Naming footpaths

I have been naming all the footpaths in my local area to the name of the street it runs parallel to. I have been doing this as the navigation program I use when walking is just “continue on path” (or no direction) when the continues around a corner onto another street or “turn right onto path” when the footpath is connected to the road via some random driveway, not useful information. But in doing this my latest update I have just got the message by nevw:

I would of thought that the footpath would carry the name of the connected road, what is the OSM standard in this case?

I am not a fan of having footpaths in OSM in the first place as most roads in local areas have them so they can be assumed that they are there and they just seem to be added randomly on some streets. I would want to delete them for constancy but don’t want to undo others work, or compete the job which would take many many hours I do not have.

personally I don’t see the need to add names to footpath running along the streets (are they sidewalks?), and I’d add names to a footpath only if there is a specific name assigned to it. If your use case is that the navigation program can’t use the name of the closest street, you could maybe ask developers to develop a new functionality, instead of adding names to all footpaths :slight_smile:
Regarding the idea of deleting footpaths, please don’t do it! Footpaths (and sidewalks) are useful for many purposes and require a lot of effort to be mapped as independent ways.

If the mapper has not indicated which road a separately mapped footway belongs to, that’s not easily possible. While an automated solution which usually guesses correctly would be easy to build, that’s not the case if you want it to work reliably even in tricky cases. I’m not aware of any OSM-based software supporting this functionality.

So there is a problem, but sadly, there’s no standard way to solve it – people started mapping footways as separate lines without thinking this through. Quite recently, there has been some discussion around using a tag like sidepath_of:name = Name of the Street. This would indicate the name of the road which the footpath (or cycleway) belongs to, while also allowing it to be distinguished from a footway that has a specific names assigned to it. A navigation program could then quite easily generate instructions like “follow the sidewalk of for 500 meters”. But of course, this is really just in the idea stage.

I think this is different per country. In the Netherlands officially a road consists of the roadway itself and the cyclepath, footpath and shoulder along it. Streetnames are defined for the entire road, so the cyclepath and footpath carry the streetname too.

We have a lot of physically separated cyclepaths, which are mapped with a separate way in OSM. We add the streetname to the cyclepath, because it officially carries that name, it’s greatly improves navigation and it’s really convenient when you see a street name instead of ‘way 123456789’ when editing for example route relations.

If streetnames work in the same way in your country as in the Netherlands, the footpath would carry the streetname and you can add the name to it. If is doesn’t then another solution should be thought of.

I will stop naming sidewalks for now. The best solution I can think of is just mark them as sidewalks in OSM and get the navigation software to have a smaller priority using them.

Hopefully this discussion would continue because this needs a solution.

I would of assumed that it works that way in Australia as well, but I have never heard it been discussed. We do have some bike paths officially signed as ‘X Road Trail’ which follow the length of the road.