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CreakyCrank
Kilimanjaro
Status: Gathering Kudos

I can't find any place to search for "human generated" routes, that I would have some confidence that somebody created.  (I can, on mobile, get some routes suggested - but in many cases, these end up being dangerous, and are not user generated from what I can tell). 

I can create a new route, see my saved routes that I have made, but I can't seem to search for routes others have made. 

My feature suggestion is: have a searchable set of routes, created by Strava athletes.  Have a 'rating system' (5 stars perhaps), where people could rate the route, as well as a counter of how many people have rated it (and perhaps, how many times it has been used).   There could also be a comment attached to rating/review, such that people can comment on any issues with the route (crosses a busy street, don't use at a certain time due to rush-hour traffic, etc.).  This would give the ability to feel confident in the safety of a route.

6 Comments
Status changed to: Gathering Kudos
Bryant
Moderator Moderator
Moderator

Monday (Sept 12, 2022)


KBryant24
STRAVA | Community Hub Team

Tbg
Mt. Kenya

100% agreed. When cycling in a new, unfamiliar area I would love to be able to rely on a 4.5 rated route from a local strava user. Whatever I plan manually or automatically in the strava route planner is never going to match the tip from the local cycling club. Honestly, this applies even to my home area...

Would be nice to chat with fellow strava user about routes etc.

Lack of this feature makes me use a competitor of Strava from time to time. That competitor product has user created routes nicely curated and searchable.

couling
Shkhara

Others have pointed out that Strava route finder sometimes uses very unsafe roads.  Frequently the excuse for this is that Strava uses OpenStreetMap as the underlying map.  But that doesn't cover the issue of what is safe or otherwise feels safe.  OpenStreeMap doesn't record how cyclist feel about particular legal routes and doesn't record actual cases of incidents.

The issue of unsafe roads has been a huge problem since cycling route finders began.  Strava's heatmap based is a really powerful tool for finding fun rides. However mapping the roads that cyclists frequently use only get's half the picture.

Feature request:

Let cyclists mark sections of roads a "no-go" or "do not use". If this was immediately part of the Routes UI it could either record for just that one route or all future routes for the user.

While it would be really useful for just that user, it would also provide information to Strava so that Strava could build up an inverse heatmap of undesirable roads to overlay with the heatmap of popular roads.

Eg: if I have a ride which contained a really hair raising section of busy and dangerous road, the first thing I do when I get home is to "fix" the route to avoid it.  Currently, I must pull the route off the undesirable road.  But what would be much better is to simply mark that section of road as "no go" and let the route finder figure out the alternative.

Why heatmap isn't enough

Here in the UK there's a fairly obvious collection of unsafe / undesirable roads.  Literally any road number starting with "A" and a speed limit above 30mph with no off road cycle path (eg: A34).  These are legal for cyclists! But it most other respects they are a motorway / freeway.

And yet A roads too often get used in strava route finder and show up on the heatmap.  One explanation for this is that local knowledge can sometimes trump the danger.  For example A roads can be subject to a lot of slow moving traffic at peak times and commuter cyclists will take advantage of the traffic jams. "Sure I'll cycle along that road at 8:30 am on my way to work, but at any other time I'd get killed"

It is complex, because sometimes an A road is fine for 100m if there's a disjointed cross roads.  Sometimes you just have to cross the A road, and that's legal and (mostly) fine.  But that's a totally different story to a route taking me down 5-6 miles of A road.

A heatmap marking a road is undesirable would be a good way to counter the inevitble truth that undesirable roads also show up in the heatmap sometimes.

couling
Shkhara

Hi @Jane

I don't think this is related. I think you made a mistake there.  I was discussing the technology Strava uses to let someone create their own route.  That's the technology that find finds a path on the map between two waypoints.  What you've merged with is a discussion about searching other people's preplanned routes. That's a very different suggestion and doesn't overlap mine in any tangible way.

jacobuserasmus
Mt. Kenya

Strava being able to route based on the safety of a road has become critical where I live.

In our cases, an unsafe route means a route where cyclists are highjack (at gun point). Bicycle are stolen and cyclist are hurt. So for us knowing if a route is safe is VERY important. But even more important is that it can change day to day hour to hour.

Eg. Certain routes can be traversed on Saturday morning as they are busy but at any other time of the week you should avoid them. Being able to use Strava to warn me when these routes are unsafe would literally be a lifesaver.

Ethanhiro
Shkhara

Some strava routes aren't very ideal, and lead onto bad paths/roads. I think it would be better if people could view and review paths after they use it, and give it a rating to give other users who use the route later some sort of an idea on what other real users think about it. A viewcount would help to see popularity of these routes too.