Broken yellow lines in kerbside cycle lanes

Should broken yellow lines be marked in kerbside cycle lanes?

Axel Wilke (ViaStrada) and Michael Ferigo (Christchurch City Council) have written a conference paper about this project. The presentation was on Friday, 13 November 2009 at the 7th NZ Cycling Conference in New Plymouth.


In February 2005, cycle lanes were first recognised in New Zealand law through the introduction of the Road User Rule (RUR). They now belong to the group of 'special vehicle lanes' (bus lanes also fall into this category), and thus there are rules that stipulate to road users what they can and cannot do in those special vehicle lanes. It is now illegal to park in a special vehicle lane.

Prior to February 2005, broken yellow lines had to be installed in a cycle lane next to a kerb (i.e. in a kerbside position, and not adjacent to a row of parked vehicles) if parking was to be prevented. Since then, most Road Controlling Authorities (RCAs) have omitted installing broken yellow lines in new kerbside cycle lanes, or not installed the broken yellow lines following a reseal of the road.

The experience of some RCAs (and many cyclists) has been that compliance with the no parking restriction in kerbside cycle lanes is poor. Without installing broken yellow lines, kerbside cycle lanes can be potentially critically compromised. The paper explores the underlying reasons for this behaviour. The Christchurch experiment of trying to educate motorists is commented on. Alternatives to installing and maintaining broken yellow lines are discussed.

The paper concludes that broken yellow lines need to be installed in kerbside cycle lanes if the objective is to keep these lanes free from illegal parking.

Where presented/published

2009 NZ Cycling Conference, New Plymouth