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Delete this page.

I suggest to delete this page. All information is included in sidewalk=*. There is no need for double pages. --Rudolf 13:06, 20 July 2012 (BST)

suggest to merge these pages on sidewalk=* ==dr&mx 20:51, 25 July 2012 (BST)
Already done. --Rudolf 11:16, 26 July 2012 (BST)
I'll cleanup RU:* pages --dr&mx 19:11, 26 July 2012 (BST)
Thanks. --Rudolf 21:50, 26 July 2012 (BST)
Resolved: situation changed, this page discusses two different tagging schemes Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 11:39, 18 January 2021 (UTC)

Undo deletion

I've undone your deletion of the Sidewalk page. Some other contributors tried in the past to separate the concept description (e.g. "how to map" and the key pages. See e.g. Highways which is different from Key:highway or Barriers and Key:barrier. So please do not delete that job done on several places or merge the concept and tag pages everywhere. --Pieren 11:40, 6 August 2012 (BST)

I found your concept at several main keys, especially for the keys in Map features, but I didn't find this concept for subkeys such as track_type=, shelter_type=, shower=, mattress=, reservation= and many others. sidewalk=* is a subkey for highway=*. I don't see any sense to use two different pages for subkeys, while one page includes all the information.
BTW, why don't you declare your doing in the history? Why don't you contribute on the talk-page? I will move this discussion to Talk:Sidewalk.
I still recommend to delete this page. --Rudolf 13:21, 6 August 2012 (BST)
It's not 'my concept' or something I did myself. It has been done by others. I don't know if the idea is good or not, I'm just saying this split into 2 pages, one for concept/one for tag, exists in other places in the wiki )(I pointed some examples above). But as you said, it is not done everywhere. What I don't like is that the work is not completed - at least - for the main keys. But it started. And now, you come and propose to delete one of them. Either you merge/delete all of them or we continue with this concept. I don't care myself but it shall be consistent. --Pieren 15:27, 6 August 2012 (BST)
The concept is okay for main keys, as said above. IMHO sidewalk=* is no main key, but a subkey to highway. You haven't pointed examples for subkeys. I also don't find any examples for subkeys. So, what is the problem to delete a unnecessary page of a subkey, when there is no common concept for subkeys? --Rudolf 16:19, 6 August 2012 (BST)
I have just added a features infobox to the page. Features pages are generally used to describe features that are complex enough to require an overview, and it is my view that sidewalks are indeed complex enough to benefit from a features page and it was a oversight on my part not to have added an infobox already. Personally I would recommend trimming the sidewalk key page back a bit and then ensuring that this page covers the whole subject well. As people get into more and more detailed mapping I suspect that this subject will become more used. To be clear, features pages are not matched one-to-one with keys, they are often used to cover cross-cutting themes that go across multiple keys. Junctions, Health and Historic are all good examples. I would however suggest that we move this page to 'Sidewalks' for consistency with most otehr feature pages which use the plural. PeterIto 16:30, 6 August 2012 (BST)

I have now done a bunch of work on this article and on sidewalk=*. I hope that it now makes more sense to keep the two articles. Personally I think this article would now benefit from some more details on how to tag the more detailed approach. For example, how is one meant to use the kerb tag? There is precious little detail about it on this article or on its own page. PeterIto 22:29, 6 August 2012 (BST)

Good work. What do you think about the double chapters How to map and Presentation? I recommend to avoid duplications. --Rudolf 07:35, 7 August 2012 (BST)
Thanks. Personally I think it makes sense to keep the discussion about tagging separate from a discussion of the services available to view the date when there are many such services, however I agree that they could be merged in this case where there are less. If however four separate services to show the data emerge then a separate section probably makes sense. I am going to be away from the internet for a while now, so feel free to make changes as you see fit. PeterIto

Resolved: situation changed, this page discusses two different tagging schemes Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 11:39, 18 January 2021 (UTC)

Separated from the road by some form of barrier?

I suggest to use sidewalk=* only for sidewalks seperated from the carriageway by a curb or gutter. If there is a wider barrier in form of a road verge (lawn, bushes ...) I suggest to tag the sidewalk seperatly as highway=footway with footway=sidewalk. --Rudolf 06:15, 9 August 2012 (BST)

If the barrier is not easily passable or if the gap is irregularly shaped or unusually wide, then there are good arguments for mapping the sidewalk as separate way (even though the problem of connecting it with the road is still not reliably solved). But a bit of grass hardly makes any difference for a pedestrian's ability to cross the highway, or any other aspect of using the sidewalk, so I would not necessarily consider this a reason to change to a different mapping style. --Tordanik 09:04, 9 August 2012 (BST)
My suggestion has the intention to find a proper rule for the mapping of sidewalks. What is your suggestion for a explicit mapping howto? --Rudolf 08:42, 17 August 2012 (BST)
My personal opinion at the moment is that any sidewalk which runs mostly parallel to the highway itself and is considered a part of it (e.g. for naming) is probably best mapped as a tag on the way - using either Key:sidewalk or maybe something more advanced along the line of Lanes in the future.
However, it may be best to wait until renderers and routers actually support sidewalks intelligently (at least on an experimental level), then look at what works for them and what doesn't, and use that knowledge to define mapping rules. The main objection to sidewalks-as-a-way is that it may just not be realistically possible for applications to establish the semantic connection with the main highway. If that assumption is accurate, it would not be a good idea to standardize on your suggested rule. After all, data that is not usable by applications is just not useful, even if it conforms to a rule in the wiki. --Tordanik 19:47, 17 August 2012 (BST)

Suggestion:Change orientation from left/right to North/South/East/West. Suggestion negated.

I don't like the left/right/both/none concept.

Reasoning: While editing it is sometimes necessary to

- reverse direction (e.g. to combine roads with the same attributes)

- change or create oneway streets


With North/South/East/West/both/none I think we would be better off as it is always right. Does anyone agree/disagree? Please state your case!

Editors such as JOSM already handle direction-dependent tags quite well when reversing or combining ways, so I don't really see the problem. With North/South/East/West, even something as simple as moving a node could flip the sidewalks, a source of errors which no editor is currently aware of. The N/S/E/W solution also has the disadvantage of being potentially ambiguous, especially after combining roads, and would force additional splits for winding roads. --Tordanik 18:57, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for your knowledge. I'll drop the suggestion. Can it be deleted?
No need. On talk pages that get too long, we sometimes introduce "archives" and move old questions there. But this page's length is still quite acceptable I think. --Tordanik 20:00, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
Resolved: Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 11:39, 18 January 2021 (UTC)

Sidewalks in roads with cycleways

In roads without cycleways, it is well established to mention sidewalk=both or sidewalk=left or sidewalk=right with the description of the carriageway.

If there are one or two cycleways in the street, recorded as separate lines, up to now everybody has mentioned the sidewalks as integral parts of these cycleways by the tags highway=cycleway + segregation=yes. Some people even tag highway=path + bicycle=designated, till lately hiding the cycleways from some renderers this way.

I consider it much more logical, and also have started to tag this way, to call sidewalks also sidewalks, if they are situated beside cycletracks.

For the classical street design "sidewalk – cycletrack – parking – carriageway – parking – cycletrack – sidewalk", this can be:

(for cycleways, the renderers detect oneway=yes better than oneway:bicycle=yes)

If there is a unilateral bidirectional cyleway, the nominal direction of both, carriageway and cycleway, should be that they have the other part of the road on their left side. If the division of space is "sidewalk – carriageway – cycletrack – sidewalk", the tagging would be:

(If both lines have the same formal direction instead, one of both lines has sidewalk=left.)

This way of tagging is almost necessary, if the widths are recorded:

For offroad ways that clearly consist of a cycleway and a footway, highway=path for a long time was almostwrong and still makes it more complicated than necessary. And "sidewalk" is not a good style, especially if the footway is wider than the cycleway. Then I'd prefer highway=cycleway + footway=left OR right. As most offroad cycleways are allowed for pedestrians, too, but many paths forbidden or technically inappropriate for cycling, well cyclable ways should be presented as cycleways by the renderers.--Ulamm (talk) 14:35, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Recently, MAPNIK renderers have begun to understand highway=path + access-tags, but that tagging is more complicated and doesn't show the relative positions of foot- and cycleways drawn as one common line.--Ulamm (talk) 22:14, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

@Ulamm: - are you proposing some specific edit to this page? Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 07:40, 25 January 2021 (UTC)

Usage of sidewalk on highway=footway/cycleway/path

I removed the following sentence from Tag:highway=cycleway which may need some more discussion.

"It is also possible to use sidewalk=right/*=left to indicate which side of the segregated path pedestrians should walk on (where right/left is relative to the way's direction). "

The reason for the removal is: It conflicts with the description on this page of where to use sidewalk=*. It says that sidewalk=* is not needed on highway=footway/cycleway/path/....

The (most) common usage of sidewalk=* is, so far as I know, the usage on highways different from cycleways. At the moment according to taginfo sidewalk=* is used around 500,000 times, while it is used 3,966 times on highway=cycleway (which includes 2,090 times sidewalk=none). There is already a proposed tag footway=sidewalk to map such infrastructure in that context.--U715371 (talk) 01:07, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

"It is possible …" is an information. The sentence deleted by User:U715371 is a true information. Deletion of true informations that are not far from the subject is vandalism.
About the subject itself see Talk:Tag:highway=cycleway!--Ulamm (talk) 18:03, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

Sidewalk= no / =none

Anyone know the difference between sidewalk=no and sidewalk=none ?-- pmailkeey 2016:4:5

They mean the same thing. Which one is better depends on whom you ask. Personally, I prefer "no", because of the symmetry with "yes" and because almost all other keys use "no" rather than "none". --Tordanik 09:48, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
Resolved: documented on page Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 07:41, 25 January 2021 (UTC)

Sidelwalk or not - width limits

I was just wondering when to consider a sidewal being a sidewalk and not just a wider kerb that would be dangerous to walk along. As an example consider this Mapillary image. The width is 4 paving stones plus the kerb stone. Is this wide enough to qualify? In my view not as sidewalks should be safe to walk on. Also you would not be able to use a pram/stoller on this one.

