Bicycle

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This page lists recommendations for how to enter and tag bicycle and cycleway related data into OSM. Having good quality cycleway data allows routing software to choose the way that best suits cyclists.

Cycle features

OSM differs between cycle lanes and cycle tracks. A cycle lane lies within the roadway itself (on-road), whereas a cycle track is separate from the road (off-road). Tracks are typically separated from the road by e.g. curbs, parking lots, grass verges, trees, etc.

There are two ways to model cycle tracks. One possibility is to draw separate ways along the roadway which are tagged as highway=cycleway. The alternative is to add a cycleway=track tag to the existing way. Both methods each have their pros and cons. Notably, a separately tagged cycleway generally allows to capture more detail, while adding a single tag to an existing way takes much less time and can be as accurate. Both methods are in use today, and there is discussion about when to prefer which method.

The tables below with many examples and pictures are for right-hand drive countries.

Cycle lanes in bidirectional motor car roads

A lane marked on a portion of a carriageway (UK), roadway or shoulder (USA), designated for cyclist use.

Ref Context Photo OSM Description
L1a
Cycle lanes left right.svg
Dsc01078 clip.jpg
Way A.png
Cycle lanes on left and right sides of the road.

Way A : highway=*[1] + cycleway=lane (recommended)

or

Way A : highway=*[1] + cycleway:left=lane + cycleway:right=lane

or

Way A : highway=*[1] + cycleway:both=lane

L1b
Cycle lanes both right.svg
Neuss Stephanstr dsc01113.jpg
Way A.png
Bidirectional cycle lane on right side of the road.

Way A : highway=*[1] + cycleway:right=lane + oneway:bicycle=no (recommended)

(nb: the oneway:bicycle=no tag should be interpreted to refer to the cycle lane in this case, as the highway itself is per default bidirectional for all transport modes anyway)

or

Way A : highway=*[1] + cycleway=lane (not recommended, as this can't be distinguished from L1a)

L2
Cycle lanes right only.svg
Way A.png
Oneway cycle lane on right side of the road only.

Way A : highway=*[1] + cycleway:right=lane

(nb: bikes can use the normal highway on the left side)

Cycle lanes in oneway motor car roads

Ref Context Photo OSM Description Example
M1
Oneway cycle lane left right.svg
Cycle trackinroad.jpg
Way A.png
Cycle lanes on left and right sides of the oneway road.

Way A : highway=*[1] + oneway=yes + cycleway=lane + oneway:bicycle=no (recommended)

or

Way A : highway=*[1] + oneway=yes + cycleway:left=opposite_lane + cycleway:right=lane

M2a
Oneway cycle lane right only.svg
Neuss Bergheimerstr PICT8477.JPG
Way A.png
Oneway cycle lane on right side and same direction of the oneway road.

Way A : highway=*[1] + oneway=yes + cycleway:right=lane (recommended)

or

Way A : highway=*[1] + oneway=yes + cycleway=lane

M2b
Oneway cycle lane left only.svg
Way A.png
Oneway cycle lane on left side and same direction of the oneway road.

Way A : highway=*[1] + oneway=yes + cycleway:left=lane (recommended)

or

Way A : highway=*[1] + oneway=yes + cycleway=lane

Way 72068274
M2c
Cycle lanes oneway middle.png
Way A.png
Oneway cycle lane in the direction as the oneway road, between driving lanes.

Way A : highway=*[1] + oneway=yes + lanes=2 + cycleway=lane (note that this tagging is ambiguous with a cycle lane that is on the right or left side of the road)

M2d
Cycle lanes both left.svg
Way A.png
Cycle lanes on left side.

Way A : highway=*[1] + oneway=yes + cycleway:left=lane + oneway:bicycle=no


Way 145565058
M3a
Oneway cycle opposite lane left.svg
Cycle contraflow Caen c.jpg
Way A.png
Oneway cycle lane on left side and opposite direction of the oneway road.

Way A : highway=*[1] + oneway=yes + cycleway:left=opposite_lane (recommended)

or

Way A : highway=*[1] + oneway=yes + cycleway=opposite_lane

M3b
Oneway cycle opposite lane right.svg
Way A.png
Oneway cycle lane on right side and opposite direction of the oneway road.

Way A : highway=*[1] + oneway=yes + cycleway:right=opposite_lane (recommended)

or

Way A : highway=*[1] + oneway=yes + cycleway=opposite_lane

M4
Separate car lanes cycle lanes left right.svg
Way A Bdown2.png
(recommended)
Oneway cycle lane on right side of separated oneway roads.

Way A : same as M2a

Way B : same as M2a

Way A.png
Alternative tagging for less accurate traces / aerials.

Way A : same as L1a

M5
Separate car lanes cycle lanes right only.svg
Way A Bdown2.png
(recommended)
Oneway cycle lane on right side of a separated oneway road.

Way A : same as M2a

Way B : highway=*[1] + oneway=yes

Way A.png
Alternative tagging for less accurate traces / aerials.

