Newsletter of The New Zealand Roadmarkers Federation Inc.
Roadmarking News www.nzrf.co.nz Edition 140 December 2019
New Chief Executive appointed for Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Nicole Rosie has been appointed Chief Executive of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
February celebrations for completion of the Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway Two days of celebrations are planned to mark the completion of the Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway in February 2020. The 15km four-lane highway takes State Highway 1 east of Huntly, across lowlands and over the Taupiri Range. It will bring major improvements in safety and efficiency, taking traffic away from the congestion point through Huntly, which has a poor safety record.
Transport Agency Board Chair Sir Brian Roche says Nicole will step into the role from mid-February 2020. Sir Brian says he looks forward to working with Nicole. “Nicole has more than two decades of executive experience across the public and private sectors and in a range of industries and functions.
The two days of stakeholder and public events begin on Friday 14 February with a blessing of the site by iwi followed by a formal stakeholder event, ribbon-cutting and lunch on the highway, near Te Iringa Lagoon, which is adjacent to the highway about 4km from the southern end. The following day the project will be open to the public to walk, run, cycle and bus along the new road, which connects the completed expressway sections at Ohinewai in the north and the Ngaruawahia section at Gordonton Road in the south.
For the last three years she has led Worksafe. She has significant executive leadership experience in transport and commercial firms including Toll and Fonterra. “Her appointment is important for the organisation as we continue to revitalise Waka Kotahi to deliver a safe, connected and integrated transport system.” Interim Chief Executive Mark Ratcliffe has kindly agreed to remain in the role to enable a thorough handover and support for the half-year reporting process.
“It has been a remarkable journey by all involved in this project,’’ says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Acting Director Regional Relationships Ross I’Anson.
Sir Brian acknowledges the strong leadership provided by Mr Ratcliffe since taking on the role in January 2019.
A highlight on Saturday is the Expressway Classic half-marathon, starting near the lagoon and providing an out-and-back course over Taupiri Range to the Northern Interchange. There are
Published by: The New Zealand Roadmarkers Federation Inc. P O Box 13 605 Onehunga Auckland 1643 New Zealand Executive Director: Alister Harlow, Phone: +64 9 625 7470, Email: email@example.com Roadmarking News in published by The NZ Roadmarkers Federation Inc. Opinions expressed in Roadmarking News do not necessarily reflect the views of the NZRF
shorter races for runners and walkers from the same start point.
areas and a dedicated bus bay outside Tāneatua School, are also proposed.
Part of the project’s Cultural Symbolism Plan has seen two paa sites restored just off the route, and people will be able to takes shuttle buses to these. “Without a strong relationship with Waikato–Tainui we could not have got this road built in such a culturally significant area, and that relationship has developed further as the project has progressed from planning to construction.” The Huntly section is part of the 102km four-laning of SH1 from Bombay to south of Cambridge, which will be completed when the Hamilton section opens in late 2021. The $409 million Huntly section has been delivered by a Fulton Hogan-HEB joint venture for the Transport Agency. It will open to traffic sometime after the completion events. For more information on the Huntly section, visit www.nzta.govt.nz/huntly
Safety improvement for SH 2 Tāneatua A series of safety improvements and parking changes are proposed for the stretch of State Highway 2 within Tāneatua. In February 2020, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency proposes to introduce the improvements – designed to reduce the speed of vehicles through Tāneatua and increase safety for pedestrians. Acting Director Regional Relationships, Ross I’Anson, says the Transport Agency heard the community’s concerns about safety within Tāneatua at a public open day in 2018. “The overwhelming message was that people were travelling too fast through the township. “Since then, we have been working closely alongside community stakeholders on solutions.” The proposed safety improvements include a new flush median through the town, two new pedestrian refuge islands and pedestrian crossings, and narrowing the traffic lanes to encourage slower speeds. To support the improvements, parking changes – including installing yellow ‘no parking lines’ in some
Te Uru Taumatua, Te Wharehou O Tūhoe The Transport Agency is now asking for feedback from stakeholders and the public about the proposals. Consultation is open until Friday, 13th December. “Feedback will allow us to know whether there is anything we’ve overlooked or haven’t been made aware of during the earlier community engagement.” Feedback can be given emailing BOPcorrespondence@nzta.govt.nz
For more information, visit nzta.govt.nz/taneatuaimprovements Proposed safety improvements • Installing advance warning signs ahead of the 50km/h speed limit change through Tāneatua, so motorists have more time to slow down • Narrowing and colouring the surface of the traffic lanes where the speed limit changes and installing a flush median strip at these locations. (Narrowing traffic lanes means they feel more constricted and encourage vehicle speeds appropriate for a 50km/h environment) • Marking a new flush median through the town to improve safety for vehicles turning and provide separation between oncoming traffic. (Flush medians are white diagonal lines, painted down the centre of the road, marking an area about one-car-width wide) • Constructing two new pedestrian median refuge islands to provide additional safe crossing locations; between Howell and Morrison roads, and between Reid and Amokura roads • Two new pedestrian crossings – one between the shops and reserve, and another outside Tāneatua School.
Southwest Gateway programme Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Transport and Auckland Airport are welcoming community feedback on a range of connected transport projects, improving travel choice and reliability around south and east Auckland, including to and from the airport. The Southwest Gateway programme consists of both early and long-term projects that work together to provide reliable and efficient transport choices for South Aucklanders while also improving the safety of people and freight movements in the area.
