Talk:Proposed features/Officially dedicated usage

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Please note: This proposal was changed to use access=official (previously exclusive) to express the intended statement more clearly. --Nop 13:49, 20 January 2009 (UTC)


Seems I shouldn't have written that much in one go auf Deutsch...; foot=designated was meant to mean that there is some traffic sign (either 120px-Zeichen 240.svg.png or 120px-Zeichen 239.svg.png). If there's no sign (say, a sidewalk or a built-to-look-like-a-footway through a park without any signs it'd be with foot=yes. I've added one sidewalk case to Tag:highway=path/Examples. If one uses path, one should explicitly tell what the restrictions are for at least bicycle=* and horse=*. With a footway or cycleway the other modes of transport are to be considered forbidden - although it's not agreed upon if a cycleway forbids pedestrians by default. So a 'designated' is 'signed legal usage' but it doesn't tell that other modes are 'no' - so it's not exclusive by itself. Alv 07:54, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

This interpretation seems to be very close to A (strict), except I understand that the tag by itself does not directly express an exclusive use, but rather the tag epxresses that there is a sign and the sign (in Germany) means exclusive use. In the discussions I have met many people arguing the point that designated does not tell anything about an official traffic sign. I would like to put the mainstream contradicting opinions next to each other so we can find an agreeable solution. --Nop 12:30, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

bla=exclusive == access=no bla=yes?

See title, is saying that bicycle=exclusive not the same as access=no and bicycle=yes? --Eimai 11:17, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Not really. In the strictest sense of logic it would mean the same as far as access rights are concerned, but checking the traffic sign mapping page I find this combination already used with a differnent meaning:
120px-Zeichen 250.svg.png Strictly speaking, this is wrong as the sign actually means

(Comment: no, the sign says nothing about pedestrians, so a foot=yes can't be derived from that sign -- Schusch 14:16, 20 January 2009 (UTC))

120px-Zeichen 239.svg.png But what I am trying to express with foot=exclusive ist this presence of this sign, which also implies that the use is compulsory, while with a foot=yes you are free to use a parallel way or the street.