What are your thoughts? --ConsEbt (talk) 09:32, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

Late answer ;-). I would consider it as an "emergency sidewalk": If you have an issue with your car there you would jump there to decrease the risk of an accident, it would be your rescue zone. Adding that as sidewalk would be rather counter-productive, as some routers could attract pedestrians there. Neither your not the intention of the designer of the road I guess.
--Nospam2005 (talk) 20:37, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

Unimproved sidewalks

What is the proper way to indicate that there is grass on the side of the road that is legally open to pedestrians in the case that there is no paved sidewalk? Legally speaking, I believe some US states call this a "sidewalk," while others do not, but for the routing of timid pedestrians that don't mind walking in grass, this is relevant data, since they might prefer a grassy area than being forced to walk in the roadway itself. And for people who prefer walking on pavement, the existence of a grassy "sidewalk" might limit where they are legally allowed to walk. Germyb (talk) 18:52, 15 September 2017 (UTC)

Actually, I might be wrong about whether these laws classify such grassy areas as "sidewalks." Some people on the internet think they do, but I'm having trouble finding significant court cases that support this view. Germyb (talk) 04:33, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
If we consider this a sidewalk, then sidewalk:left:surface=grass would probably be the best tagging choice. It's not something I would call a sidewalk, nor something I would consider a reasonable quality of pedestrian infrastructure, but I can accept that there may be cultural differences at play. --Tordanik 10:05, 18 September 2017 (UTC)
Yes, iff that is really considered sidewalk than sidewalk:left:surface=grass would be a good idea Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 15:43, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

Intermittent sidewalks

Adding this new topic in the middle (sorry) because it's in many ways an extension of the immediately preceding topic, unimproved sidewalks.

In many jurisdictions, building and maintaining sidewalks is the responsibility of the landowner who owns the lot (parcel) by the street. In planned developments, sidewalks are generally built at once by the developer. But in legacy areas, the individual landowners might not be required to add a sidewalk except when other major improvements are done on their property. This can lead to a street which is a patchwork of sidewalks in different styles with many lots still having no sidewalk at all.

Should we come up with a tag to describe this situation? (Currently, I don't add a sidewalk tag at all in these cases.) -- T99 (talk) 09:24, 18 October 2020 (UTC)

I guess that splitting road whenever situation changes or mapping it as a separate highway=footway is not reasonable? Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 11:12, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
Splitting the road into multiple segments is "reasonable" but not on the top of my list of things to do urgently. After I have completed phase 1 and mapped every street and every house in California with some basic details (the address of the house, the name and route of the street, and rough turn lane / bike lane / sidewalk info for major streets) and all the new construction activity has ceased, I will start mapping finer details such as house outlines and lot specific sidewalk info. ETA 600 years. T99 (talk) 07:59, 5 November 2020 (UTC)

Regional variations

Can somebody give an example of country/city where "Sidewalk as refinement to a highway" is clearly dominating? Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 15:44, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

This will be hard to show, because it is the lazy way of mapping sidewalks. Why that? Most often, nothing needs to be done at all: They are kind of implied, most roads have them, and mostly on both sides too. No need to clutter the map any more than it is already. Only when someone starts to care about pedestrian routing, e.g. exceptions will be tagged. In my home-town this has been practice for almost ten years now. Pedestrian routing works very good. That said, I recently doubled the number of sidewalk tags there, mostly on tertiary highways, as pedestrian routers nowadays avoid those if not annotated, and that did lead to big detours.
PS: Last week I asked the makers of a pedestrian router to present themselves on this Wiki here and post a list of common pitfalls in OSM data that they encounter. They came up with a short wishlist, one entry of which reads: Refinement is preferred over separate ways. Not that I was particularly surprised by the fact, yet by the importance they gave to it. --Hungerburg (talk) 12:00, 28 July 2020 (UTC)
The regional variations are, how to put that without hyperbole, mildly staggering - see I think the data source can be trusted.--Hungerburg (talk) 20:37, 23 January 2021 (UTC)
This is great, thanks! I see that I really need to look into ohsome more Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 20:43, 23 January 2021 (UTC)
Resolved: mentioned in article text Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 07:42, 25 January 2021 (UTC)


I would like to revamp this page, by including information about the new approved sidewalk/crossing tagging scheme: Tag:footway=sidewalk, Tag:footway=crossing, Proposed features/Sidewalk as separate way. The existing information would be moved down and marked as deprecated to keep information that this tagging can currently still be found in OSM data.

--Mashin (talk) 23:20, 10 July 2020 (UTC)

