Trail and path attributes

Attributes describe important components of a trail or path and help produce accurate driving directions.

Note: As trails and paths are limited to pedestrian and bicycle traffic, the priority of a trail/path will be automatically set to "No auto traffic" and cannot be changed.

Segment usage

Segment usage describes how a particular segment can be used.

  • Trail/Path: Path that is used for walking or bicycling.
  • Pedestrian/Bicycle overpass: Describes a trail that crosses over another road or trail. See example:
  • Pedestrian/Bicycle underpass: Describes a trail that passes underneath another road or trail. See example:
  • Marked road crossing/ Zebra crossing: A segment/path marked across two segments of a split road that is used by pedestrians to go from one side to another.
    • Do not select this if the road section is near a junction/roundabout. In such cases, instead of marking a separate Trail/Path, update the Bicycle and pedestrian info to the road itself. See example:

Access

The "access" attribute specifies whether bicycles and/or pedestrians are allowed to access the trail/path.

  • Bicycles and pedestrians: This is the default setting for trails and allows full access for both bicycle and pedestrian traffic. This attribute should only be changed if access to a trail/path is explicitly restricted for bicycles or pedestrians.
  • Pedestrians only: Only pedestrians are allowed to use this trail/path.
  • Bicycles only: Only bicycles are allowed to use this trail/path.

 

Bicycle suitability

This attribute indicates how suitable a trail is for bicycle use. The following options can be set for this attribute:

  • Preferred: These trails are optimal for cycling and will be included in Google Maps biking directions.
  • Avoid: These trails that are sub-optimal for cycling.

Bicycle suitability should mirror trail/path "access." For example, if "trail access" is set for "Bicycles and Pedestrians," the "bicycle suitability" attribute should not be set to "avoid."

 

Elevation

Stairway: Select this attribute when a stairway can be seen in satellite imagery or street view. For other common road elevations, read about road attributes.

Grade levels

Grade levels are used to represent the trail appropriately on the map, especially to indicate that the trail that appears on top of a road actually intersect.

  • Overpass: Trail segment that is above a surface-level road.
  • Underpass: Trail segment that is below a surface-level road.

Read more about grade levels on flyover or underpass page. The same concepts for roads applies to trails as well.

 

Surface type

Select the surface type to indicate whether a trail is paved or unpaved, or specify the type of material used in its construction. Learn more on surface types.

  • Paved: Trails with a hard smooth surface. The following are specific types of paved trails:
    • Asphalt: A black top trail made with a combination of tar & asphalt.
    • Chipseal: A trail made with a combination of asphalt and construction aggregate.
    • Concrete: A trail that has been made primarily of cement and other materials such as lime stone, granite and other chemical mixtures.
  • Unpaved:This can be used for trails that are formed of native material like mud/dirt
    • Gravel: A trail that has been laid out using sand, silt & loose rock.
    • Dirt: A trail that has been formed naturally or laid out using local elements around that area.
    • Sand:A naturally formed trail composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles.

 

Condition

Select one of the options below to indicate the trail's condition. Good trails are preferred over bad trails when routing directions.

  • Good: A well-laid trail that supports the flow of bicycle or pedestrian traffic.
  • Bad: A poorly maintained trail that is not recommended for use.

 

Construction status

This attribute is assigned based on the construction status of the trail.

  • Started: Trails that aren’t open to public yet and are under construction.
  • Planned: Trails that don’t physically exist yet, but a plan or blueprint has been made.
  • Other: Trails that exist but are temporarily closed due to construction.
  • Completed: Default status for Trails that aren’t under construction.

 

Best practices

  • Assign Closed for Maintenance only if the road will be closed for more than 90 days.
  • If a trail will be closed fewer than 60 days, it’s best to right click and Report a Problem on Maps.
  • Construction status should be assigned for the entire stretch that is under construction.