The goal of the new tag is solving an existing dispute. If we use the combination above, this would make things harder to understand than an unambigous new tag. We would also question and redefine an established, currently accepted use. I guess this would cause more dispute rather than less. --Nop 12:39, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Dispute is solved by better guides, not more values. Use being compulsory makes a difference only when there's several almost parallel ways, which all are good alternatives on the otherwise best route to destination - a difference that can be taken into account by having designated imply a small advantage over any way with a 'yes' in routing cost calculation (when other attributes, such as surface, are similar). If the way with a 'yes' is significantly shorter than the one with a 'designated', they can not be parallel and the one with 'designated' is no longer mandatory. Alv 00:31, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
The dispute I mean is about the meaning and use of "designated" with strong support for contradictive interpretations. This dispute can be solved be assigning a non-ambigous value to each of the two intended meanings instead of argueing which interpretation is "right" and who gets to use "designated". At them moment people are trying to express two different things and we are one value short to adequately express both. Once we have enough values to describe all levels we need better guides, of course. Whatever interpretation you write into the guides now, the other schools will perceive it as wrong. --Nop 08:14, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Sometimes I think we need to completely rethink the access tags. It's all becoming such a mess now :-)
The second sign would imply both foot=mandatory and foot=exclusive (and the comment from Tordanik about the mandatory tag has been removed again but you don't want to add foot=no on the main road, since that's also skewing the reality, as it's still allowed to walk on the road in some cases).
So I'm getting more and more convinced that we need a method to tag the traffic signs (and that includes road marks) instead of our interpretations of them into the current access tags, as it's giving more and more ambiguities, is already often interpreted wrongly (be it by not knowing all the traffic rules, or not bothering about it), and the rules of some tags implying other tags silently are already getting difficult. --Eimai 13:01, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, someone has to do the interpretation of the traffic signs. While I agree that this someone being the mappers causes some problems, we could, e.g., put traffic-sign dialogs into the editors, so you just click on one. This would probably be less effort than requiring every user of our data to deal with the meaning of traffic signs from all over the world.
Imo, the second sign would be sufficiently expressed with access=no + foot=mandatory (requiring a "mandatory" tag, of course). The first sign would probably be vehicle=no. Access always applies to all means of traffic. If some page suggests anything else, that might simply mean that the page is wrong... --Tordanik 14:41, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps you can tag this correctly with access=no + foot=mandatory, but say this is such a blue round sign with a bicycle. Now then there are coming mopeds into play in Belgium, and special rules for pedestrians in some cases. And these moped access rules aren't trivial either: without additional signs it for example depends on the maximum speed of the road the cycleway is on. So, do we choose here to have such a sign tagged as access=no + bicycle=mandatory that imply all those rules by definition, or do we want a complete new access concept to make all this unambiguous? I'm starting to like the latter more and more these days. In the former case each mapper has his own set of implied rules and it's often just not clear anymore whether in a situation other rules were implied or not. --Eimai 15:21, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, what would you expect to happen when we decide to radically switch to sign-based tagging? Will someone who has no access to a worldwide database of traffic signs still be able to write meaningful applications (e.g. for routing)? Will we (the OSM project) offer such a database to allow interpretation of our maps? (Which would basically require to work out a way to describe access rules anyway, we just wouldn't put it into our maps directly but offer a "translation service".) Or is this just a way of saying "the topic is rather complicated, let's someone else deal with it so we don't have to think about it"? --Tordanik 15:34, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
It's basically no question that we need a osm-library some day anyway to be able to interpret the (access) tags, which will act as a basis for applications using OSM. Right now each application has to write its own ruleset making things difficult for them and inconsistent across applications (I'm sure that nowadays some routers would route pedestrians over trunk roads while others wouldn't, where currently the rules actually depend on the country that road is in).
So we have to write the interpreter anyway. And we can now ask ourselves what would be the best way to feed that interpreter. And to get a correct interpretation we need a 1-1 mapping from real world situation (traffic signs, road markings...) to tags.
But which tags? I agree that traffic_sign=F7;sub_sign_type_IV_buses;sub_sign_type_VIII_Sunday is almost not workable (though it'll give the best 1-1 mapping, and there's for example the OpenStreetPhoto project).
What about more human readable tags, which is more or less what we're doing now. It has the obvious caveats. First we need to get a clear view out that the tags do not represent their litteral meaning: access=destination doesn't include pedestrians, cyclists or horse drivers in Belgium for example, even though the tag doesn't seem to say so (and getting that view out may be hard). Secondly, we need to have a clear translation table from traffic signs or road situations to tags, and thirdly it can't be allowed that different traffic signs map to the same tags (since the traffic rules may be slightly different in each case). And that of course added to the library that translates the access tags in each country or state to access rules.
So, it's possible, and it's probably what we're heading towards, but these three points are tough conditions and if not done well result in a big mess if we're not doing it right. It has also the added difficulty that we have no way to automagically translate current access tags to the new strictly defined set with the same keys and values.
But I have the impression I'm getting quite off topic from the access=exclusive proposal :-) --Eimai 16:32, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
I would say the access-Tags are already a big mess. Nobody really knows what a certain tag means. Why does access=private apply to everyone, but access=destination doesn't (to pedestrians and sometimes bicycles)? Does motorcar=no, access=destination mean 'no cars, unless they are destination traffic' or 'no traffic at all, unless it is destination traffic, but never 'motorcars'? Does access=no, foot=yes allow horses (since it's often used for a traffic sign that allows them)? Does motorcar=* include hgv, goods, etc. as a traffic sign it's often used for does?
Tagging the traffic signs themselves would allow for completely unambiguous data (as long as there are traffic signs). The advantage would be having correct data to start with, interpreting it afterwards could be changed easily if needed. If you spot an error in the definition of a traffic sign, you wouldn't have to change the data, but only the tables mapping the signs to the access restrictions. Programs using the data would just have to update their data (what they probably do on a regular basis anyway).
Defining Tags like we use them now world-wide probably wouldn't work, since the laws are probably always slightly different. We could of course be satisfied with 'close to the reality', but it would still require a closer definition of the Tags. Tagging traffic signs might be easier.
Of course editor support would be needed, since noone would like to remember all of the traffic sign codes. But it would be easily possible. But maybe there are other disadvantages? Oh, and I dont think this is really off-topic. The discussion about designated clearly shows that it is very hard to get even a few people from one country to agree on a common definition, let alone from the whole world. --Driver2 00:53, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

I think, we have mainly two problems with the access tags at the moment. 1. The meaning of access=* is not clearly defined. (all traffic, all vehicles, all motorised vehicles?) 2. The meaning of *=designated is not clearly defined.