See - it is already documented Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 07:40, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
Yes, but it is hidden on the bottom and the template on the right also shows old info. I would like to move it to the top and mark the rest as old version of tagging so new users are not confused and are pointed to the right information. --Mashin (talk) 17:05, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
Both are correct, sidewalk tag is not deprecated, unwanted or old in meaning "worse". Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 22:03, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
No one is saying wrong, just simply stating that the community has other preference based on how it voted. That is not going to change anything about this way of tagging. --Mashin (talk) 19:06, 12 July 2020 (UTC)
"deprecated" - means undesirable/wrong Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 07:40, 13 July 2020 (UTC)
Simply means that it's been superseded. --Mashin (talk) 08:57, 15 July 2020 (UTC)
@Mashin:, there are two methods for sidewalk tagging. Different regions and cities have different preferences which schema to use. In some cases a mix is in use. A page on the wiki should describe what's used in the database, not what one or two authors prefer to see being used.
It is true that the separate way method is more down on the bottom of the page. However, it is unavoidable to have one of the two method being below the other in a text. If you want to improve this page, please outline that there are two competing schemes directly below the heading "How to map". After explaining the two schemes, you can explain how mappers can choose which schema to use (rules for this decision are: what is used where you edit, what does the community prefer in that region).
I advise not to rely too much on Proposed features/Sidewalk as separate way. The voting was 9 years ago and ended with 20 votes in favour, 9 agains and 3 abstainations. Under [proposal rules], this proposal would be considered as rejected (missed 3/4 majority). --Nakaner (talk) 08:02, 13 July 2020 (UTC)
I agree, and wiki describes what is used. The thing I want to change, is to move the other proposal on a visible place, because community agreed on that. If it is unavoidable to have one on the bottom then it should be no problem to simply move the unapproved one there.
I don't think the most people agree that you can start ignoring old approved proposals. There are many that are older than this one. Different times, different number of users. Important is, that it passed the rules for voting that were valid then. --Mashin (talk) 03:06, 14 July 2020 (UTC)
9-year old proposal is far less important that large scale use and continued acceptance/support/use of a tagging scheme. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 08:39, 14 July 2020 (UTC)
Accepted proposal is very important, because it directly expresses the will of the community. That the other scheme is still present in the data has no influence on this. Obviously, it will be highlighted that some regions or communities still prefer using the alternative way of tagging and mappers should discuss with locals first. Those regions can be named in some form of table. --Mashin (talk) 08:57, 15 July 2020 (UTC)
@Mashin:, by writing "the other scheme is stil present in the data" you imply that it is in the data because it was in use, don't you? If this is what you want to express, I kindly ask you to back your claims with research in the OSM data and to show proofs that the usage of sidewalk=* comes from old edits in the past and that the tag is rarely added nowadays. --Nakaner (talk) 09:29, 15 July 2020 (UTC)
You are just making your own straw man. I have no obligation to prove you anything. By accepting the proposal, community said that we should map sidewalks as separate ways. It doesn't say that other mapping system should coexist or be used or be treated equally. If community wanted the other system to be recommended or used it would be voted on and accepted.
So again, I just want to move the info about the accepted proposal up so it's more visible. --Mashin (talk) 23:27, 16 July 2020 (UTC)
It also have not deprecated other method. Many things in OSM can be mapped in various ways Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 08:22, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
It deprecated the other method as the main method. No one said that you can not use the other one or that that data should not exit in the database. --Mashin (talk) 16:44, 19 July 2020 (UTC)
Deprecation of tagging method means that such tagging should not be used and should be removed from database Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 07:16, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
I don't think that it means to be removed, if that is what keeps bothering you. As far as I know in all cases any automated edits are banned. It is nicely, at least in my opinion, explained in the first two sentences of Deprecated_features.
So just to implement what I read here and elsewhere, I would then like to do following: Mark separate ways proposal as recommended primary way of tagging sidewalks. Tagging on the roads would be marked as additional/extended way of tagging that provides useful information. There would be a warning that some users or areas prefer tagging that way with perhaps a table where those would be listed.
I hope I got all the comments. --Mashin (talk) 03:48, 22 July 2020 (UTC)
Reading this thread, I summarize, you indeed have got all the comments: the article is fine as is. No need to change it. --Hungerburg (talk) 19:27, 22 July 2020 (UTC)
Since there are no more relevant concerns to address I would then go ahead and update the page. --Mashin (talk) 00:31, 24 July 2020 (UTC)
Please note, that your proposal to update this article here received no voice in support, but lots to the opposite. Any changes to the article in this direction therefore are to be considered unapproved by the community. --Hungerburg (talk) 08:55, 24 July 2020 (UTC)
You can not forbid someone to do any changes just because you don't like something. I addressed all the points of concern and modify my proposed edits accordingly. --Mashin (talk) 20:57, 26 July 2020 (UTC)
But we can forbid making edits that would be misleading Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 22:09, 26 July 2020 (UTC)
Objectively, none of that is misleading. It is just restating of what the community had said with their vote. --Mashin (talk) 01:32, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
According to Approval_status both "Approved" and "De facto" are so called "Green" values, that have been accepted and supported by the community.
Yes that says that it's been used, but as before that not a ground to have it as a main recommended way of tagging. Particularly if the separate way tagging at least the same and it has been approved by the community. --Mashin (talk) 23:28, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
Highway=footway is not approved either, will that mean, that it has do be dropped in favour of "path"?--Hungerburg (talk) 10:49, 30 July 2020 (UTC)
I'am opposed to @Mashin: modification of the 4th January 2021 and especially this assertion "Currently approved and more prevalent approach is to map each sidewalk as separate ways".
Maybe this is prevalent in your country, but is it really the case in other countries ?
Is there a consensus to promote this tagging scheme in the world ? NO !
--Pyrog (talk) 11:09, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
Assertion removed (note that raw count from taginfo may be misleading as places mapping sidewalks as separate ways tend to split them heavily - and many places mapping sidewalks as separate ways are not using footway=sidewalk AND note that footway=sidewalk is counted twice while sidewalk=both once AND sidewalk=no is used also in places mapping sidewalks as separate ways etc) Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 11:26, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
All in that sentence is correct. It is an approved tagging scheme and it is more numerous on taginfo. And also it is more popular world wide. If you try to look around separate sidewalks are used in majority of Europe (Czech rep, Slovakia, Poland, whole of Balkan, Italy, Switzerland, France, Spain,...), in China, Japan, USA, Canada. Tagging on roads I could find dominant in Germany, UK and I think Denmark. --Mashin (talk) 06:39, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
Taginfo counts 2 : 1.9 million uses. This is a very small difference in number of tagged uses. Far from prevalent. As Mateusz points out, the number of on the ground sidewalks mapped as a highway refinement is actually much larger, simply because more OSM entities are required with separate way mapping. Also the recent reordering of methods makes the text flow jump from footway to highway to path, which is nonsensical.--Hungerburg (talk) 08:26, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
Looking at New Haven, where Mashin seems to get inspirations, this is quite a remarkable place: The are lots of sidewalks indeed, they mostly form close to rectangular shapes, most of the time there is ample space to draw them too. Where I live, it is much less like that. Also, streets tagged as having a sidewalk or being accompanied by separate ways form the exception, I suppose, because sidewalks are just taken for granted. Quite like foot=yes on a path. A few sidewalk=no can have the same effect as hundreds of separate ways. Curiously, New Haven looks like the perfect example for this. So in fact, I am surprised by the high taginfo count of sidewalk annotations.--Hungerburg (talk) 09:51, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
Starting from "approved" is misleading in suggesting that popular nonaproved tagging schema is in any way worse. "it is more numerous on taginfo" - in this case it is not really true:
  1. Comparing sidewalk=separate vs sidewalk=both/sidewalk=left/sidewalk=right (undercounts mapping as separate way as not always sidewalk=separate is used, ignores different level in road fragmentation)
  2. Comparing footway=sidewalk vs sidewalk=both (counted twice as would be mapped with two footway=sidewalk) + sidewalk=left + sidewalk=right (undercounts mapping as separate way as footway=sidewalk, undercounts sidewalk=* mapping due to ignoring way splitting)
In this case taginfo counts are not really useful. You would likely need to compare how many locations/mappers prefer given tagging schema, and I bet that results would indicate very similar use Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 10:00, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
I still don't see where the problem is. Saying that something is currently approved simply states the fact and does not carry any qualitative judgements. When it comes to taginfo it is not perfect, but this method is routinely used in other cases. The difference is 100,000 uses or 5% that is quite a lot and the history profile shows exponential growth of footway=sidewalk so we can expect this gap to grow even further in the close time frame (***/sidewalk/&***/footway/sidewalk). Taginfo actually underestimates footway=sidewalk usage, because tagging on the highways is inflated by roads being fragmented by lanes micromapping in city areas where the most of the sidewalks are. Also many times sidewalk=both can be found with sidewalk=right and sidewalk=left as double tagged. And also there are 801,443 of "no" or "none" values (in my opinion useless), which is simply at places where nobody would draw any sidewalk at all. Just in US alone someone added sidewalk=no to all interstate highways, which by default have no pedestrian use and these are fragmented to tens-of-thousands fragments by now. --Mashin (talk) 19:05, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
"this method is routinely used in other cases" - is is much more useful when it is used for POIs, for example different shop values where many cofounder like heavy splitting are not present Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 21:16, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
" And also there are 801,443 of "no" or "none" values (in my opinion useless)" - without that it is hard to organize systematic mapping of sidewalks and impossible to automatically detect places where sidewalks are to be mapped Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 21:16, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
"someone added sidewalk=no to all interstate highways" - I am unfamiliar with USA, hard to say for me whatever it makes sense. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 21:16, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
"Saying that something is currently approved simply states the fact and does not carry any qualitative judgements." - it suggest that other variant is less preferred because there was no proposal process for it. In fact recently someone even claimed that sidewalk=* is deprecated because footway=sidewalk had proposal process and sidewalk=* not. Certainly it is not the most important difference between this schemes, starting from that is misleading. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 21:22, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
As said, not perfect, but even with the bias towards sidewalk= tag it is still a source of data comparison. If you have other metrics we can include them as well. Just to make it clear, footway=sidewalk is approved and saying that is stating a fact, and there is no mention of deprecation anywhere in what I wrote. If you think that sidewalk= tagging should be approved as well you can make the proposal and send it for vote.
PS. As a side note, when road is fragmented into many small fragments it is easier to draw one parallel line and add a tag. Even under normal condition this is not that much more difficult than on-road tagging. --Mashin (talk) 02:28, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
The mention of interstate highways, are you trolling? Every child knows, that motorways do not have sidewalks, ther's no need to tag this. UPDATE: wrongly read statement as a hypothetical, Only trolls would tag a motorway with sw=no
I just took a closer look at New Haven. Lots of the footways tagged sidwalk there are just plain footways. They are not part of the road. UPDATE: most are true sidewalks, of the separated by a green strip type, yesterday, I happened by chance to look at a place, where they would wander off the road to later return;
The disputed flag up right now just stems from this confusion: your wording suggests, that everything else but footways is not supported. You even fell for this yourselves in July.--Hungerburg (talk) 23:14, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
It is hard to understand what you are saying, but I restate that interstates are tagged as sidewalk=none, which as I said seems redundant.
That sentence does not suggest anything like that. It only describe current state of things and that is all. --Mashin (talk) 08:10, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
On the motorways: So there are things, that we agree on. Good to know;
On the disputed flag: The recent wording you gave in the How to Map section confused at least one person, to think that, if one thing is approved and "prevalent", all others are deprecated. Which is, what you were trying to achieve explicitly, in July.--Hungerburg (talk) 09:13, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
But that is the point. It is approved and the other one has not been approved by vote. You can trumpishly stopm your foot, but you can't bend the reality.
PS. When it comes to deprecation, you just spend pages of text arguing how this is not deprecation, so I don't understand what the problem is. Are you not believing in what you are saying? --Mashin (talk) 14:59, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
Nowhere did I do that, did I? Please enlighten me!--Hungerburg (talk) 09:06, 26 January 2021 (UTC)
You spent countless of posts above disagreeing with me. Or does it mean that you consider approving one proposal as deprecating previous way of tagging? --Mashin (talk) 17:23, 26 January 2021 (UTC)
"Or does it mean that you consider approving one proposal as deprecating previous way of tagging?" - no, it is not working this way. Proposal needs to explicitly mention deprecating tag to deprecate other tags, and that specific proposal was done with understanding (see its talk page) that it is not deprecating sidewalk=* Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 21:34, 27 January 2021 (UTC)
Approving detailed tagging for one of two known schemes does not mean that another schema is deprecated. See PTv2 for another proposal that did something similar and introduced new tagging schema without deprecating competing one. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 15:47, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
Exactly. So if you are saying that, then there should be no problem saying that separate ways are approved proposal. --Mashin (talk) 17:23, 26 January 2021 (UTC)
If one maps sidewalk as separate way then footway=sidewalk is an approved tag to mark this. But mapping sidewalks as a separate way or as sidewalk=* both have the same standing. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 21:34, 27 January 2021 (UTC)

History Section

In the early days of openstreetmap, there was no specific method to map sidewalks. Actually, there was no method, to map ways for pedestrian use at all. This deficiency got remedied by popular usage of the highway=footway tag. Its wiki article dates back to January 2008. There was still no method to specifically map sidewalks then, though footways sometimes got used to this effect, especially, where they were physically distinct features on ground.

Beginning some time in 2008, people started annotating streets with sidewalk=* tags. Especially so, where sidewalks were perceived to be physically indistinct features on ground, thereby following the "One feature, one OSM element" good practice principle. Again by popular usage, this "refinement of the highway" approach became a first method, to specifically have that information in the openstreetmap database.

