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Shouldn't this page be categorized as "proposed" features? Right now it looks like it's the "official" tagging rules, while certainly no vote has been going on about it... --Eimai 14:39, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

No - right now, it's an attempt to document and break down current usage. We should make that clearer at the top. See Proposed_features/Road_crossings for a current proposal in this area. --achadwick 15:50, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
Does the fact that the "current usage" was started at the same time as that proposal have any bearing on it? IMO they're equally-valid proposals for that reason. --Hawke 23:01, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Actual current use vs the voted in proposal

Unless you are updating it to show *actual current use* of the crossing=* tag, don't mess around with this page. I have no problems with other ideas for tagging crossings but this is not the page to document them. Gravitystorm 11:25, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

I don't understand your arguments. Proposed_features/Road_crossings is a proposed feature. So the *current usage* has changed. the "old" *current usage* is very UK-specific and not usefull for mapping out of UK --Cbm 13:27, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
It's very straightforward. The current usage is how *this key* is being used in the planet. No amount of alternative ways of doing things or voting or proposals changes these facts. You may consider that the "current guidelines for tagging crossings" has changed to something else but the "current usage of the crossing=* key" is what values are actually in the planet itself. This page is "Key:crossing" not "Tagging crossings guidelines". Gravitystorm 16:01, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
But if -- like you say -- the page of the crossing key that's full of tags which are only current usage and have nothing to do with voting, proposals, guidelines or anything else is superseded by a page where the new usage of the key was proposed, has been voted on, and was approved, then it's only normal that the current tags will get moved to the new usage. --Eimai 16:23, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
to see the "current usage of the crossing=*" I only need the Tagwatch... so this side seems to be obsolete? In my understanding Key:* shows the "official" ways to map something. The crossing= has a approved new guideline, and that is what I expected here as a user --Cbm 17:19, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
btw. the WIKI-site from Approved_features/Road_crossings said The Feature Page for this approved proposal can be located at Key:crossing. . so Key:crossing should be changed. --Cbm 04:46, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
If Gravitystorm doesn't come up with any real reasons why we shouldn't revert this page, I'm going to do just that. If you want to keep the old tags as shortcuts, fine, but don't keep the new ones from this page just because it's no current usage. The new tags have been approved so that means we want that to become current usage, which isn't going to happen if we don't mention them here. This project is about tagging the world, not the UK, and we can't tag the world with pegasus or toucan crossings as you only get blank stares mentioning those tags outside the UK. --Eimai 12:00, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
You seem to be deliberately ignoring my point about why I created this page, and what it's for. If you're ignoring the reasons I've already given (unless you're telling me that I'm wrong about the numbers at the top of this page?)) then how am I supposed to give you "real reasons"? Leave the page alone, it does what it's supposed to (as I've explained above) and if you want another page for whatever reason feel free to create one. Gravitystorm 15:38, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm not arguing those numbers above are wrong, and that it shows how things are tagged upto now. I'm arguing about the fact that this page needs to say how things should be tagged, as that's what been voted on and approved. You're suggesting a new page, but where else should it be than at the crossing=* page? And as said above, if you want the old tags on this page as well, fine then. But don't hold back the new tags just because you personally don't like them. --Eimai 16:21, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
To be completely honest, there are *no* official tags. Any user is free to choose whatever they want. I don't see how a vote of 10 people should force several hundred uses in the planet to change (perhaps those several hundred should count as votes as well). As far as I know, Gravitystorm is the only person who currently renders crossings of any sort. Perhaps we *should* document the type of crossings that will render on his map. Richard B 17:01, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
For the third time: if you want to keep the current tags, fine by me. Just don't hold back the new tags. How do you expect the numbers above to change in favour of the new tags if it's only documented somewhere in the proposal pages? --Eimai 17:24, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

When this proposal came along Approved features/Road crossings, it seems to have been presented as a brand new tag idea, but unfortunately it always clashed quite badly with an established usage (the proposers wouldn't necessarily have been aware of) It's a shame the proposal progressed to the point of half way through the final voting process, before anyone pointed out the problem.

