Can highway=cycleway be limited to MTB?

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Can highway=cycleway be limited to MTB?

Phyks
Hi,

A discussion in CyclOSM issue tracker [1] spotted that there exists
around 3500 highway=cycleway around the world which have specific
mountain bikes (MTB) tags. In particular, around 800 highway=cycleway
around the world declare a mtb:scale greater than 2, which would make
them impassable without a proper mountain bike. Such cycleways would not
be passable with a regular city bike. One example of such a case is at [2].

Looking at the wiki page [3],
"the highway=cycleway tag indicates a separate way for the use of cyclists"
which does not mandate explicitly that a cycleway be accessible with any
kind of bikes and should also cover dedicated paths for MTB. However,
the documentation around cycleways and bike features is very oriented
towards city cycling and there is no illustration about MTB-specific
cycleways.

So, is this considered a valid tagging or should it be represented by
another highway class (path, track, etc)? If this is valid, I propose to
add a statement in the wiki explicitly mentioning that cycleways can be
restricted for specific kinds of bicycles, for future questions.

Best,

[1] https://github.com/cyclosm/cyclosm-cartocss-style/issues/208
[2] https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/86978431#map=17/41.26426/-73.91907
[3] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:highway%3Dcycleway

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Re: Can highway=cycleway be limited to MTB?

Andrew Harvey-3
My view based on current usage, reading of the wiki and general opinion is that highway=cycleway is meant for any path that is either designed/intended for bicycles or specifically designated (signposted) for bicycles, irrespective of if it's an urban track or mountain biking track.

So a mountain bike track and an urban cycle track should both be tagged with highway=cycleway as the primary tag. surface= and smoothness= can help for both to help guide users on which kind of bicycle the track is suitable for, and mtb:scale=/mtb:scale:imba= are used to indicate this is a designated mountain biking track. 

highway=path is specifically for a general use / unspecified path, which a mountain biking track may be if it's informal/shared, but purpose built and signposted mountain bike tracks don't fall into that category.

A similar thing applies to hiking tracks, sometimes they are designated walking paths so use highway=footway + surface + sac_scale, but sometimes they are just an unmarked or mixed use path so are highway=path + surface + sac_scale.

Open to other opinions or comments.

On Thu, 2 Apr 2020 at 18:56, Phyks <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,

A discussion in CyclOSM issue tracker [1] spotted that there exists
around 3500 highway=cycleway around the world which have specific
mountain bikes (MTB) tags. In particular, around 800 highway=cycleway
around the world declare a mtb:scale greater than 2, which would make
them impassable without a proper mountain bike. Such cycleways would not
be passable with a regular city bike. One example of such a case is at [2].

Looking at the wiki page [3],
"the highway=cycleway tag indicates a separate way for the use of cyclists"
which does not mandate explicitly that a cycleway be accessible with any
kind of bikes and should also cover dedicated paths for MTB. However,
the documentation around cycleways and bike features is very oriented
towards city cycling and there is no illustration about MTB-specific
cycleways.

So, is this considered a valid tagging or should it be represented by
another highway class (path, track, etc)? If this is valid, I propose to
add a statement in the wiki explicitly mentioning that cycleways can be
restricted for specific kinds of bicycles, for future questions.

Best,

[1] https://github.com/cyclosm/cyclosm-cartocss-style/issues/208
[2] https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/86978431#map=17/41.26426/-73.91907
[3] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:highway%3Dcycleway

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Re: Can highway=cycleway be limited to MTB?

voschix
If a highway is mtb:scale=2 it is definitely not a cycleway. It is a highway=path with mtb:scale=2
If this were to encounter a "cycleway" with mtb:scale=2 , I would consider this an error and retag it as highway=path without hesitation.

I agree, that this is not explicitly stated in the bicycle wiki page, and should be added there, but I would assume that this is the common understanding. Anything else would cause major problems with the huge stock of existing highway=cycleway in OSM that have no mtb:scale tag. Routers for non-MTB bicycles would all need to change and evaluate the mtb:scale tag.

There is already a similar problem with the OpenCycleMap rendering in the sense that it renders a dedicated cycle path in the same way as a path with bicycle=yes. This has the effect that many MTB friends have added bicycle=yes to "normal" hiking paths to make them appear as MTB friendly on the map, but also with the problem that when I look at that map I wrongly see a cycle paths where I would never be able to pass with my loaded touring bike.