Continued extensive mapping of separate footways alongside of roads and streets, in 2011 prompted the "refinement of the footway" approach, by annotating such ways with a footway=sidewalk key. Although conceptually quite different, from the point of view of the objective, this tool made both methods informationally roughly equivalent, so historically it became known as the "separate way" approach of mapping sidewalks. --Hungerburg (talk) 10:07, 30 July 2020 (UTC)

If I may, I'd like to place above paragraphs at the bottom of the article or perhaps above the regional variations section. It might help users understand, why there are two approaches to much the same.--Hungerburg (talk) 10:49, 30 July 2020 (UTC)
Feel free to add this! <ref>source</ref> can be added in case where there is some link that proves some nonobvious claims Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 12:18, 30 July 2020 (UTC)
Thank you for the heads up, substantial reading of proposals, changelogs and so on went into this short recap. Two references provided for stuff that might seem controversial to some. --Hungerburg (talk) 18:44, 30 July 2020 (UTC)

Sidewalk or parallel road?

For the definition: "A sidewalk ... may be at some distance from the road (but still associated with it)."
Small parallel roads are also "associated", but still not sidewalks. Instead of "(but still associated with it)" would "(but still part of it)" not be more clear?
Examples of a small parallel roads: (1) ; (2)
Example sidewalk at a greater distance: (3) --RobHubi (talk) 20:13, 24 October 2020 (UTC)

That looks to me like an asphalt sidewalk, not like a small parallel road Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 23:40, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
This is an example of a sidewalk: (4) . It is a sidewalk because it is obviously part of the road. Parallel roads are NOT part of the main road, but are outside the roadside. The question is, where is the roadside?
In example (1): roadside is the foot of the filled slope. See also:
In example (2): Roadside is the upper edge of the cut slope. See also:
Both parallel roads touch the main roads at the roadside, but are not part of them. --RobHubi (talk) 19:42, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
"where is the roadside?" why it is relevant for distinguishing sidewalk for pedestrians from carriageway for cars? Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 09:17, 5 November 2020 (UTC)
Sorry, I missed your question. A sidewalk must be part of the road for it to be a sidewalk. The carriageway and sidewalk are separated from the outside by the roadside. A sidewalk-like path outside the roadside is not a sidewalk, but a general path. --RobHubi (talk) 23:58, 13 November 2020 (UTC)
PS: That’s important for the cyclist because they are not allowed to ride on a sidewalk, but they are allowed to ride on a general path, unless otherwise signed.--RobHubi (talk) 19:33, 14 November 2020 (UTC)


Sidewalks can be designed in many different ways and it is often difficult to distinguish them from independent parallel roads. I would like to add some sample photos as a basis for clarifying discussions. On this topic see also DE:Gehsteig Beispiele and Diary. --RobHubi (talk) 22:06, 4 November 2020 (UTC)

"often difficult to distinguish them from independent parallel roads" - maybe it depends on location or some cultural differences but distinguishing sidewalk and carriageway for cars is typically simple. And having pedestrian road along another road is both rare and fairly easy to notice... Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 09:16, 5 November 2020 (UTC)
" ... typically simple" It may be that it is only a little more complicated in German-speaking countries. If this is the case, you are welcome to remove the table. --RobHubi (talk) 20:50, 10 November 2020 (UTC)
Looking at the mapillary sequence, the footway in Examples 8 joins the main road soon, which makes one wonder, how do pedestrians ever get there? And also makes it a lot like Examples 6. Said that, I would not mind, if someone drew a separate way there, subtagged sidewalk or not, I would not mind either, if someone just tagged a sidewalk on the highway there. I am a little perplexed by the desire to create rules. I sense some kind of masochism (named after a great Hungarian revolutioner) in the works. --Hungerburg (talk) 23:00, 10 November 2020 (UTC)
„I would not mind, if someone drew a separate way there, subtagged sidewalk or not”
Example 8 shows a narrow parallel road and no sidewalk. It is important to recognize the difference and not to use sidewalk tags, as they are associated with other implicit access restrictions.
„I sense some kind of masochism …“
That is a rather disrespectful insinuation. It would have been enough to ask about the motivation. Sidewalk or secondary road is an important question for cyclists because they are not allowed to ride on a sidewalk, but they are allowed to ride on a secondary road, unless otherwise signed.
--RobHubi (talk) 20:54, 11 November 2020 (UTC)
On a commute that I ride with the bike quite often, there is one section, that fits nicely with examples 8; no signage there at all, still I am pretty sure, that bikes are not allowed. You know, how it is mapped? Footway + sidewalk; I have yet to be confronted with the authorities on that matter. Maybe I should ask the magistrate for a decisive message ahead of the encounter. The distinction, at least here in Austria, is not made from engineering principles but from designation, which is sometimes not immediately obvious. Perhaps my use of the name of a political strategy that emphasizes contract over institutions is too idiosyncratic for this debate, so please excuse, I did not want to insinuate anything disrespectful. --Hungerburg (talk) 22:57, 11 November 2020 (UTC)
PS: I got confused: the english word isn't "designation", but "dedication" (Widmung in german) - that decides about lawful uses - and it is mapped with the footway tag, not the sidewalk key. Sidewalk key in the original proposal was mostly meant as a hint for renderers.
PPS: Above mentioned footway could be used to depict examples 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8, all in the course of few hundred meters--Hungerburg (talk) 17:35, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
„The distinction, at least here in Austria, is not made from engineering principles but from designation (-> dedication), which is sometimes not immediately obvious.” - For normal roads and sidewalks there does not have to be an ordinance, the dedication is expressed by the structural design (e.g., curb etc). I refer to these structural features. An explicit ordinance overrules everything, of course, but it must be signposted.
„Above mentioned footway could be used to depict examples” - Are there images on Mapillary? --RobHubi (talk) 23:34, 12 November 2020 (UTC)
Thank you, dedication did sound wrong, now even more so, ordinance might be right. Mentioned way is - nothing useful on mapillary, streetview has the better stuff. Not like being there though neither. There's curbs, green strips, a barrier, and also a ditch, close to where it bends upwards. Arguing with an officer about engineering principles, you already know, how I would call that; Perhaps worth trying, might get me a pardon.--Hungerburg (talk) 21:21, 13 November 2020 (UTC)
Refer to § 2 StVO 1960 “Begriffsbestimmungen“ as well as § 49 T-StG „Bauliche Anlagen an Straßen“ and your chances are good ;-) --RobHubi (talk) 22:42, 13 November 2020 (UTC)
Reading StVO I understand, that a Gehweg (footway) and a Gehsteig (sidewalk) in Austria differ in a different way, than they do on OSM. The difference though, has no consequences, legally or otherwise for OSM and realworld usage: On OSM a sidewalk can only ever be a footway (or a path designated foot) and OSM footway includes both Gehweg and Gehsteig. I suggest to yank the last two examples. Some of the other examples stretch sidewalk already beyond that and make all the engineering language moot. Maybe some upfront narrative was nice too.---Hungerburg (talk) 21:46, 14 November 2020 (UTC)
„I suggest to yank the last two examples” - If you omit examples 7 and 8, essential things are lost: what looks like a sidewalk but is not.
„engineering language” - You're right, it doesn't work here. I have simplified the text, initially only in the German version. Please take a look at it.
„Maybe some upfront narrative was nice too” – See link above. --RobHubi (talk) 20:36, 15 November 2020 (UTC)
PS: Now in the English version also. --RobHubi (talk) 21:10, 16 November 2020 (UTC)
Rob, I had to change the article, after all, it is a guide, not a means to decide infights among mappers. --Hungerburg (talk) 22:21, 16 November 2020 (UTC)
You simply stopped the discussion and deleted essential information without reaching a consensus. The reasoning "not a means to decide infights among mappers" is completely incorrect. Your action of deletion is destructive and I find it self-opinionated. I ask you to undo your change and continue the discussion. I am sure we will find a consensus.--RobHubi (talk) 22:59, 16 November 2020 (UTC)
Nah, I just took up on your plea above, to remove the table ;) Well, its still here. If you looked carefully, I sorted the table, prettified the headers, added two keywords to the descriptions, all so to make it more conclusive and maybe even amenable for light reading, at least, I hope so. I did remove though some Denglish and the engineering stuff references; I will add them to the Further Reading section later today. BTW: The statement about cycling was clearly wrong: Annotating a footway with a sidewalk subkey does not prohibit cycling, the base footway does that; I do not think one will find many such fringe cases where the sidewalk is added to the road instead; Chances are, that there is already a cycleway mapped there, and if not, one can easily correct that. I am fairly certain we will get to an agreeable version. --Hungerburg (talk) 18:57, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
- - - - -
I gladly accept the friendly offer of cooperation. I am also happy to agree, the existing has become easier to read. Not so great is what is missing. The omission of the picture number makes referencing when discussing the pictures more difficult and pictures 7 and 8 are essential for my intention.
My intention is to help the desperate mapper who sees something and does not know how to classify it. It has happened to me as well. A grey area always remains, but you can make it smaller. This has absolutely nothing to do with "a weapon against obnoxious mappers".
„Annotating a footway with a sidewalk subkey does not prohibit cycling” - Another misunderstanding. Nowhere do I refer to tagging, but always to the real and identifiable entity "sidewalk" as part of the road. In many countries cycling on sidewalks is prohibited. I wanted to point this out.
I begin to understand what problems you have with pictures 7 and 8. So I will think of something.
Finally: go ahead, I will hold back for 1 week. Then we change roles again. Iteratively we should reach our goal. OK?
--RobHubi (talk) 23:03, 17 November 2020 (UTC)

Pictures A,B: Sidewalk or Side Road?

