Tag for pull over?

What do you call places for short parking, typically seen along scenic highways and in national parks,
and how would you tag that, assuming it is not viewpoint or emergency_bay?

I would just simply label it as car parking and use the description for what it is.

I map these as amenity=parking, parking=layby (British English for pull over).

Since I’m American, I’ve never heard of layby. Something new I need to remember. Thx.

Thanks for the keyword, that pointed me in the right direction: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rest_area#Lay-bys

Looks like parking=layby is in common use (1000+ entries), American terms (turnout, pullout) have zero use.


There is also a long related discussion under parking page - looks like “parking=layby” was proposed in the past, but no agreement was reached: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:Tag:amenity%3Dparking#Lay-bys:_simple_roadside_parking_for_taking_rests

It’s very much the obvious tag, but sort of conflicts with other uses of parking such as multi-storey or surface. However, I’ve rationalised this in terms that laybys (pull overs etc) are always surface level parking, and therefore it is a logical subclass of surface.

Other types of parking: park & ride, short stay, long stay, shopping, customer etc are not necessarily catered for within the parking classes. This often happens when the subtag acquires a mix of function and form values associated with the main tag.

I was wondering if any resolution had been reached on this. I would like to add a few small pullouts I have noted near trailheads on Vancouver Island. It does not seem as if there is a tag for a pullout or layby - these can be important features of small rural and logging roads here in BC. I am not sure otherwise how to tag such points.

The parking=layby tag is absolutely fine: it’s been in use for years. There’s no ambiguity in meaning. The slight downside is that than the term may be obscure to North Americans, but this works two ways.

There’s also parking:lane:right:parallel=lay_by

I assume parking=street_side + parking:orientation=parallel (with parking:lane:right:parallel=separate) from last year assumes it’s a parking bay. However, the distinction between them seem unclear as to whether they are about a physical or functional property per proposal, when other parking=* and parking:lane=* values are physical.

parking=layby is fine for such short-stop pullovers outside of built-up areas. The tag was misused for street-side parking of the type parking=street_side now covers, but the description in the OP seems like the proper use of parking=layby.

Keep in mind that parking=layby is really for the small roadside stop areas/bays where drivers can rest a bit before moving on. Anything larger that has its own service roads and facilities like those you find next to freeways is more suited to highway=rest_area, where you would usually tag the parking area as parking=surface.

@JeroenHoek: yes that seems reasonable, but there are a few laybys in the UK which do have a distinct service road & which aren’t rest areas. Nearly always these are remnants of the original road layout where a road has been straightened or re-engineered & using the original segment as a layby is a good use. I think a true rest area should have a minimum of some facilities, such as picnic tables and toilets.

However, this is just a classic case where things grade into each other and I would not officiously change a tag because someone else’s judgement differs from mine.

Agreed. I think it’s not too troublesome though. Not everything is clear-cut, and a bit of grey area isn’t harmful in this specific case. The documentation for parking=layby is minimal; I have given it some polish in the course of documenting the parking=street_side proposal after approval, but there is room for improvement.

Good reminder. I’ll have a look too.