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A key component of planning your design should be influenced by where it is safest and easiest to make changes within the boundaries of the Traffic Control Devices Rule.

Delineators, and restricting general traffic movements, is the key to unlocking the use of colour and creative designs in your Innovating Streets project.  In areas of the roads protected by significant delineation devices, risk is being managed and traffic access limited (if not prevented), and there is greater scope for innovation using things like coloured and textured surfacing types. Similarly, the footpath or shared path environment is subject to lower operating speeds and reduced level of traffic, and therefore there has greater potential for innovation under the Rule.

Colours or markings that do not conform to the Rule are not advisable in traffic lanes, or in streets with higher-risk or speed environments.

Land Transport Rule: Traffic Control Devices 2004
Traffic Control Devices Manual

Once you are sure your location is suitable you will need to consider the type or combination of treatments you want to apply. The table below outlines some locations where there are opportunities to be more creative with the use of colour and pattern.

There is potential to innovate within or on:

  • Footpath, shared paths, overpass and underpass, pedestrian areas etc
  • Temporary footpath
  • Space in the road that has been established by channelling traffic away and by protecting that space with delineators
  • Areas within roadway features such as traffic islands and roundabout central islands.


Any colour, surface, furniture, or other safe change with the footpath area. The footpath area can be extended by channelisation after which the ‘footpath’ treatment can be extended.

If you’re working away from the traffic lane, you may not need a Traffic Management Plan.

Paint-outs, channelising

Space created by a delineator or channelling devices that, in effect, create a new kerb line to physically slow traffic (eg build-out, roundabout, chicane etc) or increase the footpath area. The footpath area in this instance can be flush with trafficked lanes. 

New footpath areas, that are created from existing parking or carriageway, that are flush with the traffic lane and delineated with physical protection to stop vehicles entering them.

A shared space street or pedestrian mall where vehicle speeds have been slowed to a survivable speed.

Painted roundabout

Credit: Portland Oregon Department of Transport

The space within the centre of a painted roundabout.