In German-speaking countries, the roads shown are probably not sidewalks, but independent side roads. See also DE talk:Gehsteig. --RobHubi (talk) 19:59, 27 November 2020 (UTC) seems clearly too small for a road, this seems to be footway/cycleway Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 01:29, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
The term "road" is used here in its most general sense, as a traffic area for overcoming space. The picture shows a road in Austria. The road traffic law in AT (StVO) does not know any minimum widths for roads. Only the building regulations prescribe minimum widths for the respective type of use. However, the building regulations only apply to newly constructed roads, not to existing ones. To summarise: The picture shows a narrow road, in principle usable for pedestrians, cyclists, riders, single-track motor vehicles etc. --RobHubi (talk) 19:27, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
So in OSM terms a highway was meant. As for me it's a separate path (footway/cycleway/both depending on the local rules), not a sidewalk. So highway:sidewlak=no on the main road: you have to cross the grass to reach the road.
But that what I say as European.
Seen from USA, is very probably considered as a sidewalk. How to properly discriminate? By country? Landuse? --Nospam2005 (talk) 20:57, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

Simplicity first

From deep historial roots, two methods for indicating the presence of sidewalks on ground have emerged. A sidewalk is the part of the street that is reserved for pedestrian use. I cannot imagine a simpler method to indicate, whether a street has a sidewalk than annotating the street with a sidewalk attribute. How can this be controversial, why was this repeatedly deleted from the text? I further stress, that the documentation shall start with the simple methods and then advance to more complicated strategies, that e.g. require extra entities to be created in the database, and possibly still more entities that link them with what is there. The recent reordering of the text has put that in a tumbler and goes from complicated to simple to even more complicated.--Hungerburg (talk) 17:49, 17 January 2021 (UTC)

Adding to the confusion ====Cycleway and footway on sidewalk ==== was originally created as a subsection of ===Sidewalk as separate way=== and somehow mangaged to make appearance as a third way of mapping sidwalks, which it clearly not is.--Hungerburg (talk) 18:00, 17 January 2021 (UTC)

How to Map, Introductory paragraph

The introductory paragraph is missing an important bit, I'd like to clarify. Below suggested wording:

Mapping of sidewalks tremendously helps pedestrian routing: both their presence, and just as much their absence, on streets on which they are usually taken for granted. If added to the motorised road, this further provides for good narrative descriptions of pedestrian routes along them.

The absence, only one or both sides, is very important when doing directions for e.g. blind people. Same goes for the sentence about narrative; This could be said in a below section, but it has been here for ages and it is quite essential for same users.

Anything controversial?--Hungerburg (talk) 19:36, 17 January 2021 (UTC)

"If added to the motorised road, this further provides for good narrative descriptions of pedestrian routes along them." meaning of that is unclear to me. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 20:12, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
Well, the sentence is not by me, I understand it like this: Imagine the router saying (ie. voice):
After 6 m: Left on Name-of-Street on the right side
After 50 m: Right on Name-of-other-Street
Narrative means, what is told. A narrative that spells out the names of the streets on the itinerary is considered a better narrative than one that does not, ie. one that just says: after 6 m left, after 50m right… That again is the reason for limiting the scope of the statement. I did not come up with these directions from imagination, they are from an existing router that uses openstreetmap data and is marketed to the visually impaired, but I guess, also people with normal eyesight will agree.--Hungerburg (talk) 21:06, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
Right, I understand. I would put it later than in header. Header is poor place to discuss all benefits/drawbacks of both approaches Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 21:10, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
I put that now into the subsection and also rewrote that subsection; I am confident that I did not put anything controversial in, thats not disputed anyways; but who knows. PS: There is an extra section for "simplicity" below, but some people seem to prefer reverting to talking.--Hungerburg (talk) 22:24, 18 January 2021 (UTC)

"questioned, contended or controversial information"

@Futur3r: which parts are supposed to be "questioned, contended or controversial"? There is some discussion but it applies to minor wording diferences Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 21:20, 18 January 2021 (UTC)

I'm sorry, I wanted to find information how to properly map for accessibility and it looked like that contributors don't agree on which one method to use. Drawing sidewalks as separate way still bring up the question of how to associate the sidewalk with the street ? With a relation AssiociatedStreet ? I also saw places where whole cities has been mapped with sidewalk circling blocks, but how do directions look like ? This page is not as specific as Bicycle and as a new user I don't want to make errors everywhere to make life more difficult to the people who will maintain these data. So the banner was more for the questionned part on "sidewalk as separate way" section but if this is the way to map sidewalks, it make the sidewalk=* tag kind of deprecated. --Futur3r (talk) 23:20, 18 January 2021 (UTC)

"it looked like that contributors don't agree on which one method to use" - both methods are in use, what was not clearly stated, thanks for pointing this out. I tried to fix this. Is it now better and more clear? Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 08:23, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
"I also saw places where whole cities has been mapped with sidewalk circling blocks" - can you link specific location? Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 08:23, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
I think its about something like this - some of those "sidewalks" are not even sidewalks, some are complete islands, the crossings are all made up by the mapper - pedestrian routing there must be hell.--Hungerburg (talk) 22:13, 19 January 2021 (UTC)

Hello Futur3r, You are welcome to this talk. I think your observations are spot on and the warning you put up is very much appreciated. Mateusz is downplaying the issue. I hope you will not turn away in disgust early on when you start looking at the recent history of this article. I for one would be happy, when you'd add a section "accessibility" on the talk page, where you describe how the article would best serve your needs, what you'd want to learn from it.--Hungerburg (talk) 23:51, 18 January 2021 (UTC)

@Futur3r: As you said, unfortunately there is no decision on how to associate street with sidewalk yet. It is still waiting for a person brave enough to pick one system and drag it though proposal/commenting process. But it doesn't appear to me that this should stand as a problem to accessibility tagging, or? --Mashin (talk) 03:13, 19 January 2021 (UTC)

"how to associate street with sidewalk yet" - "match sidewalk to nearest road" works as far as I know, though it requires some preprocessing Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 08:24, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
Hello Mateusz, Please provide a link to sample implemention of a router that does that.
Please also provide quote for where it says, that sidewalk property is not rendererd because of rendering problems. The proposal only says regarding rendering: "Maybe as a line beside the road." Then I can put it into the text into the problems section, so that I can understand it too.--Hungerburg (talk) 21:52, 19 January 2021 (UTC) for rendering and interestingly it references renderer that actually shows sidewalk tag (see say - but as expected rendering is ugly where both schemas are in use) Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 22:03, 19 January 2021 (UTC) deals with sidewalk handling, though it is not a router. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 22:03, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
Interesting, the github discussion took place in 2017, while the tag was introduced in 2008. To me this does not mean, what your cs comment supposed it would. It seems to say, that rendering is an afterthought. the atownsend map is quite nice, I see there dark grey borders on some highways, are those sidewalk annotations or footways? I do not know the area. It seems to get by quite fine. The JOSM sidewalks plugin also does fine, at least most of the time. The game looks interesting too. Is this the sample that has some heuristic to get the name of the street?--Hungerburg (talk) 22:28, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
No, but it is doing some street-sidewalk matching for other purposes Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 22:32, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
Curiously in abstreet has a sidewalk, while on OSM it does not. Looks like the game does not use the separate footways, but instead just assumes sidwewalks on certain road categories.--Hungerburg (talk) 23:02, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
Is it OK with you if I rewrite your sentence into "Mapnik Rendering of sidewalk tags was considered in 2017 but the effort stalled due to…" will have to read the full thread though, for completion--Hungerburg (talk) 22:48, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
Reading the github thread, I learned that your personal preference is the separate way, in no way though I read that the effort failed because of what you say; I just read, that people were afraid of cluttering the map, and also I read, that rendering sidewalks (mapped as a property) would increase usage, because people are so fond of mapping for the renderer.--Hungerburg (talk) 23:39, 19 January 2021 (UTC)

@Futur3r: Please in a week or two (to await durability of the recent changes here), take another look at the fine article and if your concerns are adequately dealt with, please remove the disputed flag, or otherwise restate the claim with some more words.--Hungerburg (talk) 22:04, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

As for me, I would rather reorder the two schemas from the simplest to the most complex. And say that if you draw a separate sidewalk you should (not may) add the sidewalk:separate to the main highway. That way both schema are compatible and the order is logic: draw roads, say if they have sidewalks, draw them in details (next step : mapped as surface ;-)). --Nospam2005 (talk) 22:21, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
Feel free to do so - no objections from my side. Perhaps Mateusz will not revert and Futur3r wont object. I share your opinion of simplicity and that the simpler thing should come first. One can always dive into the deep stuff, if one e.g. is inclined to model pedestrian traffic like car traffic.--Hungerburg (talk) 19:27, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
I don't agree, the separate way method should be first as it is the approved scheme and we should first of all provide information which community has agreed on. Plus the simplicity is very subjective as drawing a way and applying a tag preset is not that more difficult. And separate way drawing becomes much easier when the associated road is split into many fragments that you have to click on individually. --Mashin (talk) 15:28, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
Making an order of precision, like Nospam2005 said is logical. It would implement the "two methods" together in one schema and thus allow us to build a good base to go further in this matter and maybe reduce the conflicts that a method overlapping another is making.
It might also leave enough data and time to allow data consumers to build or update tools on multiple levels of details. Also an order of precision would allow contributors to add details brick by brick without needing to map everything by themselves to add mostly pedestrian crossings.
@Mashin: The changes made by Hungerburg on the article were discussed here and haven't been opposed with good arguments. If you think these changes are not good then please, I would love to read about your well developed arguments here or on mailing lists. I don't think that community is about one constantly trying to push is ideas but more about finding a common point and work from there together.
--Futur3r (talk) 22:51, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
@Futur3r: The thing is that typical lay-back users just want to map and when they don't know how they want to look here and get a simple answer. Separate sidewalk scheme has been approved for a very long time by the community and has support of editors and also got a lot of usage in the recent period (try to look in the text above where I also left a link). It is natural that we want to show them mapping schemes that we agreed on first. But of course if they want to learn more they can read further and see that there is also another way how to refine their tagging. All the information are there including a warning that for some reason they have to ask before they can edit in certain areas.
So there is not really any discussion/confusion as to what is the preferred/correct way of tagging. All this is just about that some individuals are not willing to accept any valid arguments, but yet use handwavy statements to dismiss them and push their agenda. So quite contrary to what you are mentioning. You can just read through and see that even a simple mention of "I don't like it" here was enough to revert my changes without even attempting for discussion. --Mashin (talk) 01:03, 25 January 2021 (UTC)

West Europe?

