Access=no + foot=designated on highway=footway, should it be reverted?

Your input on this topic would be valuable. I have noticed some very strange tagging around Dublin, which I believe should be reverted. But I could always be the one in the wrong here, so I want to make sure.


This issue has been raised with the user over a period of several years.

Footways are marked by the user as access=no. When this is corrected, text walls are posted and an edit war ensues.

Previously mapped driveways are disconnected by the user from roadways.

noexit=yes nodes are hidden behind highway=turning_circle nodes.

highway=turning_circle nodes are added where there is no obvious place to turn.

Obvious connections between housing estates are fudged.


With a DWG hat on I’ve made it clear that they need to collaborate with, not just talk at and ignore, other users.

I’ve started with a 0-hour block but can escalate that if ignored.


Examples of:
noexit=yes nodes are hidden behind highway=turning_circle nodes.
highway=turning_circle nodes are added where there is no obvious place to turn.

Node: 10537092535 | OpenStreetMap

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Re the noexit=yes thing, I did ask and got an explanation on That does look like a real turning circle by the way

Yes, that is a bona fide turning area. However, often the reason that the quality assurance services were flagging such locations was because the user was disconnecting driveways from the roadway.


  • Turning area and noexit could be the same node
  • Roadway could be extended to join footway at end of road. This would be relevant in this case, as there is a footpath to the next street over (I’ve just mapped this).

Hiding one node behind another demonstrates that the user knows the behaviour is problematic. When engaged in further editing of such locations (unrelated to the problematic mapping), it can be frustrating to have to zoom in to Zoom 22 or higher to be able to select the correct node.

I do not agree that there is no issue or a problem with a tag for footpaths, access to all=No, pedestrian=dedicated and cyclists=dismount, as footpaths are provided only for pedestrians. The vast majority of roads in this country and globally do not have footpaths and vulnerable users have to take their chances along with all those who access them. There is an issue however in dense urban areas and residential areas where there is a high proportion of the population pre-school, school going, disabled and / or retired. A separate footpath network is required that connects buildings and places of pedestrian interest distinct and dedicated to pedestrians only. In this country over the past 50 years there has been a drastic drop in pupils walking and cycling to education. There has also been a drastic drop in children playing in streets. This is because roads (incl. streets) are now too dangerous, both as perceived and as evidenced in road traffic accident statistics. It is a requirement to provide footpaths, with a defined kerbs in residential and community areas. Implementation however has resulted in a very substandard pedestrian network that is subject to on-going retrofit and upgrading, including the installation of structures to separate road from footpaths. Still, the vast majority of dropped kerb crossing points are both not marked or provided with tactile paving. Mapping the separate pedestrian network, defective as it is, highlights where the pedestrian network is either structured or very defective. Reference to how I’ve tag footpaths as ‘vandalism’ is nothing but a clear sign of disrespect of my view.

You keep on repeating the same thing, but you don’t actually answer any of our questions. It’s the third time I’m asking why do you ignore the default access restrictions for Ireland. What does your tagging actually try to fix, could you provide some examples where the default tagging is not working? Maybe it’s some bug with some specific software that should be reported? OSM tags for routing/Access restrictions - OpenStreetMap Wiki

The tagging you use is, in my view, completely redundant and makes the maps more difficult to edit for others. I still don’t understand what your tagging actually fixes and why do we need it. I agree the pedestrian safety is important but that’s not a reason to introduce such unusual edits. OSM routing already works fine without them.

  1. why you think that added access=no to highway=footway foot=designated is useful?

this is already communicated by highway=footway, right?

  1. are you intentionally deleting driveway segments between road and footway? Are you planning to repair ones that you edited in this way?
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Footpaths are not roads/highways and roads/highways are not footpaths. There are road / highway networks and there are pedestrian networks and they are different. Pedestrian networks are provided only in certain areas for well justified reasons. Areas evolve and the need for and degree of separation required evolves. I’ve tagged footpaths being part of a separate pedestrian network from roads and dedicated to pedestrian use / access, and no access to vehicles, and horses and where cyclists must dismount. For footpaths, access to all=No, AND pedestrian=dedicated and cyclists=dismount I feel is correct to clarify and specify that footpaths are provided as part of a separate pedestrian only network, only for pedestrians to access and use. To consider these matters implied, i.e. not expressly stated is vague and introduces the potential for lack of clarity and uncertainty. The degree of separation of the pedestrian network from the road highway network is far from perfect, but at least there are multi-annual projects to retrofit separation by for example the installation of bollard rows and railings on kerb edges where network separation is deemed inadequate. You clearly disagree with my viewpoint and don’t seem to respect it. My viewpoint may be a minority one, but it would be a sad situation if minority views are not tolerated in the OSM community.

