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:

This paper summarises research undertaken for Transfund New Zealand (now Land Transport NZ) by MWH New Zealand Ltd in Christchurch between October 2001 and May 2002 to evaluate automatic bicycle counting technologies. A comprehensive report of the research findings has been published as Research Report No. 230 entitled “Evaluation of Automatic Bicycle Counters in New Zealand”.

A literature review and consultation with key staff in road controlling authorities were undertaken to select the types of equipment to test. Rigorous testing was performed on two commercially-available pneumatic rubber tube traffic counting machines. Tests were undertaken both off-street (to simulate conditions in parks and on cycle paths) and on-street in mixed traffic, to simulate typical conditions for cyclists, where cycling data are typically unavailable. Other types of equipment were not tested and may be satisfactory for counting bicycles.

This remit was given to the Traffic Management Workshop (TMW) at the 2002 annual meeting in Rotorua. It draws the following conclusions:

  • Transfund has approved funding for development stage
  • Funding for delivery stage yet to be secured
  • First course possibly in April 2003

This remit about the project evaluation manual (PEM) was given to the Traffic Management Workshop (TMW) at the 2002 annual meeting in Rotorua. It draws the following conclusions:

  • Transfund now provides funding for cycle projects
  • Simplified procedures based on estimating cycle AADT
  • Author can make spreadsheet procedure available on request

A consortium has been formed to develop a technical training course for traffic and roading engineers who want to learn more about how to plan and design for cyclists. A grant application was put to Transfund, the Government funding agency for transport projects, in April 2001. This paper, from the 2001 NZ Cycling Conference, reports on the progress to date.

Presented at the 2001 NZ Cycling Conference, the author believes that the research will enable to judge more accurately the impact of different types of roundabouts on the safety of cyclists, but also on other road users. It is hoped that definite recommendations can be made with regards to safer roundabout design. As a result, road-controlling authorities may have to apply more stringent checks before commissioning new multi-lane roundabouts. It is also possible that current design standards may have to be changed.

This paper compares the functional road classification systems of Christchurch and Toronto. Both systems have local, collector, minor arterial and major arterial roads, but Toronto has expressways as well. The classification systems have a number of common criteria used to classify roads. In addition, each city has some requirements not used by the other.

This paper makes a case for reviewing the country’s road classification systems and then reviewing the classification of individual streets, jurisdiction by jurisdiction, based on commonly-agreed criteria.

This presentation gives an update on earlier research regarding Cyclists at Wide Intersections. A single detector loop is now used to overcome operational problems with the previous treatment.

The remit reports on a proposed technical training course that did not attract Transfund funding. The author will talk about the methodology that was developed, and will provide an overview of industry needs and support.

In September 2001, Andrew Macbeth (then based at MWH) presented a paper to the New Zealand Cycling Conference, based on a project commissioned by Transit New Zealand’s Dunedin office. The paper was presented jointly with Simon Underwood of Transit NZ.

The project was to evaluate the safety of two cycle lanes Transit NZ had installed in March 2001,on Cumberland Street and Great King Street, part of State Highway 1 through central Dunedin. The lanes are used by University of Otago students and commuters to Dunedin's central city area, amongst others. These were the first cycle lanes installed on State Highways in Dunedin.

This article was published in TranSafe Issue 5 (Apr 2001). It concludes with the following paragraph:

Some roundabout projects which achieve good travel time or efficiency ratings, and can reduce the overall crash rate of an intersection, may make the road environment considerably less safe for some road users, especially cyclists. So while a roundabout may be the most efficient and (for motorists) safest intersection control in a given situation, planners should review whether it is really the best solution to the overall problem. If it is, then special facilities should be investigated for those who are disadvantaged, such as a pedestrian underpass or separate cycleway that avoids the roundabout completely.