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By "illegal shortcut" I mean places where people tend to cross a road where it's disallowed in order to skip a detour: for example, crossing a wide road on foot when they're supposed to use a dedicated pedestrian underpass or overpass. Often these routes can be easily visible on satellite imagery, for example, grass on the road median and/or next to the sidewalk worn to dirt.

I've noticed these crossings mapped in some places. Is there some unified way to mark these ways or should they just be removed?

I've thought of using a tag like crossing=illegal, but the problem is that if the routing program doesn't recognize this tag, it could route over the illegal crossing, since it's after all a shortcut.

asked 19 Nov '20, 21:27

Rostaman521's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%


Whether such as shortcut is actually illegal will likely depend on the jurisdiction. In the UK such a shortcut usually would not be actually illegal, just discouraged.

(19 Nov '20, 21:37) SomeoneElse ♦

@SomeoneElse I have just looked up the law in my country. Pedestrians are required to use the crossing or over/underpass if it's less than 50 m away inside cities/towns and 100 m outside, otherwise the fine is 50€. I'm strictly asking about such examples, <50/100 m from the nearest marked crossing. Are you sure that there is no similar proscription in the UK law? It sounds to me that pedestrians would then be allowed to ignore red lights by jaywalking a meter beside the zebra.

(20 Nov '20, 04:09) Rostaman521

@Rostaman521 There is no such thing as "jaywalking" in UK law. Red lights do not apply to pedestrians - as @SomeoneElse says, a red light at a pedestrian crossing simply means "discouraged" rather than forbidden.

(20 Nov '20, 09:46) Richard ♦

Thank you for clarifying @Richard. I have certainly learned something new about traffic laws in other countries today.

(20 Nov '20, 20:34) Rostaman521

Assuming that foot access really is illegal and not just discouraged, if it definitely exists I'd tag it as something like "foot=no".

If there isn't really a way from A to B but some people just run across the road, I probably wouldn't bother tagging the crossing at all. Here is an example of that - clearly those paths used to connect, but there's no brak in the armco in the middle of the road and no easy way across. There's also no current signage suggesting the paths connect, either.

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answered 19 Nov '20, 21:42

SomeoneElse's gravatar image

SomeoneElse ♦
accept rate: 16%

edited 20 Nov '20, 20:41


Here's an example of what I meant: - The crossing is physically possible but you would be fined if a cop saw you and you'd probably have to run to not get hit by traffic, yet obviously enough people do it to tear up the grass.

(19 Nov '20, 21:49) Rostaman521

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question asked: 19 Nov '20, 21:27

question was seen: 1,252 times

last updated: 20 Nov '20, 20:41

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