Tag cycle_highway=yes voor snelfietspaden/fietssnelwegen

Vanuit België was een tag bedacht om snelfietspaden (ook bekend als fietssnelwegen, doorfietsroutes, etc.) aan te duiden, zodat de routerelaties gemakkelijk te vinden zijn. Dit was cycle_network=cycle_highway. Deze tag is daarna ook toegepast op Nederlandse snelfietspaden.

Deze tag bleek echter incompatibel met de key cycle_network. Daarom is er nu in België voor gekozen voor de nieuwe tag cycle_highway=yes. Persoonlijk vind ik dit ook een veel duidelijkere tag. Daarom stel ik voor om deze ook in Nederland te gebruiken.

Verder lijkt het me ook nuttig om een wikipagina voor deze tag aan te maken en de informatie van cycle_network=cycle_highway daarheen te verplaatsen.

PS. Deze tag wordt toegepast op de routerelaties, niet op de wegen zelf.

Heeft een fietssnelweg ook fysieke kenmerken of andere bebording?

Op dit moment is de markering en bewegwijzering nogal inconsistent. Verschillende wegbeheerders hebben verschillende manieren bedacht, zoals logo’s op het fietspad en wegnummers op de fietsbewegwijzering. Ondanks de verschillende markeringen en namen (fietssnelweg, snelfietsroute/pad, doorfietsroute, etc.), gaat het wel om hetzelfde concept: doorgaande utilitaire fietsroutes met zo min mogelijk kruisingen bestaande uit brede fietspaden of fietsstraten, waardoor je zonder te constant te stoppen van A naar B kan.

De afgelopen jaren is gezocht naar een uniforme bewegwijzing, die vanaf dit jaar wordt uitgerold. Deze bewegwijzering bestaat uit nummers in een gekleurd kader op de bewegwijzeringsborden.

Volgens mij was het de bedoeling dat de tag cycle_network=cycle_highway alleen in een routerelatie wordt/werd gebruikt, als je deze wilt vervangen door cycle_highway=yes in diezelfde routerelatie dan zie ik geen probleem.

Geen kenmerken die je op een ander fietspad ook niet zou kunnen zien. M.a.w. als je iemand midden op een fietssnelweg neerzet kun je onmogelijk zien of het daadwerkelijk een fietssnelweg is, of een gewoon fietspad.
Hier wat mer info: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fietssnelweg#Kenmerken

De tag cycle_highway=yes toevoegen aan een fietspad zou ik (vanwege het ontbreken van wetgeving en fysieke eigenschappen) ontraden.

In Vlaanderen wel, ja. Ttz fysieke kenmerken niet, maar wel specifieke bebording.
Kijk maar eens rond op https://fietssnelwegen.be/, blauwe driehoekjes, puntje naar boven, witte achtergrond. Er staan er echt volop in het rond.

(nb in dit verband heeft het geen zin over “België” te praten, België houdt zich niet bezig met verkeersinfrastructuur, in theorie, die bevoegdheid is uitbesteed aan de gewesten. Ja, het is ingewikkeld)

Dat is precies wat ik van plan ben. De tag hoort inderdaad niet thuis op de wegen, alleen op de routerelaties.

Misschien kunnen de geïnteresseerden even feedback geven op dit nieuwe voorstel:


Ik heb op de Talk-page al aangekaart dat er een route-tag is die dit al doet. Ik denk dat vooral de Belgische gemeenschap hier meer ervaring mee heeft.

Het is dus de vraag of zo’n tag op de ways zelf wel nuttig is voor fietssnelwegen.

I’m the author of the proposal for cycleway=expressway that Jeroen has linked to.

The intention of my proposal is to be able to tag a cycleway as being a higher quality road class, similar to highway=motorway. The intention is not to capture a road network. There are a number of physical traits (listed in the proposal) that a cycleway=expressway will have.

In that context I would like to link to another proposal that I posted to the tagging mailing list a week ago, but that for some reason needed moderation and still has not been published: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/cycleway_hierarchy. This proposal addresses the need to capture a road’s function or role in the overall road network, and is not directly attempting to capture physical road class.