Way A : same as L2

Cycle tracks

Road (UK) or path (USA, Canada) dedicated to cyclists on separate right of way.

Ref Context Photo OSM Description
T1
Cycle tracks left right.svg
Copenhagen Style Bike Lane.jpg

Cycleway=track.jpg

Way A B Cdown.png

(recommended)

Cycle tracks on left and right sides of the road.

Way A : highway=*[1] + bicycle=use_sidepath if usage of cycle track is compulsory

Way B : highway=cycleway + oneway=yes

Way C : highway=cycleway + oneway=yes

Way A.png
(Alternative solution with a single way, also useful when the track position is not known)

Way A : highway=*[1] + cycleway=track

T2
Cycle tracks both right.svg
Cycle route marking Le Havre.jpg
Way A B.png

(recommended)

Bidirectional cycle track right side of the road.

Way A : highway=*[1] + bicycle=use_sidepath if usage of cycle track is compulsory

Way B : highway=cycleway + oneway=no

Way A.png
(Alternative solution with a single way, also useful when the track position is not known)

Way A : highway=*[1] + cycleway:right=track + oneway:bicycle=no

T3
Cycle tracks cars-one-way cycle-two-way right.svg
Way A B.png

(recommended)

Bidirectional cycle track right side of the one way road.

Way A : highway=*[1]+ oneway=yes + bicycle=use_sidepath if usage of cycle track is compulsory

Way B : highway=cycleway + oneway=no

Way A.png
(Alternative solution with a single way, also useful when the track position is not known)

Way A : highway=*[1] + oneway=yes + cycleway:right=track + oneway:bicycle=no

T4
Cycle track oneway right.svg
Way A B.png
Oneway cycle track on right side of the road.

Way A : highway=*[1] + bicycle=use_sidepath if usage of cycle track is compulsory

Way B : highway=cycleway + oneway=yes

Way A.png
(Alternative solution with a single way, also useful when the track position is not known)

Way A : highway=*[1] + cycleway:right=track

(nb: bikes can use the normal highway on the left side)

Miscellaneous

Ref Context Photo OSM Description
S1
Oneway cycle opposite nolane left.svg
Way A.png
Cycling opposite to the oneway car traffic without dedicated lane/track (in some countries only).

Way A : highway=*[1] + oneway=yes + oneway:bicycle=no

or

Way A : highway=*[1] + oneway=yes + cycleway=opposite

S2
Cycle track left lane right.svg
Way A Bdown.png
(recommended)
Cycle track on left side and cycle lane on right side of the road.

Way A : highway=*[1] + cycleway:right=lane + bicycle:backward=use_sidepath if usage of cycle track is compulsory

Way B : highway=cycleway + oneway=yes

Way A.png
Way A : highway=*[1] + cycleway:left=track + cycleway:right=lane
S3
Cycle tracks sidewalks left right.svg
Way A.png
(recommended)
If sidewalks are considered as implied and simplicity kept (recommended for autorouting):

Way A : highway=*[1] + cycleway=track + segregated=yes

Way A B Cdown.png
Cycle tracks on left and right sides of the road and sidewalks.

If sidewalks are considered as implied with the main highway:

Way A : highway=*[1] + bicycle=use_sidepath if usage of cycle track is compulsory

Way B : highway=cycleway + oneway=yes

Way C : highway=cycleway + oneway=yes

If sidewalks are not considered as implied:

Way A : highway=*[1] + bicycle=use_sidepath if usage of cycle track is compulsory

Way B : highway=cycleway + oneway=yes + foot=designated + segregated=yes

Way C : highway=cycleway + oneway=yes + foot=designated + segregated=yes

S4
Cycle tracks left right footways.svg
Way A.png
Easiest (and correct solution for autorouting)

Way A : highway=*[1] + cycleway=track + segregated=yes + foot=designated

Way A B Cdown.png
(recommended)
Cycle tracks on left and right sides of the road and the sidewalks/footways.

Way A : highway=*[1] + bicycle=use_sidepath if usage of cycle track is compulsory

Way B : highway=cycleway + oneway=yes + foot=designated + segregated=yes

Way C : highway=cycleway + oneway=yes + foot=designated + segregated=yes

Way A B C Ddow Edownn.png
Alternative solution with 5 ways in OSM :

Way A : highway=*[1] + bicycle=use_sidepath if usage of cycle track is compulsory

Way B : highway=cycleway + oneway=yes

Way C : highway=footway

Way D : highway=cycleway + oneway=yes

Way E : highway=footway

Cycle lanes and bus/taxi lanes

Ref Context Photo OSM Description
B1
Cycle track left lane right bus right.png
Way A.png
Cycle lanes on left and right sides of the road with a bus/taxi only lane.

Proposal (no consensus):

Using the suffix for Lanes:
Way A : highway=* + lanes=3 + lanes:forward=2 + access:lanes=no|yes|yes|no|no + bicycle:lanes=designated|yes|yes|designated|yes + bus:lanes=no|yes|yes|no|designated + taxi:lanes=no|yes|yes|no|designated

Note: the suffix :lanes could be used for all the other examples too, but is used usually only in situations where it is not possible to tag the layout of the lanes with other tags.

