Streetlight / Safe route running maps

It would be great to have a feature on Strava that helps safety when running in the dark. When planning my routes after sunset (especially in the winter), I find myself really struggling to recall which roads are street lit and which I'll therefore feel safe on as a solo female runner.

I'm aware there is an afterhours feature where other runners are, but a large part of when I feel safest is knowing that the route is lit. I spend a lot of time stressiing about this, especially when in new areas with work. 

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4 comments
  • Hey Suzanne, I've been doing some thinking around the same topic so I voted it back up! During Marathon training I have no choice but to run either really early or at night by myself.

    I hate that this has happened but I've had some scary run-ins with some people that were "too friendly" and ran through spots that I should have avoided, but didn't know better.

    I don't want this to sound like a Waze for athletes, but I do feel that similar to how segments can have hazards reported it would be great for me to know when planning a route if:

    (1) Any incidents reported on this route and at what time (aggressive person, someone following you)
    (2) Areas that are empty - for example I run through a park and although it is dark it has a lot of other athletes also working out, but after 9pm there are not many fellow athletes
    (3) Areas that and not well lit with street lamps
    (4) Dangerous intersections or spots to be cautious of - I find especially when I run in the dark there are certain intersections I either avoid or have to be very careful

    I actually think this could pair really well with Beacon, would be really interested in hearing more about safety ideas from the Strava team.

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  • there are legal issues here so i'm afraid your own personal safety is going to have to remain your own responsibility.

    If for example, you used a service to decide which route to take and that route turned out not to be very safe (when the server offered that it would be a safer route) then that service now has a level of responsibility and are liable for what happened to you.

    not so pleasant people could also then manipulate the service (as it would have to be an automated operation) and make you more likely to run into a trap. 

    nice idea but bloody scary in practice.

    personally, when looking at routes I use the heatmap, people generally repeat run and ride in areas the feel safe - if you got beaten up in a certain place would you run there again?... no. So the heat map is a good judge of how much an area is used and also offers a chance that when you're out there other users will be too. 

    That still isn't a guide to what is safe and what isn't but a tool that might help you.

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  • Hey Rob,

    That is an interesting way to look at it. 

    People abusing it is scary to think about and a very real possibility.

    Do you think it really is a negative if people add more information about a certain route or location?  

    Strava doesn't necessarily need to support or encourage you to go a certain way, but there are many places I wish I could share more information about certain spots to fellow runners/riders. 

    Not sure what this looks like but it is a problem that would be interesting to tackle.

    Cheers,
    Sam

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  • Hi Sam,

    Let me be frank, yes an ability to add information about a route is useful, shockingly you have this ability already... you're using it! The forum would be the only place for it and ironically the strava forum may be the only place not to accept it, simply use a different forum and link to back to strava.

    I would suggest you petition Strava to start a route thread section and see what they say as it would need to be moderated, you can then provide a link to a route you have created or used any number of times with a link to your profile/route. Free users can look at the route, 'paid' users can download it and then comment.... Strava have the defence of non-governance of the community forum and you get the feature you are interested in.

    The plus to all this is the community gets to talk about how wonderful your footpath is ...

    The negative (and I mean no personal offence here) is 'you' are actually a rapist or a gang of youths looking to steal my phone and beat me up or worse, looking for people with little more than a smart watch a skin tight licra.

    As awful as it sounds it is a frank reality that will happen to someone somewhere, the moment it happens if there were any instance that they were told, got the impression, thought it were safer than route B that evening - that person, company, group or entity is liable .. no to mention that someone came to harm.

    If Strava dared introduce a feature like this, they will loose every member the morning after the local news reports that Strava is being used by unfavourable people. It'll close overnight.

    So again, I like the idea and would support it in a community manner because if you found it safe and useful then it should not be discouraged... but personally wouldn't use it if you paid me. It wouldn't take two minutes to see that a particular person in a community happens to have commented on a run every Tuesday evening at 9pm and that is too close to a person tracker for me.

    If I were to encourage any sort of guidance then again the heat map showing hotspot routes and usage with anon personal data is perfect and if you wanted to put your name to a route then use the forum.

     

    Be safe out there,
    Rob

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