Please keep paths that can only be used by MTB clearly different from cycleways that can be used non-MTB bicycles.



On Thu, 2 Apr 2020 at 10:11, Andrew Harvey <[hidden email]> wrote:
My view based on current usage, reading of the wiki and general opinion is that highway=cycleway is meant for any path that is either designed/intended for bicycles or specifically designated (signposted) for bicycles, irrespective of if it's an urban track or mountain biking track.

So a mountain bike track and an urban cycle track should both be tagged with highway=cycleway as the primary tag. surface= and smoothness= can help for both to help guide users on which kind of bicycle the track is suitable for, and mtb:scale=/mtb:scale:imba= are used to indicate this is a designated mountain biking track. 

highway=path is specifically for a general use / unspecified path, which a mountain biking track may be if it's informal/shared, but purpose built and signposted mountain bike tracks don't fall into that category.

A similar thing applies to hiking tracks, sometimes they are designated walking paths so use highway=footway + surface + sac_scale, but sometimes they are just an unmarked or mixed use path so are highway=path + surface + sac_scale.

Open to other opinions or comments.

On Thu, 2 Apr 2020 at 18:56, Phyks <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,

A discussion in CyclOSM issue tracker [1] spotted that there exists
around 3500 highway=cycleway around the world which have specific
mountain bikes (MTB) tags. In particular, around 800 highway=cycleway
around the world declare a mtb:scale greater than 2, which would make
them impassable without a proper mountain bike. Such cycleways would not
be passable with a regular city bike. One example of such a case is at [2].

Looking at the wiki page [3],
"the highway=cycleway tag indicates a separate way for the use of cyclists"
which does not mandate explicitly that a cycleway be accessible with any
kind of bikes and should also cover dedicated paths for MTB. However,
the documentation around cycleways and bike features is very oriented
towards city cycling and there is no illustration about MTB-specific
cycleways.

So, is this considered a valid tagging or should it be represented by
another highway class (path, track, etc)? If this is valid, I propose to
add a statement in the wiki explicitly mentioning that cycleways can be
restricted for specific kinds of bicycles, for future questions.

Best,

[1] https://github.com/cyclosm/cyclosm-cartocss-style/issues/208
[2] https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/86978431#map=17/41.26426/-73.91907
[3] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:highway%3Dcycleway

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Re: Can highway=cycleway be limited to MTB?

Andrew Harvey-3
On Thu, 2 Apr 2020 at 20:12, Volker Schmidt <[hidden email]> wrote:
If a highway is mtb:scale=2 it is definitely not a cycleway. It is a highway=path with mtb:scale=2
If this were to encounter a "cycleway" with mtb:scale=2 , I would consider this an error and retag it as highway=path without hesitation.

But highway=path is for unspecified, mixed use or generic paths. A designated mountain bike track is not that, it's a path specifically for bicycles.

If mountain bike tracks should be tagged as highway=path, then the definition of path needs to be changed to not be an unspecified or mixed use path. 
 
I agree, that this is not explicitly stated in the bicycle wiki page, and should be added there, but I would assume that this is the common understanding. Anything else would cause major problems with the huge stock of existing highway=cycleway in OSM that have no mtb:scale tag. Routers for non-MTB bicycles would all need to change and evaluate the mtb:scale tag.

There is already a similar problem with the OpenCycleMap rendering in the sense that it renders a dedicated cycle path in the same way as a path with bicycle=yes. This has the effect that many MTB friends have added bicycle=yes to "normal" hiking paths to make them appear as MTB friendly on the map, but also with the problem that when I look at that map I wrongly see a cycle paths where I would never be able to pass with my loaded touring bike.

That would be a rendering issue, since bicycle=yes is merely an access tag saying you're allowed to ride a bicycle here, it makes no statement on if you need a mountain bike/more skills or not.
 
Please keep paths that can only be used by MTB clearly different from cycleways that can be used non-MTB bicycles.

I always assumed that's what the mtb:*=* tags were for, but smoothness= is also suitable here since it even lists specific types of bicycles which would be suitable http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:smoothness

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Re: Can highway=cycleway be limited to MTB?

