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Public-images-osm logo.svg barrier = cycle_barrier
Unknown barrier.jpg
A barriers along a path that slows or prevents access for bicycle users. Edit this description in the wiki page. Edit this description in the data item.
Rendering in openstreetmap-carto
Cycle barrier-14.svg
Group: Barriers
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: approvedPage for proposal



Osmarender rendering of barrier=cycle_barrier

Barriers positioned along paths, footways, cycleways or tracks which serve to either slow cycle access or prevent it entirely depending on spacing and layout. Often made of steel, and laid out in a staggered chicane layout.

The intent may also be to discourage motor vehicle access to the protected way: motorcycles and mopeds specifically.

How to tag

Start by placing a tag


on a node that's part of an existing way to indicate where the barrier is. You should also add further tags to more fully specify what kinds of vehicle or foot traffic have reasonably unhindered access: see below.

Bicycle access

This general form of barrier can be very variable in the sorts of traffic they allow to pass, and the greatest variability applies to bicycle traffic most of all. It's a very good idea to add one of

bicycle=no - "a normal bicycle will not physically fit (without dismantling it or lifting it over the barrier)"
bicycle=dismount - "barrier prevents users of normal bicycles from riding through"
bicycle=yes - "barrier is easily passable mounted on a normal bike" (even if you have to slow down)

If it's a question of degree of rider skill, put yourself in the shoes of an unskilled novice rider.

Footpath ways marked "no cycling" which have barriers of this sort should additionally be tagged bicycle=no on the way itself.

Motor vehicle access

Assume that that this tag implies motor_vehicle=no. It might be best to specify motor vehicle access fully every time.


Despite the name, this kind of barrier can be very variable in shape and what kinds of traffic it stops or slows down, so it's a good idea to always combine it with one or more access tags.

Less restrictive forms

Less restrictive cycle barrier

Some barriers are merely designed to slow down cycle traffic near motor junctions (and stop entry by motorised traffic):

access=yes; blanket permission…
motor_vehicle=no; … but a barrier to motor vehicles
moped=yes; … which are larger than mopeds.

More restrictive forms

More restrictive cycle barrier

Others may have tighter spacing and actually prevent cyclists from cycling through without dismounting or lifting their bike over the obstruction. And yes, this can even be the case on designated cycle paths in some countries. If this is the case, you can tag with something like:

access=no; none shall pass
foot=yes; except pedestrians.
bicycle=dismount; cyclists can fit their bike through, but will need to put their feet down.

If a cycle_barrier is this restrictive, consider whether it's wheelchair-friendly as well and consider tagging with wheelchair=*.

Selective barrier to block access by bikes, (but also pushchairs, wheelchairs...)
access=no; none shall pass
foot=yes; except pedestrians.
bicycle=no; no cycles.
wheelchair=no; no wheelchair.

Alternative tags

barrier=chicane has also been suggested and is occasionally used. Note however, that this is different from traffic_calming=chicane. The former designates a real barrier that blocks certain vehicles (mostly cars) from passing, while the latter only requires them to slow down.

Open issues

  • Specific forms?
  • Bicycle trailers.

See also