Do not include cemeteries or graveyards

Recently, mappers in my area have started tagging large walking paths in cemeteries as highway=pedestrian, causing them to appear on citystrides. While I am generally happy to see more places to run, I don’t think it is very appropriate to run in graveyards. A colleague of mine even got asked to stop running at a local, large, graveyard after being spotted there a few times :sweat_smile:.

I am not 100% sure what the appropriate solution is here. Either:

  • The roads should be tagged differently on the OSM side. I’m not sure if this is the appropriate solution, as the highway=pedestrian wiki article does seem to fit for the roads in question.
  • Alternatively, the overpass query should be adjusted to filter out ways in graveyards. This might be tricky as the landuse=cemetery tag is applied at the area level and not at the way level. It should be possible to do this through some is_in wizardry, but I’m personally not familiar enough with the overpass query language to figure it out.

Of course, other users might feel like cemeteries should remain included on citystrides. Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate to start this discussion. I am mainly wondering:

  1. If the community wants paths in cemeteries to appear on citystrides.
  2. If this is not the case, what’s the appropriate way to exclude them?

As an example, here is a satellite view of some of the roads in the cemetery tagged as highway=pedestrian: Google Maps.

Example overpass query that seems to work in Evere, Brussels, Belgium. The “Cimetiere de Bruxelles - Begraafplaats van Brussel” is a cemetery that currently has streets in CityStrides.

You’d probably want to find more situations to really confirm the query behaves as expected.


// Find your city
// Find cemeteries in the city

// Find ways in your city
// Find ways in your cemeteries

// Take the difference
  - .cemeteryways;

out body;
out skel qt;
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At the very least, amenity=grave_yard is another check to add.

There are some roads in Cambridge, MA, USA that are in a cemetery, and they were the last ones I completed in the city because the cemetery has a no running/jogging policy. But perfectly fine to walk there, so that’s what I (& I assume others that have 100%ed that city) have done. I don’t see a reason to exclude them from CityStrides as they’re accessible, named, and traversable…

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I agree with @kevincharlespels. Probably differs between countries, if running is OK or not, but if you feel uncomfortable about running there, just walk instead, it counts just as well


Whether it is appropriate to run in a cemetery is an very divisive topic on the running forums I read. (I’m guessing non-runners probably lean more toward “it’s not appropriate”.)

Regardless of one’s opinion on the appropriateness for running, I do think it makes sense to keep those streets in CityStrides for “striding”. I traversed the same cemetery that @kevincharlespels references in his reply. As he mentioned, these are named streets, and publicly accessible, so it seem OK to me to leave them in.

I posted this anecdote about a time I did “illicitly” run in that cemetery. Ironically, that post is from a thread of mine in which I was similarly advocating for editing those streets in OpenStreetMap, so that they would not appear in CityStrides. But, I have since changed my mind on that.


Personally, I use citystrides because I want to run every street of my city. I agree with the replies above that walking there is certainly an appropriate option, but to me that kind of runs counter to the goal of why I use citystrides.

Of course, that’s a very personal reasoning, which is why I put this up for debate in the first place. Just figured I’d add my own reasoning on why I am in favor of not including them, since I didn’t do that in my original post.

One thing I’ve learned from run mapping is that there is often a certain level of uncomfortableness about it. In a weird way I think this is likely the attraction for many of us. Most of my runs have some sort of interesting element to them.

If you take it seriously at all you get out of your comfort zone quite often when running a very busy road with no shoulder or down one way rural roads that might have a dog ready to lunge at you, roads that seem like they might be private…the not so nice sections of urban areas etc.

I’m all for eliminating dangerous or illegal stuff but I think cemeteries dont meet that threshold (unless specifically noted). I run all the cemeteries regardless of streets but there are ways to mitigate things as well. Run them at a time of day where there is no one around like early morning if it makes you more comfortable. Thats how I have managed some of the places I need to run, adjusting the time of day or bringing a friend.


I have done all of those, including running down the seedy red light district of my local city or running through an off-leash area in the forest while I am personally terrified of dogs :slight_smile:.

That being said, there is a difference between being uncomfortable or out of place and being an active nuisance to your surroundings. Many graveyards forbid people from running there (see my note above about runners being asked to leave), or have more broad rules asking people to stay quiet, calm and to show respect to those mourning there. This is not data that can be extracted from OSM, which is why I personally feel a blanket exclusion is appropriate here. Obviously people in this thread disagree, but I still think it would be an appropriate measure, if only to prevent the “exploring runners” community from getting a bad reputation.

Not a problem in Copenhagen. Here we treat it as any other park :grinning:

I have run all cemetaries, but if i felt uncomfortable doing it, as others have said, i would just walk it or run it an early sunday morning

Only place i have felt uncomfortable running was Freetown Christiania where they are selling weed and have spotters in the area. They really don’t like people that make them nervous :rofl:

Even though Tivoli amusement park in Copenhagen doesn’t have any nodes i still walked it to get the lines on the map.

At the end of the day, the nodes are nice to finish, but for me it’s more important how my map looks, so if i have to walk i will do that.


One of the cemeteries here in Ottawa hosted a winter race a few years ago when the original location fell through at the last minute. It was a really interesting experience and I personally think along the lines of the Danes, I think cemeteries should be for more than just somber reflection although I also understand that it’s a very sensitive topic.

The same cemetery was in the news recently because they hold outdoor movie nights regularly and when a family member of someone buried there found out they got very upset and ran to the news:

Film nights at Beechwood cemetery ´disgusting’ says grieving daughter.

In terms of CityStrides, I would probably just walk those streets. I’m trying to « run » my whole city but I’d make an exception for the cemetery if that was their rule.