Highway=elevator with bicycle: Is the legal permission or physical transportability meant?

On the wikipage highway=elevator under the section “Tags to use in combination” the key bicycle is listed with the values yes / no. How exactly is this tag meant in the context of highway=elevator?
Under bicycle the legal restriction for cyclists are defined.

Is this combination meant to describe the legal permission of transportation in an elevator? If so, in how many elevators is the carriage of bicycles specifically permitted or prohibited by signage?

Or is this to express the physical transportability of bicycles? If yes, is bicycle=yes/no the right tag to express this, since according to wiki bicycle is always used to represent the legal situation?

See also the same post on the discussion page in the wiki: Talk:Tag:highway=elevator - OpenStreetMap Wiki

Addtional: The Key “aerialway” mentions the seperate Key aerialway:bicycle to specify if bicycles are allowed in carriages. Would the invention of elevator:bicycle be necessary here?

I think bicycles=yes/no describes the legal situation, as in this case for example:

Whether transporting a bike with an elevator is physically possible or not, can’t be said in such general way. It depends on the size of the bike and the elevator.

Maybe width=* and length=* can be helpful for this.


Also, as mentioned in related StreetComplete issue New quest: Can bicycles be transported in this elevator?; capacity=* (or capacity:persons=*) tag is relatively good proxy for “will my bike fit physically?” (e.g. elevator for 8 persons will quite likely fit my 28" trekking bike horizontally, while one for 4 persons will likely require that I put it upright, and one for 2 persons I’d best avoid).

So it might be good simpler alternative to beforementioned width=*+length=* (+height=*).

And it is often signed in elevators (at least in Croatia it is always signed, as it is in few other European countries I’ve visited), so it is actually verifiable.

Even if tag for “does bicycle fit” existed (well there exists some low usage of - still undocumented - bicycle:physical=* which is likely about that exactly), it would be in most such cases highly imprecise and subjective, and thus mostly useless, with most popular value probably being “maybe”.

Because, “bicycle” as a term encompasses everything from children bicycles with 12" wheels and folding bikes / (Bromptons for you USA people), via 26" MTB and 28" hybrids, all the way to recumbent bicycles, tandems and cargo bikes. Trying to treat them all as they were of same size is doomed to fail.

So another alternative to bicycle:physical=* might be using mtb=*, which is not very clearly defined either, but common consensus on its wiki seem to be that it “points more towards practical suitability than legal access-restrictions”. One might even like that ambiguity :wink:
Using it would mostly solve the issue with “which bicycle type are we talking about?” (while 26" S-sized MTB is certainly smaller than 29" XXL-sized DH MTB, the difference is not nearly as huge as e.g. “children 12” bike vs. cargo bike", and you can always take worst case i.e. “does every size of MTB fit? yes!” as requirement for mtb=yes). And its shorter to type.


Thank you for your example image, I have been looking for this for a long time.

I don’t want to contradict this at all, but I see clear paralells to the wheelchair key. To challenge this, why do we use wheelchair=yes/no to indicate whether something is “wheelchair friendly” or not? Wheelchairs can also have very different dimensions, some with a motor mounted in the front, some where the motor is built into the wheelchair and some without a motor at all. Some are narrow, others are wide.
Therefore the question: Why does it obviously work for wheelchair but not for bicycle?

To reply to wolfgang8 w/ picture, a comment does not allow that, looks like the typical railway station elevator here… Most all where the platforms are up or have to be reached via a tunnel have these. The regional trains, only 2 or 3 carriages, are fitted with vertical storage racks to hang your bike in, even power points to charge the ebike while enjoying the scenery flying by (and I do when wandering off too far or the weather turns), and the bike goes for free too. \0/


Legally allowed to elevate your bike(?)… kind of goes without saying.

bicycle=* is tagged on 2,573 railway ways (other than abandoned and razed) and 808 train route relations. Who knows whether any of them prohibits riding a bike along the tracks versus boarding a train with a bike.

At least we can say that these 85 elevators allow you to bring a bike inside but don’t allow you to perform a track stand while there, thanks to the definition of bicycle=dismount.

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I’ve brought it up before, but I’ll do it again: what exactly is the definitional difference here between classifying bicycles versus wheelchairs? There is already the StreetComplete quest “Specify wheelchair accessibility of toilets” for example. Every toilet is built differently, every wheelchair has different dimensions, there are big ones, small ones, with motor in front, with motor integrated, without motor. (Here are some: Category:Wheelchairs by function - Wikimedia Commons)
Why can all kinds of wheelchairs be united under wheelchair, but this is not possible for bicycles?

In this case, the wiki should be re-sharpened that bicycle in combination with highway=elevator represents the legal situation correct?
Furthermore there should be a proposal to introduce a tag like elevator:bicycle which describes the general usability correct?

Would like to mention this proposal about accessibility, which plan to introduce elevator:door:width, elevator:width and elevator:length to extend wheelchair=yes/no - also interesting for cyclists.

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