User:Gravitystorm pointed out the problem in a rather heavy handed manner. "Don't mess with this page" is a discussion title which is sure to wind people up (I'm going to change it), and I don't think the person who creates a wiki page should have extra rights to dictate its purpose ....but then again, he is right. This page should have existed, documenting the crossing=zebra usage a long time ago. And it still should. The proposal should have been phrased as a change (by gradual deprecation). And of course changes to established tags are a pain in the ass for obvious reasons. They should not be undertaken lightly, and would be less likely to be voted through.

Voting has passed on Approved features/Road crossings and a fair few people got involved in that, so it is a shame to ignore the result, but the wiki discussion and voting system has not served us well in this case. The main problem really was that people used the crossing tag quite extensively, in the crossing=zebra, but nobody bothered to document it. That laziness is the root cause of the problem, and a lot of people are to blame for that. But I think the solution to this is going to have to be to reopen the proposal for discussion, and rephrase it as a change.

-- Harry Wood 22:53, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

I'd see no need to reopen proposals, just add a disclaimer on the lines of "Here's a usage that was voted on and additionally here is the documentation of a older scheme, used mostly and extensively in the UK, and which get's rendered at ..." I hadn't given this previously any more attention than a quick glance, but aren't the "old" values just shorthands for a list of multiple tags as laid down by the new scheme? They can easily coexist, especially when documented here. Alv 05:49, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

I give up. Clearly the facts of the matter (which tags are in use in the database, which ones are rendered) are viewed as irrelevant to those people who are championing their idea of how things *should* be, and who are now waging a campaign on this page. Which is a shame, and knowing how things work in this instance makes me question the contents of the entire wiki. When did facts in the database become irrelevant? When did the results of an ill-informed vote become more important than the contributions of dozens of people? Gravitystorm 09:41, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

New value: crossing = unmarked ?

crossing=unmarked for crossing-abilities even without any road-marks (e.g. for lowerer road-curbs (kerbs) ). --Cbm 00:46, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Knowing about dropped kerbs would certainly be useful for people in wheelchairs or wheeling prams. --Gregoryw 05:36, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
it's not only for the kerbs. I know as a pedestrian you are able to cross any road anywhere, but crossing=unmarked shall mark the most recommendable place with less danger (could be very usefull to route "childeren-safing ways to school" or handicaped/slow people. --Cbm 14:10, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Isn't that a bit too subjective and fuzzy? If you can cross safely at a certain point, then you can probably do that as well 50 meters further along the road, and it could well depend on the time of day. I think there should be at least something physical that marks the location (like the lowered kerbs). --Eimai 14:44, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
[1] in this example you have to cross the street coming from the right to cross the zebra-crossing. this "unmarked" crossing should be mapped with "crossing=unmarked" --Cbm 15:52, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
I would disagree with the suggestion that dropped kerbs imply a safer route to anywhere. Too often in the UK they are located where visibility to other road users is poor. Longwayround 20:11, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
In my experience, dropped curbs are often there for the benefit of cars exiting side roads and driveways, not pedestrians Jbohmdk 04:55, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. I don't remember voting on this, and I don't think it should be the default. However, it does work very nicely with wheelchair=yes. Nevertheless, it was introduced without discussion, so if nobody minds, I'm going to move that fragment here while we discuss it. Hope that's OK.
Hawke: I do think there should be a default. The default should be crossing=uncontrolled should: marked zebra-style crossings are somewhat common in the world.
In this country unmarked crossing spots with tactile paving and lowered kerbs along lines of desire have been the design standard for several years - they're very commonplace, almost un-noticeably so. I still think we need more discussion of its form, intent, and meaning before accepting it. Tidy up the somewhat vague description too. --achadwick 10:12, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
crossing=unmarked should be just like a crossing=possible or crossing=yes but more describing --Cbm 20:46, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
wheelchair-accessible lowererd kerbs should be additionally tag with lowered_kerb (or curb?)=yes, I think --Cbm 14:10, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Let's not reinvent the wheel - use wheelchair=yes for specifically wheelchair-accessible stuff. --achadwick 10:12, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
To me crossing=unmarked would be appropriate where there are clear visual clues "on the ground" that this place has been designated for crossing, but neither signposted, striped, signaled nor otherwise formally marked. In the case of foot-across-road these would be places where there are deliberate coordinated foot-traffic-sized holes in various barriers (curbs, railings etc.). In the case of traffic-across-railway these would be narrow (road width or less) places where the space between the tracks has been raised to facilitate crossing, but again without the usual signposting, signals, booms etc. In other words if you have to cross, this is an intentional better-than-random location, but without the usual niceties. And no direct relationship with wheel chairs, I see this as a general mappable feature, which may or may not be wheel chair friendly according to other tags (I have used some of these that are definitely not passable by wheelchair or even by less than fit people, in one place the accepted crossing procedure involved carefully listening for trains making the rails "sing" then minding your step, in another the engineered gaps in the guard rails were only about half a meter with a required zig-zag on a tiny traffic isle). Jbohmdk 04:55, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
Popping a comment in some pretty old discussion, but hasn't been said before: this is sometimes needed to supplement crossing=no nodes nearby. In some countries a pedestrian "must use a marked crossing when nearby" (here we know 30 meters is "nearby", but nobody knows how far is no longer nearby); thus sometimes where a footway seemingly crosses a road, there's crossing=no, but the next footway's junction with the road (to either side) could have a crossing=unmarked. Usually I'd use it without highway=crossing, though. There's no "legal protection" for the pedestrian when they aren't using a marked crossing. Alv (talk) 07:27, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

