25 comments

  1. Peter Furth is based in Boston but once a year takes his transport class to the Netherlands to see how it can be done. He also developed the concept of “Level of Traffic Stress” used to identify routes that are cycle-friendly for different audiences. Last week he presented on Vision Zero and Sustainable Safety at the Trptn Research Board Annual Meeting (despite the name, this is a big transport conference, with 14,000 delegates) in a session looking at how to tackle the growing ped’n safety problem in the US; ped fatal numbers went up again there last year.

  2. So what is the cost saving of having roads like the dutch? The fatality rate is 3.4 per hundred thousand in the netherlands vs 6 per 100,000 in New Zealand. The social cost of road accidents is $3.47 Billion in NZ so a social cost saving of $1.52 Billion every year?

    1. I don’t think it is as a straight forward comparison that you make out. The Netherlands is around the size of the Waikato with a population of 17M compared to 4.5M in New Zealand, makes The Netherlands so much more densely populated meaning they would not have the same extent of rural highways we have and that is where the bulk of New Zealand road deaths are.

      1. The key difference is they dont just accept that these deaths are inevitable. They use 80kmh as an acceptable speed limit on undivided 2 lane roads for a start.

      2. So would we be more like Sweden where they have 2.8 per hundred thousand (less than half our road toll, or a saving of over $1.7 Billion).

          1. +1, I work with a Swede and he tells me that driving above speed or alcohol limits simply doesn’t happen there and that the testing process is immensely difficult.

      3. So many roads in NZ have a 100 speed limit and are far from suitable to do such a speed, many maintain the speed even around blind corners where people could be on a bike, pulling out of a driveway or even people riding a horse. Its just ridiculous, luckily this is mostly outside of urban areas, but that can make things worse, as motorists are not expecting anything but a clear road.

        Similarly 50 speed limit through residential areas is too fast, especially when every second person on the road thinks there is a tolerance of 5 or even 10 kph (this is about 90% of motorists in my experience), they end up driving 60. In little narrow residential back-streets this is even more bizarre.

        As someone who mostly walks and uses PT, its very hard to feel safe walking, you get people mounting footpaths, cutting you off at driveways and almost running you over at zebra or light-controlled pedestrian crossings. Its just insane, NZ seriously needs some road safety and road etiquette campaigns ASAP and of course some improved road design for better safety of cyclists, pedestrians and even other motorists as suggested in the video.

  3. The NZTA started using Vision Zero and Safe System language a few years ago, and produced some fancy materials to support it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFcLUCtUAzc

    Unfortunately, the substance of such a change has not been implemented across the agency. Instead it has become a form of ‘safetywash’ to apply to major projects after the fact. People are being killed on New Zealand’s roads as a result.

    1. ‘oh hey, this $XBillion motorway will have median barriers so will be safer’ Safety is usually secondary in these projects. How many km’s of median wire do we get for $1B?

    2. The NZTA Speed Management Plan has just come out. https://www.pikb.co.nz/assets/Uploads/Documents/Speed-management-guide-first-edition-Nov2016a.pdf

      I’m interested in the road I ride to work which is State Highway One, or as the plan says, a rural road with a low safety rating. It looks like there will be some priority for some improvements, but since there is a moderate level of personal safety there won’t be any speed change. I’m quite keen on some separation that will allow bikes to get off 100 kph narrow bridges. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ryiN83YR-o

    3. Thanks for the link to the NZTA video of 2014, it’s fantastic material and such a shame NZTA are not following through with it.

      Instead, NZTA’s recent Speed Management Guide sets speed limits by starting with the highest speed (determined by NZTA’s ONRC functional hierarchy to maximise throughput) which is then reluctantly reduced by considering a limited number of safety thresholds, such as a high history of crashes, but excluding consideration of vulnerable road users, or urban design, social and environmental impacts.

      Compare NZTA’s approach to countries similar to us but have half the road toll, such as Norway:
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11774671

      1. +1, I’m really disappointed that all of the active user considerations are not in the speed management guide. You can have a still have a 60 or 80 km/h urban arterial with no cycle lanes.

  4. Red chip asphalt for cycling lanes is not all that hard to do, and those using the new flyovers at Waterview will see it used to mark the sides of the road. What is not working all that well is the green paint used to mark cycle lanes (and bus lanes) because it eventually eventually ruins that asphalt and creates mini potholes. I like the idea of designating cycling lanes with red asphalt, and I suggest that a good road for an experiment is St Lukes Road from Kings Plant Barn to Great North Road. The cycle lanes are already there, and they could be separated from the traffic lanes by cutting back on the huge centre strip and the green berms alongside the footpaths, and transferring that space into a strip to separate the cycle lanes from the traffic lanes. While they are on the job the cycle lanes could be combined into one wider two way lane.

