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I have been considering how to tag roads where pedestrians share the main carriageway with vehicles on a reasonably convivial way. The tagging 'sidewalk=no' would tend to imply that one would be taking ones life into ones hands to walk along it. For many short service roads with virtually no traffic then pedestrians will be expected and encouraged to walk in the carriageway (or to one side of the carriageway). Indeed for many service roads their may only be one service vehicle a hour. I am proposing 'sidewalk=shared' for this purpose. PeterIto 11:20, 4 July 2011 (BST)

The road you are describing seems similar to a highway=living_street as we know it in France. Is it the same thing or not, and what are the differences? It is not clear in the page that there is never any sidewalk in living streets, and I wonder. Damouns 14:19, 17 August 2011 (BST)
I have an example which really isn't a living street - a service road that runs through a park. It has such low traffic that most of the time it is used as a footpath. It doesn't have sidewalks, but should be considered fine for pedestrians and cyclists to use. I'll use sidewalk=shared for now. TomChance 16:52, 5 October 2012 (BST)
+1. I can also think of places where I would use this tag locally. Living Street is a legal status, and is therefore not suitable for situations where the sharing is more informal such as along some very low-traffic service roads of the type you describe. For now I had been leaving these roads un-tagged with sidewalk but will now go back and add 'shared'. I will render them on ITO Map in a similar but different way to living street. PeterIto 21:05, 5 October 2012 (BST)


PeterIto. You placed the same link to Sidewalks in the fist two sentences. That's a bad style in a wiki. Wikipedia recommends to use only one link to the same webpage. I suggest to change the first link to wikipedia:sidewalk. Here someone can find the definition of a sidewalk. --Rudolf 14:03, 7 August 2012 (BST)

The lead has a link to the Sidewalks article on this wiki and the 'see also' link in the main mapping section goes to the same place (to make it obvious that it is the place to go to for more details). The Sidewalks article then has a link to the Wikipedia definition for anyone who really needs to know what a sidewalk (and carriageway, verge etc) is. Personally I think it would be confusing to have exactly the same text in this article linking to different resources. I also think that almost everyone will find the OSM Sidewalk article more useful than the Wikipedia one. PeterIto 23:25, 7 August 2012 (BST)
I don't agree. You use two different textes (sidewalk and Sidewalks) which links to the same resource. That's confusing and bad wikipedia style. My suggestion was to use wikipedia:sidewalk according to the openstreetmap wiki guidelines. This makes clear which resource is linked. What's the problem, to offer the reader any information, without detour? Not everyone reads the feature page Sidewalks first. You also included a different mapping style, which is content of the feature page. If you expect everyone to read the feature page first, you can abstain from this hint. --Rudolf 07:12, 8 August 2012 (BST)
This is not Wikipedia. This wiki has a rather different purpose, so it is not very helpful to follow Wikipedia style rules. --Vclaw 14:05, 21 August 2012 (BST)

none vs. no

This wiki page explicitly discourages the use of sidewalk=no ("Don't use no."), and as a result, none is used much more often than no. However, that's only true for sidewalk=* - other keys like oneway=* use "no" as a value, and we even have an accepted proposal to prefer "yes" and "no" over their synonyms as a rule for all tags. In my opinion, it's simply not helpful when some keys use the value "no" while others use "none" - you would never be quite sure which one is the right one. I therefore suggest that we switch to "no" as the preferred variant. --Tordanik 14:43, 4 October 2012 (BST)

