Cycleways and Road Shoulders

First of all - great to see an ambition to map these shoulders… long overdue.

Please use cycleway=shoulder. It has precedent in Australia and “does what it says on the tin”.

Please, please, please don’t use cycleway=lane. This is for a dedicated cycle lane and has characteristics that might not be shared by a shoulder: likely to have priority over side roads, swept/de-iced as part of the main carriageway, non-cycle traffic prohibited.

We have an infinite tagspace - for something with so many uses across the world it would be foolhardy to shoehorn it into an existing tag. As someone who runs an OSM-based cycling map and router ( I’m very happy to support cycleway=shoulder. Repurposing cycleway=lane would make it harder for me to provide accurate cycling mapping and directions.

To Richard,

I agree with you completely on that the tag <cycleway=shoulder> is the proper tag to use on the vast majority of roads in the USA. We have very few roads in the USA, that are dedicated roads with protected cycle lanes as in Europe. Some of your cities are beginning to create the European model of a dedicated cycle lane as described in the wiki tag <cycleway=lane>, but it is still in its infancy. I have started a dialogue with For those of you that wish to follow the dialogue you can go to the daily archives @
I am calling on everyone to establish a published wiki tagfor Paved Shoulders.

Larry-California RoadRunner

This link was provided by Thomas Roff.

I want to thank him for the information. This is exactly the type of information required to arrive at a world wide standard. The most important conditions are Code(2) and Code (4) pictures and Code (3) no picture but same as Code (2) Asphalt Type Road except that it is a Concrete Type Road.

Larry-California RoadRunner

I have been studying what Europeans consider as <cycleway=lane>. The European definition is a protected bicycle path separated by a barrier or an open space from a road. This is an American “Class I Bike Path” The term <cycleway=lane> in America means “Class II Bike Lane” which is a shoulder with a painted stripe or 2 painted stripes along the side of the road, with Bike Lane or Bike Logo painted on the shoulder or between the 2 painted stripes or a sign post “Bike Lane” at side of the road. I have checked the usage <cycleway=lane> in the USA and it is almost universally by current OSM cartographers in the USA to designate a Class II Bike Lane. The tag <cycleway=shoulder> is not correct either because of restrictions in the term cycleway meaning “bicycles only”. The American definition states that it is a shared lane with pedestrians in the one stripe situation. In light of these findings, I think we should rethink current practice. I am developing a possible new standards that will address these differences and not be in direct conflict with the establish European definitions. The new tags should not conflict with routing of the establish European tags, our current tags do conflict with the establish norm.

Larry - California RoadRunner

I admire your desire and the research you have been putting into this but suggest that discussion on changes or additions to existing tagging be addressed in the tagging mail list.

On the other hand, be prepared for a long haul with lots of “bike shedding” (I term I only learned about on the OSM mail lists) and frustration with the eternal debates that seem to happen on the mail lists.

To n76,

I have gone to the various E-Mail lists that you have mentioned and it seems that there is endless discussion and no results are ever achieved. In light of this, the simplest solution is to use the following wiki link and to substitute “shoulder for lane” and add <access=yes> to allow for motor vehicles, pedestrians and horses on the shoulders. Also “width<0.5” for the narrowest part of the shoulder or “width=>0.5”.

Larry - California RoadRunner