@Mashin: - re

Neither Sidewalks nor Talk:Sidewalks is not mentioning "West Europe" anywhere. What you mean by "West Europe != Germany+UK, West Europe != World"? Which information are hidden/restored by this edit? Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 07:38, 25 January 2021 (UTC)

Oh, I see. It refers to Still, not sure why presenting mapping sidewalks as separate way as clearly superior and removing info what was actually approved is supposed to be a good idea. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 07:49, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
Look, it is the other way around. Mapping as separate ways is Approved scheme + with high usage and world-wide adoption. It make clear sense that we want to provide this information to the readers first. There is no statement there what is superior or not. I mentioned it here several times so I am not sure why I have to repeat myself over and over. The question stands why you keep removing this important information? --Mashin (talk) 14:47, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
"world-wide adoption" - untrue, see Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 15:50, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
"Approved scheme + with high usage" Sidewalk tag is a de facto scheme + with high usage (the same rank) and similarly wide adoption Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 15:50, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
Your link actually supports world wide adoption.
OK. But, separate ways are approved and therefore we should provide this information clearly on top so users can get the information they need. --Mashin (talk) 17:30, 26 January 2021 (UTC)
I stated Western Europe as an example of where mappers do not do like Mashin wants to be done; With his statement he wanted to accuse me of hegemonic ambition. I guess that would count the same for some state in South America as an example, but of course it wont count the same for the US as an example, because there its done the right way.--Hungerburg (talk) 09:00, 26 January 2021 (UTC)
You are projecting your thoughts onto hundreds of other individuals. Separate ways proposal was accepted by the vote of the community and someone's personal opinion is not going to change that reality. --Mashin (talk) 17:30, 26 January 2021 (UTC)

Approved - what for?

This keeps on returning over and over. This has nothing to do with usefulness, simplicity, versatility or any such. We are talking pure procedural grounds. So head on over to the fine proposal and read rationale there. Does it say, that using footways to map sidewalks is the thing to be approved upon? That was the practice, from where the proposal started. It just set out to provide a means to indicate in the data, when a highway=footway got used like that, in order for renderers to maybe do something with that knowledge. This strictly was not a proposal to approve the use of highway=footway (also known as "separate way") for anything at all.--Hungerburg (talk) 09:30, 26 January 2021 (UTC)

In other words Tag:footway=crossing and [Tag:[footway=sidewalk]] were approved, without deprecating Key:sidewalk Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 10:21, 26 January 2021 (UTC)
Just because you are not willing to accept the will and decision of the community, you don't have to push you agenda also here. Proposal clearly says: "Sidewalks should be mapped as ways (separate from the road) with the following tags:". If you don't agree then make your own proposal and sent it for vote.
Again. (for I don't know what number of times) This is not about deprecating. It is about providing important information. --Mashin (talk) 17:33, 26 January 2021 (UTC)
See Talk:Proposed features/Sidewalk as separate way and comments by Hanska, author of Proposed features/Sidewalk as separate way:
"This is not an exclusive mapping method. You can map sidewalks as tags on the main road"
See see also section in proposal "a different but not necessarily conflicting way to tag sidewalks" in see also section
Maybe it could be made more clear but this proposal has not intended to deprecate sidewalk=* and it was not done Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 17:50, 26 January 2021 (UTC)
I don't want to repeat it again so I just say, if you are still really so worried then state that in the refinement to a highway section. --Mashin (talk) 17:41, 27 January 2021 (UTC)
The problem is with
  1. Starting description of methods from mentioning approval, despite that it is not important info - this proposal was approving marking way as separately mapped sidewalk, it was NOT approving mapping with a separate way as superior.
  2. Starting description of methods from mentioning raw usage count despite not really relevant is misleading
  3. Presenting this two methods in way that suggests that separate way is superior/approved/preferred
So this problem is not solvable by adding something in the refinement to a highway section, I am considering what you add to "as separate way" section as misleading Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 19:59, 27 January 2021 (UTC)
What I was trying to argue is that this information is important for users (me being one of them). If approval not important information, then why do we even have the approval process in the first place? Why just not scratch the whole thing and spare people days of arguing on mailing list? People do care. That is why they put so much effort in preparing those proposals and they want others to know that an agreement was reached.
It is presenting it as approved, but not as superior. See what I wrote if that made it better or worse. --Mashin (talk) 06:50, 28 January 2021 (UTC)
I am not claiming that it should not be mentioned. But presenting this as the most important part of the info is misleading, especially if misleadingly presented as demonstrating superiority to other schema or by claiming/implying that other schema is deprecated/worse/has lower standing. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 09:04, 28 January 2021 (UTC)
"why do we even have the approval process in the first place" - to review tags and catch mistakes in tag design before they will become use in widespread way, gives authors of editing software check whatever their ideas have support rather than introducing them unilateraly Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 09:04, 28 January 2021 (UTC)
Well ok, even if then we want to tell the people out there that this scheme passed that review process and it was thought through and cleared from the mistakes. --Mashin (talk) 02:20, 29 January 2021 (UTC)
If approving a refinement tag is another way of approving the base tag, that would be news to me. Anybody know precedent? One should immediately update the highway=footway page to reflect that, status there is still "de facto". In the mean time, I guess I will have to change this page to make clear, that the footway=sidewalk tag was created for and approved upon to serve as a hint for renderers, to treat footways representing sidewalks differently from other footways.--Hungerburg (talk) 20:24, 26 January 2021 (UTC)
In other words, there is no "approved method" just like there is no "de facto method", there are "approved" tags, however, and "de facto" tags. The significance of the difference is much too small to warrant rearranging something, that has been the same since August 2012. --Hungerburg (talk) 08:25, 27 January 2021 (UTC)
All what you are sayin here is just your made up stuff. I know it is hard to live in post-factual era, but I really don't plan to be an OSM fact checker. --Mashin (talk) 17:41, 27 January 2021 (UTC)
I can make up some more. Here where this started, - A title looking very innocuous. The contents? Just what you proposed in July, but what then got rejected in talk. Having failed "approval", half a year later you just made the change "de facto".--Hungerburg (talk) 21:01, 27 January 2021 (UTC)
Yeah, I added information that was missing. Sometimes I just don't know what you are saying. --Mashin (talk) 06:50, 28 January 2021 (UTC)
With a similar innocuous comment like that, on the footway=sidewalk page you recently turned a sentence, that was likely true, into something, that is very likely a lie. Seen together, that might paint you as someone acting in bad faith. --Hungerburg (talk) 10:04, 29 January 2021 (UTC)

Overview table

I see the ordering of the table got rearranged, mapnik first was not made up by me, its the ordering given to the subject by the proponents of the footway method, As much as You and I perhaps condemn mapping for the renderer, this is the majority opinion (5% margin), and I'd say, this is what makes this tagging so popular too. We must reproduce this here!--Hungerburg (talk) 22:04, 27 January 2021 (UTC)


The section "Sidewalk as refinement to a highway" finishes with the plea, to map sidewalks as a separate way. Why are the separatists so horny! The argument is ridiculous. Walking down the path shown will take you seconds more, than if this went straight. Usual walking speed differences will dwarf the difference. Such a humbug. The idea to map verges is great though. Brings up, mapping of shoulders is also good, they are useful, especially where there are no sidewalks. I'm gonna put the serpentine argument up to "separate way" and keep the verge idea. --Hungerburg (talk) 22:50, 20 August 2022 (UTC)

Umm what? Shoulders have no physical separation by definition. area:highway=shoulder can be used. Verge can be natural=*. Kovposch (talk) 08:21, 21 August 2022 (UTC)
@Hungerburg: Sure, we can move things around so each section is more coherent. Sometimes a meandering sidewalk adds only seconds, but sometimes it can double the travel time, depending on the width of the verge and the distance traveled. It's even worse for people in wheelchairs, because turning is not quite as easy. Any difference in travel time could be the difference between choosing a meandering sidewalk and a much straighter one along a parallel street. (By the way, this is probably an issue with machine translation, but "horny" really doesn't mean what you think it does.) – Minh Nguyễn 💬 01:34, 27 November 2022 (UTC)

@Minh Nguyen: Sorry for late reply, been too busy with another pedestrian mapping policy, namely mapping paths, where on the ground there merely are scrambles. I'd prefer each party to advertise, where they are good at, rather than advertising, what the other party is bad at. If that means shaving some seconds from a passage, so be it. If the centre line of the carriageway and that of the footpath diverge a lot, I might be tasked too much, to still consider that a sidewalk at all. @Kovposch: I thought, shoulder is the American term for verge. Meanwhile I know different, while still uncertain, what "Bankett" is in openstreetmap terms. --Hungerburg (talk) 22:55, 29 November 2022 (UTC)

Tag on highway vs separate footway: a false dichotomy?

