ACT News


Liberal Mark Parton suggests Strava data to track speeding cyclists going too fast

Liberal politician Mark Parton has suggested the government consider data from biking app Strava to take action against cyclists going too fast on bike paths.

Mr Parton is a himself regular cyclist and user of Strava and tweets his times for the 12km loop of Lake Tuggeranong. He frequently exceeds 30 km/h on the shared paths, and a week ago hit 62.6 km/h an hour on the route.

The speed limit for shared paths is 50km/h, but Mr Parton said his 62.6km/h would have been on Drakeford Drive, on the downhill run to Isabella Drive.

Mr Parton made the suggestion that Strava data could be useful to police cycling speed limits during an ACT parliamentary hearing on Thursday, when he referred to the 10km/h speed limit on the path over Commonwealth Bridge.

"I don't understand how you could possibly police that because unless there's someone standing there with a speed gun and they're quick enough to catch them," he said.

Transport Minister Meegan Fitzharris said it could not be policed, but "that doesn't mean we shouldn't have guidance about sharing the road responsibly".


Referring to concerns about cycling speeds in Belconnen, Ms Fitzharris said "a lot of older people live in the Belconnen town centre and want to be able to walk safely, but when someone whizzes past wearing lycra on a bike really fast they can find it really intimidating and feel unsafe."

Mr Parton said if she was concerned about biking speeds, she should look to the wealth of Strava data.

"Every hard-core cyclist is on Strava. They have a digital record that's public as to how fast they're travelling and specifically where they've done it ...

"If you were getting to the point where you're trying to crack down on cyclists you believe are riding in excessive speeds in those areas, it's like people get prosecuted for posting something on Youtube, the data is actually available for most cyclists as to exactly how fast they've gone and exactly where they've done it."

Ms Fitzharris said the government would launch a new app next week which would collect data about walking and cycling, recording GPS data, including the ability to track cyclists' speed.

Liberal Steve Doszpot pointed to complaints from inner south residents about cyclists on Alexandrina Drive using the road instead of the shared path. It was impossible for motorists to observe the 1m road clearance rule, with cars backing up behind cyclists. It was an accident waiting to happen, he said.

Director of capital works for city services Ben McHugh said forcing high-speed cyclists off the road on to shared paths with slower users created its own problems, and cyclists had a legal right to use the road.

"A legal right to cause accidents?" Mr Doszpot asked.

Mr Doszpot also asked about the risk to cyclists from people walking dogs off their leads, referring to a cyclist who had been left disabled by a run-in with a dog. Pointing to an accident in which a dog was killed by a cyclist in Tuggeranong in December, Ms Fitzharris said the government could play a small role in regulation, but the entire community must take responsibility for safety.

Deputy director-general Jim Corrigan said the government was considering changes to signs and to make shared paths safer.


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