Tagging for Tram Lanes Separation

Hello everyone,
I guess German community is the most experienced when it comes to public transit and tram lines.

I need to tag how tram line is isolated from car traffic. In Russia, it is a serious problem that in many places trams runnig together with car traffic get stuck in congestions. So we have a project that calculates how many dedicated lanes exist, and one thing we want to be able to mark is whether tram rails are together with car traffic or not.

I see there are several situations that we need to distinct:

  1. No separation, cars disrespect trams.

  2. Tiles that make riding here bumpy uncomfortable

  3. Formally dedicated with white lines, and probably there’s a camera that registers rule violation. Still not always guaranteed that all car drivers respect this, as in the picture.

  4. Protection by kerb

  5. Isolation by barrier.

  6. Surface impractical to ride. Means almost no cars, except in case of accident.

  7. But in some cases, impractical surface is combined with barriers.

I see there are 2 things to indicate:

  1. surface around the rails, whether it’s rideable, inconvenient, or not rideable at all.
  2. protection: none, formal by lines & cameras, or kerbs, or barriers.

I wonder what tags are used in Germany for this? On the wiki, there’s nothing in this regard.

If yout want to have a look on an example:
From village Gundelfingen to the south there is a tram connection, where you will find several examples like on your pictures.
Map germany baden-wuerttemberg
The point Lat 48.02465 Lon 7.86025
is a one of the changing of the line.
The funny routing was build about 4 jears ago.
Have fun with it,
Regards Peter

I recommend to take a look at the south-east of Berlin.
You 'll find there several techniques how to map tram rails in conjunction to roads.

Hello Siberiano,

I think the tagging where tram rails are exactly located, is not perfect. Some time ago there was a discussion on the openrailwaymap mailing list: http://lists.openrailwaymap.org/pipermail/openrailwaymap/2016-November/000550.html. It was about the tag for surface vs. embedded. The wiki page in EN uses “embedded”, that in DE uses “surface”: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OpenRailwayMap/Tagging#Tracks, http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/DE:OpenRailwayMap/Tagging#Gleis.
Maybe it is worth to start a discussion there?

However that doesn’t say enough about the location of the tram rails in the street area. The cases 3, 4, 5, 6 should be clear in so far as the street has separate ways for each direction and the tram is in between. Here in my city (München) this area is then mapped with landuse=grass, if it is covered with grass. I think for a few tracks I added surface=grass. If it is not grass, landuse=railway might be useful. A barrier could be mapped as a line with barrier=fence.
More complicated are those like your case 2. Is it still a lane of the street or a separate area? The traficability might be intended to be used for ambulance or the fire brigade, but it could be also a shared lane tram/bus and bus lanes are normally part of the street.
This https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/49863567 is such a bus way with one lane for each direction, formerly used by tram also. It is separated by kerbs from the street.

If you want make an analysis, how many tram lines are separated, I think that will not be possible from one particular tag of the railway=tram with the existing tagging scheme.



I don’t think that adding a special tag to the tram tracks is necessary if they are embedded in the road and share space with cars.

Instead, you could load the geometries in a PostgreSQL database (with PostGIS extension) or into QGIS, calculate buffers around the highway=* and railway=* ways and intersect them. Areas where they intersect are areas of conflict. The width of the buffer of the tram tracks would be 2.40 or 2.65 m in Germany (some tram systems have a wider structure gauge) on straight tracks (wider in curves). The width of the buffer of roads depends on the number of lanes. Mappers who care for that have already added lane information to the streets, haven’t they?

Some local communities in Germany and Austria decided to use tram:lanes=* (or was it lanes:tram=?) on highway= ways. Use Overpass API to locate them and have a look using Mapillary. (Btw, I uploaded a large part of the tram network in Karlsruhe to Mapillary two years ago)

Some examples where trams share space with cars:
Bonn, Bonner Talweg
Frankfurt, Friedberger Landstraße
Magdeburg, Gareisstraße
Karlsruhe, Rüppurrer Straße
Düsseldorf, Oberbilker Allee

If the lane which is shared by cars and trams is paved with paving stones and the remaining surface of the road with asphalt, I would use surface=asphalt + surface:lanes=asphalt|paving_stones|paving_stones|asphalt + lanes=4 + lanes:forward=2 + lanes:backward=2

Best regards

(from Karlsruhe)

Thanks to all for suggestions.

I wish there were photos of the place or Google Street View. Is there any mapillary photo?

Will look, thanks!

Regarding case 2, its part of a steret, and it was allowed to ride there (not sure what’s there now), and trams were stuck in congestions. The transit dept published a chart from that street. At night a ride would take 20 minutes, in daytime it would take between 40 and 120 minutes.

I’ll look up the links, thanks!

PostGIS/QGIS/GeoPandas are my day job tools, and OSM database too. I can try checking this, but I think there will be some false negatives. The photo #3 actually is one of them.

I checked the usage of “lanes” tag in Russian cities, and it’s not everywhere. More than that, car lanes width is very inconsistent. We’ve had debates with traffic and transit departments over bicycle lanes, and went out for inspection with cycling activists. We found out that 4m-wide lanes are frequent, and actually there are several hundred meters of a 5.5m bus lane.

There are places with 8…9 m wide pavement (poor planning, I know, that’s what I keep saying when I get a chance :)). Guess how many lanes are there? Either 2 (normally) or 3 at intersections (2 approaching and one leaving the intersection), you can never tell.

My idea was to just let tram enthusiasts tag the tram lines, which is the minimum amount of work. And usually, there are enough of them in every city to remember the situation in every street.

Thank you very much!