“Auckland Airport is home to more than 800 businesses with 20,000 people coming to work at the airport every day. Over the next 30 years we expect more than 27,000 full-time roles to be created in the airport precinct. We want those people to enjoy safe and efficient connections.” Community feedback www.nzta.govt.nz/southwest-gateway Airport to Botany Rapid Transit will deliver a frequent transit system between the airport, Manukau and Botany. It will improve transport choice, reliability and journey times and connect to the rail network at Manukau Station and an upgraded Puhinui Station. at.govt.nz/AtoB(external link) 20Connect will improve journey reliability and safety along State Highways 20, 20A and 20B. It will provide priority lanes for public transport, improve access and safety as well as better walking and cycling connections. nzta.govt.nz/20connect(external link)
A key component of the programme is the Airport to Botany Rapid Transit link that will improve access to employment centres and development areas including Puhinui, Manukau and Botany. It will complete a gap in Auckland’s rapid transit network, connecting with local buses, the Eastern Busway and Southern and Eastern train lines. “There’s been great progress on the early deliverables of the Southwest Gateway programme with Puhinui Station currently under construction. The station will provide a high-quality interchange allowing for easy connections between bus and train,” says Auckland Transport’s Chief Executive Shane Ellison. “We are really looking forward to hear views which will help shape the early improvements to walking and cycling facilities and bus priority and transit lanes, as well as longer-term projects including the proposed preferred rapid transit route and stations, that will really improve connectivity in south and east Auckland.” Auckland Airport Chief Executive, Adrian Littlewood, says the airport is not only a transport, trade and tourism hub, it’s one of the country’s fastest growing business precincts.
Auckland Airport Precinct Improvements will deliver consistent reliable journeys on a network that supports a shift to public transport options. aucklandairport.co.nz/airport-of-thefuture/transport
Safer speed limits for SH 2 Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is reviewing speed limits along State Highway 2 (SH2) between Katikati and Tauranga in an effort to save lives and prevent serious injuries from crashes along this high-risk road. Acting Director of Regional Relationships Ross I’Anson says, “We are proposing lower speed limits to make the road safer for everyone who uses it. “In the 10 years from 2009 to 2018, 27 people lost their lives and 77 were seriously injured in crashes on this section of SH2, causing immeasurable grief and suffering for families and communities.” There are more vehicles, including heavy vehicles, using this section of SH2 than ever before and it’s catering to a wide range of competing travel needs including cyclists and school children. In addition, crashes on this route can cause extensive delays and long detours if there are road closures.
“We’re currently making SH2 between Waihi and Omokoroa safer by improving intersections, installing roadside safety barriers, widening the road shoulder and putting in a wide centreline. These safety improvements are already well underway and, together with the right speed limit, will make SH2 safer for everyone.
“The evidence is overwhelming that lower speeds reduce the frequency and severity of crashes,” says Mr I’Anson. “Our analysis has shown that the current 100km/h and 90km/h speed limits on SH2 are not safe and appropriate for the road. The evidence also shows that average travel speeds on the road are already well below the current speed limits.”
Dunedin Harbour shared path Work will start soon on the construction of the final section of the Dunedin to Port Chalmers shared path for cyclists and walkers alongside highway safety improvements between St Leonards and Port Chalmers. Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has let a construction contract to Downer NZ Ltd, valued at $25 million to complete the works. Currently the shared path from Dunedin along State Highway 88 ends at St Leonards. “It’s great that work will be underway soon to complete this really important link between Port Chalmers and the city centre,” says Dunedin Mayorelect Aaron Hawkins. “The facility is wildly popular as far as St Leonards, and this final stage is eagerly anticipated. “Providing safer walking and cycling options is a key priority for Dunedin. As a resident of Port Chalmers, I’m well aware what a difference a completed shared path will make for all road users.”
Transport Agency Director Regional Relationships Jim Harland says work is anticipated to begin setting up before Christmas this year and will continue through till mid to late 2022. The State Highway 88 Dunedin to Port Chalmers Safety Improvement project is designed to increase safety for all highway users, in particular, pedestrians and cyclists.
The project involves completing the last and most complex five kilometre stage of the shared walking/cycling path between St Leonards and Port Chalmers, as well as safety improvements to SH88, including installing roadside safety barriers. As well as being a busy freight route for traffic to and from Port Chalmers, the highway is also the first view of Dunedin for the thousands of people arriving via cruise liners at the port each summer season. Mr Harland says the start of this project is a major milestone for Dunedin and represents a major road safety investment by the Transport Agency. “Many people in the local community and across Dunedin will be thrilled that the final link in this shared walking and cycling path is about to begin.” Find out more about the SH88 Dunedin to Port Chalmers safety improvements On the other side of the harbour, Dunedin City Council’s Peninsula Connection shared path has been making good progress this year
Safer speeds proposed for SH6 Blenheim to Nelson The Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is reviewing speed limits on State Highway 6 between Blenheim and Nelson in an effort to save lives and reduce the incidence of serious crashes along the high-risk road.
In the 10 years between 2009 and 2018, 20 people lost their lives and 92 were seriously injured in crashes on this stretch of highway. Nineteen of the deaths were on 100km/h stretches of road.
average, over one person is killed every day on New Zealand's roads and seven others are seriously injured. But Putaruru Councillor Herman van Rooijen said that improving road safety will take restricting foreign drivers; something the document doesn't explicitly cover. That's despite the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s most recent statistics from 2017, showing that overseas drivers were only involved in 23 of the 342 fatal crashes.