Yves-2
In reply to this post by voschix
I disagree here, a cycle map should not ignore mtb:scale, and a cycle map for commuting should probably ignore mtb:scale beyond 1.
The exact same for footways and sac_scale.
There will always be discussions and mapper's errors for cycleway, so the safest way to go for a renderer or a router is to consider specialized tags such as mtb:*.
Yves
Yves Cainaud

Le 2 avril 2020 11:10:58 GMT+02:00, Volker Schmidt <[hidden email]> a écrit :
If a highway is mtb:scale=2 it is definitely not a cycleway. It is a highway=path with mtb:scale=2
If this were to encounter a "cycleway" with mtb:scale=2 , I would consider this an error and retag it as highway=path without hesitation.

I agree, that this is not explicitly stated in the bicycle wiki page, and should be added there, but I would assume that this is the common understanding. Anything else would cause major problems with the huge stock of existing highway=cycleway in OSM that have no mtb:scale tag. Routers for non-MTB bicycles would all need to change and evaluate the mtb:scale tag.

There is already a similar problem with the OpenCycleMap rendering in the sense that it renders a dedicated cycle path in the same way as a path with bicycle=yes. This has the effect that many MTB friends have added bicycle=yes to "normal" hiking paths to make them appear as MTB friendly on the map, but also with the problem that when I look at that map I wrongly see a cycle paths where I would never be able to pass with my loaded touring bike.

Please keep paths that can only be used by MTB clearly different from cycleways that can be used non-MTB bicycles.



On Thu, 2 Apr 2020 at 10:11, Andrew Harvey <[hidden email]> wrote:
My view based on current usage, reading of the wiki and general opinion is that highway=cycleway is meant for any path that is either designed/intended for bicycles or specifically designated (signposted) for bicycles, irrespective of if it's an urban track or mountain biking track.

So a mountain bike track and an urban cycle track should both be tagged with highway=cycleway as the primary tag. surface= and smoothness= can help for both to help guide users on which kind of bicycle the track is suitable for, and mtb:scale=/mtb:scale:imba= are used to indicate this is a designated mountain biking track. 

highway=path is specifically for a general use / unspecified path, which a mountain biking track may be if it's informal/shared, but purpose built and signposted mountain bike tracks don't fall into that category.

A similar thing applies to hiking tracks, sometimes they are designated walking paths so use highway=footway + surface + sac_scale, but sometimes they are just an unmarked or mixed use path so are highway=path + surface + sac_scale.

Open to other opinions or comments.

On Thu, 2 Apr 2020 at 18:56, Phyks <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,

A discussion in CyclOSM issue tracker [1] spotted that there exists
around 3500 highway=cycleway around the world which have specific
mountain bikes (MTB) tags. In particular, around 800 highway=cycleway
around the world declare a mtb:scale greater than 2, which would make
them impassable without a proper mountain bike. Such cycleways would not
be passable with a regular city bike. One example of such a case is at [2].

Looking at the wiki page [3],
"the highway=cycleway tag indicates a separate way for the use of cyclists"
which does not mandate explicitly that a cycleway be accessible with any
kind of bikes and should also cover dedicated paths for MTB. However,
the documentation around cycleways and bike features is very oriented
towards city cycling and there is no illustration about MTB-specific
cycleways.

So, is this considered a valid tagging or should it be represented by
another highway class (path, track, etc)? If this is valid, I propose to
add a statement in the wiki explicitly mentioning that cycleways can be
restricted for specific kinds of bicycles, for future questions.

Best,

[1] https://github.com/cyclosm/cyclosm-cartocss-style/issues/208
[2] https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/86978431#map=17/41.26426/-73.91907
[3] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:highway%3Dcycleway

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Re: Can highway=cycleway be limited to MTB?

voschix
In reply to this post by Andrew Harvey-3



But highway=path is for unspecified, mixed use or generic paths. A designated mountain bike track is not that, it's a path specifically for bicycles.

If mountain bike tracks should be tagged as highway=path, then the definition of path needs to be changed to not be an unspecified or mixed use path. 
No.
If the MTB path is not open to pedestrians, you add foot=no, and possibly horse=no, in addition to your mtb:scale tags

Sure, you could say if you have a cycleway with smoothness=horrible and tracktype=grade5 and foot=no and horse=no  you have the same thing, but ther,

Please keep paths that can only be used by MTB clearly different from cycleways that can be used non-MTB bicycles.

I always assumed that's what the mtb:*=* tags were for, but smoothness= is also suitable here since it even lists specific types of bicycles which would be suitable http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:smoothness
Yes, the mtb: tags would in theory be able to convert als a cycleway in an MTB track - see above, but it is much simpler to keep the meaning that a cycleway is a cycleway and implies that you can use it with a normal bicycle.