New Value for "button-activated" crossings

lots of crossing-traffic-lights only gets green whwn you push an activation-button. sometimes there are more than one button (e.g. for pedestrians and for horse-driver). How should we tag this feature?


Manual activation could also be used for motorcar-traffic-lights with induction-loops.


--Cbm 09:41, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Other systems include timers (with dummy buttons to keep the punters happy!) and infra-red(?) sensors. I've always seen "uncontrolled" as meaning "no controls, no buttons, stand there and traffic may choose to stop" (I know Hawke has another interpretation though). I've assumed that there'll be some sort of mechanism for crossing=traffic_signals. Either of
would get my vote; make the ... a semicolon-separated list of modes used in the access=* suite maybe; possibly with extra allowable values like sensor or timer. --achadwick 10:53, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
you missunderstand the meaning of 'uncontrolled'. Uncontrolled means that there are no traffic-signals but road-marks that there is a crossing. e.g. a zebra-crossing.

Tags on this page seem all messed up

The tags have been changed recently and don't match with Approved_features/Road_crossings anymore. I thought it should be highway=crossing crossing=traffic_signals, and not highway=traffic_signals since that's used for road junctions. --Eimai 14:43, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes, keeping to what was agreed is important. Not sure what's going on here. I've asked Cbm to discuss any future changes here. --achadwick 15:03, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Why doesn't they match the Proposal? Tagging crossing=* in another more flexible way, don't touch the routine tagging traffic_signals with highway=traffic_signals.
the Map Features said: 
highway=traffic_signals --> Lights that control the traffic 	 
highway=crossing --> Pedestrians can cross a street here - e.g. zebra crossing  

In my understanding so far:

highway=* is for the road-traffic.
crossing=* is fort the crossing-traffic.

