Survey pinpoints cycling danger spots
Bike riders and motorists to name and shame our worst cycling danger zones.
A new online initiative by cycling safety charity the Amy Gillett Foundation invites Victorian cyclists and motorists to contribute to improved road safety by reporting danger spots.
The BikeSpot 2020 project – produced by the foundation and its partner, data-mapping platform CrowdSpot – features an interactive map of Victoria which road users can populate by entering locations that are safe or unsafe for cycling and explaining why.
Riders can identify locations of crashes, doorings and near misses on the map, then others can vote on the safety or danger of those spots. Motorists can also name roads where they are concerned about interactions with cyclists.
RACV’s senior manager transport, planning and infrastructure, Peter Kartsidimas, says the project will help provide information on where money needs to be spent to improve bike rider safety.
“This is a benefit for all road users, no one wants to have a collision between a car and a bike,” he says.
Peter says many people want to ride but don’t feel safe. Investment in safety measures for bike riders would result in more people cycling as an alternative to driving or catching public transport.
Every year about 6000 cyclists across Australia are injured in crashes and almost 40 are killed, says Dan Kneipp of the Amy Gillett Foundation.
“The impact of these crashes is felt by everyone involved and, most importantly, crashes are preventable,” he says.
“BikeSpot is an essential tool for understanding the specific safety concerns of Victorians so we can make the roads safe for everyone.”
And it's not just for cyclists. “Drivers can feel nervous when interacting with cyclists and this data will help us understand where this happens on Victorian roads,” Dan says.
Collecting and understanding community perceptions of cycling safety at different locations is “incredibly” important, says Anthony Aisenberg, a CrowdSpot director.
“We know that if you don’t feel safe riding it will have a direct influence on your willingness to ride,” he says.
“Cycling stress, particularly in traffic, is instrumental in influencing the choice to ride.”
He says a similar project in 2016 showed that the crowd-sourced data complemented crash statistics to help provide a complete picture of cycling safety in the state.