We should focus on these problems and not change the whole access scheme, since it is already spread too much. (And tagging the traffic signs would solve the problems, since we also have to tag trafic rules, which are defined implicitly by the law.)

I like the approach of exchanging or complementing the problematic tags with something more clear, but i do not think, that "exclusive" is really the solution for problem 2. In my understanding A=exclusive would mean the same as A=designated and *=no for everything else. So such a tag would not generate any additional meaning to the already existing tags. "mandatory" or "compulsory" would be a much better tag vor the intended purpose. --De muur 08:22, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

As I stated: The term does not have to be exlusive if we find a better term. The true meaning is still "explicitly dedicated to one form of travel by law". I have added your suggestions to the table below. --Nop 09:25, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, one important thing is wrong here: Zeichen 250 in germany doesn't say foot=yes--it says nothing about pedestrians, it only says there is no access for motorvehicles! See also DE_talk:Road_Signs#Fußgänger_und_Zeichen_250 for a discussion. -- Schusch 14:10, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

multiple exlusives defy logic

I've discussed this on the Talkpage quite a bit and am pleased that someone has picked up the challenge. However, I am not very happy about using multiple =exclusive values as this rather offends logic! For me, with English as first language (apologies!) exclusive means x and nothing but x - so foot=exclusive should not really be used together with - for example - bicycle=exclusive. Perhaps more importantly, there is an underlying debate - often not expressed explicitly - between what we see on a sign during a survey and what we know to be the legal status of a way (in my case from a public domain database for my English county). I have been using =yes for legal rights of way for a particular type of user - but acknowledge that this is ambiguous as =yes is also being used to describe what is physically possible, or what is not forbidden, or as an interpretation of signage (and I would personally disagree with some of the interpretations of signs in this discussion - but that may simply be because of national differences zwischen Deutschland und the UK! (:>) I have avoided using =designated simply because - as many others have said - the meaning is highly ambiguous in terms of OSM usage.

An important factor - at least in the UK - is that the normal hierarchy (with exceptions of course) for the legality of use of a public right of way is that a higher right implies all lower rights - thus a public bridleway has rights for horse riders and walkers (always) and for bicycles (unless specially excluded) but not for motorised vehicles.
Would a simple alternative proposal be to retain the =yes/no tag to describe what is practical on the ground and to introduce a new value =legal/illegal to describe the legal rights? Signage would then fit either into the first category =yes/no(using common sense if the mapper doesn't know the intricacies of the law) or into the second category =legal/illegal(where the mapper has the legal knowledge). This easily covers multiple user types with multiple tags for foot=, bicycle=, etc. It is broadly consistent with mainstream usage as it has evolved in OSM and should be backwards-compatible (=legal tags can be added to existing ways with e.g. =yes tags. It even covers the situation - still quite common in the UK - where a footpath is a public right of way but cannot in practice be walked for one reason or another - sometimes with an unofficial but well-used alternative route. The first path could be tagged foot=no and foot=legal, whereas the second path could be tagged only foot=yes - or perhaps foot=permissive if permission is granted without implying legal rights.
A related debate, in which I have participated, concerns the highway=cycleway tag. In my personal opinion this should only be used for ways that are for cyclists exclusively (the main map features wiki page says 'mainly or exclusively' but that introduces opinion!) - these will usually (but not always) also need to be tagged cycleway=lane - cycleway=track would be rare as almost all cycleways away from motor roads are multi-use (at least in the UK) for walkers and cyclists (and sometimes also for horses). Others take the view that highway=cycleway is appropriate for named or reference-numbered cycleways (e.g. national cycleway 5, regional cycleway 75, the Mercian Way, etc.) - but this is misleading for users other than cyclists as these 'cycleways' are rarely, if ever, 'exclusively' (or even 'mainly') for cyclists - they may run along quiet motor roads, public bridleways, canal towpaths, permissive tracks, etc. My own quite strong preference is to avoid highway=cycleway for these (preferring highway=unclassified, highway=residential, highway=footway, highway=track etc.) and to use instead a relation, i.e. type=route, route=bicycle, network=rcn, ref=75, name= etc. - all of which seems consistent with current wiki recommendations. This is also consistent with the tagging of medium- and long-distance footpaths, i.e. type=route, route=foot, name=, ref= etc. This approach also allows for the situation where a piece of a route is both part of a long-distance cycleway and part of a long-distance bridleway and part of a long-distance footpath - a quite common situation.

