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Trailmarkers in cities

I'm asking because I've been in a discussion where my "opponents" think I have entirely the wrong idea. Maybe I do.

I've generally given low scores to "trailmarkers" in cities that denote, say, the way on foot to certain locations. These are typically metal signs (though usually different from generic road signs, mind you), and it is unclear to me whether you're supposed to follow an actual path or whether it's simply sidewalks. Because I don't necessarily view them as "trails", and because of my interpretation of the spirit behind the trailmarker rule - I think they are allowed so that there can be more wayspots in forests, on mountains and so on, because Niantic wants people to exercise through their games. I think these city trail marks accomplish this in a much smaller degree. The reasons for accepting trailmarks as wayspots are "adventuruous locations" and "promoting physical activity", which I think apply to a much lesser degree here, since no physical activity is necessarily required to reach the wayspot, and the actual location of the wayspot itself is almost assuredly not adventuruous (even if the destination being pointed to might be).

However, I am criticized for judging wayspots based on their location, which is apparently something Niantic has stated that we are not to do. While I clearly have an opinion on the matter, if I'm wrong, I want to know.

This is the example trailmarker that was put forth in the discussion, which I said I would give a low score to:


  • TrevorBatson-PGOTrevorBatson-PGO Posts: 13 ✭✭

    As I understand it, (and if I'm wrong, please, someone with more authority than I correct me), a nomination is meant to be judged on its own merit, not on its geographic location, provided that it meets most or all of the following criteria:

    - is easily/safely pedestrian accessible

    - within a high/relatively high foot traffic area

    - within some form of gathering spot/tourist destination

    - is visually unique and/or hyper local

    For example, a restaurant that's a part of a fast food chain would not make a good Wayspot, however, a distinct feature located within or outside of said location would, as it distinguishes this location from others of its kind, and the location itself is certainly a gathering spot with relatively high traffic (e.g. a local memorial inside a McDonald's, if you could ever find such a thing).

    With that in mind, I would say that a trail marker for an urban trail would still be eligible, as while it may not be as adventurous as a trail marker in the woods, it does no less denote the location of a trail system, which in and of itself is designed to promote physical activity in a safe and relatively controlled environment, much like how Niantic games are designed to promote physical activity through fun and interactive incentivization. Plus a trail marker of this kind could certainly be considered a gathering spot for Niantic game players.

  • Dice3423-INGDice3423-ING Posts: 817 ✭✭✭✭

    I think more clarification on Bike Route Trails in cities/parks/urban areas need to be identified as if they are eligible to accept. Some of these types of bike route signs look like typical street signs but are specifically for Bike Route Trails.

    This was submitted previously on the Wayfarer Criteria Form and was never answered in January 2020.

  • PoMaQue-PGOPoMaQue-PGO Posts: 223 ✭✭✭✭

    I was going to post a topic like this as well and really hope to get the clarification.

    Right now, the community in our region is completely at war for these, as half think only Hiking Trails in woods, mountains, ... are eligible, while others (like me) say Urban Trails should also be eligible.

    They also promote activity as the trails are several kilometers long (the degree of physical intensity for exercising was never a validation point). Furthermore they have been created by the office of tourism to have people discover the area and its cultural/historical/... locations.

    Below an example of what is being submitted, which is being rejected as "mass-produced", "street sign", "only accept trail markers made out of wood" or "that's not what Niantic means with Trail Markers". Similar signs can be found in towns, if the trail runs through one (i.e. guiding to a historical building).

    We are not resolving this by ourselves, as each side of the discussion refuses to give ground.

    So we'd really need Niantic to provide clarification on this, to end it once and for all.

  • NorthSeaPoet-INGNorthSeaPoet-ING Posts: 895 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Trails that are exclusively for cycling only might not be allowed as it wouldn't be deemed as safe pedestrian access, if you're not supposed to be walking on them.

    I've only ever seen two cycle trail markers in the games and they're both the Star/Finish points for the Way of the Roses in North England.

  • Faversham71-INGFaversham71-ING Posts: 306 ✭✭✭✭

    Can you translate the sign for me (my google translate skills seem to be letting me down)?

  • NorthSeaPoet-INGNorthSeaPoet-ING Posts: 895 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If it's exclusively for cycling, then it's not safe on foot.

    I swear you're literally looking for all my comments now to deliberately start arguments with me.

