What is the status quo on fietspad / fietssuggestiestroken?

Hey there

I would like to enquire about what is the status quo of the current tagging practice in Belgium for:

  1. fietspad (on the road)

  2. fietssuggestiestroken

Is there something like a consensus in the Belgian community on how to tag it?
Also, are “shared lane markings” used at all in Belgium (informally or not)?

  1. cycleway=lane
  2. cycleway=shared_lane. This is pretty informal, as cars can behave as they are not there. However, “De Fietsersbond” have found in a study that they increase the safety of cyclists.
  3. I’ve never seen those markings in the middle of the road. Does not mean they do not exist, but I would expect them to be on the right hand side of the road.

According to https://www.gratisrijbewijsonline.be/theorie/leerstof-rijbewijs-b/fietser-fietspad-oversteekplaats the markings in(3) do not exist

Note that in Belgium a dashed line means cycleway=lane, cars are not allowed there, it is a dedicated area for cyclists. This is different from other countries.

I agree on your tagging remarks, but I’ll elaborate on the status.

  1. In belgium we define a ‘fietspad’ (in it’s legal sense) as:
  • The part of the road marked with white stripes (no full line, the interrupted ones) at both sides, that’s too narrow to be a car lane
    (and it should by default be assumed these are one-way for cyclists, two-way cycleways shouldn’t be marked as such, but sadly there’s alot of improper use of the markings)
  • The part of the road that’s been marked with traffic signs D7 or D9.
    (and these can be one way or two way).

For the first you add cycleway = lane to the highway it’s part of.
For the second, you can go with cycleway = lane if it’s not distinctly separated from the road, if there’s a good bit of space between where cars drive and bikes drive you can just use highway=cycleway

  1. ‘Fietssuggestiestroken’ are tricky.
    They have no legal status whatsoever. You can drive on them, and even park on them. It’s an attempt to help clarify there’s cyclists on the road and caution needs to be taken by drivers.
    Ideally, these are wide enough, so the cyclist enforces his own position, keeping cars behind them. There’s been alot of variations to indicate these:
    The bicycle icon with ^ markings over them.
    Green, red, grey, orange (‘oker’) colored markings
    Marking an area by using big headed ‘nail’-like markers (approx 15cm circular marker)

    In Flanders, guidelines are to only use grey or ‘oker/orange’ markings. While initially alot of them were small (0,80-1,00m whereas the recommendations were 1,20-1,50m), recent new guidelines let it fluctuate along with the road with, but marked zones of 1,70m are no exception in that aspect. It’s come to the point where concrete roads, they are actually created with strips of colored concrete rather then just marking on top. If a single road lane is approx 3m wide and the ‘suggestion band’ is 1,70m, it’ll at least encourage the cyclist not to let overtaking cars push them to the side.

  2. Shared lanes as you show do not exist. A properly used ‘Fietssuggestiestrook’ aims for the same behaviour.

  3. We have something new called ‘fietsstraat’. It’s a road concept where speed is limited to 30 km/h. Cars are allowed, but are not to overtake cyclist. It has it’s own (legal) traffic sign now too.

These are tagged as either cyclestreet=yes, cycleway=cyclestreet or both

I wonder if it would make sense to explicitly tag (most) cycle lanes in Belgium with cycleway:lane=shared. I watched a few videos of cyclists on the road and the Belgic cycle lanes don’t look that exclusive to me, see https://youtu.be/T9gQ9epdB7c?t=150 for example.
Also, after all, there even seem to be something like exclusive cycle lanes with a continuous lane in Belgium (cycleway:lane=exclusive), for example

  1. https://departmentfortransport.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/belgium-n410-n251.jpg
  2. at 2:49 of the mentioned video
  3. https://youtu.be/uzoo1OiOOco?t=255

What do you think? Does it make sense to distinguish the normal case from the 3 cases I mentioned above?

By the way, I noticed that after all, there seem to be pictogram lanes (aka sharrows, “shared lane”) in Belgium as well, see https://youtu.be/T9gQ9epdB7c?t=88
Or is this supposed to be a bicycle street? If yes, doesn’t seem to be that effective :laughing:

As for the pictogram lanes: (your last point): This is one of the ways they indicate the afformentioned ‘fietssuggestiestroken’ - note my point 2) in previous post. It’s not quite the ‘shared lane’ where there’s a double ^ in the lane center, you’ll find this mostly at the right hand side of the lane.

As for the other 3 points: all three are cycle lanes, as I described in point 1) of my post before, though 2 is an example of poor placement I guess.

As for the tagging proposal:
Can’t say I see the added value at first glance. If the cycleway is part of the ‘main road bedding’, we tend to not explicitly map them seperately. We just map them ‘on their own’ if they are say… >2m away from where car traffic drives. If anything, rather then pointing out where cyclist can go, it’s more usefull (and less effort) to tag where they cannot go. (i.e. narrow one-way streets where they cannot go in opposite direction)

In Spain they use also those ‘markings’ on the road →


Yes I know, but the question is whether it makes sense in Belgium to distinguish cycle lanes on the road that have a continuous line on their left additionally to the usual dashed markings from the “normal” cycle lanes that just have dashed markings on both sides.

No, the only differences the continuous line makes are:

  1. a very limited extra ‘safety margin’ between the two traffic modes
  2. rules around where one can park a car.

As stated: unless the distance between cars and bikes is significant, they are not mapped seperately.
The continuous line does not qualify as significant.
As far as the parking goes: those also aren’t mapped, unless the parking spaces are perpendicular to the driving direction or as a designated ‘parking lot’.