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Re: Can highway=cycleway be limited to MTB?

voschix
There is another aspect:
The wiki page highway=cycleway states also
" Tagging a way with highway=cycleway implies that the route is designated for bicycles."
This means it implies, at least in Italy and Germany, that this is equivalent to this sign, which in turn implies that, the use of this way is mandatory for cyclists, if the cycleway accompanies a road.
Obviously this concept does not apply to a MTB-only paths.
I sympathise with the MTB fraction in OSM, but I strongly suggest that MTB-only paths be tagged as highway=path plus suitable MTB tagging and cycleways remain cycleways that are suitable for (nearly) all bicycles (the "nearly" regards in particular wider bicycles).

On Thu, 2 Apr 2020 at 12:19, Volker Schmidt <[hidden email]> wrote:



But highway=path is for unspecified, mixed use or generic paths. A designated mountain bike track is not that, it's a path specifically for bicycles.

If mountain bike tracks should be tagged as highway=path, then the definition of path needs to be changed to not be an unspecified or mixed use path. 
No.
If the MTB path is not open to pedestrians, you add foot=no, and possibly horse=no, in addition to your mtb:scale tags

Sure, you could say if you have a cycleway with smoothness=horrible and tracktype=grade5 and foot=no and horse=no  you have the same thing, but ther,

Please keep paths that can only be used by MTB clearly different from cycleways that can be used non-MTB bicycles.

I always assumed that's what the mtb:*=* tags were for, but smoothness= is also suitable here since it even lists specific types of bicycles which would be suitable http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:smoothness
Yes, the mtb: tags would in theory be able to convert als a cycleway in an MTB track - see above, but it is much simpler to keep the meaning that a cycleway is a cycleway and implies that you can use it with a normal bicycle.


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Re: Can highway=cycleway be limited to MTB?

Marc M.
In reply to this post by Yves-2
Hello,

Le 02.04.20 à 12:13, Yves a écrit :
> I disagree here, a cycle map should not ignore mtb:scale

please keep the principle of least surprise in mind.
highway=cycleway not-for-bicycle is like a "highway=footway + foo=no"
or like "building=yes fullydestroyed=yes"

I can't find the wiki page that says it so well,
but don't use a subtag that radically changes the main tag.
everyone must be allowed to limit themselves to the main tag
and have a limited but correct vision of what it is.
subtag ADD infos to the main tag.

imho highway=cycleway limited to MTB is a bad idea.
it should be a path

Regards,
Marc

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Re: Can highway=cycleway be limited to MTB?

Andrew Harvey-3
In reply to this post by voschix
On Thu, 2 Apr 2020 at 21:35, Volker Schmidt <[hidden email]> wrote:
There is another aspect:
The wiki page highway=cycleway states also
" Tagging a way with highway=cycleway implies that the route is designated for bicycles."

Formal mountain bike tracks are designated bicycle routes.
 
This means it implies, at least in Italy and Germany, that this is equivalent to this sign, which in turn implies that, the use of this way is mandatory for cyclists, if the cycleway accompanies a road.
Obviously this concept does not apply to a MTB-only paths.

I believe the https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:bicycle%3Duse_sidepath tag applies in that case.
 
I sympathise with the MTB fraction in OSM, but I strongly suggest that MTB-only paths be tagged as highway=path plus suitable MTB tagging and cycleways remain cycleways that are suitable for (nearly) all bicycles (the "nearly" regards in particular wider bicycles).

That would be in contrast to how the highway tag generally works, generally highway= is used for the classification not suitability by vehicle class. So it's common in some parts of the world to have have highway=primary (because it's an important road linking major centers) but only accessible by 4wd vehicles. The same way highway=footway might have a sac_scale=demanding_mountain_hiking and won't be a stroll in the park.

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Re: Can highway=cycleway be limited to MTB?

Andrew Harvey-3
In reply to this post by Marc M.


On Thu, 2 Apr 2020 at 21:51, Marc M. <[hidden email]> wrote:
Le 02.04.20 à 12:13, Yves a écrit :
> I disagree here, a cycle map should not ignore mtb:scale

please keep the principle of least surprise in mind.
highway=cycleway not-for-bicycle is like a "highway=footway + foo=no"
or like "building=yes fullydestroyed=yes"

But a mountain bike track is suitable for bicycles, it's bicycle=designated in many cases and bicycle=yes in other cases, just usually only a certain kind of bicycle.