B2
Cycle lanes left right bus right.png
Way A.png
Cycle lanes on left and right sides of the road after a bus/taxi only lane in right side.

Proposal (no consensus):

Way A : highway=*[1] + lanes=3 + lanes:forward=2 + lanes:bus:forward=1 + busway:right=lane + cycleway=lane

B3
Cycle lanes left shared bus right.png
Way A.png
Cycle lane on left side of the road and a shared cycle lane with a bus/taxi lane in right side..

Proposal (no consensus):

Way A : highway=*[1] + busway:right=lane + cycleway:left=lane + cycleway:right=share_busway

or

Proposed_features/shared_lane

B4
Cycle track shared bus right.png
Way A Bdown2.png
Cycle track shared with a bus/taxi track in right side of the road.

Proposal (no consensus):

Way A : highway=service + service=bus + oneway=yes + cycleway:right=share_busway

Way B :
assuming for bicycle and buses there is an obligation to use Way A in forward directions (of way A) :
highway=*[1] + oneway:bus=yes + oneway:bicycle=yes
assuming bicycles may use Way B in both directions :
highway=*[1]

B5
Cycle lane shared bus right.png
Way A.png
Cycle lane shared with a bus/taxi lane on right side of the road (in some countries only).

Proposal (no consensus):

Way A : highway=*[1] + lanes=4 + lanes:bus:forward=1 + busway:right=lane + cycleway:right=share_busway

B6
Oneway opposite shared bus left.png
2010-01-02 15.19.16.jpg
Way A.png
Cycle lane shared with a bus/taxi lane in opposite direction of the oneway road.

Proposal (no consensus):

Way A : highway=*[1] + cycleway:left=share_busway + busway=opposite_lane + oneway=yes + oneway:bicycle=no

or

Way A : highway=*[1] + cycleway:left=share_busway + busway=lane + oneway=yes + oneway:bus=no + oneway:bicycle=no

All pictures are available in both .png and .svg files in the wiki repository (use .png when text is present).

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 1.43 any type of motor car roads in the class "highway" like primary/secondary/tertiary/unclassified/residential/etc.

Pedestrian streets

highway=footway + bicycle=yes + barrier=bollard

On-Road Cycling (Cycle Friendly Streets)

Consider using the following key/values to indicate cycle friendly streets.

Key Value Purpose
width=* <width of road in metres> Indicate a wide single lane road or a squeeze point
maxspeed=* <speed limit> Roads with lower speed limits tend to be less crowded by cars.
source:maxspeed=* <countycode:rural/countycode:urban/sign,...> Always tag the source of the maxspeed limit!
lanes=* <total number of lanes making up the way> Single lane wide roads with low speed limits tend to be low-stress routes (but may increase stress for cyclists that want to cycle fast)

Bicycle Restrictions

Key Value when to use
bicycle yes Where bicycles are permitted, overriding default access (such as to motorways that permit bicycles as commonly found in western parts of North America)
bicycle designated Where a way has been specially designated (typically by a government) for bicycle use
bicycle use_sidepath Where the usage of the main road under normal conditions is not allowed due to the presence of a compulsory cycle track. When the cycle track is not rideable (e.g. due to snowfall, when the main road has been cleared but the cycle track has not) or when riding in group, the main road can be used in some countries. Check with local laws.
bicycle no Where bicycles are not permitted, ensure this is indicated
bicycle permissive Where bicycles do not have a legal right-of-way, but the land owner has indicated that bicycles are allowed
bicycle destination Where bicycles have a legal right-of-way, but only if their destination is within that street or area
bicycle dismount Where cycling is not allowed on short sections of signposted cycleroutes (typically in the UK on narrow bridges and underpasses which are shared with pedestrians), there are usually signs saying "Cyclists dismount". These have been tagged as follows (28 838+ uses as of 2014-06-05) Lower acceptance than other values, as of 2014-04-09 still not added in JOSM
oneway:bicycle yes/no Instead or in addition to using cycleway=opposite* nominatim, you can use oneway:bicycle to identify roads where the oneway rules for cyclists differ from the generel oneway restriction. Note that currently bicycle:oneway=no and oneway:bicycle=no are both often used and both documented on various places on the wiki. Until there are more certain rules, expect renderers for cycling to support both

See also OSM tags for routing/Access-Restrictions for the default restrictions by highway type (and country-specific rules).

All values : Key:access.

Facilities

Where there are facilities to lock up a bicycle or rent/hire bicycles, use:

Key Value
amenity bicycle_parking
amenity bicycle_rental

For shops that sell cycles and equipment:

Key Value
shop bicycle

For air pumps which can be used to refill bicycle tyres:

Key Value
amenity compressed_air
compressed_air yes
service:bicycle:pump yes

See also