Makes sense to me. PeterIto 19:14, 4 October 2012 (BST)
Agreed. Is there any reason why "none" was suggested? I looked at the original proposal, and the discussion pages for a couple of other features where "none" has started to be used, but couldn't find a rationale. TomChance 13:55, 12 October 2012 (BST)
I couldn't find any relevant discussion either, even though the value appears in a few other places such as the rejected maxspeed=none proposal. Anyway, as there are no objections, I'm going to change the wiki page. --Tordanik 22:29, 13 October 2012 (BST)
The mentioned proposal is about boolean values. This doesn't apply here since sidewalk is defined for "both/left/right/none". This is something but boolean. From a semantic perspective one could read the tag sidewalk=no as "this way is no sidewalk" though sidewalk=none then means "there is no sidewalk existing". The latter is making more sense for me. --HeikoE (talk) 21:10, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
I don't think those semantical differences exist, sidewalk=no simply means "this way has no sidewalk". As for the proposal, it contained examples of tags which had other values besides "yes" and "no". So despite the word "boolean", it was pretty clearly not limited to strictly boolean value sets. --Tordanik 14:15, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
None is short for not one and means not any. That is very different from no, which is a negative answer to a question. OSM values should be as distinctive as possible. This makes it easier for non-native English speakers. The proposal was bad, because it used non-boolean tags as examples for a boolean question. If not questioned, i'll revert this edit soon. --Hb 18:03, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
I've reverted it, as none is the value used in the original proposal and there hasn't been a proper proposal regarding the change to no. --SelfishSeahorse (talk) 19:05, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
I added it back. Maybe it is not recommended but its wide use must be documented (I have no idea whatever none or no is better and whatever there is consensus about this topic) Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 15:47, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
OK, it makes sense that 'no' is documented as well. I've just changed your comment to make it clear that no hasn't been approved unlike the rest of the page. (no is only used widely because the recommendation to use none has been added to this page.) --SelfishSeahorse (talk) 17:28, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
I tweaked language a bit Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 17:55, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
I disagree with the changes made over the last days. The reason SelfishSeahorse gave for the revert was that only "none" was part of the 2011 proposal. However, that proposal was never voted on, so I don't see how it could be considered authoritative. The "boolean values" proposal, on the other hand, was voted on, and establishes "no" as the preferred negative value for keys like this. --Tordanik 18:16, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
Hi Tordanik. I'm sorry, I didn't see that the proposal was never voted on, I just read 'Status: approved' on the wiki page. Still, I think the boolean value proposal doesn't apply here, because a boolean variable can only be true (yes) or false (no), but the sidewalk key is used to indicate if there is a sidewalk on the left side of the road, on the right side, on both sides or if there isn't any (= none) sidewalk. Besides, the value yes isn't of much use and is only used in 0.20% of cases (and the only real occurrences of sidewalk=yes I came across were separately mapped sidewalks that weren't correctly tagged with footway=sidewalk). --SelfishSeahorse (talk) 19:19, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
PS: But why does the wiki page say 'Proposed_features/Sidewalk - approved proposal for this key'?
Because was made. I fixed it (no/none are now described as synonymous) Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 19:42, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
"The "boolean values" proposal, on the other hand, was voted on, and establishes "no" as the preferred negative value for keys like this." - I would not protest basing description of no/none on that Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 19:43, 6 November 2017 (UTC)


What is the convention for tagging either left or right? Should this be included in the article? What I mean is: left or right is relative to the observer, there are roads which are marked left or right (in the Netherlands carriageways of dual-carriageways are marked so emergency services know which carriageway they need to go to) but often roads are not marked left or right. Is there a rule where the direction on the map is taken into account (ie. right-left is first east-west, then north-south if the road has no east-west direction)? Do we follow the numbering of houses in a residential street? What do we use in the absence of any road numbering? PinkShinyRose 16:55, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Oh, I found it: the drawing direction should be used. Now I'm wondering whether that should be added to this article or should be obvious. PinkShinyRose 17:12, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
How about linking the words "left side" and "right side" to Forward & backward, left & right - would that help? --Tordanik 17:19, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
Done that --Hb 18:59, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

Bicycle on sidewalk

At least in Germany we have some sidewalks that may be optionally used by bicycles instead of the street. If I would tag bicycle=yes then this would apply to the highway=* that sidewalk=* is related to. Maybe something like sidewalk:bicycle=yes? --Jot (talk) 10:23, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Yes, use sidewalk:bicycle=yes.--Jojo4u (talk) 00:09, 7 August 2016 (UTC)


redundant info? two artickle decribes same Pedestrian ... ich meine damit, zwei Artikel beschreiben das gleiche... ? --cptechnik - DE:NRW:Windeck (talk) 10:34, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

Perhaps you mean merging with Sidewalks instead ? --Jgpacker (talk) 11:13, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

Sidewalk along railway=rail?

I do not have example right now, but it seems possible pedestrians to walk near railway. Should we have to draw separate ways tagged `highway=footway` alongside, or `sidewalk=*` is OK? Wiki says that main way should be `highway`, not `railway`.Plamen (talk) 06:28, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

If a highway line has a footway besides it draw a separate way. The definition of the sidewalk=* tag allows it only for carriageways (roads).--Jojo4u (talk) 00:08, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
I'd draw a separate way too, but a couple of people have used the sidewalk tag with railways --SomeoneElse (talk) 11:28, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
11 ways as of now - I added a short sentence about using a separate way.--Jojo4u (talk) 15:38, 7 August 2016 (UTC)


This addition looks more than a bit iffy. I've commented at: --SomeoneElse (talk) 14:11, 22 January 2018 (UTC)