The physical road class and the road network function are two independent, but of course correlated, features of a road. In a sparsely populated country like Norway, you’ll frequently see highways designated as Riksveg (the highest national road network) or Europaveg (European highway network) that are so narrow that two large vehicles cannot meet. In terms of the road’s network function, it’s clearly of high importance, but the physical road class is comparable to a residential street.

At least in Norway, this principled distinction between physical road class and road network function is easily observable, because the correlation is so low. In countries with a much higher correlation between the two, the distinction might be blurred to the point where they appear to be the same dimension. I would still argue that they are not, and that they would best be captured independently.

cycle_highway=yes on a route relation seems to be concerned with capturing a road network, not the physical road class. It seems more similar to the cycleway hierarchy proposal than to the cycleway=expressway proposal, even if the two dimensions of course overlap.

I’d also be interested in learning more about the reality of Fietssnelweg. Quoted from my reply to Jeroen on the proposal talk page:

Cycle highways have been devaluated in my part of the Netherlands ( Groningen ). It has become a ‘label’ with political intent rather than a description of the actual road. And even if they do look like a cycle highway they do not really meet the standards used elsewhere.
For instance: some clever civil servant decided to regard the full embankment of a road as width. So if the asfalt is 2.75 meter, the addition of 2 grass shoulders 75 centimeter each still makes it a highway. Older cycleways are included too as part of the highway.

To compensate for this trickery they are now called ‘doorfietsroute’ instead of highway. (translates roughly as ‘cycle-on-route’.)

My conclusion is that a cycle highway many times is not, apart from a sign that it is. Therefore tagging as a route is imo the better solution.

I understand your concern about devaluation, but I don’t understand your conclusion. If the problem is “road planners are lying about the quality of the road and no one is correcting them”, how does “I will not specify that road quality, but I will tag this cycleway as a route” solve the problem?

You will end up with no information in OSM about the quality of the road, and people will have to assume, and they will assume incorrectly because you have tagged the cycleway as a “highway” route and for the most part those cycleways that are tagged as a “highway” route will have good quality.

Instead you could tag both the “highway” route AND the road quality.

Also, see my comment about the mixing of the concepts of road network and road quality. Based on the feedback I am getting, it seems to me to be a very important underlying issue with this general discussion.

I meant to write “I will not specify that road’s quality”. The typo completely changes the meaning of it.

It is comparable to other highways ( for cars ) . The classification of a way does not include road quality but only road importance.
E.g. look at the A28 near Leer, Germany. The road quality east of Leer is bad, but that does not make it a less important road.

Cycle highways are different in that originally the term highway denoted a particular quality of the cycleway (*). That is no longer the case. There is a localized naming now: ‘snelfietsroute’ , ‘doorfietsroute’ and still ‘fietssnelweg’. ( fast-cycling route, cycle-on route, cycle highway ). In the case of the doorfietsroute Groningen-Assen part of this ( yet unfinished ) route is even a cyclingstreet with cars allowed.

Back to your proposal: it does captures both aspects ( both proposals combined ).
Cycleway=expressway is of course a good tag, but does not linguistically feel to describe the quality of the road but rather it’s importance. It however would cover all types that are designated as a fast cycling route. As for quality: existing tags ( surface/width/quality/tracktype ) could be used (**).

Than there is yet another, complex, development: E-bikes. Originally cyclehighways were supposed to be a safe road for cyclists, banning fast motorized vehicles ( mofa not allowed ). But at least here speed-pedelecs are allowed on most cyclehighways, introducing a great speed difference between users again.

Take a look at this picture: https://www.google.nl/maps/@53.1927562,6.5631798,3a,15y,152.64h,86.46t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1s81hW6dvNpFZLvjQtx8QezQ!2e0!6shttps:%2F%2Fstreetviewpixels-pa.googleapis.com%2Fv1%2Fthumbnail%3Fpanoid%3D81hW6dvNpFZLvjQtx8QezQ%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D80.38326%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i16384!8i8192

It is supposed to be a cyclinghighway, but clearly does not have the required width and allows speedpedelecs. How would you tag this?