“We’ve been speaking with local people, councils, businesses, and other organisations about how we can make this road safer and some people told us that speeds along this route feel too high to be safe,” says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Director Regional Relationships Jim Harland. “There are numerous communities and schools on State Highway 6, it’s popular with cyclists, busy with freight and commuters, and there are school children and others crossing the road in 100km/h environments. “We are investigating other improvements such as safety barriers, but one of the immediate actions we can take right now to prevent people from dying or being seriously injured is to reduce speed limits, so they are safe and right for the road.” •
The Blenheim to Nelson speed review is one of three happening across the top of the South Island, with reviews of SH60 between Upper Takaka and Takaka, and SH6 between Hope and Wakefield.
Van Rooijen said there were still too many incidents. "Ban foreign drivers from driving for the first 24, 36, or 48 hours after they arrive in New Zealand," he said. "For people to come into New Zealand, that are used to driving on the other side of the road, to then hop into a car after a long flight just doesn't make sense. "I go back to Europe at times and I will not drive until I am sure my mindset is right to be driving on the right-hand side of the road." Van Rooijen said the restrictions would only need to apply to countries that drive on the opposite side of the road to New Zealand. AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen said while the AA supported the messaging behind the idea, putting it into practice would be difficult.
Road safety review sparks call for foreign driver ban for 48 hours A councillor in a high crash region of New Zealand has called for a ban on tourists driving for 48 hours after they arrive in the country. He is getting backing from those in the motor industry. The idea was tabled during a recent South Waikato District Council's meeting where the Ministry of Transport's proposed new road safety strategy, Road to Zero, was discussed. One of the main aims of the document, which is currently open for submission, is to reduce road deaths and serious injuries by 40% by 2030. On
AA Spokesperson Dylan Thomson "You would need to know where people have flown in from and how long they have been in the air. All of those types of things would make it really really impractical and hard to enforce," he said.
Thomsen said the law was not necessarily the best tool to use, to improve road safety. "From our perspective, while we certainly support the message, we think the way we have to go is providing safety information and advice to people when they are travelling, booking on planes and arriving," he said. "We also totally expect rental companies and the like to be asking questions and finding out where people are driving to when they come in so they can give some advice." NZTA Southern Regional Relationships Director Jim Harland said overseas licence holders, including short-term visitors, were generally crashing for the same reasons as New Zealand drivers.
It does, however, not mean zero crashes. Instead, it is a concept where deaths or serious injuries should never be regarded as an acceptable product of mobility. As a leading expert in road safety in New Zealand, Dr Fergus Tate of WSP Opus said it was important for transport system operators to have the "balls" and "conviction" to implement Vision Zero. "It is about accepting we may lose a few seconds on our journey in order to save a life or prevent serious injury," he said. "None of us want to see our family die or be injured in pointless traffic crashes."
"A range of initiatives are in place to reach visitors at each stage of their holiday - planning, booking, in-flight, arriving in New Zealand, and when they are actually behind the wheel," he said.
Located between Albany and Silverdale in north Auckland, Dairy Flat Highway â€“ or "Deadly Flat Highway" as it is known by locals â€“ has seen 32 deaths and serious injuries occur since 2014.
"We're also providing information to help people chose the right vehicle for the nature of their trip and that they are prepared for the differences between driving in New Zealand and driving in their home countries."
The number of deaths and serious injuries has seen the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency include the highway in its top 1% of roads needing safety improvements.
Auckland's most dangerous roads and how to fix them Dairy Flat Highway, Old North Rd and Whitford Rd have earned their place among Auckland's most dangerous roads. Sixty-three deaths and serious injuries have occurred on them in the last five years.
Dairy Flat Highway achieved notoriety in 2018 when it claimed the life of social media star Johnny 'Danger' Bennett on Anzac Day in a motorbike crash. Locals have been waiting for safety improvements for more than five years.
The roads are being targeted by Auckland Transport (AT), which has a goal of no deaths or serious injuries on the region's roads by 2050. Joining them are Hobson St, Karangahape Rd and Symonds St, where 23 deaths and serious injuries have occurred (in the last ? years) Guiding AT's no deaths, no injuries 2050 goal is the "philosophy" of Vision Zero.
Construction of the new Dairy Flat Highway/Coatesville-Riverhead Highway intersection roundabout is under way.
Created in Sweden in 1997 and adopted by countries including Australia, most US states and the United Nations, it is founded on the principle that human life and health can never be exchanged for other benefits within society.
AT's work to make the highway safe include construction of a roundabout at the CoatesvilleRiverhead/Dairy Flat Highway intersection, permanent speed limit reductions from 100km/h to 80km/h and various safety barriers.
On Waimauku's Old North Road, 13 deaths and serious injuries have occurred in the last five years, with a "slippery" and "sharp" corner known to cause crashes. In 2018, Rodney Local Board member Brent Bailey said a reduced speed limit along the road would be ideal. "People drive too fast for the conditions. If they're travelling slower, that might help." Bailey said upgrading the roads camber and surface could also help.