  • YouLostAStar-INGYouLostAStar-ING Posts: 280 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Cycling trails make me immediately think of National cycleway markers and there are many many thousands of those scattered around every city, town and village in the U.K. they should 100% never become wayspots or they would quickly become the most common wayspot we encounter. They are very almost the lowest quality wayspots I’ve seen

  • NorthSeaPoet-INGNorthSeaPoet-ING Posts: 895 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Shhhhhhh, don't mention of them or someone is gonna gonna out with a bunch of percentages and numbers involving however many postboxes are wayspots to back up their argument

  • FuzzySun-INGFuzzySun-ING Posts: 47 ✭✭✭

    I don't think I've ever seen a cycle path that wasn't also a pedestrian route.

  • YouLostAStar-INGYouLostAStar-ING Posts: 280 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If National cycleway markets started getting accepted then no one would notice how many postboxes were portals

  • Dice3423-INGDice3423-ING Posts: 817 ✭✭✭✭

    Walkers, runners and joggers also use cycle paths. That is people using pedestrian access.

  • JSteve0-INGJSteve0-ING Posts: 488 ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2020

    From A cycle path is a special path on which people can travel by bicycle separately from motor vehicles.

    From path or marked route that is intended for people riding bicycles

    From Wiktionary:  A path, segregated from other traffic, for the use of riders of bicycles 

    The general meaning of a cycle path is a path for cyclists (not pedestrians)

    There are some general use paths or multiuse paths that allow pedestrians and cyclists. But in the spirit of sticking to the topic, a cycle path is for bicyclists and it should not be assumed that they are also used by pedestrians.

  • YouLostAStar-INGYouLostAStar-ING Posts: 280 ✭✭✭✭✭

    For the avoidance of doubt, anywhere someone can cycle has safe pedestrian access. That shouldn’t be the issue here which is whether the markers along the route meet any criteria. The given example at the top of this thread I would not rate highly tbh

  • PoMaQue-PGOPoMaQue-PGO Posts: 223 ✭✭✭✭

    Not really, there a plenty of places where the bike lane is just lines painted on the road. No elevated access or protection of any kind.

    Those would be a guaranteed 1* for pedestrian access. That being said, here loads of bike trails also function as walking trails, with separate markers for each. Dual use is OK.

  • PoMaQue-PGOPoMaQue-PGO Posts: 223 ✭✭✭✭

    "Natuur-rijk Elewijt" is the actual name of the trail and means "Rich in nature Elewijt" (Elewijt is a town in the area).

    "wandelpad" means "walking route/trail".

  • Dice3423-INGDice3423-ING Posts: 817 ✭✭✭✭

    Some areas also use the pedestrian sidewalks as bike trails.

  • PoMaQue-PGOPoMaQue-PGO Posts: 223 ✭✭✭✭

    Looks like this discussion turned into a Bike Trail discussion, but the main question of accepting Urban Trails still seems unanswered for me.

    @NianticCasey-ING would it maybe be possible to get clarification whether all types of Trails/Trail Markers are eligible (Hiking, Walking, Urban, Cycling, ...) or only those in remote areas?

    Because even while not in remote locations, urban trails still encourage people to exercise and guide them to interesting locations.

    And as a personal question, does my example from the post above qualify as a Trail Marker or not? These are being rejected as Temporary/Seasonal or "Traffic Signs" in our area, by a group of Reviewers who refuse to accept them as Trail Markers.

  • Purptacular-PGOPurptacular-PGO Posts: 174 ✭✭✭✭

    My city has been working on developing a trail system that connects various municipal parks. It is called "XXX City Bike Trail" and has signs at each park and every 1-2 km between stating the name of the trail and the distance to the nearest two or three municipal parks. This trail is widely used (safely, as far as I can tell) by both pedestrians and bicyclists. I have hesitated to submit it because of the word "Bike" on the signs but I truly believe it is a meaningful, safe trail and meets criteria in all ways.

  • VidarEagle-INGVidarEagle-ING Posts: 51 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2020

    My opinion is that trail markers should be accepted as stated in "possibly confusing nominations", because they all promote physical activity.

    In my area we have trouble getting any trailmarkers not way out in the wild approved... I've now had this trail start marker rejected 6 times, with various pictures, reasons etc... This trail is recommended in an online city guide to get up to the mountain named on the trail marker.

  • CrunchyTacoTM-INGCrunchyTacoTM-ING Posts: 12 ✭✭

    Have the same issue with those hexagon walking trail signs: It's a trail marker, it contains the name of the trail, is not temporary, ... But some of the locals dislike them + others follow them /their advice = rejected.

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