Than there is this: part of the same ‘highway’:https://www.google.nl/maps/@53.0125863,6.6009615,3a,15y,19.93h,88.53t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1s1umTqip1wN9CGs8mtJFdpQ!2e0!6shttps:%2F%2Fstreetviewpixels-pa.googleapis.com%2Fv1%2Fthumbnail%3Fpanoid%3D1umTqip1wN9CGs8mtJFdpQ%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D32.442753%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i16384!8i8192

It is in fact a normal cycleway with access for mofa’s defeating the cyclehighway requirements.

Taking all this into account I believe that a route-like tag is the best solution for a cyclinghighway or other routes that mimic it, and overcome the differences per country in validating these ways.
A tag to describe the quality of the way should not have the word (bi)cycle in it.
So I would prefer: highway=cycleway;width=n;surface=asfalt/concrete;access=? tags and than perhaps cycleway=expressway to mark it’s importance as a route. But it’s importance could also be described by a relation for the total route,giving the benefit of giving the route a name (e.g. Fnnn seems to be accepted).
That last solution would make any additional tags for a cycling highway obsolete: the quality of the road is in existing tags and the importance in the relation.

(*) When the concept and EU-money first where introduced there was even talk of a road with sheltered construction against wind and other benefits for cyclists.
(**) This is an old ‘mistake’ in the tag ‘tracktype’. There is no single tag to describe the quality of a road, and the valuation of a road differs from country to country.

The Belgian data model is written down here: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:cycle_network%3DBE-VLG:cycle_highway
Note that it’s a little peculiar, because the whole network is very much under construction.
The issues we have are quite similar to the ones described for the Netherlands. There’s a clear distinction between the dimension of “is the infrastructure worth the name cycle highway” and “is this an actual cycle route”. While the routes are all clearly defined online, signposting is often lacking. Some sections of the network go over places they hope they will be able to build soonish. Other places are already fully rebuilt according to ideal specification, but lack signposting to make it a real route.
So we had to be a little flexible with the data model, or decide not to map them at all. Which would be annoying, as several route planners already take in account the network to help find cycle friendly routes.
Now back to the proposal: I actually think it could be useful. For us, this tag could be used to identify sections we can consider “finished”. However, not all the criteria that are in the proposal will be met. I think the ambition is for there to be lane markings, but if they finish it all and still haven’t done that, is it not an expressway yet? I haven’t seen turning lanes. I’m sure there will be plenty of exceptions of the “these roads have right of way”. So I’d see it as a checklist, where you need at least seven of nine criteria met. This kind of solution would make it possible to use the same tag internationally, while allowing local concepts to vary a bit - and still excluding crazy stuff like calling an unprotected cycle lane a cycle highway.
In Flanders, we can track the realization of the cycle highways with other tags as well (like width=4,smoothness=excellent etc). But it would make it easier for newbies to contribute if there’s an easier tag as well.
One important point is that our cycle highways are actually often not on highway=cycleway. They often use highway=service (as this is the consensus highway tag for towpaths), along highway=track (as tractors are still allowed) or even highway=unclassified (as maybe some local car traffic is still allowed). So the subtag to indicate cycle highways should be allowed on other road types as well. Again, this would make life a little easier for data users, just like cyclestreet=yes does.


I did send a reply via the tagging mailing list on why having cycleway=expressway is a bad idea.

In summary:

  • Nearly everything can be mapped with other tags, the data consumer can decide for themself what implications these have
  • Having a good definition for “cycle expressway” is borderline impossible

I’ll post it on the wiki as well.

You are now discussing the road network function (or network class) of a road, not its physical road class. Those are two different properties. I am acutely aware of how a road’s network function does not correlate with it’s physical class. This is a Norwegian trunk road, for example: https://goo.gl/maps/7PfJpKrartJAYy4V6

I have tried to emphasise and underline and stress, again and again, that my proposal is only concerned with the physical road class. I am honestly surprised and a little bit shocked that Norway now seems to have the most advanced road nomenclature in Europa, since we are able to easily distinguish between network function and physical class.