In summary, I am making two modifications to the 'exclusive' proposal:

  1. Use a new value legal/illegal for the keys foot, bicycle, horse etc. - rather than the proposed exclusive.
  2. Limit the use of highway=cycleway to cases where the way is exclusively for bicycles (implies foot=no, etc.) and use a relation type=route, route=bicycle for cases where a way is also available for other kinds of user.

Mikh43 16:10, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

I was aware that two exclusives sound rather stupid, but I could not find another term that is as strong and unambigous. I do not think the proposed "legal" is the proper replacement - my first intuition is that access=legal means the same as access=yes. Using the way is legal, but it may be legal for others, too. Can you as a native speaker maybe think for a strong and really unambigous and intuitive term? I have started another section above to find an alternative.
Please speperate the discussion about footway and cycleway and what they mean from the proposal to augment "designated" with another, stronger value. The footway/cycleway discussion is just as difficult and mixing both will decrease the chances of succes for a clear solution for either initiative. --Nop 21:30, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
The use of two 'exclusive' doesn't defy logic if you see for example bicycle=exclusive, foot=exclusive as 'exclusive for pedestrians and cyclists'. Or why would an 'exclusive' way have to be exlusive only for one of the currently defined access-groups, but no a combination of them? The only reason it sounds stupid is that you have to have two 'exlusives' at once. But if you could do footandbicycle=exlusive it would mean the same thing but would only have one 'exclusive' (of course I don't propose to use this tag). --Driver2 01:03, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

practical experience

I haved tried the access=offical flag in practice, both mapping and in the rendering rules for the hiking map, and I believe it would work well. If you need exact information about the regulation, you distinguish between official and designated and if not you just treat them the same.

In the last weeks, routable maps have made considerable progress. I would expect that the folks trying bicycle routing should start running into the same problems with the liberal use of designated that I had with manual route finding. Are there any experiences how the problem is manifesting and any alternate ideas on how to get reliable information for cyclists and pedestrians? --Nop 11:15, 3 April 2009 (UTC)


Maybe the Proposal page could be translated into German and maybe other languages as well (if someone volunteers). You could then link to it from relevant pages (like DE:Road signs in Germany, de:Key:access, ..) to make mappers aware of the situtation. --Driver2 16:35, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Why? Isn't it better to keep discussion on one page and not let the discussion take off into all kinds of direction on each translation without the input from there ever making it back to the English page, or without updates of the English page not trickle down to the translated pages? --Eimai 17:31, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Actually, there hasn't been much discussion here while the problem persists. So it might be a good idea to put it on a broader base especially as it is especially annoying in Germany. Just don't know how to properly build a multilingual page here. --Nop 17:44, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Just to clarify, I was talking about the Proposal page itself, not the discussion. Of course, if there is a German page, there could also be discussion there. You can just create DE:Proposed_features/Officially_dedicated_usage and add {{languages}} to the top of both pages. --Driver2 20:35, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Unneeded tag

I really don't understand the need for an "official" value for the access tag. What's the difference with "yes" then? "yes" has always been used to tag which vehicle types are legally allowed to enter a road (and by default that's everything that can drive on the road - except the special case of cycleway and footway). I think one of the main issues of the access tags right now is that people are tagging their interpretation of access rules instead of tagging what's there, being the traffic signs. highway=footway + bicycle=yes is for example such a horrid situation, for something which is most likely a path without any traffic signs at all, at which point highway=path is the only correct way of tagging. The same is true about a path with a Belgium-trafficsign-c3.svg sign tagged as highway=footway: it's not a footway, because that's signed as Belgium-trafficsign-d11.svg, but it's a path (highway=path) which blocks access to all vehicles (vehicle=no).

