I’m pondering the possibility of developing a crowdsourced approach towards hazard and incident reporting for cyclists in Adelaide (and beyond). I’m keen for your ideas and suggestions.
Crowdsourcing essentially harnesses the power of groups of people to do things, to solve things. This article gives a good overview of crowdsourcing: 0512A_02.pdf
I believe that Adelaide Cyclists has now reached a size and a level of activity where crowdsourcing may work, and could help us increase our cycling safety.
My vision is as follows:
There are obviously various existing SA Government websites (http://www.sa.gov.au/subject/Transport,+travel+and+motoring/Motorin...) to report hazards and incidents, but none of these are focussed on the needs of the cycling community, and none provide feedback on the progress of resolving hazards or addressing incidents. I think we need and deserve something better.
What are your thoughts?
I think this is a great idea. Even being able to highlight when a bike lane needs to be cleaned of glass or debris could be much easier this way.
I've done my bit by writing a blog post about how dangerous Melbourne Street is.
On 29-Mar-2011 I started an AC group Look For Cyclists with the aim of collecting data on collisions and near misses, then using this data to advocate for better cycling facilities, legislation, driver education campaigns, or similar. More than one report acknowledges that cycling collisions and injuries are under-reported. Currently the only avenue to report near misses is to Traffic Watch. Some police are more interested than others in taking reports, and many cyclists would not bother. Andrew Dickson is keen to help with Look For Cyclists.
I am also a member of Bicycle Blackspot Eradication and report many cycling hazards due to infrastructure, debris, etc. I would like Andrew to join BBE and offer his talents there on hazard reporting.
I see reporting negligent drivers and reporting hazards as being separate issues. The former is more difficult to get action taken, and also requires lobbying from cyclists for improvements for vulnerable road users. Sub-standard infrastructure is easy to prove. I find that most councils and DTEI fix potholes or similar within a reasonable time frame. Unfortunately not the case for water and gas (SA Water and Envestra), but working on it.
I think that this is a great idea. I have been discussing this very notion with some of the BISA crew recently. Being able to overlay different data sets and being able to drill down through information available could be really useful.
What we might first need to understand is the manner by which hazards are currently reported and how these are 'stored' on a database for action and reference. I suspect that there are separate 'silos' of information that could be aggregated to give greater depth to reporting and the generation of action to 'fix' issues. It may also allow a correlation between driver behavior, physical infrastructure and the experiential nature of cyclist / environment interaction. From my point of view being able to look at different types of hazards (eg: physical 'on-road' surface, driver behavior, infrastructure treatments etc) and how these are mapped - linking this to the cyclist perception of hazards, could be really valuable. It may indeed allow us to develop a typology of infrastructure treatments needed for different cyclist skill / hazard perception levels. Acknowledging that a bicycle rider lacking in experience may have a vastly different hazard perception than a more experienced rider might also allow an analysis of where more intense traffic control and harard reduction needs to be put in place (eg: when crossing the Adelaide ring route at points other than traffic lights when trying to get into the CBD).
I would be happy to help work on this project further - it could not only be a really useful tool for the reporting and feedback on infrastructure, but quite a neat piece of cycling related research.
Anyone else keen to get involved with this project? Anyone else think it's worthwhile?
I like the idea.
Maybe Councils could use their response as evidence of their "cycling friendliness". They could post their responses on the site as well.
One of my first ones would be the regularly sweeping of cycling lanes on main roads - lots of crap ends up there and no cars drive over it and move it on (eg Railway Terrace, Thebarton).
Kathryn, take action rather than complain. Email the full details of any cycling hazard on arterial roads, including glass and gravel, to DTEI. They usually fix the hazards I report in a reasonable time. firstname.lastname@example.org