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Re: Can highway=cycleway be limited to MTB?

Snusmumriken
On Thu, 2020-04-02 at 22:24 +1100, Andrew Harvey wrote:
> just usually only a certain kind of bicycle.

Well, that's the problem, if one can't travel on a certain way with a
general purpose bicycle, then it shouldn't be tagged highway=cycleway



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Re: Can highway=cycleway be limited to MTB?

Florimond Berthoux
In reply to this post by Andrew Harvey-3
Hello,

The first time I saw cycleways on the map in the Alps on mountains I was surprised, and not really confident with the tagging.

I think I agree that a cycleway should be useable by any kind of bicycle.

What we have today to tag mtb ways :

If it’s a shared path with pedestrian (hiking) or horses or used for farming/forest etc we have keys highway=path and highway=track. I think we all agree with that.
Mtb route can be used also over them.

For a leisure sport park for mountain biking I think leisure=track + sport=mtb could be used I guess
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:leisure%3Dtrack

The problem here is that I don’t see what a way made only for mtb which is not a leisure=track could looks like.
For me if it’s in the wilderness it can be used by anyone, like hikers so it should be a highway=path.
Do you have examples (photos, videos) ?

Le jeu. 2 avr. 2020 à 10:11, Andrew Harvey <[hidden email]> a écrit :
My view based on current usage, reading of the wiki and general opinion is that highway=cycleway is meant for any path that is either designed/intended for bicycles or specifically designated (signposted) for bicycles, irrespective of if it's an urban track or mountain biking track.

So a mountain bike track and an urban cycle track should both be tagged with highway=cycleway as the primary tag. surface= and smoothness= can help for both to help guide users on which kind of bicycle the track is suitable for, and mtb:scale=/mtb:scale:imba= are used to indicate this is a designated mountain biking track. 

highway=path is specifically for a general use / unspecified path, which a mountain biking track may be if it's informal/shared, but purpose built and signposted mountain bike tracks don't fall into that category.

A similar thing applies to hiking tracks, sometimes they are designated walking paths so use highway=footway + surface + sac_scale, but sometimes they are just an unmarked or mixed use path so are highway=path + surface + sac_scale.

Open to other opinions or comments.

On Thu, 2 Apr 2020 at 18:56, Phyks <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,

A discussion in CyclOSM issue tracker [1] spotted that there exists
around 3500 highway=cycleway around the world which have specific
mountain bikes (MTB) tags. In particular, around 800 highway=cycleway
around the world declare a mtb:scale greater than 2, which would make
them impassable without a proper mountain bike. Such cycleways would not
be passable with a regular city bike. One example of such a case is at [2].

Looking at the wiki page [3],
"the highway=cycleway tag indicates a separate way for the use of cyclists"
which does not mandate explicitly that a cycleway be accessible with any
kind of bikes and should also cover dedicated paths for MTB. However,
the documentation around cycleways and bike features is very oriented
towards city cycling and there is no illustration about MTB-specific
cycleways.

So, is this considered a valid tagging or should it be represented by
another highway class (path, track, etc)? If this is valid, I propose to
add a statement in the wiki explicitly mentioning that cycleways can be
restricted for specific kinds of bicycles, for future questions.

Best,

[1] https://github.com/cyclosm/cyclosm-cartocss-style/issues/208
[2] https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/86978431#map=17/41.26426/-73.91907
[3] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:highway%3Dcycleway

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Re: Can highway=cycleway be limited to MTB?

Andrew Harvey-3


On Thu, 2 Apr 2020 at 23:17, Florimond Berthoux <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello,

The first time I saw cycleways on the map in the Alps on mountains I was surprised, and not really confident with the tagging.

I think I agree that a cycleway should be useable by any kind of bicycle.

What we have today to tag mtb ways :

If it’s a shared path with pedestrian (hiking) or horses or used for farming/forest etc we have keys highway=path and highway=track. I think we all agree with that.

Agreed. I'm more talking about purpose built mountain bike tracks, which can have man made jumps, bridges and other man made features which make it obvious it's a mountain bike track and not just a path that you can ride a mountain bike through.
 
