I originally mapped a cycleway alongside Thorpe Road and Thorpe Lea Road in Pooley Green using a scheme like https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Cycling_in_the_United_Kingdom#Cycle_tracks . This is a shared pavement, sometimes segregated by paint, with several crossings of side streets. This was deleted in https://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/77485289 so I restored it last week after visiting the area (see Mapillary).

I think that separately mapping cycleways is useful where these lose priority at side streets - journey planners can then take into account crossings and how easy it us to get to junctions on the other side of the road. In addition, in this case, the changes in width and segregation are hard to take into account with cycleway=track. Furthermore, where a cycleway has been separately mapped, deleting it causes a loss of fidelity.

See also https://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/81083097 where another cycleway was deleted.

Can someone adjudicate please?


asked 27 Feb, 07:45

jpennycook's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 27 Feb, 09:51


Can you clarify: are we talking of something like cycle lane here, where there is zero physical separation between where the cars go and where the bicycles go, or is there something like grass, or a kerb, that separates bicycles from cars?

(27 Feb, 09:30) Frederik Ramm ♦

This is an off-road path, separated by kerb or grass, with crossings of side roads, where cyclists follow the same route as pedestrians rather than following the same route as cars.

(27 Feb, 09:50) jpennycook

I took a look at a few of the deleted ways, and they weren't tagged with cycleway=track. Adding that tag might help to serve as an indication to other mappers that this is a separated cycleway, and it also provides more accurate information to data consumers.

(28 Feb, 16:52) alester

Cycleway=track is forbidden for an separately-mapped cycleway tagged with highway=cycleway - it can only be used on a road to indicate an adjacent cycle track. I used to use cycleway=track/shared/segregated on off-road cycleways and was told of my error - apparently only cycleway=crossing has any meaning on a separately mapped cycleway.

(28 Feb, 18:18) jpennycook

Thanks everyone for your answers - I will check in about a week's time to see if the cycleways are present on the map, and restore them again if they are not.

(28 Feb, 18:23) jpennycook

Could I suggest that the wiki page on "bicycle" be updated please? It would be useful to make separately mapped cycleways more prominent in the page, particularly ones known (to me at least) as "cycle paths"/"shared use paths"/"shared use pavements". The pages on "Cycling in the United Kingdom" and "highway=cycleway" seem to give a better message.

(28 Feb, 18:31) jpennycook

My mistake about cycleway=track. You're correct that it shouldn't be used on the cycleway itself.

(29 Feb, 00:00) alester

@jpennycook I've removed the fallacious "recommended" sprinkled through that page. Still needs some work but it's a start.

(29 Feb, 19:16) Richard ♦

Thanks @Richard

(02 Mar, 19:51) jpennycook
showing 5 of 9 show 4 more comments

We agree with the original poster that this should be tagged as a separate Way, ideally.

A cycle track or shared-use pavement (however poor in this case) alongside a road, is a distinct flow and has distinct properties, e.g. width, as suggested. The stop-start nature of lack of priority at sideroads similarly is good to represent separately through a distinct Way.

We discussed this issue at State of the Map 2019 in full detail at:



Martin, CycleStreets

permanent link

answered 28 Feb, 02:17

CycleStreets's gravatar image

accept rate: 100%


Is there a discussion or proposals I can join of how to fix these two flawed approaches? The wiki suggests they are equivalent but given how heated the discussion, and many questions, edits like these are and the difference in routing they somehow are not equivalent.

(15 Jul, 09:48) DevonshireBoy42

I have commented on https://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/81083097 with the following opinion:

If the shared footpath is separated from the road by any physical barrier (even if just a kerb or strip of grass that could be traversed by a vehicle) then mapping the shared footpath as a separate way is always acceptable, even though it might be worth checking around especially when it comes to sidewalks along residential roads. In some areas mappers frown upon mapping them as separate geometries because it can make the map more difficult to handle.

permanent link

answered 27 Feb, 10:03

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 24%


Both are accepted according to the wiki, but people seem to have strong preference for one or the other despite neither being quite right.

permanent link

answered 15 Jul, 09:43

DevonshireBoy42's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text](http://url.com/ "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Question tags:


question asked: 27 Feb, 07:45

question was seen: 419 times

last updated: 15 Jul, 09:48

powered by OSQA