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Public-images-osm logo.svg cycle_network = BE-VLG:cycle_highway
official Fietssnelwegen in Flanders
Group: cycleways
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesshould not be used on waysshould not be used on areasmay be used on relations
Status: in use

This tag is used on the official Fietssnelwegen (Cycle Highways), made and maintained by the Flemish government and the 5 Flemish provinces.

How to map

Currently, the whole network is under construction. Some routes are signposted on the ground, and some are not. Some have the needed infrastructure, some use dirt tracks, some are planned only... Here we explain the options and how to tag them.

1) Regular cycle highway

These are the normal, signposted cycle highways. A cycle highway is signposted if a systematic signposting with the F-home style (blue traingle) has been applied along the entire length of the route, consisting of signs and/or ground markings, which helps users to navigate the route.

For the government, a cycle highway should meet certain minimum requirements (for example minimum width). We can tag that on the member ways.

A cycle highway is made by adding the ways to a new relation. The relation needs all of the following tags:

Key Value Explanation
bicycle:type=* utility
cycle_highway=* yes A cycle highway is a cycle route, where the focus is on functional cycling, such as commuting by bicycle. It focuses on speed, safety and comfort, not on scenery and recreational value.
cycle_network=* BE-VLG:cycle_highway Tag to indicate specifically that this is the network made and maintained by the Flemish government.
name=* name value For example "F6 Fietssnelweg Brugge - Aalter". So we add the reference, the word 'fietssnelweg' and the to and from location in the order as mentioned on the website.
network=* ncn National cycling network
operator=* Possible values are the different provinces, for example "Provincie Antwerpen". The word "Provincie" is not abbreviated. For cycle highways crossing two (or more) provinces, we add all of them separated by semicolon. For example "Provincie Antwerpen;Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen" (alphabetically ordered).
ref=* reference value For example "F6" (as used on the signs)
route=* bicycle This is used to describe the route as aimed towards cyclists
type=* route This relation represents a route.
website=* website value For example https://fietssnelwegen.be/F6

2) Official detours

Sometimes, the planned route is not accessible yet. For example because of construction works, because there is no path, or because the path is of poor quality.

Add these to a separate relation that just contains the segments of the detour. Use exactly the same tagging as above, but add state=temporary

For ref=*, use the ref of the cycle highway and add "alt" at the end.

3) Not signposted, on existing roads

Large sections of the cycle highway network use existing infrastructure. There is usable official documentation stating which roads the cycle highways will use in the future. The roads might be significantly improved over time, but there is a path or road now. To know whether or not the infrastructure is already created or not, look at tags on the way, like surface, width, etc.

Add these to a separate relation that contains these segments, as well as those under number 4. Use exactly the same tagging as above, but add state=proposed

4) Not signposted, there is no existing roads

There is no signposting and no infrastructure. However, there is official documentation as to where the governement will try to build new roads.

The tagging of the underlaying ways depends on the progress of the planning:
- If there is only an official idea about where the road should be created, use highway=no + access=no + note=* (to explain why the way exists)
- If there is a building permit, you can upgrade to highway=proposed + access=no
- Once the building has started, you can upgrade to highway=construction + access=no

Add these segments to the same relation as those under number 3.


  • How did you come up with this model?

Most previous work was done by polyglot, but some of his choices caused debate. We brought a few people together from OpenStreetMap Belgium (seppe, s8evq, Thierry1030, pietervdvn, joost schouppe) and discussed amongst ourselves, with polyglot and with the Flemish provinces (who manage the network). This model was shared on the talk-be mailing list and used by paid mapper Luna Van Gaver who reviewed all the cycle highways in Flanders, as requested by the Flemish provinces. See talk-be archives of July and August 2021.

  • Doesn't this mean the route is not connected from beginning to end?

Yes, just like they aren't in reality. Optionally, superrelations could be created to merge the mapped parts together. Since the cycle highways do not exist in reality, it also does not make sense to show or use them as if they already exist.

  • What is the source for the data?

Some signage is up already, the main data source is fietssnelwegen.be . We will also recieve data directly from the provinces.

See the data

Completely finished

Temporary detours

Proposed routes (unsigned, perhaps unbuilt)