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A road local to me is classed in the maps as a true road.

It has a mile long stretch of farm track which is not a road at all and this causes a lot of road cyclists to be sent down there resulting in punctures and damage.

Can anyone let me know how to put in a request for the designation to be altered in OSM to stop this please?

I have a few more pictures to evidence the unsuitability of the track.


asked 18 Apr '21, 08:01

Rkj's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 18 Apr '21, 14:50

SK53's gravatar image

SK53 ♦


Either change it yourself or share the location.

(18 Apr '21, 14:51) SK53 ♦

In case anyone else is wondering, the lat/long isn't in the exif data :)

(18 Apr '21, 14:56) SomeoneElse ♦


Thanks for the replies.

I went back up there and there is one post (in the picture here) that has the red arrow as per @trigpoint comment above.

I can only put one photo in each post so I'll add some more comments to show more about the condition of the track.

It may be technically and legally open to all traffic but it's not a useful route for all traffic and indeed is used by tractors, dog walkers and misguided road cyclists like me. The track isn't suitable for a big chunk of society eg: road bikes, parents with pushchairs, people with mobility or balance problems, mobility scooters etc.

alt text

(21 Apr '21, 09:50) Rkj

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(21 Apr '21, 09:51) Rkj

alt text

(21 Apr '21, 09:51) Rkj

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(21 Apr '21, 09:51) Rkj
showing 5 of 6 show 1 more comments

You could do it yourself.

Otherwise please share the location.

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answered 18 Apr '21, 10:46

H_mlet's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%

edited 18 Apr '21, 15:22


Thanks for your reply.

If I knew how to I would. I did try last year but someone got really grumpy with me because I wasn't doing it properly.

Very, very happy to do it though - I'd really like to understand how to do it the right way.

53.172423, -0.744598 is the coordinates of where it starts, basically all the way northwards until it hits the next larger road, labelled as Besthorpe Road on Google maps.

This link shows the place where I took that photo, sorry I didn't know the exif had the GPS stripped out (or perhaps Samsung are doing something funny cos it does have a location in it on my phone).


PS the @53 bit above should be

(18 Apr '21, 15:57) Rkj

Presume it this one: This (and Folly Lane to N) have recently been surveyed and changed to track. The OS don't seem to have the status correct either ( which may be why OSM was wrong in the first case.

(18 Apr '21, 17:30) SK53 ♦

If you want to start editing yourself, have a look at [][] and the wiki about [track][] and other pages.

Don't mind grumpy people, take the good advice, and leave the grumpy part alone. But be ready to read quite a lot of documentation ! ;-)

@SK53 I'm not so sure about the "[bicycle=designated][]", on the photo there is no signs and the road looks only for mtb. What do you think ? It might give routers a wrong idea, if tracktype=grade2 is not considered.

(18 Apr '21, 17:47) H_mlet

@H_mlet If a router doesn't consider tracktype=grade2 then that's a bug in the router. (I write as a bike router author.)

(18 Apr '21, 21:27) Richard ♦

@Richard I trust you on this, but the bicycle=designated page still says that it means specific signs are on the ground, and I don't see them on the photo.

(19 Apr '21, 13:29) H_mlet

@H_mlet in this case these tags relate to the category of the PRoW, so whilst possibly unnecessary they are correct. In OSM terms bicycle relates to whether it is legal to cycle there, not whether it is practicable for a given type of cycle. As @Richard says cycle routing needs to consume a wide range of tags to provide for a whole range of bikes from road bikes to MTB. Some routers are also just slow to update the information (i.e., longer than 3 months). See what sort of routes Richard's site provides near you.

(19 Apr '21, 14:20) SK53 ♦

@SK53 from what I read on the wiki page, it seems that bicycle=yes would be better in cases like this. At least with what I understand from just one photo !

(19 Apr '21, 15:15) H_mlet

FWIW I'd have probably used "=yes" rather than "=designated" here but plenty of mappers would use "designated". See for a wider discussion of that.

(19 Apr '21, 15:38) SomeoneElse ♦

@SomeoneElse Thanks for the context. It seems quite complex. Regards.

(19 Apr '21, 16:42) H_mlet

@H_mlet Moor Lane is tagged with designation=byway_open_to_all_traffic which indicates that it is a legal right of way for all vehicles.

In terms of signage indicating this I would expect to see a sign to effect of public byway where it leaves a metalled road and rights of way markers at key points along the route with red arrows. In England and Wales these are also valid indicators of access designation.


(19 Apr '21, 18:46) trigpoint
showing 5 of 10 show 5 more comments

This way was originally tagged as unclassified, which was clearly incorrect . It has since been changed to a track with tracktype=2, which from your photos appears to be correct.

I am not sure what else can be done without breaking routing for other use cases, it looks great for my trailbike for example.

A properly configured bike router will take important tags into account, for example which allows the user to select only paved roads, whilst also allowing use of unpaved tracks if desired.

I would suggest you try, however I am wondering which router you are using?

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answered 21 Apr '21, 10:49

trigpoint's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%


A big thank you @H_mlet for taking the trouble to do the extra research and collecting photos. It may be well worth your while sending a message to Thomas Jarvis (via the OSM message system) who updated the lane to a track. He is an active contributor who has recently mapped a lot of cycle infrastructure around Lincoln.

(21 Apr '21, 13:19) SK53 ♦

Based on your photos, I'd concur with @trigpoint that a tag of tracktype=grade2 (or tracktype=grade3 at a pinch) would be the simplest and most appropriate.

On a previous edit I think you changed part of the road to smoothness=very_horrible and tracktype=grade4, and though I appreciate your intentions, that's a bit hyperbolic - I'd be happy riding along there on my hybrid or on my gravel bike (I think my Bike Friday would probably have a decent stab at it too!).

I see Thomas Jarvis has now updated it to tracktype=grade2 and that's great. It takes routers a while to reflect updates, but if after this, a router still sends road cyclists that way, then that's a bug in the router. OSM's objective is to have accurate data - we shouldn't put in inaccurate data just to work around one router's shortcomings.

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answered 24 Apr '21, 20:24

Richard's gravatar image

Richard ♦
accept rate: 18%

Rkj, I'd stay with the tagging that there is at the moment but I would add a couple of characteristics to help routers. Based on the pictures you added I would suggest:

width=2.5, although on the last picture it looks narrower (that would be meters by the way)

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answered 21 Apr '21, 14:29

TZorn's gravatar image

accept rate: 15%

edited 21 Apr '21, 14:32

Thans. Is there a tag that describes very frequent deep dips and potholes with sharp stones that mess up road bikes? The photos don't do it justice being 2D images.

(24 Apr '21, 08:22) Rkj

The smoothness tag can reflect that. Look at the wiki for examples for each possible value.

(24 Apr '21, 21:59) TZorn

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question asked: 18 Apr '21, 08:01

question was seen: 1,449 times

last updated: 24 Apr '21, 21:59

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