On Sat, 30 May 2020 at 16:55, Kevin Kenny <kevin.b.ke...@gmail.com> wrote:

> As far as I can tell, `tracktype` is mostly intended for surface
> firmness: how likely are you to sink if you drive it in wet weather?
> If I'm not doing a field survey in mud season, it's hard to tell.
> Everythiing from grade3 to grade5 will have vegetation growing on it.
> In the ruts, I'll see at least some hard material because the soil
> around here is stony.  (Around here, too, grade1 is likely to be at
> least `highway=service`, since nobody troubles to seal a track that's
> used just for tractors or logging trucks.) I also don't see a lot of
> ways with `tracktype` in my part of the world, so I don't have good
> local examples to go on.
The main benefit I see to it is the presence or absence of ruts. These may
act as an additional impediment to turning, cause ground clearance issues
or collect water. Softness seems to be covered by detailed enough surface
tags. A tag for the profile of the cross-section could supersede it
entirely if surface and smoothness are also included. For paved roads it
might also include values for whether there is a (noticeable) crown or
banking, or if the sides slope down to a central drain as is reasonably
common in setts.
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