So, in short. Solving this with more access values isn't the right way to go on. The solution exists more in a method to translate traffic signs to tags. So a path signed with Belgium-trafficsign-d10.svg would be a highway=path with a tag like designation=footandcycleway (and that set of designation values will vary in each country according to their traffic rules). And it's that tag that will imply the access rules. --Eimai 17:58, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

This is just your interpretation. If everybody else would agree to this, you were right and we would not need it. But there are several contradicting interpretations, please read the main page for the overview of those positions. And I would immediately contradict you in your interpretation. There is only one correct way of tagging, but the blue sign should not be tagged as foot=yes, (allowed) but rather as foot=designated (officially dedicated). And as it is unlikely that the many different interpretations of the existing tags will agree, if we want to tag the signs properly we need a new one that is not disputed: That is official. I do not think adding a "designation" tag is a good idea, it opens up yet another dimension to the problem, then we have not two tags (highway and access) to be combined in contradicting ways but 3 of them. --Nop 19:04, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Nah, the addition of "designated" as an access value was a bad idea anyway (remember, there's no difference there, if it's allowed according to traffic rules, the road is designated for it). It's because of it you now try to fix it with other tags like "official", but actually it's not any better as it will just make it even more hard. The issue here is that the access tags should be a one to one translation of the signs on each road. So bicycle=no implies that there's a sign Belgium-trafficsign-c11.svg. And motorcar=no implies a sign like Belgium-trafficsign-c5.svg, and that implies access rules that also prohibit access to buses for example.
And a tag like designation is needed anyway. In fact, there's already a tag heading into the direction: motorroad=yes. And each country has their own set of special roads like that, all implying things like speed, parking and access rules. It makes no sense tagging those with a full set of all things it implies, as those traffic rules may well change in future. --Eimai 19:52, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Wrong. In Germany, there is a difference between "allowed" and "designated" and we need clearly defined tags to express this. Your designation is incompatible to current usage while straightening the access flags is much less intrusive. --Nop 20:00, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, the "designated" flag already tried to straighten things out and look how well it did. So don't mind my concerns that adding yet another flag "official" won't help anything, and we need to think about doing things differently. At the moment everyone has his own ideas and opinions and interpretations (like: do I need to tag a cycleway with foot=yes, even if law says that pedestrians can walk on cycleways in certain conditions? of course not, but many do. If the law about what's allowed on cycleways changes tomorrow, you'll have a problem). And all I want to see is unambiguously tagged ways, and in the end that's only possible by having some kind of translation table which translates traffic signs to tags. And the other way around: tags imply traffic signs. So therefore my opinion: let's go back to the drawing board instead of trying to keep extending what we have until no-one really knows anymore what was meant when someone tagged a road with certain tags (which is already the case way to often right now). --Eimai 11:52, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't know what the original itention of "designated" was, but the phrasing "mainly for .." certainly added to the different interpretions. "official" tries to avoid these ambiguities by clearly saying from the start, that there have to be certain traffic signs present (the blue signs in Germany). I agree that we need unambiguously tagged ways, but how do you want to achieve that? I already tried to straighten out the access-Tags based on German traffic signs. On DE:Road signs in Germany the tags are correlated to traffic signs. Of course it's not an 'official' list and only for Germany, but it's a start. There also have been a couple of new access keys and values ("vehicle", "motor_vehicle", ..) that were invented with certain traffic signs in mind. Of course it's rather difficult to reach so many mappers and explain them the access-Tagging properly. Especially with most tags having different meanings, only depending on the invidiual mapper's opinion. --Driver2 13:25, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, exactly, the problem is that everybody is doing it differently. Originally "designated" was cool. The mess started when someone put on map features that cycleway == bicyle=designated and cylceway == mainly for bicylces, not exactly for bicycles. The advantage of official is that it is not tied to any existing tag of fuzzy or disputed meaning. I want just the same: Unambiguously tagged usage rights. Is your designation scheme documented in a proposal somewhere? --Nop 19:27, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
The meaning of "cycleway" depends on the country. And sometimes and in some countries it's allowed for pedestrians to walk on what's defined as "cycleway". And then we also end up with things being tagged in OSM as cycleways, which aren't really cycleways as defined by traffic rules, like roads that don't allow any vehicles with Belgium-trafficsign-c3.svg and a sign "except bicycles" below that. Or actually worse: Belgium-trafficsign-d10.svg tagged as being a cycleway, probably with some "foot=yes/designated/whatever" tag added, while it's neither a footway nor a cycleway (because the latter two kinds of roads/paths imply rules that don't apply on a path signed with Belgium-trafficsign-d10.svg.
Maybe the source of the problem is that "cycleway" has different interpretations in each country, but this is not properly documented. If you read map features, is sounds absolute. So some use it in a national context, and some will carry over the UK interpretation to German mapping which simply does not work. --Nop 06:39, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Anyway, "official" has exactly the same interpretation problem: every vehicle is officially allowed on a road or path if there's no sign saying otherwise. I suppose what you really want to grasp with this proposal is the concept that there really is a sign saying that the vehicle type is explicitly allowed. And if I've read the proposals from the designation access tag correctly, that was what "designated" originally meant to be, but failed for the same interpretation problems that "official" is facing as well. I don't know a better wording, but then again, I'm not going to look since I'm convinced it has to be solved anyway and "designation" needs to go away as quickly as possible as access tag :) --Eimai 19:54, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
No it does not. Official does not mean allowed for, it means legally dedicated to. The interpretation of who is allowed, required and prohibited depends on local law. And again: designated failed because it was considered equal to footway/cycleway which is not true.
"Offical" tries to fix both these problems by providing a clear and independent definition. Please re-read the proposal, if this is not clearly stated, please tell me where it is ambiguous so I can improve it. And again: You obviously have a different concept in mind for reaching the same ends. Is there a comprehensive text somewhere describing your alternative? --Nop 06:39, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Maybe we should use Proposed features/Traffic sign after all. These would at least without a question represent traffic signs. ;) --Driver2 22:23, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't think this is the way to go. Traffic signs are a much more general topic. What we are trying to do is clarify the tagging for a subset of maybe 4-6 traffic signs ans their possible combinations. If you open the topic "traffic signs" you'd probably have dozens of signs to generalize and an even more endless discussion. --Nop 06:39, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Did you read the page? The tagging is clear (at least in Germany), just the usage of the tags would have to be discussed. But it was more of a joke anyway. --Driver2 11:39, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Designation key