So highway=* crossing=* are autonomous because of representing different dimensions of how traffic flows --Cbm 15:57, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

My understanding of the tags is that you have the base tag highway=crossing to define a crossing like this, and then the crossing=* tag to define the exact crossing. I don't really understand why you throw highway=traffic_signals on this page since it has nothing to do with it... --Eimai 17:31, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
highway=traffic_signals = Lights that control the traffic ;)
  • maybe we have to chance this too. But AFAIR that this was not the intention when creating this proposal.
  • btw. there are lots of Situation where there is crossing=traffic_signals (signals für pedestrians) but no highway=traffic_signals (no signals for the road-traffic) but highway=crossing (road-traffic must be have attention because crossing-traffic may appear) (e.g. lots of alleys in germany do so). So this is not a trivial difference :) --Cbm 18:03, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Trying to understand this. I think you're saying that for these crossings, the crossing traffic has a signal directed at them, and there is nothing directed at the highway traffic. Am I right here? Pictures would really help. It seems odd: use of traffic_signals has always meant (to me) something more than just some flashing lights or a sign that says "people might be crossing here - better pay attention!". Specific legal force in other words. So it seems odd to me that there would be one without the other. --achadwick 01:38, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Flashing warning lights

There doesn't seem to be any way to tag whether crossings have flashing warning lights, which are activated by a pedestrian. Like these, used in many places in Toronto, Canada. Many pedestrian crossings are just a sign, though.

Perhaps crossing=flashing_lights? Andrewpmk 09:39, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

equivalent to highway=traffic_signals maybe we can use highway=warning_signals? --Cbm 12:09, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
We could use a simple lit=yes/no/flashing on the highway=crossing node. "Lit" is already in use. --Lulu-Ann 12:03, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
Lit is, imo, something totally different. There is a substantial difference between street lighting (whose purpose is usually to increase brightness during night) and things like traffic signals. These flashing lights are a traffic-signal-like thing. highway=warning_signals isn't a good idea, because this needs to be primarily tagged as highway=crossing. That the crossing has warning lights is just additional information. I suggest to either use crossing=flashing_lights (in addition to highway=crossing) or to create an add-on tag similar to the others documented at Key:crossing. --Tordanik 12:24, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
I’ve added flashing_lights=* as a suggestion, already used (along with other schemes) in Toronto. crossing=flashing_lights isn’t good, because any type of crossing=* could conceivably have flashing lights. beacon=* would be more general, but hasn’t been used for crossings, only for sea beacons. —Wtachi (talk) 03:29, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
The "activated by a button or sensor" part of the definition is not very obvious, though - nobody will know about it just from looking at the tag. So I expect the tag will also be used for lights at pedestrian crossings that flash permanently. Do you maybe have an idea for tagging this in an unambiguous manner? --Tordanik 10:22, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
Okay, I (formerly Wtachi) have added suggestions for flashing_lights=button, flashing_lights=sensor, and flashing_lights=always. --Yotann (talk) 17:02, 30 May 2013 (UTC)


Please do not use the term "deprecated" for tags. (Don't use "approved" either.) This would suggest that OSM hasdsome governing body that can decide whether or not tags are ok to use. We do not have such a body. If you must write about the UK shortcuts then a proper wording would be:

In the UK and some Commonwealth countries, many crossings are tagged "crossing=toucan,pelican,...". These UK specific shortcuts are not understood by everyone, so if you want to tag crossings in an internationally readable way, you can use combinations of "...."

or whatever. Just don't imply that the UK names are something that should not be used. because it is not in your power to do so. Once there are 10 times as many "internationally tagged" crossings as there are "UK tagged" ones, then you can use the force of the numbers and say: "In the UK, sometimes the tags ... are used, but the main usage is ..." - but currently, as far as I can see, numbers favour the UK approach. --Frederik Ramm 20:24, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

  • This page is still largely (despite edit wars and after-vote changes) what was approved in the voting, so it's OK to call them "approved" in my book. I'm assuming that voting in a proposal is about as official as it gets. I would still counsel that we avoid any highly locale-specific terminology in our tagging: call that a personal deprecation if you like - an alternative which has been removed was "obsolete", which is rather stronger terminology. --achadwick 01:16, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
  • +0.9 on the suggested wording BTW, but bear in mind we're also striving for internationally consistent and useful here rather than just human-readability. --achadwick 01:16, 4 September 2008 (UTC)