For a leisure sport park for mountain biking I think leisure=track + sport=mtb could be used I guess

I didn't think of leisure=track, I guess that could apply to tracks within a mountain bike park, a bit like a BMX track, especially if it loops around, but it feels like a stretch to apply to longer more wilderness mountain bike tracks. At the moment it does seem like the most appropriate choice for a dedicated mountain bike track if highway=cycleway is not allowed though, it doesn't reflect current tagging though.
 
The problem here is that I don’t see what a way made only for mtb which is not a leisure=track could looks like.
For me if it’s in the wilderness it can be used by anyone, like hikers so it should be a highway=path.
Do you have examples (photos, videos) ?



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Re: Can highway=cycleway be limited to MTB?

Andrew Harvey-3
In reply to this post by Snusmumriken
On Thu, 2 Apr 2020 at 22:41, Snusmumriken <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Thu, 2020-04-02 at 22:24 +1100, Andrew Harvey wrote:
> just usually only a certain kind of bicycle.

Well, that's the problem, if one can't travel on a certain way with a
general purpose bicycle, then it shouldn't be tagged highway=cycleway

That's a bit like saying if you can't drive on the road with a general purpose car, if you need a 4WD then it can't be highway=primary, which is generally not the case. This is backed up by https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:highway#Assumptions

To quote:

"Only highway=motorway/motorway_link implies anything about quality. Other road types, from highway=trunk through highway=tertiary to highway=residential=residential/service or highway=path/footway/cycleway/track do not imply anything about road quality. In area with poor infrastructure road forming main road network, of the highest importance in region should be tagged highway=trunk - no matter whether it is high-quality wide asphalt road or narrow low-quality tract worse than highway=service in other regions. Some primary roads in Africa are unpaved.

In absence of surface, tracktype and other tags describing quality of road one may try to extrapolate this information from value of highway tag. Note that this needs tuning for every region. Typical highway=primary may be drastically different in various places across the planet.

It is highly recommended to add and use tags describing road quality like surface. In one region it may be obvious that all highway=tertiary are paved and highway=track unpaved but no assumption like that will work worldwide. Also, tagging at least some common values allows to automatically build set of defaults for each area."


I guess end of the day if we say highway=cycleway can only be used for paved urban bicycle paths and not mountain bike tracks, bicycle=designated + mtb:scale=* could still be used to find mountain bike tracks regardless of the highway key, it's just this is not what current usage and the wiki says and makes it harder to distinguish shared paths from exclusive mountain bike tracks.

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Re: Can highway=cycleway be limited to MTB?

Jarek Piórkowski
In reply to this post by Snusmumriken
On Thu, 2 Apr 2020 at 07:40, Snusmumriken
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Thu, 2020-04-02 at 22:24 +1100, Andrew Harvey wrote:
> > just usually only a certain kind of bicycle.
>
> Well, that's the problem, if one can't travel on a certain way with a
> general purpose bicycle, then it shouldn't be tagged highway=cycleway

Isn't this a similar situation as highway=unclassified + 4wd_only=yes?
That's voted-and-approved, although from 2009.

--Jarek

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Re: Can highway=cycleway be limited to MTB?

Paul Johnson-3
In reply to this post by Andrew Harvey-3


On Thu, Apr 2, 2020 at 3:10 AM Andrew Harvey <[hidden email]> wrote:
My view based on current usage, reading of the wiki and general opinion is that highway=cycleway is meant for any path that is either designed/intended for bicycles or specifically designated (signposted) for bicycles, irrespective of if it's an urban track or mountain biking track.

So a mountain bike track and an urban cycle track should both be tagged with highway=cycleway as the primary tag. surface= and smoothness= can help for both to help guide users on which kind of bicycle the track is suitable for, and mtb:scale=/mtb:scale:imba= are used to indicate this is a designated mountain biking track. 

highway=path is specifically for a general use / unspecified path, which a mountain biking track may be if it's informal/shared, but purpose built and signposted mountain bike tracks don't fall into that category.

A similar thing applies to hiking tracks, sometimes they are designated walking paths so use highway=footway + surface + sac_scale, but sometimes they are just an unmarked or mixed use path so are highway=path + surface + sac_scale.

This is also my read on it.  But we also need more than just highway=path/cycleway and sometimes footway for bicycle facilities, there's a bigger hierarchy than this.  Also seen a lot of situations where highway=cycleway_link would be handy.

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Re: Can highway=cycleway be limited to MTB?