90% of the area where AT wants speed limits cut, are rural roads as they are demanding and increasingly getting busier. Central Auckland's Karangahape Road (K Rd), Hobson St and Symonds St have seen 23 deaths and serious injuries occur in the past five years. AT's speed limit bylaw looks at cutting speed limits for lower K Rd, Hobson St and Symonds St. K Rd itself was undergoing "enhancements" which included widening footpaths, adding a cycleway, increased bike parking, lighting and street furniture.
Parts of Old North Road were planned to reduce from 100km/h to 80km/h, AT said. Whitford Road in East Auckland is seen as a crash hot spot, with 18 deaths and serious injuries occurring since 2014. Local residents have been very vocal about the road, saying it is not a good enough route. Hundreds of children have to travel on it every day to get to school and it is so treacherous. Crash statistics provided to Stuff in 2018 by police show in the first three weeks of January, there were at least 16 crashes on the 4km stretch of Whitford Rd; from Wades Rd to the roundabout at the intersection of Point View Drive and Somerville Rd. Of those, 12, including one in which a young man was killed in a road crash on January 5th 2018, were recorded as happening in the Mangemangeroa Gorge area. In April 2019, a truck driver was seriously injured after his concrete truck rolled down a bank near Mangemangeroa Gorge bridge.
The Karangahape Road upgrade will introduce bus and cycle lanes, with Auckland Transport aiming to improve the street environment AT said 30km/h speed limits had been successful in Wynyard Quarter and Queen St. Wynyard Quarter had averaged one death or serious injury per year between 2012 and 2017, but it has been zero since the 30km/h speed limit was introduced. On Queen St, there had been a 36% reduction in deaths and serious injuries since 2008. Roads AT also saw as "most concerning" included Coatesville-Riverhead Highway, Heights Rd and Waiuku Rd.
Speed limit cuts confirmed for hundreds of Auckland roads Speed limits are to be lowered on nearly 700 Auckland roads after a decision which is hoped to avert 86 deaths or serious injuries over five years.
A concrete truck is lifted out of the Mangemangeroa Gorge on Whitford Rd after it went off the bridge.
The directors of Auckland Transport (AT) unanimously voted in October to implement changes to all but 20 of the roads it had originally eyed up for cuts, leaving out some that were not considered high risk.
Much of the central city will have a 30km/h speed limit, as well as in some town centres, while the bulk of speed cuts are on rural roads in the northern ward of Rodney, and the southern ward of Franklin. Many of the roads in rural communities will have open road limits lowered from 100km/h to 60km/h or 80km/h, while those changed in urban areas, fall in most cases to 30km/h.
Ellison told the meeting that in many cases, such as in the central city, traffic on the roads already travelled slower than the current limit.
Innovating Streets What is the Innovating Streets programme? The vision of the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Innovating Streets programme is to make it faster and easier to transition our streets to safer and more liveable spaces. NZTA aim is to help the sector planning, designing and developing towns and cities by providing a toolkit of techniques specifically targeted at retrofitting streets to reduce vehicle speeds and create more space for people.
After the decision was made, AT released the findings of a public opinion survey which found a clear majority of support for lower speeds on safety grounds. Of the 1004 respondents, 49% supported lower speeds in general, while 27% opposed.
NZTA are improving the support they offer to councils involved in street innovation by providing draft guidance that will be tested through several live case studies. This support package will make it easier for councils to deliver: • temporary physical changes to streets • improvements that test a permanent fix and prototype a street design • activations that help communities reimagine their streets
The information had not been given to the board, in a deliberate move to ensure the decision was made based on merit, rather than public feedback. Most of the speed limit changes will come into force in June 2020, while the town centres will have a staged roll-out from November next year, depending on the readiness and public acceptance of the changes. Among the early town centres are Mairangi Bay and Torbay, while others such as Mission Bay, St Heliers and West Lynn will happen later. AT considered 11,722 submissions, with 2,503 supporting reductions and 3,317 opposing; with the balance making suggestions without taking a firm stand. "This has been an intense process of due diligence, leaving no stone unturned," said Lester Levy, ATs outgoing chair, ahead of the board discussion on Tuesday. Chief Executive Shane Ellison told the board meeting around 10,000 hours had been spent evaluating public submissions.
This guide aims to ‘demystify’ the process of transitional design, of testing changes and provides a growing body of evidence from cities around the country. It provides low-cost options for improving the vitality of our centres and making spaces that work harder for our communities. The guide is a ‘work in progress’ and the tools, case studies, monitoring and evaluation and legislative changes will be updated as we progress.
Australian police using drone technology to halve road crash delays The Queensland Police Service will use the latest drone technology to dramatically reduce the impact of major traffic incidents and save the state millions of dollars in lost time and productivity. The Queensland Police’s Forensic Crash Unit Aerial Mapping Project has demonstrated that by using the latest drone technology it can cut crash scene mapping times in half; a considerable saving in resources. It was estimated that in one year, congestion caused by traffic incidents on Brisbane roads cost the community A$23m (US$15.7m) in lost time and productivity. One contributing factor to the time for road closure during traffic incidents was scene mapping by investigating officers of the Police’s Forensic Crash Unit. As a consequence, the project was set up to evaluate the benefits of using drone technology to map crash scenes. So far, the results of the test program have been impressive. The Project Team conducted trials this year using the very latest drone technology, to reduce scene mapping time by approximately 50% thereby significantly reducing road closure times. Other benefits include a significant improvement in the quality and accuracy of evidence captured at the scene, with implementation being no more than current mapping methods. The Forensic Crash Unit has now deployed four operational drones with eight fully qualified police drone pilots in South East Queensland. To further speed-up mapping operations, the drones are transported to crash sites on motorcycles to avoid traffic tailbacks, with riders piloting them within minutes of their arrival at the scene.
