Unsigned bicycle routes: to map or not to map?

Here in Toronto there are essentially three classes of bicycle routes:

-Numbered routes that form the core of the cycling system
-Non-numbered routes that are marked with signs, sharrows, etc.
-Unsigned routes that the city’s official bike map identifies as “suggested on-street routes” and are mostly on quiet residential streets.

It’s the last one that I have a question about. Almost none of these appear on Opencyclemap and I’m wondering if it would be appropriate to map them as cycling routes. They’re marked on the official bike map and fill key gaps in the system. But as far as I can tell, they’re not marked in any way on the actual streets.

Is the city’s map released under an OSM compatible licence? If not, it doesn’t exist as far as OSM is concerned, so you cannot map the cycle status of a road based on it, only use it to check for routes that are properly signposted on the ground.

The maps are open data and confirmed as usable by Openstreetmaps. This includes the bikeways data. The suggested routes are part that data.


My personal view would be map them, but some “on the ground” purists might disagree. Make sure you add a source. Use the official keyword if there is one. Otherwise, I suggest noting that licensing of the source in the changeset comments, or in a changeset attribute.

I would also be in favour of mapping them if they are the suggested preferred cycle route and as this is very helpful information to people unfamiliar to the area.
You could add a note tag stating that the routes are unsigned but suggested by the city as cycle-suitable routes.

Thanks for the comments guys!

note (for mappers) or description (for users) ? or both?

I was intending the note for mappers to assist those who may be inclined to delete the route where signs were absent but either a note or description would serve both groups well. Probably a description tag would be more suitable?

That’s a good idea. When I add the routes I’ll include a description saying where the information came from and that it’s a valid OSM source.

You could use something like unsigned:lcn=yes as a more formal notation for this.