|Further refinement of footways|
|Used on these elements|
|Documented values: 12|
|Tools for this tag|
The two most common values are footway=sidewalk for sidewalks (called pavement or footpath in British English; see Sidewalks as well for a more in-depth treatment of this topic) and footway=crossing to mark parts of a pedestrian path that cross a road.
It is also used together with highway=path in some communities where it represents a refining of the pedestrian side of a combined foot- and cycleway; for this use see also the comprehensive explanation for bicycle way tagging.
Less Common or Deprecated values
|link||Proposed Tag - Parts of a footway necessary for routing which may not have a physical presence, but which form a link between other highway=* ways.||
|footway||Deprecated -- One of the options to map pedestrian lane (i.e. part of the carriageway dedicated for pedestrian traffic, only marked with paint and not separated by kerbs, treeline or other physical barriers). See Sidewalks#As a pedestrian lane on the road for a list of alternative options, as well as problems with this one!||
|footway||Deprecated — please use sidewalk=* instead.|
Usage for sidewalks
To start using this tag, map the sidewalk as a way alongside the carriageway, with the following tags:
You might use additional tags:
Connections of other ways with to the street should always be made as in reality: If a way terminates on the sidewalk don't map a connection to the carriageway. If a way goes over the sidewalk to the carriageway just draw the way trough to the carriageway with a shared node on the sidewalk way.
The latter also holds true for connecting highway=footway/path: The access permissions for sidewalks usually don't allow other access than pedestrian and without the connection routing might be broken. If a way allowed for bicycles terminates on a sidewalk consider adding bicycle=dismount for the shortest sidewalk route to the carriageway.
If walking is illegal on a road then use foot=no (or foot=use_sidepath, if appropriate) given that most roads are assumed to be available for use by pedestrians unless they are motorways. For motorways consider adding foot=yes if walking it allowed, or add a sidewalk=* tag which should also be interpreted as meaning that walking is allowed. See access=* for a more general discussion about legal access issues.
Usage for crossings
The process is as follows:
- Create a perpendicular footway=sidewalk way connecting the sidewalks on either side of the street.
- Tag the perpendicular way with highway=footway and footway=crossing
- Place a highway=crossing node at each point where this perpendicular section crosses the carriageway (often only one point, more for a dual carriageway or complex junction).
You might use additional tags:
Where there's no sidewalk on the opposite side but where the crossing is used to access a park, playground, building entrance, service road. etc., draw the perpendicular footway from the sidewalk footway to the crossing node on the carriageway.
Add cycleway=crossing if the crossing can be used by cyclists without dismounting, however where cyclists are required to dismount then add bicycle=dismount) to indicate that the route can be used by cyclists on foot.
The following examples show the range of sidewalk/crossing mapping of an intersection from very detailed to less detailed.
|Example for tagging as separate way|
|Example for combination of tagging as property and as separate way – full crossing & kerb mapping|
|Example for combination of tagging as property and as separate way – light crossing & kerb mapping|
|Example for tagging as property|
Association with the street
Because with the separate sidewalk schema makes the sidewalk completely separate from the street, several methods have been proposed to link the separate sidewalk back with the street. None have universal acceptance.
associatedStreet or street relations
To couple the sidewalk to its respective street, the ways can be added to a relation of type associatedStreet. The proposed type street is another commonly-used street aggregation relation. The following roles work in either.
(Traditionally, both relation types are used for a very different purpose – for linking houses to the street whose name is used in their address, rather than the street they are physically accessible from –, which accounts for most of the existing uses.)
|street or <empty>||One or more||The multiple ways that form the carriageway|
|sidewalk||One or more||The multiple ways that form the sidewalk and the crossings|
Using relations for this purpose is very much optional, and you may wish to omit this in order to keep your mapping simple.
- 2016-08 around 4000 elements with role sidewalk
The Proposed features/Key:is sidepath proposal captures whether a path is attendant to a street. The type and name of the street can be captured with is_sidepath:of=*, is_sidepath:of:name=* and is_sidepath:of:ref=*.
Sidewalks are usually left unnamed in OpenStreetMap, but some mappers prefer to use name=* to associate a sidewalk with a street, avoiding the complexity of a relation. Around four percent of ways with footway=sidewalk have name=* set as well (around 125,000 as of August 2022).
Possible tagging mistakes
- sidewalk=* – for mapping sidewalks as refinement to a highway
- Proposed features/Sidewalk as separate way – approved proposal for this key