Foot routing on US roads


I’m using GraphHopper in an application which helps suggest running routes for people.

I’m seeing cases where routes are being suggested that use unsuitable/unsafe roads. For example:

West Powell Road, Ohio

This road and bridge has no sidewalk and always has heavy traffic on it.

12th Street Bridge, Ohio River

You definitely don’t want to be walking over this!

I strongly suspect that this is just going to be down to poor OSM tag data for these roads. It seems quite common on many US roads.

My questions are:

  1. Is my assumption correct that this is just poor tagging?
  2. What would be the correct tag to apply to these roads? foot=no? sidewalk=none?
  3. Is there a reasonable heuristic I can use as a workaround? e.g. Avoid any primary/trunk/motorways for foot unless explicitly tagged with foot= or sidewalk=



foot=no would fix this problem, but is usually only used if it is legally not allowed. Best would be probably if you ask this on some OSM mailing list for the US how that should be tagged. But at least sidewalk=none, yes, so that graphhopper avoids this. Still, especially for a bridge without much alternatives, this likely won’t solve the problem. We could try to take into account lanes>1 or something.

But the more important question is: what route would you pick for walking :slight_smile: ?

Thanks for the quick reply. sidewalk=none is the way I’ll go for manual edits. It sounds like there’s no good heuristic for this already, so I’ll experiment with some here, but there will undoubtedly be edge cases regardless.

In the case of the 12th Street Bridge - you absolutely shouldn’t ever be routed over it. In the other case, you could walk along it, but it wouldn’t be a smart move.

I’ve adopted your suggestion of lanes>1 and set that as REACH_DEST. Early results look considerably better, but not perfect. I’ll be doing some testing in other countries and then will submit a PR if successful. Thanks again!

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