Highway=busway on non-BRTs

I’ve already brought it up on the talk page but wantet to post it here for a wider oudience.

I feel like the tag highway=busway needs to be better defined. It’s original justification is for the increasing deployment of BRTs but the way the page is currently written first implies a specific use for BRTs but is written fairly general otherwise, reflecting all other types of bus-only roads regardless whether they’re classified as BRT or not. Even other pages (most notably highway=bus_guideway which is one of the main inspirations for the creation of highway=busway) don’t mention BRTs.

The original rationale is that is that separated bus lanes aren’t truly service roads because they don’t access anything but rather are a type of throughfare. However, the main focus is on BRTs whereas other forms of protected bus lanes (which e.g. split a carriageway into two) aren’t well described with exception of bus bypass lanes and bus bays (especially the latter makes sense to me).
Part of it is explained that the tag is intentionally vague but it’s also a problem when applied to busways which largely fit the exception except that it they aren’t (officially) BRTs.

Furthermore (which also bugs me) is that (from the names alone), highway=busway is to busway=* what highway=cycleway is to cycleway=*, especially because highway=cycleway is commonly used for protected cycle lanes.

One example I’m very familiar with (to the point where I initially wanted to implent it on my side) is the Rheinstraße in Darmstadt which incidentally is used as the first example of tagging highways in urban areas (which btw should also be updated both in terms of Mapnik display and tagging, both because the information is outdated and because of the busway):

Here, the highway is a dual carriageway split by a tram-/busway. It is not, however, considered a BRT nor being licensed as such (in part for lasting only one and a half kilometre). It nonetheless fits the description of “maintain a high level of importance specifically for bus passengers” in that it allows busses to bypass the car traffic on the Rheinstraße while also being kerb protected. It also isn’t a protected bypass lane like the Piccadilly Circus example because it lasts for a longer distance, essentially for the entire length of the Rheinstraße east of the bridge up to Luisenplatz (which is more of a transit mall and thus unsuited for highway=busway).

It isn’t the only example I want to change (there exist similar roads in Mainz and Frankfurt but users disagreed that highway=busway is appropriate there) but it is the most prominent example (in part because it is so straightforward).

Either way, how should I tag the busway (which I’ll also use it as a reference for similar busways)?

Click to view the poll.

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Ce sujet de discussion accompagne la publication sur https://community.openstreetmap.org/t/highway-busway-on-non-brts/110578