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In Minneapolis and other cities in the US there are often side streets that are "Bike Boulevards" where cyclists can use the full lane and are prioritized (see Minneapolis Bike Boulevards and Bicycle Boulevards on Wikipedia )

It seems that highway=cycleway is only used when the way is exclusively for bikes, and because the entire lane is designated for both bikes and cars there is no dedicated bike lane to specify. The closest tag seems to be bicycle=designated, but I wasn't sure if that was the best option because it is also designated for other uses.

These designations can be very important when designing a safe cycling route. The only map provider I know that shows these roads is Google who will display it in the same way a road with a bike lane is displayed.

Is there any existing tag for these sorts of designated routes?

asked 25 Aug '18, 19:22

jczaplew's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Hi jczaplew, I'm from the Netherlands and we have a lot cyclestreet=yes here. Here is a link to the Wiki : to be complete for other users. Here is a blog post of a Dutch bicycle expert about this subject (he has more) : hth Gys

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answered 25 Aug '18, 20:39

Gys%20de%20Jongh's gravatar image

Gys de Jongh
accept rate: 16%

It looks like I needed to do more research about naming conventions! It appears as if "cyclestreet" is the internationally accepted term for this sort of infrastructure and that OSM has two tagging options: cyclestreet=yes OR cycleway=cyclestreet. Is one more used than the other?

(25 Aug '18, 19:28) jczaplew

I would tend to go with cyclestreet=yes and go with bicycle:lanes:[forward|backward]=* for the specific lane tagging, if there's multiple lanes marked on the road, or bicycle=designated if no lanes marked.

(28 Aug '18, 03:15) Baloo Uriza

After reading the links you provide, I'd encourage you to use the cycleway=shared_lane tag, along with highway=residential (or whatever appropriate highway tag), and any bicycle routes added as a relation. Adding maxspeed=* tags would also be useful, as routers using OSM data will favour streets with higher speed limits when routing cars in the area.

The cyclestreet=yes tag, according to the wiki, prohibits cars from passing cyclists at all, and is a defined category within Belgian law. The boulevards you're talking about, according to the link you provided, prohibit passing when unsafe. This is a significant difference.

Really, while this type of cycling infrastructure is nice, it's not all that different from a regular street. Cars are always prohibited from passing cyclists when unsafe (of course not always followed) and cyclists may use an entire lane on any street, if it is more safe for them to do so. I don't see any need to use obscure tags to reflect this situation, cycleway=shared_lane will suffice.

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answered 29 Aug '18, 19:48

keithonearth's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%

BTW, this is how most of the Minneapolis bike boulevards are already tagged. :) I think most (or all?) have relations too.

(30 Aug '18, 14:52) neuhausr

I agree with the previous answer that USA "bike boulevards" should usally be marked as cycleway=shared_lane. See

Since Bike Boulevards / Neighborhood Greenways often zig-zag between different small streets, it is helpful to map them with a relation of type=route, especially if there is official signages or local bike maps that show these streets. See; there are various ways to make these relations, depending on which editor you are using.

If you look at the OpenCycleMap tiles for Portland Oregon, you can see several "named" bike boulevard routes which have been mapped this way:

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answered 01 Sep '18, 08:45

Joseph%20E's gravatar image

Joseph E
accept rate: 15%

I think it is important for the bicycle boulevard/neighborhood greenway portion of a named bikeway to render differently than general shared lanes. A bicycle boulevard/neighborhood greenway is an "all ages and abilities" facility type that is meant to offer the same level of comfort and safety as an off-street trail or separated bike lane. Bicycle boulevards/neighborhood greenways have limited stop signs, with speed controlled by traffic calming and motor vehicle access limited using diverters. My working definition is that a bicycle boulevard/neighborhood greenway is a street designed to be a thoroughfare for bicycles and local access only for cars. A shared lane, meanwhile, may be designated on any street, often as an interim treatment for a gap in a bikeway. Many shared lane facilities are only comfortable for more experienced riders.

I hesitate to rely on maxspeed=* to differentiate bicycle boulevards/neighborhood greenways. Bicycle boulevards/neighborhood greenways are intended for travel at the speed of a bicycle (10 to 20 mph), but state law in Minnesota prohibits the designation of any speed limit below 25 mph (40 km/h). Speed limit signs here are generally only used on streets intended for speeds of 35 mph (55 km/h) or greater. Effectively the maximum safe speed on a bicycle boulevard/neighborhood greenway is around 20 mph (30 km/h), but I assume OSM tagging conventions would require us to instead show the legal/statutory speed limit of 30 mph (50 km/h).

What do you all think of the idea of differentiating bicycle boulevards/neighborhood greenways by adding the tag motor_vehicle=destination paired with bicycle=designated? This would be in keeping with my working definition of a bicycle boulevard/neighborhood greenway, but I am not sure if it is OK to use the motor_vehicle=destination tag on a publicly owned street in the US.

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answered 04 Oct '19, 20:48

Brian%20Tang's gravatar image

Brian Tang
accept rate: 0%

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question asked: 25 Aug '18, 19:22

question was seen: 2,492 times

last updated: 04 Oct '19, 20:48

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