Proposed features/Railway tracks on highway

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"Railway tracks on highway"
Status: Approved (active)
Proposed by: Tolstoi21
Tagging: embedded_rails=abandoned/construction/disused/funicular/light_rail/miniature/narrow_gauge/preserved/rail/subway/tram
Applies to: way
Definition: There is a railway=* track on a highway=*, but the tracks are mapped as a separate way.
Drafted on: 2018-12-09
RFC start: 2018-12-09
Vote start: 2019-01-11
Vote end: 2019-01-25
The Feature Page for the approved proposal embedded_rails is located at [[1]].


Proposal

Notify that a section of a highway factually has some type of railway tracks running on it, and this space is shared with other vehicles, although the rails are mapped as separate ways.

The value of the tag should always follow that of the railway=*-tag it shadows. Only railway=monorail should be explicitly exempted, since the monorails run above highways and never embedded in it. Also e.g. values railway=miniature and railway=funicular may see rare use, but there's no obvious reason to explicitly exempt them (see below for examples of some railway=*-tag values around the world).

Rationale

The railway=tram wiki page suggests mapping tramway tracks always alongside highways as a separate way (though possibly using the same nodes as the highway) even if they in fact run on the highway. There are many good reasons for this convention and it need not be changed.

There are also cases where a subway rails (railway=subway) or a railway railway=rail, (see e.g.: here. Thank you to user Graeme Fitzpatrick for noticing this!) run embedded on a highway.

Other traffic should be notified that there is a track, physically, running on the highway. The need for such notification is particularly acute for bicycles, mopeds and other vehicles that have narrow tyres. Railway tracks have deep indentations that narrow wheels can easily and dangerously slip into. This danger alone warrants a note to routing programs so that they can avoid routing e.g. bicycles through such streets.

Because the tracks are mapped as separate ways, a new tag is needed for the highway.

One earlier proposal was to map these highways with a bicycle access-tag (since the current proposal somewhat resembles the bicycle=use_sidepath-tag), but this was wisely deemed as too narrow a tagtype for this use.

Also the tag-value proposal of railway=separately_mapped received mixed approval in voting because it was thought that it e.g. misused already existing tag-namespace and would have been confusing regarding rendering. The current tag-value proposal was originally suggested by users Mateusz Konieczny and Rainero, thank you to both!

See the previous proposal and votes here

Examples

Tram tracks sharing road space with other vehicles including bicycles. https://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=50.06676&mlon=19.92920#map=17/50.06676/19.92920

Tagging

Tagging is applicable only to highways on which there in fact are tracks.

If the tracks run on a physically separate lane between highways or next to a highway, these adjacent highways should not be tagged.

So, for example

Tagged Not tagged
Example of tramtrack embedded on a highway. Notice also that the highway is flanked by sidewalks, forcing bicycles to use the highway with the tramtracks. According to the proposal, this highway should be tagged. Example of tramtracks as a separate way between highways. These highways would not be tagged under the current proposal, since the tramway is off limits to all but emergency vehicles (and trams).
Finland, Helsinki, Tramtracks embedded in highway (at https://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=60.18206&mlon=24.92450#map=19/60.18206/24.92450), heading northwest
Finland, Helsinki, Mannerheimintie. Looking southeast at https://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=60.19337&mlon=24.90677#map=18/60.19337/24.90677.Picture of a separate lane for trams.

If only a subset of lanes on a multi-lane highway have embedded tracks, this can be handled as usual with the lanes-tagging scheme.

Applies to

Ways. Nodes do not warrant a notification since a highway running (even almost) tangentially to or intersecting with tracks does not pose the danger mentioned above to narrow tyres.

Rendering

No need to render as the existence of the railways is obvious in a glance of the map, but routing programs need this extra tag.

Features/Pages affected

External discussions

Comments

Please comment on the discussion page.

Voting

Voting closed

Voting on this proposal has been closed.

