WalkSpot results! Lack of safe crossings top concerns for walkers
We’ve crunched the WalkSpot data and found that a lack of pedestrian crossings and safe places to cross the street are the top concerns for pedestrians in Melbourne.
Victoria Walks, CrowdSpot and 15 government partners asked the people of Melbourne to record their walking safety concerns through an interactive online WalkSpot map. There was an overwhelming response to the project with over 1,650 people marking their perception of walking safety and generating close to 9,000 ‘engagements’ overall.
Other issues of concern identified by walkers included drivers failing to give way when turning, traffic moving too fast, problems with footpaths, and traffic light issues like a long wait for the green man or lights not allowing enough time to cross.
“There was an amazing response — a record number for a CrowdSpot project” said Ben Rossiter, Executive Officer of Victoria Walks, “That people eagerly contributed and indicated their concerns indicates that we have quite a way to go to make Melbourne safer for walking”
“Interestingly, some of the top unsafe spots were very localised with no recorded official crashes which suggests that some people are campaigning to make their neighbourhoods even better for walking, which is great” said Dr Rossiter. “They are not satisfied with ordinary, they want to prioritise pedestrian safety on the road network”:
“Our research compared the spots with the most concern against official crash statistics,” says Anthony Aisenberg, Director of CrowdSpot the company that designed WalkSpot. “Some unsafe WalkSpot locations have a crash history, but most don’t. This demonstrates that the places of concern to people aren’t necessarily showing up in the crash statistics that government agencies tend to rely on.”
“The top rated ‘safe’ spots were a ringing endorsement for places where pedestrians are given priority over cars,” Dr Rossiter says. “The research found that walkers clearly want to see more intersections like Flinders and Elizabeth Street, where traffic lights stop all vehicles and people can cross in any direction, and places like the Bourke Street Mall.”
VicRoads, the City of Melbourne and 13 other metropolitan councils supported the project. They have received the data relevant to their area, to help them decide on road safety improvements and prioritise investment.
WalkSpot is funded primarily by a Community Road Safety Grant from the Transport Accident Commission (TAC). Victoria Walks is supported by VicHealth.
The chart below presents the top 10 issues across all unsafe WalkSpots.
The map below presents the top 10 Unsafe WalkSpot locations:
In addition to identifying particular spots, participants were also surveyed on their general concerns while walking in Melbourne. This survey produced similar but slightly different responses to the description of Unsafe WalkSpots detailed in the earlier chart. The highest rating responses were:
- Full details project details including a comparison of Unsafe WalkSpot with official crash data are set out in the project report.
- You can check out the interactive map and see the issues raised in your area at www.walkspot.org.au.
- See the media release.
- Read the articles in The Age and the Herald Sun.