Proposed features/obligatory usage

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Please feel free to edit this proposal and any typos :)

obligatory usage.
Status: Proposed (under way)
Proposed by: Hubert87
Tagging: bicycle=obligatory
Applies to: Way
Definition: A (roadside) cycleway which is obligatory to use by cyclists through a law and/or by the rules of traffic.
Drafted on: 2015-3-27


Introducing a new value to the bicycle=* key for ways that are obligatory to use by cyclists on grounds of a law or by the rules of traffic.

This tag should only be used in cases where a parallel highway=road-type (unclassivied and above) has or should have a bicycle=use_sidepath-tag.


From expierience of tagging cycleways and bicycle related things in Germany can be learned, that there is a need to express the difference between cycleways that are mandatory to use and other cycleways (e.g. "freedom of choise"). This has been done by the (miss)use of existing tags in various ways so far.

The Lübecker Methode uses the difference of highway=cycleway + bicycle=designated to identify a mandatory cycleway vs. highway=cycleway + bicycle=yes for a "freedom of choise"-cycleway. However this doesn't work for highway=path, so every cycleway has to be tagged with highway=cycleway.

An other way is to mark mandatory cycleway with bicycle=official. However the proposal has not been voted an yet and also has some contradictions in it, conserning the mandatory use in Germany, since there are official exclusive roadside cycleways which are not mandatory.

The only way to identify obligatory roadside cycleways safely is by a combination of highway=cycleway/highway=path + traffic_sign=* and a "sidepath"-tag (is_sidepath=* or attendant=* or *=sidepath, which are not yet documented or introduced). Since traffic_sign=* is given, bicycle=* is not needed to identify an obligatory roadside cycleway but should be present anyway as bicycle=yes or bicycle=designated or bicycle=official.

The indroduction of bicycle=use_sidepath to resolve the (miss)use of bicycle=no has created a feasible option to mark the existence of an obligatory cycleway next to a highway=road. But it remains disputed (Talk:Tag:bicycle=use_sidepath) whether that obligatory cycleway has to be mapped as a separet way or wether it is also possible to tag bicycle=use_sidepath on a highway=road + cycleway=track or highway=road + cycleway=lane. In addidtion it is only possible to evaluated the existence of an mandatory cycleway on the main road way itself. It is however not possible to see whether a seperatly mapped cycleway is obligatory from the cycleway tags itself.

While this is also viable option, tagging and evaluating three or more tags to conlcude a mandatory cycleway is very time consuming.


bicycle=obligatory or
bicycle:right=obligatory or
bicycle:left=obligatory or

The tag may only be used where there is a an official traffic sign or an unambiguous legal regulation requiring a cyclist to use a cycleway.

(Please discuss) The tag should NOT be used if the roadside cycleway is the only available option because the main road is a motorway, motorroad or cycling is prohibited by a traffic_sign like Zeichen 254.svg


highway=road + bicycle=use_sidepath ; highway=cycleway + bicycle=obligatory

highway=road + bicycle=use_sidepath ; highway=path + bicycle=obligatory

highway=road + bicycle=yes + cycleway=track + cycleway:bicycle=obligatory

highway=road + bicycle=yes + cycleway=lane + cycleway:bicycle=obligatory


An obligatory cycleway could be expressed by different line styles (darker blue) in comparrison to an "normal" cycleway.

Mapnik should render highway=path + bicycle=obligatory like highway=cycleway


Routing Programs (like OsmAnd) could give cycle ways tagged with bicycle=obligatory a higher priority than the main road way. This could lead to better routing for cyclist together with the bicycle=use_sidepath-tag.

Effected Wikipages

Related Proposals


Please use discussion page to comment.