New speed sensor installed at Southbank Promenade
An AI driven sensor, installed by the City of Melbourne, has given unprecedented statistical insight into traffic patterns on Southbank Promenade.
The sensor is located at the southern end of the Evan Walker Bridge, and captures data from the intersection of Southbank Promenade, Southgate Avenue, and the Evan Walker Bridge.
Known as AIRS (Artificial Intelligence Road Survey), the sensor uses artificial intelligence to analyse video footage and collate both the amount and respective speeds of pedestrians, cyclists, and e-scooter riders.
The data shows that on an average weekday 27,000 pedestrians move through Southbank Promenade. On weekends, this number increases to 37,000 pedestrians.
Through Monday to Friday, just over 1000 cyclists ride through the promenade.
Of these cyclists however, only 15 per cent adhere to the 10km/h speed limits. More than one-in-10 ride at speeds of more than 20km/h.
Executive officer of the Yarra River Business Association Tim Bracher said, “at long last we have irrefutable evidence that commuting cyclists and a large percentage of e-scooter riders are creating havoc and danger on the Promenade.”
“For many years, various authorities have been able to dismiss our concerns by saying that there is no evidence of a problem, citing that there are very few recorded instances of serious collision and hospitalisations,” Mr Bracher said.
Cyclists typically ride slower on the weekends, and the number of riders decreases by 100.
The most popular day for e-scooters is Sunday, with an average of 330 daily e-scooters on the promenade each weekend. During the week the number of e-scooters is 270.
Of the weekday e-scooterists, 57 per cent travel faster than the designated 10km/h speed limit.
On weekends this improves marginally, however more than one-in-three e-scooterists still travel over the speed limit.
The sensor is part of an ongoing campaign for traffic-flow data as part of the Southbank Pedestrian and Road Safety Study, which according to the City of Melbourne aims to improve pedestrian safety.
According to the City of Melbourne, the study aims to improve pedestrian safety, including the potential implementation of additional crossings.
The study is supported by the Southbank Residents’ Association and the Southbank Safety and Security Committee.
AIRS technology is also in operation at Queen’s Bridge, Royal Park Capital City Trail and Swanston St.
The data recorded by AIRS is “de-identified”, meaning no video footage is relayed or stored in the City of Melbourne’s database. •