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Many of our fire access tracks, are by the means of using reinforced grass.

It is basically a compacted patch of ground that blends in with the rest of the grass field around it, usually it's only ever so slightly noticeable.

Here's an example:

The track between the red and white posts is the fire access road. As you can see, it blends in with the surrounding patch of grass perfectly, you wouldn't be able to tell that part of the grass patch is reinforced.

Since I didn't know better, for now I've been tagging them as highway=track, tracktype=grade5, and access=emergency.

Someone on IRC also suggested I tag the bollard blocking access to these roads (not present in the image I've linked) with access=emergency, too, which I did.

Just for clarity: this is not by the means of using grass pavers!

This is just compacted ground, sometimes with gravel mixed in. When mixed with gravel this is sometimes called "Schotterrasen", finding a picture showing what I mean seems to be rather difficult.

This surface is sometimes used in car parking spaces with a more eco-friendly surface, etc.

When this reinforced grass is used for fire access, they're often topped with a thin layer of soft, black soil, to make them blend into the surrounding grass even better, and be less noticeable.

These access routes have to be kept free, so parking on them or blocking their entrances by parking, usually results in the car being towed.

The tag fire_path=yes is suggested in the Wiki, but it seems that tag isn't really used anywhere.

At a local OSM meetup, it was suggested to mark all access roads like this as highway=service and service=emergency, and then use the appropriate surface=* tag. However, this doesn't seem to make sense to me, though. Even when using the surface=grass it is evocative of an actual road, but I don't think that's really the intention here. The roads are never to be used except when the fire engine needs to drive up to the building, etc.

So what tags should I use? Especially, whay highway=* tag should they get?

asked 25 Nov '17, 17:51

polemon's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Is the reinforced grass synthetic or real living grass that requires mowing, etc?

(25 Nov '17, 23:20) nevw

It's living grass, requiring mowing, and sometimes watering. I was hoping the picture made that clear, but oh well...

(26 Nov '17, 06:58) polemon

Hi polemon, have a look at surface=grass_paver, here its a reinforced grass surface wich might cover / like your needs. The Wiki shows a concrete one but there are others too nowadays. Tag the way with access=no and emergency=yes, the window cleaner might use the path as well have a look here

permanent link

answered 26 Nov '17, 11:53

Hendrikklaas's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%

edited 26 Nov '17, 12:04

Hmm, yeah, I have taken a look at it, as I said in my question. But it's more like compacted soil, rather than pavers, as there are no structural elements in the ground, it's just gravel at most and feels like a hard-ish ground.

In my book, pavers imply some sort of structural elements embedded in the soil, i.e. concrete, plastic, metal, etc. This is decidedly not the case, here.

I'll add emergency=yes, although I thought that access=emergency was implying that. No worries though.

(26 Nov '17, 15:30) polemon

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question asked: 25 Nov '17, 17:51

question was seen: 2,092 times

last updated: 26 Nov '17, 15:30

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