Kevin Kenny-3
In reply to this post by voschix
On Thu, Apr 2, 2020 at 5:12 AM Volker Schmidt <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> If a highway is mtb:scale=2 it is definitely not a cycleway. It is a highway=path with mtb:scale=2
> If this were to encounter a "cycleway" with mtb:scale=2 , I would consider this an error and retag it as highway=path without hesitation.
>
> I agree, that this is not explicitly stated in the bicycle wiki page, and should be added there, but I would assume that this is the common understanding. Anything else would cause major problems with the huge stock of existing highway=cycleway in OSM that have no mtb:scale tag. Routers for non-MTB bicycles would all need to change and evaluate the mtb:scale tag.
>
> There is already a similar problem with the OpenCycleMap rendering in the sense that it renders a dedicated cycle path in the same way as a path with bicycle=yes. This has the effect that many MTB friends have added bicycle=yes to "normal" hiking paths to make them appear as MTB friendly on the map, but also with the problem that when I look at that map I wrongly see a cycle paths where I would never be able to pass with my loaded touring bike.
>
> Please keep paths that can only be used by MTB clearly different from cycleways that can be used non-MTB bicycles.

A key issue is that mtb:scale can't be the only indication. Otherwise,
we're falling into a trap - which has been a common trap in the past.
It's a trolltag https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Trolltag - a
second tag that negates or massively changes the meaning of another
tag. "This isn't what you were expecting of a highway=cycleway: it's a
wilderness trail for highly skilled and adventurous MTB riders!"

Just as bad, though, is the fact that tagging with an mtb:scale
requires technical knowledge of that specific sport. How do I tag,
"this trail is posted for MTB use, and would be impassable to a road
bike?"

I pretty routinely map trails in wild forest areas.  Some of these (a
minority, in the places I go) allow MTB riding; others allow horses, a
very few allow snowmobiles; most are foot- (snowshoe-, ski-) only. I'm
a reasonably skilled hiker (calibration: I've done at least one 200+
km solo trip through the Adirondack Mountains in New York, sometimes
pushing as far as 30 km from the nearest highway).  If I'm using a
grading system that I understand, I can come up with a pretty usable
rating for a hiking trail. I'm not a mountain bike rider. If I were to
assign a definitive scale, I'd get it wrong and possibly put riders at
risk. All I know is that these trails are full of rocks and roots and
not for a road bike.  I don't think there's a combination of tags that
lets me map what I know (bikes lawful, impassable to a road bike)
without needing detailed knowledge that I don't have.

We do indeed have back-country trails around here that are reserved
for cycling - not recommended (or off limits) for hiking.
https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7017547/elm-ridge-loop is an example
- it's an area that has about 40 km of singletrack reserved for MTB in
the summer and x-c ski in the winter, not in a purpose-built MTB park,
but in a Wild Forest area. I don't map those trails. As I said, I'm
not an MTB rider, and there are places I like better in the winter.

We also, of course, have multilple-use trails, and I've mapped a few
of those - and probably messed up the cycling stuff badly. At least
I've tagged 'smoothness' values in the range of 'very_bad' to
'impassable' on the shared paths. Even looking at that scale on the
wiki, though, I ask things like: what's a 'trekking bike'? Something a
US cyclist would call a 'hybrid' or a 'gravel grinder'? This general
category: http://www.cyclingabout.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/wpid-Photo-29-Jan-2014-1144-am.jpg
?

Straying from the topic:

Assuming that anyone interested in tagging a feature will have
detailed knowledge of one particular use is a recurring problem. We
have the same issue with whitewater. I've paddled some whitewater, but
I'm surely not competent to grade a stretch of rapids. OSM doesn't
appear to have sound tagging for "there are rapids in the river here"
that would allow mapping by someone who isn't a canoeist or kayaker.

And don't even get me started on sac_scale, where the higher grades
are technical mountaineering, and no longer hiking - at least as I
understand the scale. My understanding is that the Swiss grade 3 is
roughly comparable to French grade 3, or UK 'moderate severe' - which
corresponds to about 5.5 on the Yosemite scale and is something that I
surely wouldn't do without a rope! Those who are familiar with the
scale tell met that this lady is on a Grade 2 trail:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/65793193@N00/3072631007/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/65793193@N00/3183604743/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/65793193@N00/3183606625/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/65793193@N00/3183604309/ On the Yosemite
scale, it's pretty much a Class 3+/4. It's hikable, indeed, it's
blazed as a hiking trail. Nevertheless, there are some pretty dramatic
fall hazards and a less experienced party or a group in adverse
conditions may appreciate a rope.There are a couple of moves in the
5.4-5.5 range to get up it, but the exposed stuff isn't difficult and
the difficult stuff isn't exposed. On the scale at
https://appalachiantrailtravelguide.com/wv/ - much more suitable as a
hiking scale - it's about a 9, maybe a 10.