Why not recommend a mix of the two, preferring the simpler main highway tags when possible and mapping as a separate footway only when necessary in the most complex cases? A separate footway is mostly only needed in complex urban centres, while suburbs tend to have tons of simple sidewalks (very few of which need any information other than whether it is present and its surface) that are fully represented by the main highway tags. A carefully applied mix of the two gets the best of both worlds. --Fernando Trebien (talk) 20:25, 26 November 2022 (UTC)

@Ftrebien: Even the generalization you're making about urban centers versus suburbs really depends on the region. [1] For example, in the U.S., meandering sidewalks are much more common in suburbs than anywhere else, potentially doubling the distance one has to walk. I can see where you're coming from with these edits, but some of these rows are simply too subjective to achieve a strong global consensus. The table exists to summarize the lengthy discussion below it, but I think it would be more helpful to inexperienced mappers if we instead take the opportunity to enumerate the regions where sidewalks as ways are definitely welcome or definitely unwelcome. – Minh Nguyễn 💬 01:27, 27 November 2022 (UTC)
@Minh Nguyen: Right. I do not propose a change of method between city centre and suburb, I propose to use the more complicated method only when necessary to represent detail, so that it can occur in the suburbs (although rare), and it may be that in many city centres it is not necessary everywhere. I believe this would work well both in the US and in the rest of the world. Note that the modern way most cities in North America were built is really unique compared to the rest of the world, with most cities in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America resembling the European patterns. I also see parallels between this topic and bicycle mapping, where some situations can be mapped in more than one way, apparently without full consensus. --Fernando Trebien (talk) 03:30, 27 November 2022 (UTC)

@Ftrebien: I just think this page could be more informative by focusing on the areas of consensus that do exist. For example, your approach of only mapping sidewalks as ways where necessary for some detail may be the norm in some countries but not in others. Your country's tagging page could probably recommend your approach without any controversy, due to agreement about what's important locally; likewise for me and the countries where I map (not all of which map sidewalks as ways). This page could link to the "Sidewalks" section of each country's tagging page, to keep the page from getting unwieldy like Key:heritage#Tagging organisations.

Incidentally, the analogy I thought of was that the additional complication of dual carriageways may have been terribly inconvenient in the early days, but it facilitated all sorts of mapping (navigation, street parking, trees in the median) that we take for granted today. Once upon a time, this wiki exhorted mappers to use building=* for only the significant buildings that we needed to say something about, ignoring the rest, but it's a good thing we ignored that advice. One mapper's ridiculous micromapping is another mapper's fun craft mapping. :^)

 – Minh Nguyễn 💬 09:33, 27 November 2022 (UTC)

@Minh Nguyen: There's nothing to stop us from recommending something like "do the easy method first to cover as much ground as quickly as possible, then switch to the complicated one when it becomes feasible". But there are far fewer divided highways than there are sidewalks. If one recommends mapping all sidewalks as separate ways, that means mapping at least three ways for almost every street in a city (one main highway and two sidewalks). Likewise, if one recommends mapping all sidewalks as tags, detail will be lost in some places. I don't see either as being entirely satisfactory everywhere. --Fernando Trebien (talk) 12:50, 27 November 2022 (UTC)
@Ftrebien: Oh, I definitely agree with recommending sidewalk=* as a first pass, and I think we'd be hard-pressed to find people who disagree with that pragmatic approach. There's a difference between promoting a tagging scheme and promoting a tagging scheme at the expense of another. In other words, subject to local considerations, it can also be OK to proactively map the ways before getting around to adding the details that make those ways necessary. I think we're also in agreement that the "feature comparison" table on this page sets up the two approaches as adversaries when they should be complementary. – Minh Nguyễn 💬 23:55, 27 November 2022 (UTC)
Mostly, although I find the pros and cons comparison helpful in understanding the issue and building (or revising) a regional convention. Probably the biggest disadvantage of mapping separately is having to choose between directions with street names and duplicate geolocation results. One thing that is missing is that, when mapped as a separate way, adding sidewalk=separate (or maybe foot=use_sidepath) to the main highway is necessary for correct pedestrian routing. And there may still be some situations where using just tags is preferable, although these are non-existent or very rare in North America. In some places (many in Japan), sidewalks are essentially a painted pedestrian lane without a curb (so, the street is a continuous track with no barrier between pedestrians and vehicles). If this occurs in combination with legislation allowing pedestrians to cross the street at any point, it would be a strong argument (to me) against mapping the sidewalk as a separate way. --Fernando Trebien (talk) 11:48, 28 November 2022 (UTC)
@Ftrebien: Good point about sidewalk=separate. It's unfortunate that mappers and importers historically overlooked this tag in their enthusiasm for sidewalk ways. Part of that is due to a lack of editor support for sidewalk=*, which saw some progress not long ago. [2] I do recognize that the construction standards and laws in some regions combine to necessitate sidewalk=* as opposed to a sidewalk way. This is even the case in some parts of the U.S., and we do tag sidewalk=* in those cases. As long as the page sticks to facts instead of delving into advocacy, I think guidance for communities is fine. But I hope this page doesn't develop in a way that a new mapper could be scolded for breaking this or that based on the wording of this global page. – Minh Nguyễn 💬 09:26, 30 November 2022 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────"Scolding" is not good practice, and anyone caught being disrespectful should be called out by more active local mappers to prevent the community from becoming toxic, regardless of the topic. These experienced mappers should explain that the subject is not fully settled and point out advantages and disadvantages of each system to help lead the other mapper to a sensible conclusion by themselves. After that kind of conversation, it is very unusual for a mapper to force their point. --Fernando Trebien (talk) 12:46, 30 November 2022 (UTC)
Pedestrian crossing on Wikipedia mentions that In most places, the pedestrian does not need specific facilities, as in low car flow streets, the pedestrians can cross (without priority) at any location. This is an argument against adding a separate way and in favour of using only sidewalk=* for the main way in these cases, which in many places dominate large portions of the map. --Fernando Trebien (talk) 13:20, 7 December 2022 (UTC)
As always, speaking from my local background: The latest revision of our highway code (StVO Austria July 2022) did away with one more thing, that might be called jaywalking, i.e. "mid-block" crossing a street closer than 25m away from a marked crossing. Perhaps the only way to jaywalk remaining now: to cross a street at a signalized crossing when the pedestrian light shows red. This of course on the condition, that it is safe to do so without impact on vehicles. Only recently, statistics showed an uptick of accidents on marked crossings, causes have to be researched, countermeasures evaluated: eg. larger non-parking space on the sides, reducing speed limits, etc. If it is safer to cross mid-block than on the crosswalk would require though extra data to relate that, on where people actually cross. I often do ;) --Hungerburg (talk) 22:05, 7 December 2022 (UTC)
Hallo aus Brasilien! Around here people jaywalk illegally very often. But I think the key issue, internationally, is how the mapping practice relates to the use of data. We don't want the routing software to tell the user to break the law (jaywalking on busy downtown streets and major urban arterials), but I don't think we want a great mapping effort to avoid problems that most of the time don't exist (such as crossing halfway a residential street in a quiet suburb where cars are required to drive slowly). Perhaps it's fair to assume that pedestrians are expected to avoid jaywalking near crosswalks, and that things may be more lenient where this infrastructure is absent? --Fernando Trebien (talk) 23:29, 7 December 2022 (UTC)

@Ftrebien: The "Criteria" section is completely unsourced, so I don't think we can assume it necessarily has any more bearing than something written here on this wiki. You're right that there are vast swaths of the world that don't have or enforce pedestrian traffic regulations, and for that matter vast swaths of the world that don't even build sidewalks to begin with. Yet the parts of the world that do are not insignificant either. I think there's a tension that mappers interested in mapping sidewalks (or the presence thereof) are naturally inclined to consider minutiae, whether geometric or legal, yet the reality on the ground can be at once overwhelmingly consistent and completely different from the reality elsewhere in the world.

With respect to jaywalking rules, California where I live just decriminalized jaywalking as of the start of this year. [3] However, the law still prohibits jaywalking; all that changed was the police's latitude in enforcing this provision. Nothing has changed on the ground, and neither has our driving culture. So any pedestrian-oriented software would still be expected to have the same behavior as before.

 – Minh Nguyễn 💬 21:30, 7 January 2023 (UTC)

And just as it was decriminalized, it could be criminalized again one day. So the question for me is, should all sidewalks be mapped as separate ways in every country/state/region/city/suburb/quarter? Is the transition from "tag on main way" to "separate way" always desirable? --Fernando Trebien (talk) 16:45, 9 January 2023 (UTC)
@Ftrebien: From my perspective, the transition from sidewalk=* to footway=sidewalk is not inherently better or worse than the reverse. It depends on the reason for making the change. Replacing footway=sidewalk with sidewalk=* would be justifiable if the reasons for mapping a particular sidewalk as a footway=sidewalk way are no longer valid. By analogy, I've spent a nontrivial amount of time undoing dual carriageways due to mappers misunderstanding the physical separation rule or misinterpreting aerial imagery. I also consider it valid to map a divided road as a single carriageway as a first pass, but I wouldn't undo a dual carriageway solely because that initial option exists. – Minh Nguyễn 💬 18:33, 9 January 2023 (UTC)

As an example of what I am proposing, I recently detailed the map around a complex junction in my area. Local mappers so far had been only concerned with car routing and ignored pedestrian and cycling routing logic there. We have a lot of bike lanes combined with sidewalks around here, and the two intertwine in this case. I applied again the idea of starting with sidewalk=* on the main way and progressing to a separate highway=footway only where needed. I then tested the pedestrian and cycling routing on many start and destination pairs around the junction to make sure everything was logically correct, that no forbidden moves were chosen by the router, and that all legal moves were represented, and then I checked the default and the cycling renderings to make sure they also made sense. It is easier to understand the idea and the result when visualized in JOSM using the "Sidewalks and footways (with knobs on)" map paint style, or in OpenStreetBrowser though not while mapping. Looking around a bit, it becomes evident that most streets outside this junction follow the basic pattern of "there's a sidewalk on each side of the street", so little would be gained by mapping a highway=footway for each of them. --Fernando Trebien (talk) 14:36, 20 July 2023 (UTC)

Sidewalks with area:highway?

