Dealing with footpath surface quality

Hi there,

again I need your advice, posting here as there is no section for Spain:

I recently added some new footpath, tagging those that are official hiking paths as highway:path and sac_scale:hiking, the others that are pretty similar (likely formerly agricultural usage, but inappropriate for cars) as highway:path only. This seems pretty concise to me so far. Now, some of the latter were obviously hardly used and therefore are overgrown and hard to walk on. What tags would I use to indicate this similar as with tracks?

If the paths you are talking about were formerly for agricultural use, are they large enough to be considered tracks?

Also, if these are officially designated ways for hiking, then they are best tagged as highway=footway, foot=yes.

As for the ones which are overgrown, this doesn’t really matter however you could put something in the description. If these are tracks, use tracktype=(grade).

Does this make sense? :confused:

highway=footway says it is a footway
foot=yes means there is a legal right to walk there (as opposed to say foot=permissive, where the land owner has given permission).

It’s one of the things I don’t think JOSM authors understand as they only give a checkbox for yes/no.

But isn’t this is the default (it is legal to walk on every highway=footway)?
I’d understand to indicate with bicyle=yes that riding the bike on a way (mainly) for pedestrians is legal but highway=footway;foot=yes is redundant in my opinion.

There isn’t a legal right to walk on all footways. As the previous post says a footpath may be permissive where the owner of the land gives permission for you to walk across the land, but doesn’t go as far as giving a legal right. I’ve seen a number of newish buildings with footways through/round them where they have a sign up saying that no legal right of way has been established. This ensures a public footpath isn’t established through use, thus enabling future development to take place which can remove/move the footway.

These paths are useful and should be mapped but we also need to distinguish between those that have a legal right for you to walk on and those that are permissive. If foot=permissive exists then it seems useful to have foot=yes because it indicates it is more than permissive. If we kept foot=permissive and got rid of foot=yes then you couldn’t tell the difference between a path where the tag hadn’t been determined and those where a tag wasn’t needed.

Mark_S: but “foot=yes” is implied for highway=footway like “foot=no” is implied for highway=motorway. And foot=* should be added only when actual permissions are known to be different than the default. Or, do you insist on putting “foot=no”, “horse=no”, “bicycle=no”, “motorcar=yes” for every motorway?
And I would not tag “footway” any path you can go by foot. I would keep highway=footway rather for ways built with foot traffic in mind. And those usually will be foot=yes by design.

Hi, thank you for that lot of answers.

I’m still not quite sure what to make of it though.

Ok, these paths are definitely too narrow to be tracks. If I understand you correctly than they have likely been built with foot traffic in mind and so I would rather tag them as highway=footway? Following Jajcuś’ explanation I would not set foot=yes because it is assumed to be the default for footways.

Thanks again for your patience with me!

Jajcuś: To be honest I use highway=footway and don’t use any of the other tags except for occasionally using things like “notes=public_footpath” because as of yet I’ve not found a clear description on the wiki of how the different types of footpath should be tagged particularly things like public_foothpaths (note: it might be in there but I’ve haven’t found it). Somebody has put together a proposals for a new key (I think it is called designation) which aims to resolve some of the issues with tagging permissive paths v public footpaths etc.