OSM question about gated private roads

Been having a debate with a few fellow Striders who generally don’t come here. Round my way there are a fair number of “gated” roads - often fairly short dead ends off a normal public road.

All such roads obviously have to a very small section up to the gate that is physically “accessible”. Obviously you mark everything behind the gate as access=private but have seen some instances where that small section is access=yes and other times where the whole street is marked access=private

If that very small bit is access=yes then it appears on CS as a tiny stub with 2 nodes and you can usually “do it” just running past without even noticing.

e.g. Lovekyn Close - CityStrides
The reality on the ground is Google Maps

My opinion is that OSM is more “schematic” and marking what literally could be a few metres of road up to a gate as access=yes on a clearly private road is taking the detail over and above what it is intended for.

Either way have seen multiple instances of both implementations. Obviously one should not mark OSM purely so a street can or cannot appear on CS but including a street that is effectively a few metres long up to a gate seems a bit pointless?

Why can’t you run the full road? Is it illegal to enter on foot? I can only see signs regarding parking.

In Denmark we have private roads with public access. Some times during the year the gates might be locked (during winter), but then one just has to wait for the time of year when they are open.

So I see a road that needs to be run in full :wink:

That’s not really the point which is more about how it is setup in OSM.

Pretty sure I could nip in there and out and nobody will notice or care 99% of the time. However there are plenty of similar examples where the gate physically prevents access unless you know the code and/or wait for the gate to open, nip in and risk being locked in as has happened to me a few times! So now I try and avoid things that am clearly not supposed to do and mark up OSM accordingly.

In my normal every day life, I’d agree with you that such minute detail can seem overly complex for such a small street with no guarantee any person would ever see the extra work it takes to split and label the sections differently. However, if I was the person mapping your example street or any like it, I would still do the extra work to separate the way and label differently. Reason being that though I think it’s only a small detail, others using OSM data for their own purposes may find the difference necessary and vital information.

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Thanks for reply. Another factor here is some uncertainty on roads like this what the difference is OSM terms between access=private and access=yes as easily the two most common types I encounter for CS.

OSM talks about access not in terms of ownership but accessibility but then says access=yes means there is a legal right of way which is somewhat different to a section of road with no physical barrier.

In this case and indeed many other similar ones round my way, I am in no real doubt that this is a “private” road in the sense that maintenance of it is not down to the public purse. Some of these “private” roads have gates and some don’t but typically would have private on the street sign whether you can physically access or not.

So really what am unsure about here is whether a section of road that is physically accessible all the time despite it being private in the sense just described is access=yes. If so that kind of implies that, unless somebody places a physical barrier behind which access=private is clearly correct, anywhere is access=yes just because you can “get in”. That does not seem right.

I have that happening in my city too. I just press the intercom button and ask if I can quickly run the tarmac as I’m running all streets for charity. Never been declined.


Ah “running all streets for charity” - I like that. One to remember for the future for sure! So you haven’t been offered any donations then :slight_smile:


Not sure if this has been said, exactly, but what I always think about is, “You never know who is going to use OSM, for what.”

So, when I make edits, which admittedly, are almost always motivated by Striding, I still always go for accuracy.

I kinda figure it’s the least I can do, for getting so much enjoyment out of CS, and OSM.


yeah agreed. My most common update is adding a gate and making the bit behind it private when I find one that I can’t get through and clearly aren’t supposed to unless you live there. It is trickier on the streets you can “access” pretty much freely that are marked private as more of an indication of ownership than actual access. However I don’t tend to change them unless am certain there is at least official “permissive” access or even sometimes a public footpath over a street that is clearly private for cars due to say private parking notices etc etc

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I would say the private sign with no gate for streets that can easily be accessed is rather to prevent car access. Anyway, in that case I just run faster.


I guess it depends on where you live. As a woman running in a rural area. If I see private drive gated or not I won’t run it. I have to assume there might be someone with a gun standing there.
But really I feel like that means the owner owns that part and maintains it instead of the city (for me also means owner plows snow). But I run up to any gate or private sign.


Yeah with you there Missie. For instance, there are some nodes inside a school (for children) around where am doing at present that are clearly not access=all so better to update OSM to exclude them (i.e. access=private) as opposed to risking literally being arrested for being somewhere just because OSM is not correct.

Often I think the private parking signs appear as space is limited and only seems fair to let the people live there use the spaces but otherwise being on foot no real problem. It is the private signs up dead ends heading towards a property when certainly need to think about whether any nodes up there are best altered on OSM than ran although of course I do sometimes.

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Tim, how are you changing access=private? I’ve been running lately in Calabasas, CA, which has lots of private gated communities. If I can get inside, I run them, but I often can’t (such as if there’s a live guard in front :joy:). And that’s usually fine when there are no nodes, but I’m often seeing nodes behind the gates (meaning I could never 100% finish the city). I’d love to update that for certain areas….

Within OpenStreetMap

Have you used that before?

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Hi @stst415 ,
You can find a basic how-to for editing stuff in OSM here: OSM Basics

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I’m such a map nerd; I can’t believe I’ve never logged into OSM before. Thank you for this tip! Questions. I must have inputted in over 50 changes. They’re all saved and they show up properly in that “overpass turbo” link. But when do they show up at CityStrides? It doesn’t look immediate (or at least they’re not coming through by refreshing the browser). Does CS only pull its data once a day… once a week… or something else?

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If you go to the city page of Calabasas in CS, you see:
Updated from OSM 2022-01-19. Cities are updated from OSM about every 5-6 weeks

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Yes I have had one donation of £10

Within Open Street Map, I’ve been making extensive fixes to Calabasas, Woodland Hills (Los Angeles), and West Hills (Los Angeles). The oldest update is exactly 4 weeks ago while the newest is 30 minutes ago. Is there a way to manually sync CityStrides to pull the latest data from Open Street Map? I ask this question partly because I’m eager to see the updates during my daily walks and runs, and partly because, as noted, Calabasas was last updated 2022-01-19, but that’s been 7.5 weeks when, apparently, updates should happen on their own every approximately 5-6 weeks.

@stst415 to the best of my knowledge, other than getting @JamesChevalier to do it, the only thing to do is wait, until the next (OSM) update. Updates have been running about every 6 weeks. There are some related ideas (CS forum page) on getting updates to happen quicker, but for now it’s a waiting game.