Investigating road user rules for people walking and cycling


Rule 3The NZ Transport Agency engaged MWH (Stantec) and ViaStrada to investigate options for amendments to several road user rules affecting walking and cycling, particularly near intersections. This complements the Transport Agency’s development of updated network planning and design guidance.

The research, used to inform policy advice regarding potential rule changes, investigated the likely impacts of:

  • giving pedestrians precedence over turning traffic when crossing side roads
  • giving cyclists precedence over turning traffic where separated cycling facilities cross side roads
  • allowing cyclists to use a left turning lane while riding straight ahead
  • allowing cyclists to "undertake" (i.e. pass on the left of) slow-moving traffic
  • allowing cyclists to lane-split when filtering to the front of a queue of traffic
  • allowing cyclists to turn left (and/or ride across the top of a T intersection) despite being faced with a red light

The key tasks undertaken included:

  • Background review of relevant literature and legislation, from both NZ and overseas
  • Basic observation surveys of relevant road user behaviours at various Christchurch locations
  • A review of network efficiency impacts of each Rule, using traffic modelling where necessary
  • A review of road user safety impacts of each Rule, using crash data and other evidence
  • Assessment of any issues regarding Rule implementation, including traffic control devices and public education
  • A recommendation for each Rule, having considered the various advantages and disadvantages identified

Following the initial research report, ViaStrada was commissioned by the Transport Agency to prepare draft materials for implementing amended road user rule legislation for some of the rules investigated. The key tasks involved include:

  • Review of the previous report material and confirmation with the Client of the desired outcome for each Rule.
  • Development of draft Rule overviews, including revised explanatory graphics, and best-practice guidance for use
  • Proposed amendments/additions to existing legislation; particularly the Road User & Traffic Control Devices Rules.
  • Preparation of basic layout diagrams for proposed new signs & markings to be used in conjunction with these Rules.
  • Outlining the regulatory impacts for each Rule, including likely safety and efficiency effects and cost impacts.
Potential best practice layout for a shared path crossing

The resulting material is now with the Transport Agency to consider for inclusion in future Land Transport Rule changes.

Project Objective
An investigation of options for amending several road user rules (particularly at intersections) for walking and cycling.
NZ Transport Agency National Office
Investigation research report, draft Rule changes
Project Status
Key contact