    1. Green chip (or asphalt or thermoplastic) is commonly used instead of paint, so the colour is not a factor in long-term pavement wearing. We established a long time back in NZ that green was the standard colour for cycle lanes; don’t really want to go through that exercise of changing all over again (Christchurch and a few other places were previously using red; there’s still bits of it floating around).
      As for one-way vs two-way cycleways, it depends on context (e.g. presence of driveways and side-roads, connections at each end). NZTA have developed a spreadsheet tool as part of their new Cycling Network Guidance, so that people can work out what is best. The biggest problem with two-way cycleways is traffic in/out of side-roads not expecting bikes travelling in the opposite direction.

      1. Green is great in short strips – crossing roads etc but red is just so much less awful when used in continuous strips like the Dutch do.

  5. Red is also used on the southern motorway and probably elsewhere as well for the pull-offf shoulders and seems to wear pretty well. Since looking at the original video I have been looking at the roading network in Auckland in a new light, and it obvious our priority has been the appearance of the neighbourhoods, with large berms for roadside trees. I am talking main thoroughfares here, not neighbourhood residential streets. Cutting those berms back to the footpaths would give enough room for cycling lanes physically separated from the traffic, and probably widen the roads to allow for parking as well. Okay, so the neighbourhoods won’t look as petty to the passing motorists, but at least the locals would be able to ride to school in safety, and it would probably encourage greater use of cycles.

    1. True but what a difference in attitude of the NZTA between our roads and theirs, we have roads with mixed use of 70kph, with no cycleway and no footpaths with cars parked, in such situations theirs would be 30kph, and lowering the speed would cost very little until improvements could be made to separate disparate users.

      1. Lowering the speed limit on a road that doesn’t also tell motorists to go that speed can actually makes things on that road worse and definitely makes national outcomes worse.

        1. We had a speed camera here a few years ago and that made people aware if they were doing over 70kph and helped, but you are right it does need ways to make drivers slow down, unfortunately with logging trucks and heavy vehicles is not easy to alter roads to make them slower, but it is scary having to maneuver around parked cars when sharing the road with some of the big trucks and trailers used today you don’t get second chances at 70kph.

          1. It’s actually pretty easy to get trucks to slow down to at least 50. You need to narrow the lanes and visually naroow them too, then you just have to make sure that the lane is always clear so they can get through.

            Basically like this except with the cycle lane on the other side of the parking bays and trees

            https://goo.gl/maps/fCCZxiwbxmP2

          2. They had to solve the same problem in Belgium, how to slow down traffic from 90–100 km/h to 70 or 50 km/h on the streets outside the city and town centres. This was necessary because over the past decades most of them ended being built up with long ribbons of mostly houses.

            The strategy was simple and effective. (1) lower the speed limit. (2) hand out speed fines like Halloween candy. People leaned to drive slowly.

            The thing they didn’t do is traffic calming, at least not on arterials. There were a few clumsy attempts on the smaller roads, but the few councils who were smart enough to use temporary setups figured out, after a few years of experimentation, that it doesn’t work. The street network on the countryside is just too large.

  6. [Comment also just posted in a response to a Vision Zero query on another post but more relevant here] Initial steps have been taken to get momentum behind a Vision Zero NZ campaign. At the 2 Walk & Cycle Conference last year I was part of a Vision Zero workshop with Brake, the road safety charity (Caroline Perry), Cycling Action Network (Patrick Morgan), NZ School Speeds (Lucinda Rees) and Walk Auckland (Abby Granbery) calling for Vision Zero NZ to be adopted. http://www.brake.org.nz/campaigns-events/take-action/latest-news/1286-call-for-vision-zero-to-be-adopted-for-nz-to-bring-down-road-toll

    The Waitematā Local Board has adopted this advocacy position: Safer Streets – Auckland Transport to adopt a target of zero serious injuries or deaths on our roads as part of a comprehensive safe systems approach to road safety including safe road design, enforcement, safer speeds and driver education. (if you want your own Local Board to do the same the opportunity is through the Annual Plan 17/18 consultation starting in Feb)

    More reading here on why Vision Zero

    https://www.bikeauckland.org.nz/vision-zero-do-no-harm/
    http://greaterakl.wpengine.com/2015/10/16/time-for-vision-zero/

    What we need now is to build up strong grass roots support for Vision Zero to be implemented. I would like to see it made an election issue this year so Vision Zero becomes transport policy for the incoming government.

    For anyone interested in getting involved the FB group administered by Patrick Morgan is probably the best place to connect. We need to get planning for 2017 underway. https://www.facebook.com/groups/VisionZeroforNZ

Leave a Reply