Cambridge local cycle network

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The Cambridge local cycle network stretches across the entire city and is an excellent candidate for tagging as a local cycle network (LCN).

How would this be achieved?

Cambridge is one of those privileged cities that happens to be (more or less) complete, and thus this is a matter of going out there and cycling between two signposted points, tagging your route with lcn=yes and nothing more. It is not a matter of mapping cycleways or the such; it's a matter of following signs, which is pretty simple. Some routes are be independent from others; other routes clump together upon one way (Way Coton Path (XML, Potlatch2, iD, JOSM, history), Way Green Dragon Bridge (XML, Potlatch2, iD, JOSM, history), etc.).

One way of completing this

This method is for completing the network systematically. The patchy/little-bit-here method I've been using is efficient (you don't have to go out of your way too far), but is quite slow.

I've come up with one way of tagging the local cycle network, and I'll use this image from CycleStreets to aid me in explanation. Go to a destination on the cycle network -- you know you're at said destination because no sign will point you in that direction -- pick a destination from the sign and follow all signs to that destination until you arrive at it. Simple, eh? Repeat until you've visited all the destinations on the sign -- the nine reachable 'directly' from West Cambridge, as in the case of the above image -- then find another destination and repeat the process.

Not finding a sign to your destination (so you would think that you're there) should not be confused with missing signs. This is a task for people who know the suburbs of Cambridge well enough to not get lost, but I must stress that you follow the signage to your destination -- even if you know a different and easier/faster/better route. This is about mapping the cycle network that is signed in reality, not mapping the best routes across the city.

Also to mention: two National Cycle Network routes (11 and 51) cross the city; destinations may be reached by using one of these two routes. These routes are incorporated into the same signage system, so ignore the fact that it's the NCN and continue to your destination. When you get to tagging your route, I would suggest not using ncn=yes and lcn=yes on the same way; blue and red would make purple on OpenCycleMap and this could lead to some confusion. If it's already tagged as a NCN route, leave it and work around.

What about the black signs?

Some cycle routes are signed with black signs rather than the similar blue signs; these signs also have a small pedestrian symbol (usually about to be run over by a DfT bicycle). These signs are for both the local cycle network (lcn=yes) and the local walking network (lwn=yes, local walking network). The black routes supplement the existing cycle network, and aren't really anything other than 'filling in the gaps'.

What about one-way roads?

I would suggest creating a route relation for one-way LCN sections. The route through Romsey, which uses different roads for different orientations, was mapped out with a route relation (relation Relation 414438) with type=route, route=bicycle and network=lcn. This, of course, furthers the network's mapping: one could, with the willpower, generate a route relation for ...let's say the route between Newnham and Kings Hedges, with another one from Newnham to the City Centre and another from Newnham to Grantchester... but this would be awfully confusing and somewhat pointless as the network is physically just a collection of signs and the routes between signs. Anywho: applying the forward (forward = in the direction of the way, backward = against the direction) role to the one-way street in question, will produce little yellow arrows on OpenCycleMap and aid the reading in knowing which route to take when following the local cycle network. I suppose you could just look at the signs, though.

Tagging conventions

  • Routes signed with blue signs: tag the signposted route between two destinations with lcn=yes.
  • Routes signed with black signs (which have both cycle and pedestrian symbols, also): tag the signposted route with both lcn=yes and lwn=yes.
  • Routes that are signed as part of the National Cycle Network: refrain from tagging, though there may be cases.
  • Please don't use the roles forward or backward to denote the one-way status of dual carriageways, etc. From certain zoom levels, this renders only one of the directions to the top—thus it looks like certain roads you can only cycle in a certain direction though, in fact, two roads exist in parallel.