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How to avoid an unpleasant shared use path

22 Nov 2020
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A couple of days ago I asked for a route from Selborne to the Devil's Punchbowl in Hampshire, part of a bigger loop. I can understand why the routing engine would send me along a shared use path, as it's slightly shorter and seems like a good traffic free option. Unfortunately it's a narrow pavement next to a dual carriageway of the A3 with traffic doing 70 mph a few inches away, with no barrier in place. Streetview link. Not the worst thing in the world as it was only a mile.

Again, I totally understand why this happened and it's like a reasonable choice, given the data available. I know the A3 fairly well, but I couldn't remember which sections of the path were behind barriers. In this case the back roads seem like the preferred option, and only add about 0.2 miles. Is there any way to mark it up as unprotected or intimidating in OSM so that it doesn't get chosen?


Sun 22 Nov 2020, 15:11

As yet isn't smart enough to take the surroundings of a cycleway into account when planning its route. It’s something I’m actively working on – ultimately I’d like it to penalise cycleways which are right next to a trunk road, like this – but it’s a big, complicated task!

OSM only deals with factual data so “intimidating” isn’t really something that can be mapped. In theory “unprotected” could be, but I don’t know of any way in which that’s done.

Tue 1 Dec 2020, 08:41

A belated thank you for replying Richard. It's great that you're working on this.