Categories of private-access tagging


I would like to share some cases in which I’ve been applying various flavors of private access tags in the United States (but most specifically in Newport, Rhode Island where I most frequently map). I’m interested to learn of other edge cases with public access that folks have had and how they addressed them. Disputes between (wealthy) land owners and the public are not uncommon when it comes to access, so rich tagging is fairly important in describing the reality on the ground.

Case 1, access=private + ownership=private: The road is privately owned, and there is signage that clearly indicates that the public is not welcome. (location)

Case 2, access=discouraged: There is long-standing signage (has been there for years) indicating that the public is not welcome, however, land records indicate that this is a public road. (location)

Case 3, access=permissive + ownership=private: This image is courtesy of @ElliottPlack. In this particular town in Maryland, green signs indicate public roads and blue signs indicate private roads. Some blue-signed roads have no signage or gates indicating an access restriction, but some do. For cases where a blue-signed (private) road has no signed access restriction, access=permissive reflects the fact that the owners of that road might restrict access at any future time. In my area, there are often private roads that are signed identically to public roads, and I would also tag those as permissive access if there’s no signage restricting access.

What other situations have you encountered in the wild that aren’t clear-cut when it comes to road access?

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