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:

Neighbourhood Greenway crossing of a major roadThere has been considerable recent development of cycling networks around New Zealand cities. To date, these have largely featured on-road cycle lanes, separated cycleways, and shared paths. However, there has been relatively little focus on using neighbourhood greenways as a key part of these active networks.

Neighbourhood greenways are on-road cycling routes featuring low-volume low-speed local streets and safe crossings of busier roads. They are growing in popularity internationally as a low-cost tool for encouraging bike use on quieter streets without dedicated bike facilities, while also introducing street elements to enhance pedestrian and resident comfort and amenity. Glen presented on these at the 2018 2WALKandCYCLE Conference in Palmerston North.

Real time display counter in Antigua StreetFor people managing a cycling network, there are over sixty different metrics to help evaluate the impact of engineering, education, encouragement and enforcement interventions. These range from mode share (as measured by the census question on the journey to work mode) to 'hands-up' counts in classrooms to measures of physical activity through the NZ Health Survey. The most direct measure is traffic counts – but the questions of where, when, how, and for what duration we should count requires careful consideration. This paper focuses on cycling traffic counts – primarily the trends in automatic count technology, crowd sourcing, 'big-data', and how manual surveys are still important. The Palmerston North Cycling Network Monitoring Plan is used as a case study to show how count data is managed to help identify what interventions are affecting cycling. John Lieswyn presented on this at the 2018 2WALKandCYCLE Conference in Palmerston North.

graph showing e-bike speed distributionIn the last year, the number of e-bikes imported to New Zealand has reached nearly 20,000 units while electric scooters and skateboards are increasingly seen on paths. To inform potential changes in regulation, we conducted a research study on overseas legislation, technology trends, market and safety analyses. Findings include the results of a nationwide survey of both users and non-users, the speed difference between powered and unpowered riders, and recent changes in regulatory approaches overseas. A safe systems approach considering the vehicle, the user, and the road design is applied to an assessment of safety. John Lieswyn presented an interactive workshop on these at the 2018 2WALKandCYCLE Conference in Palmerston North.

Cars in quake sinkholeHow do people respond to dramatic changes in transport patterns? What can other communities learn from the transport effects of the Christchurch earthquakes? Glen gave a presentation at the 2018 IPWEA NZ Conference in Rotorua about transport lessons to be learned from the 2010/11 Christchurch earthquakes.

amazed peopleIn his private capacity, Axel made a submission to Environment Canterbury's Long Term Plan (LTP).

truck side skirtGlen presented on the New Zealand patterns in truck / bike crashes at the 2018 Transportation Conference in Queenstown. This is a follow up to the work undertaken by the Cycling Safety Panel in 2014 and in response to the recent increase in cycling fatalities and the increased proportion of trucks involved in those crashes.

snap shot of weekend pricingThis presentation by Axel at the 2018 Transportation Conference discusses demand-responsive parking management based on the San Francisco model. It’s known over there as SFpark and is radically different in many ways to what is done by local authorities in New Zealand. The SFpark approach addresses congestion, environmental issues, and pretty much guarantees drivers that they will find a park where they want it. Retailers and the driving public thus love it!

graph showing red light running propertions in Akld, Chch, and PalmyGlen presented "Factors influencing red light running – a Christchurch investigation" at the Australasian Transport Research Forum (ATRF) in Auckland on 29 November 2017. This summarises current work for NZ Transport Agency and Christchurch City Council to understand the reasons why people run red lights at intersections and to determine potential countermeasures.

rlrGlen presented "Electric bicycle and low-powered vehicles standards and safety" at the 2017 Transport Knowledge Conference in Auckland. This summarised the research that ViaStrada did for the NZ Transport Agency investigating potential regulatory options for managing this diverse group of small vehicles and other devices.

E-bike speedoArising from the 2014 Cycling Safety Panel recommendations, in 2016 the NZ Transport Agency commissioned ViaStrada to research whether NZ should follow Australia's lead in adopting the European e-bike regulatory regime and whether there should be a minimum age to ride an e-bike. The research scope was broadened to include all low-powered vehicles (e.g. self-balancing devices and mobility scooters). John Lieswyn and client Simon Kennett presented on the topic at the 2017 Asia-Pacific Cycle Congress. The presentation included preliminary findings of a separate ViaStrada project to measure the spot speeds and gender of e-bike and un-assisted riders.