We also have different signs to designate

Then you should tag these as routes (“F1”), and you should be careful and precise when tagging the physical road class of the many roads/road segments that are used by that route, since obviously they vary a lot.

Don’t get me wrong. We have the same issue in Norway. A cycle route (see signage above) in Norway may go on sidewalks, on carriageways, and even sometimes on trunk roads! And sometimes, just sometimes, a cycle route goes on a cycle expressway (see signage above).

When we map and tag our cycle routes, we apply the correct road class to every road that makes up the cycle route.
For example, have a look at: https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/1389964

Do you see how there are segments with highway=residential, and then there are segments with highway=cycleway + foot=designated, and then there are sections with highway=cycleway + foot=designated + sidewalk=left.

All of these tags specify a different physical road class.

The trouble with a physical cycle expressway (not a route), is that it is impossible to tag it in OSM today, much like tagging a motorway is not possible without using the highway=motorway combination. The reason is that a physical cycle expressway has requirements for physical road design that cannot be captured in OSM, like design speed, line of sight, curve radius, and so on. We simply CANNOT tag every single curve and junction with its turn radius and line of sight to be able to inspect a whole stretch of road and say “yeeees, this fits the requirement for a cycle expressway”. It’s impossible. Therefore, we use highway=motorway, and we should be able to use something like cycleway=expressway as well.

The fact that some incompentent cycle network planners are incompetent should not stop us from doing this.

I would have to say that it does not. See signage above. But I do recognize that in some countries, the distinction is not well developed.

I am open to suggestions on a different term for it, but still keeping in mind that the proposal is meant to capture a class of physical road quality, that still may vary from country to country, without needing to tag every single quality aspect of the road along its entire way (because that is both technically and practically impossible).

I agree with that 100%:

Also, it makes it possible to tag something as what it is, without to tag every single detail about it, which is a very important principle in OSM overall.

I’m not opposed to tagging every physical trait of a road, but 1) there are no tags for all these traits, and 2) it is practically impossible to tag them along an entire way, and 3) we don’t do this for motorways to be able to call something a motorway – we can call it a motorway and people generally know what that is, and then we can add lanes and surface, etc etc afterwards, but that is a refinement, not a requirement.

My suggestion is not to use a new tag at all. The need to tag the physical quality of a road still exists for every part of the route ‘cyclehighway’. You cannot assume that a cyclehighway as a route class equals a cyclehighway in quality. So you would have to check the road anyway. That quality can be described by excisting tags without additional effort.

This is a bad example imo. Motorway describes a class, not a quality. A motorway with potholes is still a motorway. The term motorway does not imply that it is good road. It could as well be a track.


‘cycleway=expressway’ is in the end just a shortcut to cycleway/width/smoothness/access/lanes/speed and whatever.
But these should still be tagged seperately or it would break a lot of applications that use this information.

I do understand that you would like a single tag because it is less work but that could be achieved by a macro in the editor as well.

I think it’s a rather good comparison. highway=motorway is an addition to a road with control of access, same could be said about cycleway=expressway, no access for pedestrians, so also control of access. Both are/will be used for highest-performance roads in a country.
With cycleway=expressway one can differentiate this cycleway from “normal” cycleways. If I look at the examples in Norway, I can totally understand the need for the tag cycleway=expressway. Way of right, no pedestrians, smooth curves, slipways etc. etc. In my opinion totally not comparable with (all) the fietssnelwegen in the Netherlands.

No it can’t. Please have a look at: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/NL:The_Netherlands_roads_tagging#Auto(snel)wegen Only for auto(snel)wegen

Geim, dan ga je uit van NL definities, en zelfs daar is ‘surface’ of kwaliteit van de weg niet beschreven. Ik weet dat het vergezocht is maar dat was in dit geval ook de bedoeling.
En op een cycleway=expressway ( fietssnelweg variant ) mogen bij ons gewoon voetgangers. Dus dan zou de tag in ons land niet gebruikt kunnen worden. In feite maar in heel weinig landen. Noorwegen komt zo in me op. Maar verder ook niet.
Alleen bedoelt balchen de tag juist als fysieke beschrijving, niet als classificatie met rechten.