bicycle:shuttle=yes be a better choice?

(14 Apr '17, 20:32) keithonearth

Hmm. A route=bus relation with bicycle=yes would be sensible, but I wonder how one would differentiate between a shuttle bus for bikes, and a network of ordinary bus services with bike racks on them (e.g. Implementation-wise, OSRM doesn't support route relations out of the box (though's instance does), so a relation-only solution might inhibit adoption - not that this should necessarily dictate tagging.

bicycle:shuttle=yes is a good suggestion, but I'd actually suggest bicycle:shuttle=bus, because then you could also have something like bicycle:shuttle=on_demand for those places (e.g. some US river bridges) where bikes are banned but the bridge staff will carry you across in a pickup.

(15 Apr '17, 09:16) Richard ♦

I really like the bicycle:shuttle=bus suggestion, as a more explicit tagging convention.

While all the buses around here have racks on the front to carry two bicycles I think that the shuttle bus is different enough to justify its own tag.

I would think that both a bicycle:shuttle tag on ways and on public transport relation could co-exist. Though the relation seems to represent reality more accurately. Would a bicycle:shuttle=bus/yes tag on the relation make sense from the perspective of your instance of OSRM?

(15 Apr '17, 23:39) keithonearth

Yes, definitely.

(16 Apr '17, 08:49) Richard ♦

@Richard, It's taken me a while to do this but I've added the shuttle service as two separate relations (one for each direction). I hope I've done it in a way that allows your routing service to support it at some point in the future. Please feel free to let me know if I've made any mistakes, as I'm not very familiar with the public transport schema. Here's the changeset link.

(23 Jun '17, 20:26) keithonearth

Conceptually, this is similar to bicycle=walk where routers might still choose the shortest way if the calculated walk time is less than the detour. Perhaps bicycle=shuttle would describe the situation best and data consumers would need to add handling for this tag.

A new tag is not ideal, but routers probably don't support any existing tagging today for this model.

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answered 14 Apr '17, 11:10

Mike%20N's gravatar image

Mike N
accept rate: 17%

Thanks for the answer Mike! I had been thinking about a new tag, but had not thought it through entirely. Your bicycle=shuttle tag sounds semanticlly sensible, but do you know how routers would deal with a bicycle= tag that they do not understand? I'd expect that they'd just ignore it, and then we'd be getting more* inaccurate results then at present.

(14 Apr '17, 20:30) keithonearth

There's another possible option, to use the shuttle youll have to inform/call for the service 1 hour before your trip and buy a special bicycle ticket. There will be a trailer behind the bus. But no sign of the service in OSM.

(15 Apr '17, 11:47) Hendrikklaas

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question asked: 13 Apr '17, 20:45

question was seen: 2,847 times

last updated: 23 Jun '17, 20:45

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum