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Public-images-osm logo.svg bicycle = use_sidepath
Radwegschaeden by Karl-Ludwig Poggemann.jpg
Compulsory cycleway aside Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: restrictions
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)
Useful combination
Status: approvedPage for proposal

This tag bicycle=use_sidepath applies only to roads with a classification that allows cycling generally. When a road has a parallel compulsory cycleway (e.g. Zeichen 240.svg (DE, PL), Zeichen 241.svg (DE, FI, IT, PL), Nederlands verkeersbord G12a.svg (NL) or Nederlands verkeersbord G11.svg (several European countries) this tag can be applied. But only when this road does not have a traffic sign which explicitly forbids bicycling (e.g. Nederlands verkeersbord C14.svg or Nederlands verkeersbord C9.svg ). In that case use bicycle=no.

Consider using routing:bicycle=use_sidepath with bicycle=yes or bicycle=discouraged when there is a separate cycleway, but cyling is also permitted on the main road, which is the case by law in some regions like Quebec Province in Canada.

The tag bicycle=use_sidepath should only be applied in countries that have compulsory cycleways.

Please do not use bicycle=use_sidepath in combination with cycleway=track or cycleway=lane on the main highway, if there is no separate cycleway drawn on the map.
This is confusing for routing engines because bicycle=use_sidepath indicates not to route on the main highway (use the separate cycleway) and this conflicts with the tags cycleway=track and cycleway=lane, which indicates that bicycles are allowed to route on (bike lanes connected to) the main highway. See Osmose for reported problems on this.

Legal and access implications may and will vary between countries. The implications of these traffic signs on many specials vehicles and situations varies so much that it would need a lot of new tags to express this in OSM. There is no need to do this if the legal situation is clear. With a new country specific access scheme (=concept) on compulsory cycleways and their parallel roads it should give routers and renderers enough information for any type of vehicle/situation.

Note that in some cases cyclist may be allowed to use bicycle=use_sidepath ways while not allowed to use bicycle=no ways in any case at all. For example in Poland in general cyclist is not allowed to use road if parallel cycleway exists, unless it is unavoidable to go in some direction.

Case where cyclist is allowed to use road despite parallel cycleway. Tagging this road as bicycle=no would be incorrect, but in general cyclists are supposed to avoid it
Case where cyclist is allowed to use road despite parallel cycleway. Tagging Zarzecze as bicycle=no would be wrong and result in incorrect routing. bicycle:forward=use_sidepath is a correct tagging here (or maybe bicycle=use_sidepath, law is not clear).

How to tag

This tag applies to ways where a separate (cycle)way is drawn.


cycleway=separate (cycleway:left=separate / cycleway:right=separate / cycleway:both=separate variants) indicates, that there a separate (cycle)way is drawn. But it does not make any statement about whether that separately mapped cycle path is compulsory or not. bicycle=use_sidepath implies that there is a separately mapped cycle path nearby, but not where it is, so cycleway:left=separate, cycleway:right=separate or cycleway:both=separate can still be used to indicate position of the cycleway.

To indicate a one-way compulsory cycleway use a directional subkey, e.g. bicycle:forward=use_sidepath. Choose between :forward and :backward depending on the compulsory cycle direction relative to the direction of the OSM way way for the main road. The cycleways OSM direction is not important.

In some cases a two-way cycleway may be compulsory only in one direction. In the opposite direction cyclists are free to choose between the main road and the cycleway. Handle this case like a one-way compulsory cycleway.

For more in-depth information see this proposal Proposed_features/use_sidepath.


Picture Tags
Fietspad PeeWee32.jpg
This cycleway is compulsory.

Main road:
Nederlands verkeersbord G13.svg (NL)
Signal C113.svg (FR, AT)
Zusatzzeichen 1022-10.svg or 434c Radw ohne Benupfli St-Jürgen-Str HB.jpg (DE)
These cycleways are not compulsory.
Cycling is allowed on the adjacent roads, too.
Possible additional tags:
  • tags that show that the cycleway is not compulsory
  • mofa=* tags.
Slovenska cesta kolo nezazeleno 2.jpg
In this street, cycling is explicitly not
on the "road" (carriageway).
bicycle=no (explicit bicycle ban)


On both the German ((in English)) and the Dutch forum have compulsory cycleways been discussed.


This tag is supported on the "Bicycle tags on OSM"- map.


bicycle:forward=use_sidepath    bicycle:backward=use_sidepath

See also