RfC: highway=desire

Might help others to have a definition of scally :

(British English, informal) used especially in Liverpool in NW England

​a boy or young man who behaves badly or causes trouble

From: https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/scally


I’d be against this tag over informal=yes. Perhaps we could have informal=desire if we wanted to subtype desire paths under any informal trail/path.

Required reading for anything on this tangent is the 2016 social trail debacle. The community was fiercely opposed to this new highway type. Thus the evolution of the informal tag. The US trails working group is working hard to streamline this!


I think this is right for tagging, likely all desire paths are also informal (but only because I can’t see any need to tag the origins of some paths & roads as desire lines: see my earlier post).

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It’s also really useful in England and Wales for creating new public rights of way. If one can show the public has used a path for 20 years or more, without obstruction, then the route can become a public right of way (legal access for the public even on private land). Having a path mapped is one way of showing its existence and use.

I didn’t use to bother mapping desire paths but, for the above reason, I now do.

Edit: but to stay on topic. Yes, I think current tagging is sufficient and it is down to routers/map providers to distinguish desire paths against formal paths (if they or their users wish).