“The implementation of this innovative drone technology is a win-win-win. Roads closed for a shorter period, better evidence, and no increase in cost,” said Queensland Police Minister, Mark Ryan. “This innovative approach to policing is why the Queensland Police Service is rightly regarded internationally as a world class operation. They are always looking to technology to provide better outcomes for the community. This has been a thoroughly researched project and included consultation with key stakeholders to develop procedures and policies for the effective and safe deployment of the drone technology on motorways, highways and major arterial roads and its subsequent admissibility in court.” To watch a video of how the system works, click HERE
Continental and 3M to develop new V2I interfaces German automotive technology supplier Continental has entered into a collaborative evaluation partnership with 3M to assess the interface between vehicles infrastructure-related objects, including pavement markings, conspicuity film, signs and other landmarks on or near the roadway environment. Current roadside infrastructure is lacking some aspects of consistency, uniformity, performance specifications, and maintenance standards that are important for the industry to optimize the perception and localisation capabilities of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs). While it is clear that infrastructure optimised systems are not possible in the short term, the long-term goal of the Continental – 3M partnership is to cooperate on finding a more balanced solution. Continental has a long history in automotive safety systems and its extensive knowledge, combined with 3M’s innovative expertise and leadership in roadway technologies, enables the two companies to collaborate on improving the current transportation infrastructure and work toward the goal of a more balanced and intelligent infrastructure-optimised future solution. The shortterm goal is to help increase road safety for all road users in urban and rural areas while continuing to work toward automated driving solutions. Continental and 3M aim to improve overall road infrastructure technology by combining the expertise of both companies. Continental is one of the leading suppliers of sensors, components,
safety systems and communications technology to the global automotive industry, and has been developing CAV technologies for many years. 3M’s high-performance materials combined with innovative systems and services have been widely deployed on the world’s road networks, with a range of retroreflective and fluorescent signage and pavement makings, as well as temporary traffic control products and work zone systems.
Ralph Lauxmann, head of systems and technology at Continental’s Chassis and Safety Division, said, “One of our major focuses is to ensure our vehicle technology is able to accurately, efficiently and effectively communicate with cities and road infrastructure. We are excited to partner with 3M to collaborate on improving overall road infrastructure technology to help increase safety and awareness of the environments and obstacles we drive through daily.”
Report on Autonomous Urbanism a Mixed Bag By Baruch Feigenbaum
The partners will collaboratively evaluate the infrastructure-to-vehicle (I2V) interface in the following ways: ▪
Localisation and correction services using clear environmental landmarks for locating a vehicle on a high-definition (HD) map; Identification and classification of objects in urban roadway environments including urban crosswalks, signalized intersections and other stationary and moving objects to improve safety; Improved awareness of objects in and around work zones and the status of the work zones; Enhanced object detection using sensor fusion detectable infrastructure-related objects.
“Infrastructure plays a critical role in the safety of all road users including vehicles with or without automated technologies, and vulnerable road users. We are dedicated to improving transportation infrastructure and mobility so all road users can arrive at their destinations safely,” said Dr Daniel Chen, vice president and general manager of 3M’s Transportation Safety Division. “Our mission of road safety is proving to be more important as modes of mobility are changing and advancing. We are excited to collaborate with Continental on exploring infrastructure solutions that will help governments achieve their Vision Zero goals.”
In September the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), the national trade group for large city transportation departments, released the second edition of its “Blueprint for Autonomous Urbanism.” The Blueprint is NATCO’s comprehensive vision for how cities should approach automated transportation. As a trade group vision, the blueprint focused on promoting the interests of large cities, with a mix of helpful and harmful suggestions. One positive is the report’s recommendation to implement variable pricing as a way to manage congestion and fund transportation improvements. Many urban drivers have become familiar with peak-period pricing used for ride-hailing services and managed lanes. NACTO recommends cities add data management experts to conduct regional modelling on how pricing affects regional travel.
The document details the difference between congestion pricing (used on I-66 inside the Beltway in Northern Virginia), cordon pricing (used in London and Stockholm), curb pricing (used in San Francisco and Washington D.C.), mileage-based user fees (used in Oregon), and managed lanes (used in many metro areas). Since congestion pricing has often been controversial, the document recommends cities develop pricing policies with the
business community, civic leaders, and elected officials. Unfortunately, the suggested uses of pricing are problematic. NACTO advocates pricing as an incentive for people to drive less instead of a way to manage demand. Pricing is effective at shifting demand but less effective at reducing travel entirely. NACTO proposes repurposing car lanes for cycling and walking. Yet most cities are already congested. It may be unrealistic for cities to add travel lanes but eliminating them on major thoroughfares doesn’t make much sense either. The blueprint explicitly suggests using pricing to force commuters to use transit, which seldom works. Finally, it implies that all pricing revenue should be dedicated to transit, walking and cycling. While some of the revenue should support these modes in major cities, the revenue needs to fund roadway improvements as well. The automated transit section may be the best chapter in the report. It recommends creating a unified payment system, in which riders could pay for transit services from different providers, tolls, etc., using one account on an existing credit card. It endorses redesigning bus networks, by adding service on the weekends and off-peak hours.
