Research and publications

Christchurch City Council commissioned an investigation into ways of improving pedestrian level of service (LOS) at traffic signals in the Christchurch central city following the adoption of the 'City for People Action Plan'. This was triggered by a Gehl Architects study (Public Space Public Life), which considered how people use public spaces and streets in central Christchurch.

A presentation delivered at the Signals New Zealand User Group (SNUG) conference in November 2010 covered Stage 1 of the investigation, which involved developing a methodology to measure existing LOS for each crosswalk in the study area, allocating a LOS score to each crosswalk, and identifying tools for improving LOS. Over 30 signalised intersections with 110 pedestrian crossings were in the study. The improvements considered for the project were restricted to changing traffic signals operations and adjusting signal hardware.

This video demonstrates a signalised crossing for pedestrians and cyclists that previously had a poor traffic signal compliance by these user groups. The way the signals operate was fundamentally changed some years ago, and this is explained in some detail. The effectiveness of the new operating concept is discussed and some conclusions are drawn.

The target audience for this video is traffic signal engineers and other staff charged with the operation of road networks. Political decision makers, cycle advocates and members of the public will also be interested in the video.

In recent years, engineers have implemented a number of changes to traffic signals especially to assist cyclists. Many of these changes are not widely known because they are not prominent, nor have they been publicised. Various stakeholders need to know how to improve conditions for cyclists at traffic signals. This presentation describes a number of techniques to help cyclists at traffic signals.

ViaStrada director Andrew Macbeth (second from left) and Michael Ferigo (right) gave a presentation on their recent attendance at the VeloCity international cycling conference in Copenhagen.

There was an enthusiastic response from a capacity crowd to Andrew Macbeth's illustrated presentation in Nelson on 28 July 2010. The talk was based on Andrew's recent trip to Copenhagen and the UK. Andrew's main theme was that urban designers, traffic engineers and other professionals all work in the same space and need to work together better to provide sustainable towns and cities.

How wide should paths shared between pedestrians and cyclists be? Whilst these are common, very little guidance is available internationally. VicRoads wanted to know and engaged ViaStrada and SKM to undertake the research. Megan Fowler and Warren Lloyd (both ViaStrada) and Cameron Munro (SKM Melbourne) wrote a technical paper on this topic. This was presented as a poster (also shown below) at the IPENZ Transportation Conference in Christchurch in March 2010.

What happens when petrol prices go up, or buses go down? Following the 2008 petrol price rises and the 2009 Auckland bus driver industrial dispute, Andrew Macbeth and John Lieswyn (both ViaStrada) and Brian Horspool (Auckland Regional Transport Authority) wrote a technical note on this topic. This was presented as a poster (also shown below) at the IPENZ Transportation Conference in Christchurch in March 2010.

District Plans have an important role to play in the integration of land use and transport planning. ViaStrada engineers and planners have recently undertaken a review of the Selwyn District Plan and have prepared a plan change updating the Plan's transport provisions. Jeanette Ward, Lisa Williams and Kathryn Stapleton were the key ViaStrada team members. At the IPENZ Transportation Conference held in Christchurch in March 2010, Jeanette presented a paper prepared by herself, Kathryn and Andrew Mazey of the Selwyn District Council. The paper and the presentation are available online.

The 2009 CAN Cycle Friendly Awards were presented by the Hon. Jonathan Young. Axel Wilke was the MC for the Awards function. A PDF of the presentation, put together by Axel and Gaz Sanvicens, is available from the NZ Cycling Conference website.

Should broken yellow lines be marked in kerbside cycle lanes?

Axel Wilke (ViaStrada) and Michael Ferigo (Christchurch City Council) have written a conference paper about this project. The presentation was on Friday, 13 November 2009 at the 7th NZ Cycling Conference in New Plymouth.