Road type question.

I am hiking/exploring the Sechelt BC Canada area.

All of these are listed as ‘unmaintained track’

I have found that the logging roads here fall into broad categories: One class are named forest service roads FSRs for short. These roads are subject to logging truck traffic 7 days a week any time of day. Doesn’t mean there is always traffic, but there can be. These roads are two way travel, but two heavy trucks would want to slow at meeting. These are ‘recommended radio control’ roads, and are marked with km markers. Truck drivers will call “HC Branch 1 6 down” as they pass You hike them with an attentive ear out.

I’ve put in names, where I have found them, and in one case did a split and rejoin to take a road to it’s termination point, then named the third leg. I have change the ID from “Unmaintained track road” to “Service Road” I don’t know that this is the right name. On maps this class I would expect to show as solid parallel lines. Since I’m new at this, I’ve asked that someone confirm my edits.

The second class are temporary roads put in to access one or a series of cutblocks. These are usually unmaintained, but are overall in good enough condition to pass with a 2 wheel drive car. Average consolidated width is about 3 meters (10 feet) so meeting vehicles have to negotiate passing.

The third class are ones that I would consider truly unmaintained. They are from an older era of smaller trucks. Parallel sheep trail with brush and small trees occurring in the mid point. 4 wheel drive required, as well as a certain disregard for the condition of your paint. Negotiable by bicycle with some branch whipping on your legs.

There’s a fourth class, that are mainly service roads for powerlines. These are not year round roads, often very rocky, very steep, require a 4WD truck or quad. Many are mountain bike-able, but unless you are in really good shape would require walking up steeper sections. Puddles 10-20 cm deep are common, as are stream fords up to 40 cm deep.

I called the roads marked for the first class as “service roads” but the usual sense of service road is an auxiliary to a main road. What should these be called?

The third and fourth classes are what I consider to be “unmaintained track” And the usual convention of these being labeled as dashed parallel lines is appropriate.

What should the second category be called – where you ahve good solid roads that are narrow, steepish, but drivable.

Hi. This is an area that’s close to me; I like to hike, play, and map in the areas served by these roads.

The Forest Service Roads, FSRs, generally qualify as tertiary (highway=tertiary) as they are major “through roads” serving a generally large area with a number of smaller roads, and various backcountry “destinations” (oil wells, trail heads, etc.) The wiki for guidance talks about “settlements”, but in the woods, oil wells and the like are equivalent, as destinations. Anyway, I tag most FSRs as tertiary, other than relatively short ones that can be “unclassified”. Note that unclassified is an actual, real classification, blame OSM’s British heritage for that bit of confusion.

I’m not sure what you mean by “ID” and “Unmaintained track road”. Is this some terminology the iD editor uses? Those aren’t keys and tags used in the database, as best I know. (I use JOSM.) We might have a problem if our tools don’t all use the same language.

Temporary roads to access a cutblock would be highway=unclassified, or =track. A road that goes to a single destination, and is maintained, at least for a while. If maintained, unclassified might be better, then track after it starts going back to nature.

Some people map these as service. I generally use unclassified. If the wiki offers guidance, I haven’t managed to find it.

The third class you mention, “parallel sheep trail” etc., would clearly qualify as highway=track. If you can see two tire tracks/ruts, that’s a good guideline in my mind. Powerline tracks (your fourth example), likewise.

The above is my opinion, based on my best interpretation of the wiki, and a wee bit of what I think is common sense. Alberta (my area) mostly follows the above. There was also a similar discussion a few months ago on this forum; some differences, never really resolved and never thus codified into the wiki, alas.

Thanks for the clarification.
I will reclassify as highway=tertiary in the morning.
I am going to be in the SC area for about another two weeks. Contact me if you want to show me your favorite spots. (sgbotsford at gmail dot com)

Local knowledge trumps my CO, USA experience, but I would call a logging road unclassified. Most of the forest roads around here are unclassified, or track. A tertiary road should link secondary roads with other secondary roads, or settlements.
"tertiary roads are those with low to moderate traffic which link smaller settlements such as villages or hamlets. "

Right. But in wilderness with the absence of habitation (villages or hamlets), other destinations such as gas plants, oil wells, significant trailheads, etc. can be considered roughly equivalent.

An FSR (a British Columbia thing) is a major forest-access road, colloquially a “logging road” but also access for remote lodges, camping, hunting, fishing, etc. A road with many destinations (unclassified branches), many uses, often a large area being accessed. For this description, tertiary seems appropriate.

But “logging roads”, meaning those that simply give access to a cutblock or series of cutblocks, I agree, unclassified seems logical and that’s how I’ve generally tagged them.

There’s a place for tertiary in the wilderness; a medium thickness branch on the tree that is the road network. The wiki needs to acknowledge that. There are places without settlements.

As ever, it’s absolutely crucial in such circumstances to add a surface= tag. highway=unclassified in developed countries is generally assumed to be paved unless otherwise stated. This is particularly important for bike routing which tends to follow the “lower” roads in the hierarchy (i.e. unclassified and residential) where possible.

Thanks for the reminder, and I’m sure I’ve forgotten at times. I’ll have to do another sweep for that in the areas I’ve taken an interest in.

Sherwood, thanks for the invitation, but actually I’m quite distant from you geographically. Sorry for the confusion; when I said, “area that’s close to me”, I meant conceptually. :confused: Cheers.