Traffic engineering guidelines

Level xing KiwiRail and the New Zealand Transport Agency have led the development of a New Zealand design guide for pedestrian and cycle facilities at rail crossings, both alongside roadways and stand-alone. They commissioned ViaStrada to fill the gap in cohesive policy, information and guidance on providing for pedestrians and cyclists at rail crossings in New Zealand, particularly level crossings. The resulting guidelines are now available for industry use.

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ViaStrada and Abley Transportation Consultants were commissioned by the NZ Transport Agency to develop a national framework of guidance for planning and designing for cycling. This project came as a result of the NZ Cycling Safety Panel identifying a need for further guidance and was supported by industry feedback.

The resulting framework, titled Cycling network guidance - planning and design (CNG) was officially launched in July 2016. It provides comprehensive guidance and / or links to appropriate sources. ViaStrada continue to provide ongoing support for NZTA to update existing and add new CNG content.

Intersection in SeatleIn 2016, the IPENZ Transportation Group committee granted their annual study award to two members, Megan Fowler (ViaStrada) and Claire Graham (Auckland Transport) as both submitted similar and complementary proposals relating to protected bike facilities. Megan's study focuses on ways of addressing the conflicting movements of bicyclists and motorists at signalised intersections involving protected bike lanes.

Megan and Claire undertook independent trips to different locations and focusing on different topics, with the intention of combining their findings to produce useful guidance for the industry.

Cycling Code of Practice Auckland Transport commissioned ViaStrada to develop the cycling-related content for the region-wide Code of Practice.

The objective of this project was to suggest whether Christchurch City Council (CCC) should continue its use of red coloured surfacing or change to green coloured surfacing for cycle facilities. We have examined a variety of factors, including international research, purpose of coloured surfacing, relationships with other special vehicle facilities, national consistency, connotations of different colours and logistics of change.

On the basis of national consistency and the superiority of green over red in terms of longevity, we recommended that Christchurch City Council adopt green as the new colour for cycle facilities. We suggested that this change can be implemented over a period of time. CCC adopted the recommendation at its 11 February 2010 meeting.

The Melbourne office of SKM engaged ViaStrada to peer review its draft report Green Lights for Bikes, a report on how road authorities can use a range of techniques to provide for bike riders at traffic lights. SKM's client for the report was Bicycle Victoria. ViaStrada provided several additional examples of techniques for this report. The majority of the techniques described will be relevant to urban road controlling authorities in New Zealand.

ViaStrada has developed (and subsequently updated) a comprehensive design guide for trail designers and project developers. The updated design guide is available from the NZCT website or the ViaStrada website. The guide is applicable to all cycleway projects outside of urban areas, and not just NZCT projects.

NZTA commissioned ViaStrada to update more MOTSAM (Manual of Traffic Signs and Markings) material. Gone are all the old double limit lines, for example. The guidance on the marking of hook turn boxes for cyclists has been amended, and Section 2 now references the upcoming Austroads Guide to Road Design manuals.

ViaStrada has undertaken significant research and tool development on behalf of VicRoads (Victoria, Australia) to determine appropriate shared use path widths based on user volume characteristics. This work has been published as VicRoads Cycle Notes 21 on shared use path design.

Megan Fowler's first project at ViaStrada was to assist Tim Hughes of Land Transport New Zealand (now NZTA) in completing the Pedestrian Planning and Design Guide.