For people micromapping streets using area:highway, what is best practice here?

Where we have a separately mapped sidewalk as highway=footway, this seems quite straightforward: use area:highway=footway for the area around the linear way. Should footway=sidewalk also be added to these (currently flagged by JOSM validator rules)?

There are also situations where sidewalks are best tagged as sidewalk=* on the main way, as separate sidewalks will tend to produce very poor pedestrian routing. Examples of this are streets in British cities with long terraces, no formal crossing points (sometimes not even lowered kerbs near junctions) and no or very few driveways crossing the sidewalk. However, it may still be desirable for some to map the sidewalk area between the front gardens and the kerb. Perhaps area:highway=sidewalk, which is currently undocumented with 363 uses?

--Rskedgell (talk) 14:03, 29 December 2022 (UTC)

This is confusing, and inconsistent. Those uses probably didn't think of adding footway=sidewalk on area:highway=footway. JOSM validator can be fixed.
Some other features viz area:highway=shoulder has no requirement for a linear feature to exist inside. It is also possible to have different surfacing represented by multiple parallel areas (aside from surface:lanes=*), causing no lines inside most or all area:highway=*.
--- Kovposch (talk) 21:57, 7 January 2023 (UTC)

Order of examples

Some time ago, the "Examples" section was rearranged in order from "least controversially" a sidewalk to most controversial. I'm afraid this makes the entire section problematic in North America, as it applies a particular European perspective on what constitutes a sidewalk. If you print out this section, distribute it to 100 ordinary people on the street in North America, and ask them to decide which is a sidewalk and which is not, 99 of the 100 responses will come back with the following results:

  • 0: "Sidewalk, obviously"
  • 1: "We don't have those here" – actually we do, sometimes, and it's called a pedestrian lane, not a sidewalk
  • 2: "Just decoration"
  • 3–8: "Sidewalk, obviously"
  • A&B: "Sidewalk, obviously"

From this previous discussion, I gather that part of the problem is a desire to translate specific German legal terms to OSM English terms such as sidewalk=*. I sympathize with this concern, but I can't imagine having to educate English speakers on a particular translation of the StVO to understand how to map a sidewalk, just as I'm sure it would be painful to assist Austrian speakers in the same way.

If there is a controversy, the section should clearly state the region in which the controversy exists. Otherwise, the page should let mappers use common sense. As things stand, I've had multiple people ask me how to interpret this section, but I have no idea how to help them.

This edit also comes with a suggestion to contact the local authorities for a "ruling" on whether a strip of pavement qualifies as a sidewalk. In the U.S., I assure you that it would take much more than a phone call to get a response to such an inquiry. No government official is paid to issue rulings about trivialities. You'd have to find some obscure law specific to sidewalks, violate it in the presence of a cop, get fined for it, challenge the fine in court, convince the magistrate not to let the authorities dismiss the charges against you as a waste of time... and ultimately the magistrate would rule on whether you have to pay, not whether it's a sidewalk. Here at least, no one cares.

 – Minh Nguyễn 💬 20:24, 7 January 2023 (UTC)

1. I thought the photo is referring to the part closer to the building. For the description, there was indeed footway=lane suggested before. So I don't agree it's a sidewalk. I would apply the same physical separation criteria (from drawing separate lines for roads) to determine whether it's a sidewalk.
2. If other non-continuous obstacles (bollards? individual kerbstones similar to some highway=cycleway?) can form what's considered a sidewalk, it should count by the same logic.
4. It's definitely a bad example for the question it's trying to ask. Sidewalks can commonly have railings lined along them.
6,A. It does depend on whether features on different vertical levels should be associated with each other. I agree it's a sidewalk.
5,A,B. I would say this should be considered together with the question of whether the part in between form a verge=*. If yes, it's a sidewalk.
--- Kovposch (talk) 21:53, 7 January 2023 (UTC)
Lusophone communities have informally agreed to have sections for each Portuguese-speaking country in each article where necessary (due to engagement, currently this usually means Brazil and Portugal, but the agreement embraces any Portuguese-speaking country; most articles do not need these sections). This allows both the presentation of the general idea and comparisons between countries, preventing the mapping practice from becoming too divergent. It may be that articles in English also need something like this for English speaking countries. So one can simply create a US-specific section, or a North America section when Canadian practices match the US. Many articles on the English Wikipedia also follow this idea, sometimes including sections for non-English speaking countries (in OSM this could lead to huge articles, which is probably undesirable). --Fernando Trebien (talk) 15:23, 14 March 2023 (UTC)
Controversy continues --- Kovposch (talk) 05:42, 30 March 2023 (UTC)

Permanently unusable sidewalks

Some of the other discussed ways to tag that situation, which were mentioned in discussion were:

  • highway=residential + parking:both=on_kerb - some people would tag it like this to document actual use, but others find it very problematic as parking there is illegal (and may lead to driver being fined or car being towed, depending on their luck), and it would be inviting people to park illegally.
  • highway=residential + sidewalk=no - compatible with all pedestrian routers, but some people complain that sidewalk=* is not about its usability by pedestrians, but only about physical presence of a kerb-separated paved spaces on the side of the road, and that sidewalk=no is thus incorrect.
  • highway=residential + sidewalk=both - suggested by some people who think that sidewalk=* is only about physical presence of a kerb-separated paved spaces on the side of the road, but is rejected by other users who insist that sidewalk=* is primarily about the pedestrian use, and that this solution would needlessly endanger pedestrians by routing them where they shouldn't go.
  • highway=residential + cycleway=both - same as above, but suggested by some people who think that (since markings are not visible) it might be cycleway=* instead of sidewalk=*. Also wildly rejected by other users who insist that cycleway=* (much like sidewalk=*) is primarily about the ability to use the surface for riding bicycle (and not just physical presence of the surface), and that this solution would needlessly endanger bicycle users by routing them where they shouldn't go. Also, people complain that one shouldn't make up tags if they are not Verifiable (e.g. if the mapper can't determine whether it is cycleway=* or sidewalk=*).

There there were more discussed ways how it should be tagged, by inventing new tags/values (which were rejected, in addition to specific reasons outlined below, as being generally problematic because it would require never-ending effort to make all existing and new routers, editors etc. to support it, and even then it would remain broken all old routers - e.g. on old hardware which can't afford upgrades, or pieces of software which are no longer being updated, or have been built as one-time thing etc. - which would likely remain broken forever until they die out; and that additional tags/values may only refine results, and not change their behaviour completely - i.e. they must not be Trolltag):

Few people would combine bits and pieces from those methods, and/or change some tags slightly (e.g. sidewalk:both=yes + sidewalk:both:surface=asphalt instead of sidewalk=both etc.)

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Mnalis (talkcontribs) 00:51, 6 April 2023‎ (UTC)

"Resembles aerial imagery"

I don't see why separate sidewalk ways should resemble aerial imagery better and why this should be an advantage. The mapping method that would resemble aerial imagery the best were sidewalk areas. --Dafadllyn (talk) 20:02, 21 April 2023 (UTC)

Because sidewalk need not always be absolutely parallel to the road (although it often is), and some mappers wish to record that detail (and they may wish to record it to such precision and detail for variety of reasons, for example as it is very useful for blind people). Additional advantage to mapping as separate way is that it becomes possible to add all sort of additional detail (smoothness=*, obstacle=*, barrier=* etc. which are only present on footway and not on road, different lit=*, etc.). So, tagging as a separate way highway=footway + footway=sidewalk along its centerline (+ width=* if one so desires) is pretty good approximation of mapping it as area, without all the disadvantages (e.g. routing issues). That being said, if you want to micromap them to that detail as an area, there is area:highway=footway available to you; just make sure you use those areas in addition to regular footway way used for pedestrian routing. --mnalis (talk) 17:42, 5 May 2023 (UTC)

"As a pedestrian lane on the road"

This documentation is about sidewalks, not pedestrian lanes. Pedestrian lanes should be explained somewhere else. Besides, sidewalk:*=lane and sidewalk:*=yes + sidewalk:*:kerb=no are troll tags, as pedestrian lanes aren't sidewalks, and thus shouldn't used. --Dafadllyn (talk) 20:10, 21 April 2023 (UTC)

I'd advise to read the discussion at for all the gory details; but in short, areas intended for exclusive movement of pedestrians (even when only separated by paint from areas intended for motor vehicles) are called (depending on the country) by various names: "sidewalks", "pedestrian lanes", "shoulders", "footways", "footpaths", etc. IOW, what you might know as pedestrian lane, someone else might know as curbless sidewalk . --mnalis (talk) 17:30, 5 May 2023 (UTC)
@Mnalis: This section is long enough that it could be a separate page at Pedestrian lanes anyways. Then Sidewalks can link to it, and so could other articles like Lanes for discoverability. – Minh Nguyễn 💬 07:34, 23 May 2023 (UTC)