Light up my way!

Posted by ika-chan! UK-USA on 20 November 2012 in English (English). Last updated on 16 December 2012.

Streetlights affect how you plan a safe road journey at night - another thing Google Maps cannot do. Recently, Transport for London has removed the lights from the Hammersmith Flyover (A4) and parts of the Westway (A40), and this means that drivers need to take extra care at night.

Mapping the streetlights on London’s roads is one of OpenStreetMap’s aims, and recently I have added relevant data for many London roads, including the A4 and the aforementioned sections that TfL have removed the streetlights.

Did you know that you can drive from London to Newbury using only roads with streetlights? You obviously cannot use the M4 (unlit between Junctions 8/9-10 and 12-13), but the A4 instead (except for the detour to avoid the Hammersmith flyover).

Addendum: I should also point out that you can also drive to Southend using only roads with streetlights, by following the A13.

Addendum II: I should also also point out that most of my data came from driving trips over the last two years, as well as recent public transport trips within the M25. I respect the privacy of the drivers given the current problems with cyber-bullying on the internet, but thanks.

Location: Silchester Estate, North Kensington, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, Greater London, England, W10 6UB, United Kingdom

Comment from CycleStreets on 20 November 2012 at 10:38

Do include paths for walking/cycling-only if possible during your surveying. The CycleStreets routing engine takes account of lighting (and much more):

Comment from robbieonsea on 21 November 2012 at 22:07

+1 for cycling and walking.

IMHO lighting for cars is fairly irrelevant - you have powerful lights to see by and a metal box to keep you safe.

Which route I would take in a car would hardly ever be effected by the lighting. Horses for courses I suppose.

Have the lights been completely removed from the above mentioned places? Parts of the A3(M) around north Portsmouth are on an energy saving mode so they turn off around midnight to about 6am.

I’ve often thought about blanket setting all roads in Portsmouth to lit=yes, but I haven’t been bothered. Cycleways/service roads/footpaths vary greatly and I’ve tended to tag those.

To my mind, in principal a router should automatically assume roads in a (UK) city/large town are lit. I would have thought not being lit is exception. Small towns/villages are much more variable.

Comment from ika-chan! UK-USA on 16 December 2012 at 20:45

@robbieonsea It is perfectly fine to cover trunk roads because cyclists will use them as they are legally all-purpose, unless signed. The city of Rome already has comprehensive lighting data (ITO World) and I am hoping that London will follow suit to become one of the largest metropolitan areas with lighting information on OSM.

The current progress can be seen here, yet I only e-mailed ITO just now about inconsistent data updates, where newer information were showing before those introduced over 7 days ago.

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