found that fewer employees will be needed. TRB research found that reduced labour costs are one of the biggest advantages of transit automation. The report generally treats all public transit service as good and private contracting as bad. Yet bad public transit service should be cut, just as roadways with excess capacity can be narrowed. Many of the cities the report highlights—London, Stockholm, and Los Angeles—have or have had successful private transit service that provided better overall service (more frequent, more ontime and cleaner, with lower overall costs) than comparable public service. NACTO may be trying to avoid a fight with organized labour, one of its biggest supporters. But a report on transportation automation should not ignore one of the biggest automation advantages or distort the advantages of private transit. The report has some other weaknesses. It argues that car travel needs to be reduced because of climate change. Yet the ongoing growth in electric and hybrid vehicles promises to reduce transportation greenhouse gas emissions significantly over the next 20 years. Further, greenhouse gas emissions are a U-shaped curve with the most emissions at very low and high travel speeds. Making car travel slower and more difficult would decrease citywide travel speeds, thereby increasing emissions. The report recommends prioritizing transit, walking and cycling over automobiles. It recommends eliminating the level of service (LOS) requirements for traffic flow that have guided policy for decades. It recommends setting speed limits at 25 miles per hour citywide, eliminating the 85th percentile rule. And it recommends restricting cars on local streets, connectors and major arterials. All of those recommendations are problematic.
Commute trips are less than a third of all transit trips, yet service is peak-period focused. Houston redesigned its network to have fewer stops, slightly less service on weekdays and significantly more service on weekends. Off-peak ridership increased by 20-40 percent while peak ridership remained steady. That’s the model to follow. The report also explains how transit signal priority (TSP) has increased bus travel-time reliability in mixed traffic. The report argues that automated transit systems will need more employees than today, even without drivers. However, the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) transit committees have
Prioritising non-automobile travel may make limited sense in New York City or on certain streets,
but the automobile is still the dominant transportation mode in most American cities. For example, in the city of Atlanta auto mode share of is 75 percent, transit 10 percent, walking 4 percent, cycling less than 1 percent and work at home 7.5 percent. And the city of Atlanta makes up less than 10 percent of the Atlanta region’s population. Many residents work in Atlanta and live in a neighbouring city and vice versa. Artificially slowing commutes limits economic growth and productivity. The value of a large metro area is the number of jobs that can be reached in a given time (also called the circle of opportunity). Slowing travel speeds shrinks that circle. Additionally, setting speed limits at the 85th percentile reduces the variation in travel speeds, and reduces fatalities. On streets with high pedestrian and bicycle counts, speeds may need to be set lower. But throwing out the 85th percentile rule for major arterials would reduce safety. At a minimum, cities need to ensure that state roads and other major thoroughfares continue to prioritize movement for automobiles, buses and vanpools.
NACTO supports the existing framework in which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulates vehicle safety and the states regulate licensing. Yet it opposed the recent federal autonomous vehicles (AV) legislation, the Senate SELF DRIVE Act and the House AV START Act, because NHTSA regulated safety, which suggests NACTO wants to have it both ways. NACTO also wants city taxi commissions to regulate Uber and Lyft, arguing that states have eliminated certain regulations on ride-hailing services. Yet, most states have simply placed ride-hailing companies on an equal footing with taxis. From a political perspective, cities want more power to set regulations. And the taxi industry is one of the biggest supporters of having cities regulate transportation. But to convince the feds and states
to grant them those powers, NACTO needs a more coherent argument. Finally, the report focuses on potential problems that are many years away. For example, the report recommends regulating delivery bots so they don’t clog sidewalks. Sidewalks can be crowded in the biggest cities, but delivery bots are unlikely to take over in the near future.
Croatia pilots ‘distracted pedestrians’ traffic signals A new type of traffic signal has been installed in the Croatian capital, Zagreb, which sheds light on the sidewalk next to a pedestrian crossing, so that people approaching the intersection can see a red warning, even if they are engrossed in their cell phone. The new traffic signals have been installed at the pedestrian crossing of the intersection of Frankopanska and Gjura Deželić Street on Zagreb’s Republic Square. The aim of the pilot project, which was just launched as part of this year’s ‘Day Without Cell Phones in Traffic’ campaign, is to warn pedestrians and cyclists of the dangers they face when their attention is focused on cell phones instead of passing traffic. According to a survey conducted by the same project, as many as 50% of pedestrians and 33% of cyclists use cell phones while crossing roads, and 20% of them do not even notice that the traffic lights have turned red because their eyes were on mobile phone screens.
This type of traffic light has primarily a warning function. When a red light comes on at a pedestrian crossing, the traffic signal projects the same colour
towards the sidewalk, so a red light shines on the cell phone screens that pedestrians are looking at. The red glare forces them to lift their heads, stop and wait for green. Due to the downward angle of the warning thrown by this type of signal, red light is projected onto the sidewalk so pedestrians can also see it with their peripheral vision, regardless of the fact that they are concentrating on their phones.
Denmark and Iceland to establish a certification system suitable for the cold and harsh Nordic climate.
The type of traffic signal used in the Zagreb pilot is the new Combia Safe Light, which has been developed and manufactured by Austrian traffic technology supplier Swarco and is intended to prevent ‘distracted pedestrian’ accidents. The Safe Light is one of several models in the company’s new Combia range of ultra-energy-efficient LED traffic signals that have been developed to be compatible with new Cooperative ITS (C-ITS) connected technologies. Other feature in the range include: acoustic signals for pedestrian orientation; air quality sensors; and pedestrian and object detection capabilities.
