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:

200 and 300 mm aspectsChristchurch City Council and Auckland Transport commissioned ViaStrada to conduct an official traffic control device trial of directional traffic signals for cyclists. The new signals have been installed at four intersections.  Assessments of user behaviour (compliance and conflicts), user understanding, and user satisfaction have been undertaken at three of the intersections and will soon be carried out at the fourth.

This paper was awarded the best research paper at the 2019 NZ Transportation Conference.

72 secondsWith a new government pushing a greater emphasis on road safety, attention is increasing on the role that speed plays in our safety record. For both urban and rural settings, there has been a growing clamour by some elected officials, safety advocates, and the general public for greater use of lower speed limits. Yet, at the same time such changes remain polarising, with other people sceptical of their effect on safety and wary about their impact on network efficiency. The relatively cumbersome process of changing existing speed limits has also been cited as a hurdle to implementing fast change.

This paper was runner-up to the best research paper at the 2019 NZ Transportation Conference.

Lots of LimesJohn Lieswyn chaired a panel discussion on micro-mobility. There were eight panellists representing a variety of groups, interests, and companies.

graphicJohn Lieswyn presented on this topic at the Active Living and Environment Symposium (Dunedin, Feb 2019). The most important finding is that the school travel plan (STP) process itself can be the seed of a more productive collaboration between council staff, school administrators, board members, and parents. There is an opportunity to tie the development of an STP to road safety and infrastructure funding.

Chch 30kmh gatewayIn 2016, Christchurch introduced a 30km/h lower speed zone within a large part of the central city area. While this has generated some controversy amongst residents and businesses, preliminary analysis of crash data before and after suggests that there have been considerable reductions in crash numbers and injuries since its implementation, despite growing numbers returning to the city. Glen presented these findings to the 2018 Transport Knowledge Conference in Wellington.

Rattray St gatewayDunedin City Council commissioned ViaStrada to develop an area-wide approach to addressing road safety and parking issues around five central city schools. By considering the whole study area as one precinct (the “Central Schools Cluster”), a series of consistent treatments could be used to manage behaviours and minimise safety and operational issues. Glen Koorey and Hjarne Poulsen (Dunedin CC) presented the findings and implementation to date at Trafinz 2018 in Wellington.

80kmh Safer Speed zoneHow do road controlling authorities make use of the new Speed Management Guidelines to introduce changed speed limits across their networks? Glen presented on implementing local speed management plans at the 2018 Trafinz Conference in Wellington.

200 and 300 mm aspectsA formal Traffic Control Device trial of directional cycle signals has been approved for four locations; two in Christchurch and two in Auckland. Directional cycle signals incorporate an arrow with the cycle symbol within the signal. The trial is expected to run until the end of 2019.

driver facing flashing yellow arrow giving wayMegan and Axel presented at the 2018 SNUG Workshop on how traffic signals are operated when a separated cycleway is present. Currently, transport legislation implies that full separation in time is to be used, and when cycleway users see a green light turning drivers must be held on a red arrow. This is an inefficient way of operating intersections. More importantly, based on overseas evidence, this is likely to have poorer safety outcomes than allowing filter turning, at least up to certain turning volume thresholds.


200 and 300 mm aspectsA formal trial for directional cycle signals is underway, with two sites in Auckland and Christchurch, respectively. The interim evaluation for three of the sites has been completed, and Megan reported on the project status at the SNUG Workshop in Hamilton.