BikeSpot 2023 to map Australia's best and worst places to ride

BikeSpot, Australia's largest crowd-sourcing bike safety project, is back. And it's bigger than ever.

The interactive mapping tool has gone national this year, and will collate a detailed overview of all the places where Australians feel safe and unsafe riding a bike.

The online platform is a collaborative effort by the Amy Gillett Foundation and crowd-sourced mapping firm CrowdSpot. It is designed to gauge the concerns of bike riders and determine the bike riding areas that are most in need of improvement.

The tool allows users to add spots to a map that indicate whether the location is safe or unsafe to ride, and specify whether there is an on-road bike lane, or a separated lane or trail. They can also add a description and voice their support for locations added by other BikeSpot users.

“BikeSpot enables us to capture the ‘knowledge of the crowd’ to better understand where people feel safe and unsafe riding," says CrowdSpot founder and director, Anthony Aisenberg.

“This data complements other data sources such as official crash statistics and is critical for prioritising decisions on future cycling infrastructure improvements which lead to better planning for all road users.”

More than two thirds of people are interested in riding a bike but report that they don't feel safe. By focusing on infrastructure improvements were riders feel most at risk, transport planners and governments can better prioritise projects that help people choose a healthy and sustainable mode of transport.

BikeSpot projects were conducted in 2016 and 2020 and focused on Victoria. The first year attracted more than 8000 user submissions, and four years later the project received more than 30,000 submissions.

This data painted a picture of the best and worst places to ride in Melbourne. Chapel Street topped the list of unpopular places to ride for its notorious dooring risks and its narrow bike lanes.

“Safety is a key barrier to cycling participation, so we’re asking people to make their mark on the BikeSpot map," says CEO of Amy Gillett Foundation, Dan Kneipp.

“People who ride bikes know better than anyone where safety improvements need to be made in their neighbourhood. This is a fantastic opportunity for everyone in the community to have input on how to make bike routes safe in their area.”

The BikeSpot 2023 project is live now and the project will run until January 2024. Visit the interactive map here.

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