Trond Cato Johansen, project manager at Ramboll and head of NordicCert, said that about 530 materials are undergoing testing in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. NordicCert is also responsible for field-checkups to ensure that companies comply with certified material use.
As part of the project, researchers from the Traffic Signing Institute at the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Transportation Sciences are studying pedestrian behaviour in relation to cell phone use when crossing intersections and will determine whether and to what effect the new projected light mode has on their actions.
The results of their measurements and possible behavioural changes will be presented at the ‘We and Our Gadgets in Traffic’ conference on October 21, which is also being organized as part of this year’s ‘Day of No Cell Phone in Traffic’ campaign. Promoted by the Croatian Association of Safety Managers, the campaign is now in its third year, with the support and co-financing of the National Road Safety Program, sponsored by the country’s Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, the City of Zagreb, and the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.
Testing, testing: a Nordic-specific road markings certification is being developed
In Sweden, the certificates will be handled by NordicCert, a joint venture between engineering company Ramboll and the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (Statens väg- och Transportforskningsinstitut VTI).
Ennis Flint, Kestrel, Promax, Geveko, Kelly Bros, Swaco, Veluvine, Cleanosol, Svevia and Hitex are among the manufacturers whose material has been or is being tested. Product approval is based on monitored and documented performance measurements of material samples applied on test fields on public roads. Certification in Norway and Sweden is based on the results from a test site in Norway or in Sweden and certification in Denmark will be based on the results from a test site in Denmark. The first round of material tests in Sweden started in May 2015. Performance parameters included the coefficient of retroreflected luminance (RL) under dry and wet conditions, the luminance coefficient under diffuse illumination (Qd), the friction, the chromaticity in daylight and the chromaticity of retroreflected light (yellow materials only).
Sweden is set to implement certification for road Marking materials. The move stems from an agreement between the transport administrations in Sweden, Norway,
The work of the certification group was published by the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute in early 2018. The document
Nordic certification of road marking materials in Norway and Sweden 2015â€“2017 is available for free download.
NSW to get $600m in extra road projects as government boosts economy The Morrison government will pull forward almost $600 million worth of infrastructure projects across regional NSW as it seeks to safeguard the national economy and provide a financial boost to droughthit parts of the state. As economists warned the government's $3.8 billion nationwide infrastructure program would be too little to prevent the Reserve Bank using unconventional policies to boost the economy, Mr Morrison will on Thursday reveal $530 million worth of projects to be brought forward.
would improve safety, increase freight productivity and help boost tourism. Of that money, $212 million will be spent in the next 18 months. "We're bringing forward these important projects to cut travel times and make roads safer while boosting jobs and the economy," he said. The extra funding for NSW is part of $2.7 billion that will be pulled forward nationally on planned projects and an additional $1.1 billion to be spent on road or rail works.
Upgrades to Melbourne intersections to create 'cycling superhighway' A city intersection will be upgraded to simplify hook turns for cyclists, with hopes it will form part of a "superhighway for cyclists" in East Melbourne. The state government recently announced the $1.6 million upgrade of separated cycling infrastructure for the corner of Albert and Lansdowne streets.
PM Scott Morrison says the extra infrastructure spending will deliver long-term benefits. They include $200 million on safety upgrades along the Newell Highway to start from next financial year. Ahead of the election, the government had promised $400 million worth of work with none of it starting until 2024-25. Almost $185 million will be spent to bring forward spending on road-widening and safety works on NSW roads linking Toowoomba in Queensland and Seymour in Victoria, with another $145 million to go into upgrading the Princes Highway including the Milton-Ulladulla bypass. The government had already promised $500 million on the Princes Highway with most of that to be spent between 2024 and 2029. Another $41 million in new money will go into small-scale projects including $20 million to complete a section of the Pacific Highway between Woolgoola and Ballina. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the acceleration of $530 million on three major regional projects
An artist's impression of the protected cycling infrastructure planned for the Albert and Lansdowne streets intersection. The crossroads will have a separated cycle path, kerb islands to protect cyclists as they wait to turn right and new line markings. Traffic lights will also be updated to allow cyclists and pedestrians to go through the intersection first, before motorists. VicRoads chief executive Robyn Seymour said 61%of vehicle collisions with cyclists happened at intersections, so changes to traffic signals were designed to allow "vulnerable road users" such as cyclists and pedestrians to clear intersections and be more visible. Road Minister Jaala Pulford said the corner had an unattractive crash history, but markings would make it safer for cyclists and motorists alike and form part of a "cycling superhighway" in the suburb.
"When people get to the intersection, everyone can be easily confused about who goes next and what happens if cyclists are wanting to turn right at an intersection like this," she said. "The markings will make this much clearer and much safer for everyone concerned." As the first protected intersection of its kind in Victoria, the state government will monitor cyclist safety at the site for four months after it is completed, Ms Pulford said. The infrastructure is scheduled to be in place by mid-2020. The new East Melbourne intersection is part of a $3.25 million state government package of cycling upgrades, which also includes protected bicycle lanes at the nearby intersection of Albert and Gisborne streets. Separated cycling lanes will be added to Albert Street, between Gisborne and Lansdowne streets, and on Lansdowne Street between Victoria Parade and Albert Street. The package also includes wider footpaths and signal improvements for the Lansdowne Street and Victoria Parade intersection and a raised platform at the corner of St Andrews Place and Macarthur Street. Bicycle Network CEO Craig Richard said fixing the "conflict point" between cyclists and motorists at an intersection, would encourage more people to get on their bikes. Mr Richard said only 16%of bike riders are comfortable going through a normal intersection, but with separated infrastructure for cyclists that number rises to 70 %of recreational riders. Bike riders feel 83%safer in protected cycling lanes, according to data from the City of Melbourne.
