|access = official|
|A way dedicated for a particular use by law.|
|Used on these elements|
|Tools for this tag|
The value official for the access tags foot, bicycle and horse indicates a way legally dedicated to specific modes of travel by a law or by the rules of traffic. The tag is to signify the official, binding, legal nature of the dedication. A way may have several official dedications.
In most cases, the official dedication also means that other modes of travel are prohibited. In some countries like Germany such a usage right is also compulsory, travelers must not use a parallel way if an official way is marked. But exclusive or compulsory use is only a deduction based on local laws and traffic rules, it is not the meaning of the tag "official". For compulsory ways use bicycle=designated on the cycleway affected and tag bicycle=use_sidepath on the highway which the cyclist should not use. For pedestrians traffic on footways use sidewalk:foot=designated and foot=use_sidepath on the road.
The tag should only be used where there is a an official traffic sign or an unambiguous law.
Difference to *=designated: "Official" is stronger than "designated". "Offical" is only for ways marked with a legal traffic sign. Note that *=designated is typically used in this situation.
Usage compared to *=designated: *=designated tag has also significant support and is widely recognised unlike *=official access value that is less popular in usage and support.
See the Proposal page.