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Credit: Auckland Transport.

Many streets were designed in a time when vehicle traffic capacity was the focus.

As we move forward towards Vision Zero, and understand more about the social, economic and environmental benefits of creating street space for people, we need to start reallocating vehicle space for other uses.

Space reallocation might be:

  • converting or removing parking
  • reducing lane widths, reallocating space to something else
  • banning some vehicle movements, closing slip-lanes
  • all of these.

The rules

The Traffic Control Devices Rule allows for the narrowing or channelisation of traffic lanes as long as there is either something blocking vehicles entering the new space, or a temporary traffic management plan in place to safely create the new space.

If the change impacts on parking, there may be a requirement to consult under the Local Government Act and make changes formal through the traffic resolution process.

Land Transport Rule: Traffic Control Devices 2004

International examples

Seville

Seville, a city of 700,000 had a cycling mode share of 0.5% and faced sharply increasing car use in 2003, when a public poll revealed that 90% of residents supported investment in cycling. The city implemented 120km of protected cycleways within 18 months as an experiment, through the reallocation of 5,000 parking spaces, to deliver a continuous and connected cycle network. Since its introduction the cycling mode share has increased to 9% with car use dropping by 6%, and the lanes are now being built permanently.


Calgary

In 2013 the City of Calgary rolled out a 6.5km connected cycle network as a one-year experiment as a means of engaging with local people and live-testing the impacts of a potential permanent investment. 1.2 million cycle trips were recorded in the trial period, along with an increase in women cycling and a decrease in footpath cycling. Over 60% of people supported the cycle network, and in 2015 the council approved the budget to make it permanent. The experiment required over 100 tweaks, which informed the permanent design.

medellin traffic lane relocation

Medellín, Colombia

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