The Dutch Government has announced plans to reduce the speed limits on its highways during daytime. The limits will be lowered from 130km/h at present to 100km/h, as part of a plan to improve road safety. Although the Netherlands has a very good record on road safety overall, there was an increase in road deaths in 2018. This is a cause for concern as road deaths in 2018 were the highest for 10 years. The Dutch Government has cut down on enforcement of road traffic laws, which is thought
to be one factor in the increased level of road deaths. Curiously, the speed limit will remain at 130km/h during night-time. Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council commented, “Higher speeds are always associated with a higher frequency of collisions and more severe consequences. So a reduction in speeds on Dutch motorways will save lives. That’s to be welcomed, especially as motorway deaths in the Netherlands reached their highest level in a decade last year.” He continued, “However, it is important to point out that almost 40% of deaths on motorways in the EU occur during hours of darkness. (2) Switching back at night to 130 km/h – a relatively high limit by European standards – cannot be recommended from a safety point of view.”
The US needs to address its road safety problems The US has serious road safety issues that need to be addressed. In 2018, close to 36,600 people were killed in road crashes, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The fatality rate for 2018 represents a 2.4% drop from 2017. In addition, the road death rate/160 million vehicle km travelled also decreased by 3.4%, from 1.17 in 2017 to 1.13 in 2018. And the NHTSA says it is the lowest fatality Rate since 2014. Nearly 36,600 people died on US roadways last year, a decrease of 2.4% from 2017, according to recently released figures. But there is serious cause for concern about the safety standards on US roads. While the fatality rate for vehicle occupants has dropped, the numbers of vulnerable road users being injured or killed on US Roads has increased. There were 6,283 pedestrians killed on US roads in 2018, an increase of 3.4% from 2017 and the highest recorded figure since 1990. Cyclists also are at risk on US roads, with 853 being killed in 2018, an increase of 6.3% from 2017. Of particular concern is the risk to female cyclists, with an increase in fatalities of 29.2% for 2018 compared to 2017. While the automotive sector is introducing safety technology to vehicles such as emergency braking systems, lane departure warnings and tools to alert drivers to the presence of pedestrians, it seems that
the safety benefits are not being passed on to vulnerable road users. Tests of auto braking systems carried out by the American Automobile Association carried out at low speeds and in daylight showed that the braking systems failed to prevent a collision with a dummy in 60% of cases.
There is evidence that driver assistance systems have little or no benefit to road safety. There is also concern that driver distraction (and smartphone use at the wheel in particular) provides a growing risk of crashes, something these new rules overlook.
With around 76% of pedestrian fatalities occurring at night, it is of more concern still that pedestrian detection technologies fitted to cars are mostly ineffective at night according to the AAAâ€™s research.
Linemarking upgrade in Rarotonga
Meanwhile further technology may be needed to tackle another issue, driver tiredness. The NHTSAâ€™s research of police crash data also shows that over 100,000 crashes are caused by tired driving. This accounts for some 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries. While technology has been developed to detect driver fatigue, it is used by very few auto makers at present.
New safety rules being introduced for European vehicles New safety rules are being introduced for vehicles in Europe. From 2022, new models of car sold in Europe will need an interface which enables an alcohol interlock to be fitted if, for example, required by a fleet operator or law enforcement. The reason for this change is that several EU countries require convicted drink-drivers to install alcohol interlocks in their car, and that process is complex and costly at present. A standard interface will make installing alcohol interlocks easier and cheaper according to the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC). Although the rule was first given its approval in March 2019 it has now been given its final acceptance by the European Council. In-car breathalyser technology is proven and a number of Systems are already on the market. The rules will also call for intelligent speed assistance (ISA) systems to be fitted. These have also been trialled and utilise proven technology. Using a combination of GPS location data and information from ground loops, the ISA technology is intended to prevent drivers from speeding. However, there are many sceptics who believe the ISA technology will be less effective at reducing the Incidence of crashes than claimed.
Roadmarkers NZ recently carried out a remark of the Rarotonga road network. The contract included the supply of a Graco Linelazer, which will remain in the Cook Islands and training of local staff. NZRF Executive Director Alister Harlow spent time with Gareth Clayton, Projects Unit Manager with Infrastructure Cook Islands reviewing road safety upgrades. He also spoke about the NZTA Road Safety priorities in a presentation to the Cook Island Road Safety Committee.
Upcoming Events ATSSA Convention and Traffic Expo Ernest N. Morial Convention Centre New Orleans, Louisiana 24th to 28th January 2020 www.atssa.com Intertraffic Amsterdam RIA Amsterdam 21st to 24th April 2020 www.intertraffic.com NZIHT/NZTA Symposium Napier Conference Centre 25th to 27th May 2020 www.nziht.co.nz (This link does not work sorry) RIAA/NZRF Conference and Exhibition Coffs Harbour, NSW 29th and 30th July 2020 www.riaa.com.au