Default highway access scheme - status?

Hi all,

If I look at, I observe that for many countries access per highway type has been implied.

As well the differences between the different countries are not that high, to my joy.

However: the first line of the Wiki mentions:

Where I mostly map (Netherlands), there is a discussion going on about access tagging on top of the default access.

E.g. highway=path gets the additional tags foot=yes|designated or bicycle=yes|designated.
Or highway=cycleway gets* foot=yes* on top (which is default in Netherlands.)

Sometimes caused possibly by iD as editor (this has been suggested; I don’t have exerience with iD)?

Even foot=yes or bicycle=yes is added to highway=unclassified.

Removing these extra tags, which are not needed as of the default access scheme (we don’t tag motor_vehicle=yes|designated to highway=motorway, do we?), creates some dispute and might lead to an unwanted edit war or forum ping-pong game.

My argument not tagging these implicit (needless) access tags are the following:

  • it is not necessary, so don’t

  • other (mappers or users) might think if it is missing, then default access is not the case (e.g. no foot access on highway=unclassified unless foot=yes is mentioned, so they think they may not walk there

  • some start adding these tags to highways, just to be sure

The argument that the OSM database will not shrink by removing these tags (as the history is in it), so leave it, is a false argument I think.

Also it has been mentioned that some routing schemes do not route correctly when foot|bicycle=yes|designated is missing on highways as paths, where access=yes is implied by default. This, I think, is an error in the routing algorithm and we should not tag to compensate that.

So my questions:

  • What are arguments pro and contra

  • how can we make the still proposed default access scheme formal, as formal can be in OSM? The propsed scheme is from the year **2008 **with more additions than changes!

I believe it is partly due to iD having many fields that a mapper might feel the need to fill them all. I have found highway = motorway with access = yes, horse= no, foot = no etc etc … it is like a duh!? situation.

TIme to hurry up the listing of default accepted values for major tags etc.