Axel Downard-Wilke

Profile picture for user Axel Downard-Wilke
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Director – Principal Transportation Engineer & Transportation Planner
Mobile Phone
027 292 9810

Axel Downard-Wilke, ME Cantuar, MEngNZ, holds an ME (Civil) from Canterbury University and has been active as a traffic engineer and transport planner in New Zealand since 1998, with some prior experience in Germany. Axel specialises in sustainable transport, urban traffic engineering, traffic signals, road safety and intersection modelling. He has designed numerous signalised intersections and is called upon as a safety auditor. Axel was on the national management committee of the IPENZ Transportation Group from 2003 to 2006.

Axel shares his expertise through the delivery of professional training courses and University lectures. The courses cover intersection design, planning and design for cycling and walking, economic assessment, and intersection modelling. Axel is an accredited trainer for the SIDRA INTERSECTION software. He also teaches the Planning and Design for Cycling courses, which have been taught to over 1,200 individuals since 2003. For this work, he won the ‘CAN Cycle-Friendly Award’ for Best Cycling Promotion in 2005. Axel is a guest lecturer at Canterbury University.

Axel's skills have been sought for projects with a national scope. He is the author of the Land Transport NZ traffic signal audit handbook “Stops and Goes of Traffic Signals” (2006 revised edition), was a peer reviewer of the “NZ Supplement to Austroads Guide to Traffic Engineering Practice Part 14 Bicycles” (2004), has revised the cycling related content of MOTSAM on behalf of the NZ Transport Agency, and led the development of the Cycle Trail Design Guide (2010). He was a member of the Cycling Safety Panel, convened by the New Zealand Transport Agency to advise the New Zealand government on cycling safety, and was technical advisor to the Ministry of Economic Development for the $50m NZ Cycle Trail project.

Axel has developed the South Dunedin cycle network for Dunedin City Council. The work used an innovative cycle planning approach, based on creating routes which supply a level of service suitable to a target audience beyond experienced, confident cyclists. Axel has designed signalised intersections for Christchurch City Council that will accommodate Major Cycle Routes. A presentation to the Signals New Zealand User Group on legal issues that Separated Bicycle Facilities (SBFs) have at signalised intersections was awarded best technical presentation. He was the ViaStrada team leader on the Cycle network guidance project that overhauled New Zealand's guidance on planning and design for cycling, released in July 2016. He has undertaken numerous research projects in New Zealand and Australia, and has peer reviewed research projects, e.g. ‘Predicting Accident Rates for Cyclists and Pedestrians’ (Beca).

Axel has designed many signalised intersections, urban arterial traffic management schemes, road safety schemes and gets called upon as a safety auditor. He has been involved in the development or review of cycling strategies for several councils, and has been the project director for the scheme design of bus priority measures for a Christchurch bus corridor. Axel is a regular presenter at conferences and workshops, with over 80 papers and remits given.

Outside of work, Axel is a wilding pines removal expert and a New Zealand history buff. In his spare time, he keeps Wikipedia's homepage ticking over as an administrator and helps out on the committee of Wikimedia Aotearoa New Zealand.

User Publications

Making traffic signals work for people cycling
Separated cycleways and filter turning
Stops and Goes of Traffic Signals – SNUG 2023
Why don't we build safe roundabouts?
Research note 006: Infrastructure for quick-build cycleways
Why universal half-price public transport shouldn’t be made permanent
Cycling Network Guidance updates
Blind driveways
Directional cycle signals (SNUG 2021)
Supercharging Urban Development in Ōtautahi Christchurch
Christchurch cycling history
Zone 0
Directional cycle signals (Transportation Conference 2019)
Filter turning at traffic signals across cycleways
Northern Arterial
Dockless bikeshare – friend or foe?
ECan submission: all is not well
Parking policy – the San Francisco experience
Factors influencing red light running
Cycling Network Guidance: evolution of best practice
Around about time to make cycle-friendly roundabouts?
Safe … but only if it’s efficient
Ferry Road MCR
Review of Road User Rules for people walking and cycling
Empowering technology e-bikes
Learnings from cycling in Europe
Cycling guidelines development
Industry training for cycling
Separated Bicycle Facilities: legal issues
Bicycle network planning: the target audience approach
Cycle Lane Marking Trial
Dunedin – leading the way in cycle planning in New Zealand
Assessment of on-road bicycle lanes at roundabouts
Dunedin Cycling Forum
Assessment of bicycle lane separators (TG)
Bicycle lanes at roundabouts
Assessment of bicycle lane separators
Bicycle lanes at roundabouts
An illustrated lexicon of cycle facilities
Development of an automatic cycle counting programme for Hamilton City
Cycle counting programme in Hamilton
Pedestrian LOS at traffic signals (Transportation Conference)
Pedestrian LOS at traffic signals (SNUG)
Harper Ave crossing
Green Lights for Bikes presentation
CAN Cycle Friendly Awards 2009
Broken yellow lines in kerbside cycle lanes
Staged pedestrian crossings
MOTSAM amendments
Staged pedestrian crosswalks at signalised cross intersections
Right turn protection: Christchurch policy development
Staged pedestrian crossings
Signalised roundabout design for pedestrian and cyclist safety
Introducing bus priority in Christchurch
Gemini Cycle Friendly Awards 2008
Cycle safety at roundabouts
Travel time savings or the way we fund transportation projects
Pedestrian treatments at signalised intersections
Diagonal cycle crossing for signalised intersection
SPARC Cycle Friendly Awards 2007
Putting the “e” into advocate: online content management systems
Cycle facilities at traffic signals
Stops and Goes of Traffic Signals – SNUG 2004
Stops and Goes of Traffic Signals - TMW
Estimating a cycling AADT
The value of technical peer reviews
Diagonal cycle crossing for signalised intersection
Innovative diagonal cycle crossing solution for busy intersection
Velocity Conference 2007: lessons for NZ
Traffic Control Devices: rule revision
Evaluation of the Paramics microsimulation model: central city area and urban arterial case studies
Designing signalised intersections for cyclists
Fundamentals of Planning and Design for Cycling: course notes
NZ Supplement to Austroads Part 14: Bicycles
Audit of signalised intersections: recommendations for practitioners
Writing submissions: how to be effective?
Cycle paths at signalised cross intersections
ARTA cycle route network analysis tool
Making a congested offset signalised T-intersection work
Paramics modelling of congested offset T-intersection
Stops and Goes of Traffic Signals: a traffic signal auditor's perspective
Building our way out of congestion
Planning for certainty through sustainable transportation
Accommodating cyclists at signalised intersections
Planning and design for cycling: developing best practice in New Zealand
Fundamentals course: development and delivery of a technical training course
Impressions from Europe
Professional training course: designing with cyclists in mind
PEM amendments: simplified procedures cycle facilities
Planning and engineering for cyclists: development of a technical training course
Cyclists at roundabouts
Cyclists at wide intersections: single detector loop
Planning and engineering for cyclists
How safe are roundabouts for cyclists?
Designing signalised intersections for cyclists
The forgotten transport modes (NZ Cycling Conference)
Cycle lane performance: road safety effects
1999 Traffic Management Workshop review in terms of cycling
The forgotten transport modes (ALGENZ)
Cyclists at wide intersections: all-red time extension on demand
Cyclists at wide intersections