It was approved with 21 votes for, 1 vote against and 1 abstention.

The feature was approved, but the community raised some issues. See the Follow-up proposal


  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --EneaSuper (talk) 09:51, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Dr Centerline (talk) 01:49, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Tolstoi21 (talk) 09:14, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. –SelfishSeahorse (talk) 10:59, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --حبيشان (talk) 13:20, 15 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --AgusQui (talk) 03:32, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Michalfabik (talk) 08:18, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Hholzgra (talk) 09:03, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. okay --Zverik (talk) 11:36, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I abstain from voting but have comments I have comments but abstain from voting on this proposal. There are important pieces of information missing. How is this scheme supposed to play along with lanes and lanes tagging? If there are several lanes on a road, it is important information which of the lanes is shared with rails (e.g. are they in the bus lane? Are bicycles forced to cross the rails). The proposal also completely lacks any examples of tagging. --Mueschel (talk) 14:17, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
    • Thank you for your input! However, did you notice that the proposal did suggest that if only a subset of lanes in a multi-lane highway has embedded rails, this could be handled as usual with the lanes tagging scheme. Also the question of crossing was considered to be moot (tagging applies only to ways, not nodes), since the motivating worry of deep indentations in the railway tracks does not pose a problem if one crosses them even close to perpendicularly (in a 90 degree angle.) --Tolstoi21 (talk) 14:34, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
      • Thanks, this was hard to spot under the images. I changed my vote. My comment on examples still holds as it will improve clarity. --Mueschel (talk) 14:43, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
        • You are indeed right about the clarity issue! In the event that the vote passes for the proposal, the eventual wiki page will have to be quite fundamentally restructred from this proposal page and made much more explicit and clear. I'll also add clear example cases for the lanes-tagging. Thank you for pointing this out. --Tolstoi21 (talk) 08:25, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Ropino (talk) 17:18, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Nospam2005 (talk) 20:05, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. I like the more detailed proposal :) --Rainero (talk) 22:14, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Robert46798 (talk) 07:37, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Kazing (talk) 08:57, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. although I have to agree with Mueschel that you could have made it clearer which new tag is proposed (repeat it in the text) and could havbe tried to better prevent confusion about the older ideas (remove tag template from railway=separately_mapped) --Dieterdreist (talk) 10:07, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Gallseife (talk) 13:09, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --TheBlackMan (talk) 13:36, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --CMartin (talk) 17:30, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. This is relevant information for bicycle routing and it would be great to be able to map this! Please provide more complete tagging examples though. --Evod (talk) 08:44, 22 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Pathmapper (talk) 18:21, 23 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. I see no problems --Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 13:16, 24 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. Such a tag should not shadow (copy) any information given by other tags. This proposal does not provide a definition of the proposed values (abandoned/construction/...) in resepect of the new tag. As far as I understand, a embedded_rails=yes should be enough for the intended purpose. I oppose indroducing tags more complex than necessary or with vaguely defined meaning. --Halbtax (talk) 16:19, 25 January 2019 (UTC)

Follow-up Proposal

The proposal was accepted, but there were some issues raised. Thank you again very much to everyone who voted, commented and/or participated in the discussion on the mailing list!

The main issue raised was that the proposal page was, rightfully, seen as somewhat lacking in clarity and detail. It has become obvious that the eventual wiki page for the feature will have to be completely restructured from the proposal page to make all the features of the proposal clearer.

This will take me some time to complete. In the following days I will create the wiki page, following the highway-key page as a template (as proposed in the Proposal_process page). I'll add entries and examples of all the different key values in the proposal. I will also add an explicit entry and an example on lanes tagging, where only a subset of lanes have embedded tracks.

After the wiki page is complete, I will add links and a short description to the feature to the railway wiki page, and a very short (perhaps one-line) description and link to all the railway-tag key pages (railway=rail, railway=subway, etc).