Roto-o-rangi Road - September update

Contents

​​​The second phase of the NZTA trail on Roto-o-Rangi Road is due to start in mid to late September and it will focus on understanding how the behaviour of vehicle drivers and cyclists’ changes around the new road safety features.

This means that there will be around 10 volunteers biking up the road with high-tech units attached to their bikes to capture information on the speed, distance and location of vehicles that pass the cyclists. The units will also be equipped with a camera to capture video footage.

The road markings and speed limits from the first trial in July have been returned to normal and will not be changed for this trial.

​Letter from NZTA

10 September 2015

The purpose of this letter is to update you on our second cycle trial later this month in Roto-o-Rangi Road.

What’s happening?

For approximately four hours one day in mid to late September (subject to weather), we will have around 10 volunteers biking up the road with high-tech units attached to their bikes. 

Along with a camera, the units will be able to measure the speed, distance and location of vehicles that pass the cyclists. This picture shows what the unit looks like.

Signage and ‘sharrow’ markings, which alert drivers to the presence of cyclists, will be used as part of the second trial elements and will enable us to understand how vehicle driver and cyclists’ behaviour changes due to these road safety features. These have been in place since our first trial.

You will have noticed that the road markings and speed limits for our first trial in July have returned to normal. We want to reassure you that there will be no lane reduction or speed restrictions for motorists during the second trial.

Why Roto-o-Rangi Road? 

Making cycling a safer and more attractive transport choice is a key priority for the Transport Agency and we are committed to improving the safety of people who cycle and to encourage more people to travel by bike. Recreational and sport cycling is growing in popularity in the Waikato, and improving cycle safety in the region is a priority for us and for local councils. This is why Roto-o-Rangi Road in the Waipa District was chosen as a site to test new safety measures for cyclists.

As part of our research we want to get a better understanding of how road design and layout, and speed management can play a part in improving safety for people who cycle in our rural areas.

We are moving into new territory in the cycling space and there will be challenges and setbacks but we are determined to be innovative to get the best results for both motorists and cyclists. Not every new measure that we test will work, but we need to try new things to find out what’s most effective. We are committed to bringing everyone along on the journey as we continue to investigate ways to improve cycle safety.

The results of this cycle research project, including community feedback, will be reported to the NZ Transport Agency in the second half of this year and formally published towards the end of 2015. Once we have these results we look forward to sharing them with you. You will find some FAQs overleaf and further information online at www.nzta.govt.nz/cycling​. Should you like to discuss any aspect of the trial in more detail please contact Peter Kortegast, email peter.kortegast@opus.co.nz or phone (03) 546 3689 or 027 683 7836.

Yours sincerely,

Harry Wilson Dougal List Regional Director, Waikato and Bay of Plenty National Cycling Manager NZ Transport Agency NZ Transport Agency

Frequently asked questions

Why is improving safety for people who cycle a key priority for the Transport Agency?

Five years ago, five cyclists died within five days in New Zealand. In 2013, following Coroner Matenga’s review, the NZ Transport Agency established the New Zealand Cycling Safety Panel to develop practical and innovative recommendations for how central and local government can work together to make cycling a safer transport option. The panel's recommendations cover new and innovative solutions for infrastructure, education, network user behaviour, regulation and enforcement.

What is the Transport Agency doing to make cycling safer?

The Transport Agency is actively looking at new and innovative ways to make cycling a safer and more attractive transport choice for people, including on rural roads. Many areas are already benefiting from segregated cycle lanes and off-road cycle paths. The Transport Agency is also looking at road layouts, speed, behaviour, new signage encouraging people to share the road and passing distances.

Why choose Waipa for the cycle research trials?

Recreational and sport cycling is growing in popularity in the Waikato, and improving cycle safety in the region is a priority for the Transport Agency and local councils. This is why Roto-o-Rangi Road in the Waipa District was chosen as a site to test new safety measures for cyclists.

What happened during phase one of the cycle research trial?

On 24 July 2015, in partnership with Waipa District Council, the Transport Agency rolled out an innovative new cycle trial on Roto-o -Rangi Road, near Cambridge in the Waipa District. The idea behind the trial was to gain an understanding of how much space motorists give cyclists when they pass on rural roads, and to investigate methods to make cycling safer on rural roads throughout New Zealand. The trial saw new road markings, a speed reduction and signage put in place on a 4km long stretch of Roto-o-Rangi Road.

The trial road markings, called 2-1, are where a two-lane rural road is reduced to a single lane with wide shared shoulders. The layout is commonly used in Europe, however the July trial was the first time it has been used in Australasia. Safety for all road users during the trial was paramount and after a day of on-site monitoring it became clear that some road users were confused by the new layout. The original road marking were immediately reinstated.

The Transport Agency is currently looking at other local roads, both in Waipa and around the country to trial the 2-1 layout in a less busy and lower speed environment later in the year.

What’s different about phase two of the cycle research trial?

In late August the Transport Agency met with Waipa District Councillors to talk through the trial and next steps. It was decided to proceed with some elements of the trial – but not the 2-1 road markings – and to take a simpler approach that will reduce uncertainty and confusion for road users.

The road markings and speed limits are back to normal, but other aspects of the trial including signage and ‘sharrow’ (cyclist/arrow) markings on the road surface, which alert drivers to the presence of cyclists, are still in place.

What’s happening during phase two of the cycle research trial?

One day in mid to late September (weather dependent), 10 volunteers will spend around four hours cycling Roto-o-Rangi Road with high-tech units attached to their bikes. Along with a camera, the units will be able to measure the speed, distance and location of vehicles that pass the cyclists.

How can I find out more about the Transport Agency’s research programme and the results of the trials?

The results of cycle research project, including community feedback, will be reported to the New Zealand Transport Agency in the second half of this year and formally published towards the end of 2015. www.nzta.govt.nz/cycling​

Page reviewed: 10 Sep 2015 5:20pm