I've opened up an RFC for Designation. This is intended to resolve a problem we have in England & Wales (ways that are legally one thing, but in practice have become something else). This deals with the situation where usage and rights are poorly defined.

It might also help in the well-defined situation, to clarify that the status of the way is indeed well-defined (and maybe thus has some special traffic rules).--RichardMann 12:56, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Yes, this might be an alternate solution to the chaos with access tags. Let's add some values for Germany and see what comes out of it. --Nop 15:14, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

official is not enough

access=official means access=yes + access:official=yes but how to tag access=no + access:official=yes? I propose to use access=<yes/no>:official! With this syntax all other access-keys are still valid but we add some extra-information to the tag. On a footway-sign with a "bicycle free" sign below, the way would be tagged as:
The alternative would be to tag:
But this could water down over time... --Phobie 12:10, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

What is access:official=yes? Your example is simply foot=official + bicycle=yes. The purpose of official is zu signify that there really is an official designation and that it is not just a watered-down designated that may or may not indicate a real designation. --Nop 19:53, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
access:official=yes could mean all access-tags are officially signposted. My example is traffic_sign=DE:239;DE:1022-10. Both signs are official and mean foot=designated + bicycle=yes. To mark both as being officially signposted I would tag them as foot=designated:official + bicycle=yes:official. It is not enough to replace designated with official becaus other access-tags are also watered down. --Phobie 23:07, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

other means of transport

Why should the use of this tag be restricted to foot, bicycle and horse? I would define it more generally, as there might occur in other parts of the world, other means of transport on ways. -- Dieterdreist 13:23, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Germany specific part of the proposal