--
73 de ke9tv/2, Kevin

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Re: Can highway=cycleway be limited to MTB?

voschix
In reply to this post by Jarek Piórkowski
The Australian example is clearly not a cycleway, it is the equivalent of a Formula 1 race track for MTBs:
It's oneway-only, "only for experienced mountain bikers", and, I suppose closed to any other traffica , including pedestrians.
So I would say that it cleanly falls into the category of leisure=track.

On Thu, 2 Apr 2020 at 15:31, Jarek Piórkowski <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Thu, 2 Apr 2020 at 07:40, Snusmumriken
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Thu, 2020-04-02 at 22:24 +1100, Andrew Harvey wrote:
> > just usually only a certain kind of bicycle.
>
> Well, that's the problem, if one can't travel on a certain way with a
> general purpose bicycle, then it shouldn't be tagged highway=cycleway

Isn't this a similar situation as highway=unclassified + 4wd_only=yes?
That's voted-and-approved, although from 2009.

--Jarek

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Re: Can highway=cycleway be limited to MTB?

voschix
In reply to this post by Andrew Harvey-3
I see that this message was not sent:

On Thu, 2 Apr 2020 at 12:54, Andrew Harvey <[hidden email]> wrote:
Formal mountain bike tracks are designated bicycle routes.
I know that some are, and that is most likely one of the reasons that we are discussing here. Most those were created before the dedicated route=mtb tag came into use.
There are 7757 MTB route route relations in OSM, so that seems to be an established tagging practice.
There are 66257  bicycle routes in OSM, of which an unknown number are in reality MTB routes.
 
This means it implies, at least in Italy and Germany, that this is equivalent to this sign, which in turn implies that, the use of this way is mandatory for cyclists, if the cycleway accompanies a road.
Obviously this concept does not apply to a MTB-only paths.

I believe the https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:bicycle%3Duse_sidepath tag applies in that case.
That is the recommended tagging, but very rarely used.
 
I sympathise with the MTB fraction in OSM, but I strongly suggest that MTB-only paths be tagged as highway=path plus suitable MTB tagging and cycleways remain cycleways that are suitable for (nearly) all bicycles (the "nearly" regards in particular wider bicycles).

That would be in contrast to how the highway tag generally works, generally highway= is used for the classification not suitability by vehicle class. So it's common in some parts of the world to have have highway=primary (because it's an important road linking major centers) but only accessible by 4wd vehicles.
I agree with this statement, and in that sense a cycleway is for (normal) bicycles. It may be paved or not paved, but I would always expect it to be passable with a "normal" bicycle.
 
The same way highway=footway might have a sac_scale=demanding_mountain_hiking and won't be a stroll in the park.
As said before you could bend the interpretation in that direction, but
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Re: Can highway=cycleway be limited to MTB?

Greg Troxel-2
In reply to this post by Snusmumriken
Snusmumriken <[hidden email]> writes:

> On Thu, 2020-04-02 at 22:24 +1100, Andrew Harvey wrote:
>> just usually only a certain kind of bicycle.
>
> Well, that's the problem, if one can't travel on a certain way with a
> general purpose bicycle, then it shouldn't be tagged highway=cycleway

I agree, and I think this is the point.

We don't use "highway=unclassified" for a road that cannot be used by a
passenger car and is only passable with an extreme-high-clearance 4WD
vehicle.


As for path, I see

  highway=cycleway
and
  highway=path bicycle=designated

as equivalent.  And same for footway/foot=designated.

However, around me there is a convention that any
dirt/unimproved/in-the-woods sort of thing is path, and
in-town/paved/manicured sorts of are highway=footway.

Basically if you can walk on it in dress shoes, not get dirty, and not
get ticks, it is footway, and if you ought to have hiking shoes, it is
path.

I realize this is controversial, but it's another data point.


I am mildly curious how many places there are in mountain bike trails
that prohibit hikers.   Around me, every trail  that is open at all is
open to hiking, and some are open to bicycles and horses, some aren't.
(Additionally some are closed to bicyles and horses when wet.)

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