Driveways are an interesting issue for discussion. They are very selectively mapped, almost randomly or indiscriminately and at only about 1% of those that exist. In some areas a few are mapped, while in others none at all. Gates to driveways seem to be ignored. Width and paving is also ignored. Parking bays where provided adjoining driveways are also ignored. Some mapped driveways are only just a parking bay. They are usually tagged as access to all, despite all being private property with the owners view on access unknown. The junctions formed with highways are not defined. The nature of the crossing of a public footpath is also ignored and not defined. It would be impractical to address all these issues and any attempt to do so could give rise to hyper detail in mapping.

The world is not that simple.

Footways are for pedestrians only.
Paths are for pedestrians and cyclists.
Roads are for cyclists and vehicles.

It’s not possible to completely separate those networks.

The same could be said about you. It’s not about respect, it’s about a standardized way of mapping. Your mapping is oddly unusual and introduces confusion. There are many unexpected downsides to this behavior, such as, decreased trust in OSM quality, reduced number of new contributors (due to mapping difficulties), software bugs, just to name a few. If you believe OSM tagging should be changed, please make a proposal and we will discuss it.

It’s about a uniform way of mapping various things. The pedestrian network is already separated with the use of path/footway values. So I still don’t understand your argument. Please explain to me how does your tagging (access=no) differs from the default values for such ways: OSM tags for routing/Access restrictions - OpenStreetMap Wiki.


The very first thing said about highway=footway on the wiki is “for designated footpaths”. This is not an obscure assumption hidden away somewhere, it is a key aspect of this tag. It seems you are adding two extra tags to get back to the same starting point, and it’s not clear what is the advantage of this. E.g. have you seen renderers or routers that work better with this tagging?

(I don’t think you need to spend further time to convince anyone that accurate mapping of pedestrian infrastructure is important, nobody is saying otherwise - the questions are simply about how to do that mapping).


Just to give own 2 cents this: I seem to have inadvertently created the same tags as user obyrnegps in some situations, not out of any wilful grand design, but simply by choosing what looked like the most appropriate options from the drop-downs in the ‘Allowed Access’ panel of the iD editor GUI.

To me it was logical, if I am creating a footpath or track where the majority of modes are not allowed, that I would choose ‘All?’ =no and ‘Foot?’ =yes from the drop downs.
If that generates a combination of tags that the community things is bad, probably the iD GUI needs a tweak!


I think the core issue here, is, that people are just not aware of default access restrictions in their countries.

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Yes, it is all true. But to repeat not answered question: are you currently intentionally deleting driveway segments between road and footway? Are you planning to repair ones that you edited in this way?

This is already communicated by highway=footway

Adding vehicle=no would be at least far less confusing, even if also quite pointless.

That is like adding access=no motor_vehicle=designated on all motorways.

Well I have to disagree with you there in my case -
I’m very familiar with them! And I thought I was using the iD GUI to reflect them. And I assumed that the people who designed the iD GUI would have made it so that it generated sensible and appropriate tags :slight_smile:

And to be clear: mapping footways and pedestrian infrastructure in general is very helpful and we definitely need more people doing this! And thanks for mapping them. Just in this case some unusual details are quite confusing.


Just want to add that unnecessary or unsigned legal access tags makes it hard to maintain the data, create confusion for new mappers, and contribute to further misinterpretations.

In my local community, I’ve personally witnessed mappers using them inappropriately to tag:

  • unsigned narrow pathways (highway=residential + motorcar=no, instead of highway=path/footway + width=X)
  • rough surface conditions (highway=path + access=no + foot=yes instead of employing the corresponding scales tag like smoothness, sac_scale, mtb:scale…).
  • and other interpretations that remain unclear to me…

Newcomers often duplicate these interpretations or modify them to an even greater extent.

I’ve invested significant time in improving the data and consolidating the tagging scheme in our community wiki to prevent further confusion.

My best advice is to keep it simple for others and only apply legal access tags when there are really needed (official signs, permanent obstacles/gates, access=private…).

Alas, this still appears to be a live issue, hence