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I'm trying to add some detailed mapping along a cycle route (the N72 in Newcastle,UK). This route is largely along peaceful designated bike/hiking paths that are away from the busy roads, but in some areas it briefly travels along the pavement/sidewalk by the side of a road.

Ideally I'd like to capture this detail in the tagging, preferably in a way that is useful to the various cycle maps. I've had a go at this section from William Armstrong Drive and along Scotswood Road, which I have currently tagged as follows:

Normal Cycle Path

The section along the waterfront, away from the road, is simply tagged as most cycle paths are:


Along the Pavement/Sidewalk

As the route comes up on the pavement alongside William Armstrong Drive and Scotswood Road I've tagged it as:


which seems to be about as explicit as I can be.

Crossing the Road

I've also tagged the section where the route crosses the road as:


and drawn that through the highway=crossing node on the road (as recommended here)

So does this approach make any sense?

Logically it seems okay to me, but I'm a bit worried about how it will be interpreted and rendered by existing apps. (Yes I know we should be renderer-agnostic, but I don't want to break a route that used to work correctly).

Incidentally I can't just add a cycleway=track to the way for the road (as suggested in wiki) because unusually the road actually has a cycle lane on it as well (yep, a cycle lane on the road AND a signed shared-use pavement alongside it).

asked 15 Jul '11, 09:56

GrahamS's gravatar image

accept rate: 28%


This is likely up for debate, so the wiki or the tagging@ mailing list is probably a better place to ask this.

(15 Jul '11, 13:09) JoshD

Thanks @JoshD. I never find anything much gets resolved on the mailing lists :) and I thought if I got some good answers here it might help others in the future (after all how many newbies trawl through all the mailing list archives?)

(15 Jul '11, 14:44) GrahamS

This is a common problem. I think the consensus is that there is no ideal solution at present, but for those seeking help, rather than discussion, the best compromise is to use a separate way, as you describe. Make sure it is joined to the main way at junctions to aid routing.

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answered 15 Jul '11, 23:49

Peter%20reed's gravatar image

Peter reed
accept rate: 100%

edited 16 Jul '11, 00:48


This forum is not meant for discussion. So I am tempted to close this question.

However, to give you a short answer I would like to point out that

covers most options were sidewalks and bicycle lanes meet.

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answered 15 Jul '11, 12:44

ALE's gravatar image

accept rate: 14%

I cited that page in the question, but there are problems with the tagging it suggests in this situation. Ref S3 is the closest match, but I can't add cycleway=track to the road as it already has a cycleway=lane. The S3 alternative with multiple ways is good, but it doesn't indicate that these ways are sidewalks which is what I'm trying to achieve.

(15 Jul '11, 14:42) GrahamS

As I said before: this is a help forum and not a forum for discussion. Please use the wiki or the mailing list instead.

(15 Jul '11, 17:24) ALE

An alternative way is to have the bike path way merge into the road, then use something like "highway=residential, cycleway=track".

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answered 16 Jul '11, 15:56

Stevage's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Thanks Stevage, but as I said the road also has a bike lane, so it already has cycleway=lane on the way for the road.

(17 Jul '11, 22:45) GrahamS

Nowadays, for "along the sidewalk", there is the segregated tag.

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This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 08 Feb '14, 20:07

jgpacker's gravatar image

accept rate: 10%

Maybe use semi-colon as the accepted way to add multiple items to a tag and use cycleway=track;lane

The Bicycle tagging is mess, it's definitely worth using the wiki or mailing list to find common problems and some way of improving the schema without breaking current contributions.

The wiki list some deviations for UK tagging away from the general cycle tagging, by convention it seems in the UK these shared pavements get mapped as a highway=cycleway, foot=designated, bicycle=designated, segregated=yes despite the wiki saying such a tag is for an off-road cycle-paths, and so in the UK it's (almost) impossible for routing software to tell from tagging if a highway=cyclepath is an off-road cycle path or a roadside pavement. It really feels like there needs to be some sort of tag to indicate it is a pavement but the sidewalk tagging doesn't quite fit right.

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answered 07 Jul '20, 12:00

DevonshireBoy42's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

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question asked: 15 Jul '11, 09:56

question was seen: 11,559 times

last updated: 07 Jul '20, 12:00

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