Does road-space reallocation affect network VKT?

Where presented/published

Christchurch, Feb 2024

Road-space reallocation (RSR) is the re-purposing of existing road space from general traffic to active or public transport modes; this could affect road corridor elements such as traffic lanes, parking lanes, cycle lanes, bus lanes, and footpaths. Recent research for Waka Kotahi by ViaStrada investigated the impacts of permanent RSR on measured network vehicle-kilometres travelled (VKT), and associated common factors observed. 

The work involved a systematic review of relevant local and international case studies and other literature, identification of factors required for successful and sustained implementation of network VKT reduction from RSR, assessment of the impact of RSR on the NZ Transport Outcomes Framework components, and determination of recommended best practice.

RSR best practices that might be implemented in NZ to support network VKT reduction include involving multiple streets as part of a network-wide treatment, getting good engagement and data upfront, looking at the relative changes to users of other modes, and having a nearby “control site” to determine whether traffic has “disappeared” or simply diverted to other streets. It was noted that many of the best practices identified related more to project processes rather than the actual physical infrastructure.

 At the 5th Otago Uni Transport Research Network Symposium, Glen Koorey gave a presentation that summarised the tasks undertaken, the resulting findings, and recommendations for best practice going forward. 

Glen Koorey
Director – Principal Transportation Engineer & Transportation Planner