Estimating demand for New cycling facilities in New Zealand

Executive summary

ViaStrada took a leading role in research to develop a technique for estimating cycle traffic on new cycle facilities. The research has been published as NZ Transport Agency Research Report No. 340 "Estimating Demand for New Cycling Facilities in New Zealand".

There had been little guidance available for estimating demand on a new cycling facility. The purpose of the research was to develop a tool that could be used for Land Transport New Zealand funding applications and for helping to understand the impacts of a new facility. Existing methods in New Zealand and overseas were investigated as part of the research. A steering group comprising engineers and planners from around New Zealand was established to provide input and direction and to assist in the selection of ten cycle facility sites to be investigated further.

The sites were selected to provide a variety of geographic locations and facility types (five on-road and five off-road). The availability of historic count and funding application data were also considered in site selection. The ten sites chosen consisted of two from Auckland, one from Palmerston North, one from Porirua, two from Nelson, three from Christchurch and one from Dunedin.

Obtaining sites that had historical count data and/or funding application information was more difficult than expected and is probably indicative of a general lack of collection of cycle count data.

Pneumatic tube counters were used to carry out the cycle counts. Cycle counts were undertaken for a minimum of one week between February 2007 and May 2007. The tube counters are the same as those widely used for motor vehicle counts, but use a smaller diameter and softer rubber tube.

This research has achieved its objectives by establishing tools for estimating cycle traffic for both on-road and off-road facilities. The tools produce an estimate of the numbers of cyclists that would use a new facility and the annual growth rate in cycle traffic on the facility for use in Land Transport New Zealand's Simplified Procedures.

The research was commissioned through Land Transport NZ's research programme. Andrew Macbeth had developed the concept and won the project in the annual research competition while with another consultancy, MWH. He continued his involvement as research director after joining Traffix in November 2006 and helping establish ViaStrada in May 2007.

The research report is available from NZTA's website or directly from ViaStrada's website.

Where presented/published

published by Land Transport NZ (now NZTA)