I know this is an old proposal, however due to recent "discussions" about a cycle way tagging wiki page, I would like to bring up an inconsistency that this proposal has. It is about the part where it says:

"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 mandatory ((In this description, the term "mandatory" is used in a totally different meaning than in the proposal of Key:mandatory, where it is used as a synonym of "reserved".)), travelers must not use a parallel way if an official way is marked. The tag must only be used where there is an official traffic sign or an unambiguous law. 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"."

Right know the tag is used in Germany, when a cycle way has one of the cycle way sign DE:237, DE:240, DE:241 OR when the cycle way is compulsory. However the second part of the quotation says that all (official) cycle ways should be tagged with “official”. This would also include cycle ways without the specific traffic signs hence also none compulsory cycle ways.

Because of that, I would propose to strike the “In some countries like Germany such a usage right is also mandatory ((In this description, the term "mandatory" is used in a totally different meaning than in the proposal of Key:mandatory, where it is used as a synonym of "reserved".)), travelers must not use a parallel way if an official way is marked.”

This would move the proposal closer to the orginial "exclusive" tag.--Hubert87 (talk) 12:56, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Bad wording, Conflicting traffic, Base lost

The word official doesn't mean forced as intended. If really needed the word mandatory seems better.

There in conflict with OFFICIAL USE ONLY. This is a common traffic sign in the U.S., see

After the Germany based proposal from 2009 an important judgement was made by the highest German administrative court in 2010: (The rule is now: Only under very seldom circumstances traffic authorities can ban cyclists from using the common road. In common they are free to use the road (The Dutch did win the cyclists vs. cars traffic war in Germany)). So the base for this proposal is lost.

I'm going to invite the author to withdraw this proposal. Hb_ (talk) 10:40, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

You can use <accessmode>=<value> + source:<accessmode>=official instead of xyz=official tags

It was stated in #official is not enough already "official" value is not enough. Xxzme (talk) 10:52, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Current usage trends

Official value 2017-04-17.png

Updated.--Jojo4u (talk) 14:20, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

Setting as abandoned/deprecated

I want to set the proposal to abandoned and the feature page to deprecated (using Template:Deprecated_feature). I have documented the case in the german forum atm.

Key points are:

  • compared to designated, official is used much less (foot 3.3%, bicycle 2.0%, horse 4.1%, psv 15,1%)
  • The usage apart from foot=official is not increasing (see above)
  • Regarding the main pages, Wiki currently uses it only on Tag:access=designated, Key:bicycle_road
  • designated is now defined as official was meant to be regarding "dedicated usage"
  • designated is not defined as official regarding access - designated still allows other traffic
  • uses blue signs for official and grey for designated
  • iD does not use official
  • JOSM does use it in the Road Signs plugin and some presets as drop-down

--Jojo4u (talk) 14:03, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

Link to discussion on tagging mailing list.--Jojo4u (talk) 15:15, 7 October 2016 (UTC)

Conclusion: There was some opposition based on the following points:

  • foot=official is still rising slowly (seems to have plateaued in 2017)
  • other official values are not declining
  • official is still cleaner defined as designated
  • designated is often implemented poorly in practice
  • official is still used by mappers regardless of poor editor support

My conclusion: Better documentation for designated, further monitoring of official, see whether count of mappers using official can be sourced. --Jojo4u (talk) 14:29, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

Incompatibility to existing values; use new key

While the proposal states:
A central idea of this proposal is to be compatible to existing use as much as possible,
It is actually the opposite.
Because it replaces the existing value =designated, all data users need to recognize the new value. Many don't, (e.g. the bicycle layer) and the result is the way is not recognized as bicycle (allowed/designated) way any more at all.

Instead of a new value that overrides the existing one, a new key should be used. This would be 100% compatible with all existing data users while still providing the information for those that need it.
E.g. bicycle:designation=official
Alternative: designation:bicycle=official
This would also solve the potential incompatibility with other existing official access values.