Highway classification wiki revision - paths/footways table

Below is a proposal for the replacement of Thailand’s wiki paths section, with the main goal to prevent the usage of legal access tags to subjectively decide the suitability of a path for a motorcycle and other means.

For background, we had this already available in the wiki before but I personally pushed to use highway=footway and highway=path+motorcycle=yes to differentiate between paths that are suitable for motorcycles vs those that are not.

However, I have learned quickly that this suitability decision is indeed very subjective, and what I thought initially was not suitable for motorcycles was actually used by more skilled riders. Even some of the steepest hiking trails are known to be used by mountain bikers and enduro riders.

Also, this motorcycle=yes tag may have led to the situation that other contributors started to use regularly access tags like foot=yes/no, bicycle=yes/no to indicate the suitability of other activities, another very subjective matter, instead of using the recommended scale tags (sac_scale for hiking, mtb:scale for mountain biking and dirtbike:scale for enduro riding).

When routing, modern outdoor applications (e.g. Komoot, AllTrails) will complain now that sections are forbidden for your activity and you may have to dismount…

While rendering was cited by a community member as a concern at the time, I found out that most modern outdoor applications will render footway and path anyway the same.

Finally, mountain areas have become a maze of intertwined highway=path and highway=footway which makes the editing process very confusing, imagine for new mappers.

Please let me know if you have any objections or suggestions for edits.


Urban and Local Road that a motor car cannot pass

OSM tag Description, comments
highway=footway Built pathways designed mainly or exclusively for pedestrians access. For example, designated footpaths in urban and attraction areas (hotels, parks, tourist sites…).

If other means are legally allowed, add the corresponding access tags e.g. highway=footway + bicycle=yes

Do not use for hiking trails, use instead highway=path with the appropriate sac_scale difficulty tag.
highway=path Multi-purpose paths intended for all non-motorized vehicles with the exception of motorcycles.

Use instead highway=footway if the path is sign-posted for exclusive or main pedestrians access.

Do not use legal access tags (foot=yes/no, bicycle=yes/no) to indicate the suitability of the path for a specific activity. Instead use the corresponding scale tags (sac_scale for hiking, mtb:scale for mountain biking, dirtbike:scale for enduro riding).

If the path has a sign that certain means are forbidden, add the corresponding access tags. e.g. highway=path + motorcycle=no
highway=path+ motorcycle=designated Dedicated pathway for motorcycles, typically sign-posted and found in urban areas.
Others See highway=*

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Ce sujet de discussion accompagne la publication sur https://community.openstreetmap.org/t/highway-classification-wiki-revision-paths-footways-table/4528