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If a path is tagged with

bicycle=yes

Does it mean that its a path where bicycles are allowed or is it actually a path that is preferred for bicycles (due to some reason like bicycle infrastructure)?

Edit: I understand that the tag implies access but wanted to know if the tag can be used as an indication of a road more preferable for biking compared to roads thats don't have this tag.

Edit: To clarify my question further

I was mapping bicycle ways for a city and was wondering, since not every path has a bicycle tag, the ones that do have bicycle=yes, would they be more suitable for biking compared to the ones that don't have any' bicycle=*` tag (except the ones that imply cycling isn't allowed).

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    Low effort post. wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Bicycle
    – Jon
    Jul 25, 2018 at 21:54
  • I did go through the wiki and understand that its indicates access, but was still confused if the tag can be used as an indication of a road more preferable for biking compared to roads thats don't have this tag.
    – Isj
    Jul 25, 2018 at 21:58
  • @Jon please consider writing up your comment as an answer so we can consider this question resolved.
    – Aaron
    Jul 25, 2018 at 22:18
  • @lsj I guess I don't understand your question. According to the documentation, bicycle=yes only indicates ways where bicycles are permitted and has no (official) indication of preference. There are other tags for identifying dedicated bike paths, etc.
    – Jon
    Jul 25, 2018 at 22:49
  • I was mapping bicycle ways for a city and was wondering, since not every path has a bicycle tag, the ones that do have 'bicycle=yes' (obviously the ones with other values like no are not suitable), would they be more suitable for biking compared to the ones that don't have any' bicycle=*' tag. (Also to clarify, I am aware that 'designated' and 'official' imply bicycle paths)
    – Isj
    Jul 26, 2018 at 14:07

1 Answer 1

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Does it mean that its a path where bicycles are allowed

Yes, just that.

or is it actually a path that is preferred for bicycles (due to some reason like bicycle infrastructure)?

No.

First things first, access tagging is complicated. In OSM as well as "yes" you'll also see values such as "designated", "destination", "customers" and others. For "bicycle" you'll also see "dismount". You can use taginfo to see a list of values to expect.

As you suggest, bicycle infrastructure is useful to know about. Depending on where you're looking in the world you might find:

  • A highway tag such as highway=cycleway
  • A surface tag
  • Another tag like smoothness or surface
  • The way you're processing might be part of a short or long distance cycle route.

All of these might help you infer whether the way you're dealing with is appropriate for bikes, and if so, what sort (i.e. a "racing" bike vs something for use offroad).

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