Research and publications

We carry out transport research, think-pieces and policy guidance for national agencies, local councils, and other clients, and regularly publish and present to the industry (including many award-winning papers). Below are links to our latest published work:

Crash sceneViaStrada investigated the costs of “transport-related accidents” on roads as part of the recent MoT Domestic Transport Costs & Charges study. Motor vehicle crash costs totalled $5.65 billion annually, while costs associated with accidents only involving non-motorised users, such as pedestrian falls, were estimated at a further $830 million annually. Glen Koorey presented on these findings at the 2022 Transport Knowledge Conference in Wellington, summarising the road safety analysis undertaken and exploring the implications for future investigation in this area.

CAS vs MoH injuriesTraditional road safety measures of harm like the numbers of deaths and injuries suffered in crashes are often under-reported but also overlook other casualties within the transport environment. Recent safety investigations of people walking, biking, motorcycling and using other transport devices in Auckland and nationally found that considerably more people are suffering serious injuries on roads and paths from incidents not involving other vehicles. Glen Koorey presented on these findings at the 2022 Australasian Road Safety Conference.

infographicIn New Zealand, we are currently being told that "it's time we stopped paying the road toll". Yet our roundabout design philosophy utilising a tangential design is based on maximising efficiency. In contrast, the continental European focus based on radial designs is on maximising safety. Recently, Australasian designers have begun using raised safety platforms for speed control. This presentation (by Axel at the 2022 Australasian Road Safety Conf) assesses design philosophies, their underlying reasons, and recommend actions that aim at improved safety.

cost breakdownViaStrada delivered a working paper summarising the methodology and calculations to derive estimates of the Total (Social) Costs, Average Costs, Marginal Costs and Marginal Externality Costs of road transport-related accidents in New Zealand. This was a component in a wider study on domestic transport costs and charges.

polkaThis research note provides information about the best infrastructure options for installing quick-build (interim) separated cycleways to increase safety and encourage mode shift in a visually, physically, and aesthetically consistent manner on a national scale. It provides a review of international practice and lists some of the domestic approaches. Although focused on the infrastructure, this note also highlights some of the process barriers to quick delivery.

Berlin exampleIn many countries, road space is often allocated primarily for motor vehicles. The negative health and well-being externalities of such an allocation are known: social severance and alienation, diseases from sedentary lifestyles and pollution, deaths and serious injuries from motor vehicle crashes. For the past two decades, a movement to reallocate space for other uses (walking, cycling, public transport, and public space) has steadily grown – but not without strong pushback from some parts of the community. Projects often fail where there isn’t political support and succeed where there is. While much has been written about the challenges and critical success factors, there have been few meta-analyses or collations of evidence on the impacts of reallocation. This paper highlights New Zealand-specific findings of a broad literature review including North American, European, and Australasian cities.

bufferViaStrada and WSP developed a GIS and spreadsheet based cycling demand model with an accuracy that is an order of magnitude better than the existing Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Simplified Procedure. With practice, the model can be run for a proposed new project in about four hours.

Public Bus stopped at traffic lightsThis opinion piece written for The Spinoff by Axel Downard-Wilke and published on 16 May 2022 explains why funding could be better spent on what's most important to public transportation users: speed and reliability.

Temporary cycleway separatorWaka Kotahi commissioned ViaStrada to undertake research on quick-build (interim) cycleway infrastructure. This research note provides information about the best infrastructure options for installing quick-build (interim) separated cycleways to increase safety and encourage mode shift in a visually, physically and aesthetically consistent manner on a national scale.

MoH injury dataGlen Koorey presented a poster at the 2021 Transport Knowledge Conference summarising recent work looking at pedestrian deaths and serious injuries in Auckland. Using data from the Ministry of Health hospitalisations, over 700 serious pedestrian injuries a year were identified, most of which are from trips and falls that do not involve a motor vehicle. This is much greater than the injuries reported by the Crash Analysis System, which focuses on motor vehicle incidents. It highlights the important role that investment plays in good path and crossing standards and maintenance to reduce this burden.