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Research Report 375 Applying health impact assessment to land transport planning

Published: | Category: Sustainable land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

This research draws on learning from New Zealand and other countries to meet the following research objectives:

to assess the need for health impact assessment (HIA), in the context of the New Zealand Transport Strategy and relevant legislation
to evaluate the role of HIA in land transport planning to date in New Zealand and explore barriers to the use of HIA
to understand the best point(s) for application of HIA within the New Zealand transport sector
to produce recommendations for better integration of HIA with other development processes in the transport context. Three data collection components were undertaken between September 2008 and January 2009:

an international literature review
a descriptive review of transport planning processes in New Zealand
four case studies examining application of HIA transport in New Zealand. Findings indicate deficiencies in current assessment processes and a need for HIA.

Research Report 311 Energy risk to activity systems as a function of urban form

Published: | Category: Sustainable land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

This project aimed to develop analytical methods for assessing energy risks due to a peak and decline in global oil production. Additionally to develop modelling capabilities to link these analyses to urban form. The aim was to provide a new capability for long term development planning. The need for communication between members of the community, councillors and practitioners with diverse backgrounds and interests are realised. Thus, the goal in modelling was to provide accurate risk assessment and clear visual-based communication of results. Keywords: energy, urban form, transport policy, modelling.

Research Report 376 Agglomeration elasticities in New Zealand

Published: | Category: Sustainable land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

This paper analyses the relationship between the multi-factor productivity of New Zealand businesses and the effective employment density of the areas where they operate. Quantifying these agglomeration elasticities is of central importance in the evaluation of the wider economic benefits of transport investments. We estimate that firms in an area with 10% higher effective density will have productivity that is 0. 69% higher, once we control for industry-specific production functions and the sorting of more productive firms across industries and locations. We present separate estimates of agglomeration elasticities for specific industries and regions, and examine the interaction of agglomeration with capital, labour and other inputs.

Research report 440 Reducing pedestrian delay at traffic signals

Published: | Category: Sustainable land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

Since 2000, the benefits of walking as a mode of travel have been recognised by the New Zealand government in a raft of policy statements and strategies. However, the Ministry of Transport acknowledges that there are a number of issues to overcome to encourage more walking. This research focuses on one of the key issues: namely, the delay experienced by pedestrians at traffic signals. Historically, New Zealand's approach to pedestrian delay has been minimal, with pedestrian issues considered primarily from the point of view of safety, rather than level of service or amenity. At traffic signals, pedestrians are often accommodated in a way that causes the least amount of interruption to motorised traffic, and signal cycle times can be long, leading to excessive pedestrian waiting times. This can lead to frustration, causing pedestrians to violate the signals and use their own judgement to cross, resulting in safety risks.

Research Report 438 Slow zones: their impact on mode choices and travel behaviour

Published: | Category: Sustainable land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

Given that the safety impacts of traffic management measures, including their effect on traffic speed, have been reasonably well-established, we wanted to explore the potential impact of such treatments on mode choice and travel behaviour such as travel patterns. We created the term 'slow zone' treatment or programme to generically describe the aim of any programme that modified the physical road environment in such a way it would moderate driver behaviour, slow vehicle traffic, and/or improve the environment of the neighbourhood. We adopted an evaluability assessment framework as the methodological approach for this research project. Evaluability assessment is a systematic process that helps identify whether a planned programme evaluation is justified, feasible and likely to provide useful information. In the first stage of an assessment, one output is an evidence-based logic model.

Research Report 439 Generation of walking, cycling and public transport trips: pilot study

Published: | Category: Sustainable land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

This research investigated a method for collecting data relating to walk, cycle and public transport trips to land-use activities. A method needed to be developed that would require a short questionnaire to ensure higher sample rates, while also providing reliable and consistent results. This data could subsequently be used in calculating trip rates for walk, cycle and public transport trips, when combined with trip rate units such as floor area. Multi-modal trip data has been collected for some time in the UK. The survey method developed in this research was simpler than the UK method by interviewing in only one direction for the vast majority of land uses, apart from residential where the recommended method was to interview in both directions. A face-to-face questionnaire method was developed over a series of different site surveys in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch during 2010.

Research Report 453 Trips and parking related to land use

Published: | Category: Sustainable land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

The objective of the research detailed in Transfund NZ research report 209 was to produce a comprehensive national database of information on trips and parking related to land use in New Zealand and to identify historic trends since the 1970s. This research has revised the original report, updating it to 2010 and comparing New Zealand results with those reported in the UK, USA and Australia. It also reviews trip generation surveys and databases from these four countries. The research indicated a general equivalence and consistency in the travel patterns seen in New Zealand to those reported in UK, USA and Australia. Drawing on parallel research based on the MoT New Zealand Household Travel Survey, there is a chapter devoted to daily trips by all modes and purposes.

Research Report 327 Transport impact guidelines for sites development

Published: | Category: Sustainable land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

This research project develops best practice guidelines for carrying out transport impact assessments (TIA) of development proposals in New Zealand. International research was undertaken during 2005 and 2006 by Beca Infrastructure Limited. There is a significant variation in the content of TIAs for developments around New Zealand, which in many cases have not fully taken into account the passing of key national legislation, including the Resource Management Act 1991 and the Land Transport Management Act 2003. The guideline serves two main purposes:

a guide for those carrying out TIAs that identifies the scope and content of assessments according to development location, type and size
a guide for those reviewing such assessments to determine that the content is appropriate to the size, location and type of development being assessed. A process has been identified from notifying council of the proposal through to completion of the TIA, if required.

Research report 392 The implications of discount rate reductions on transport investments and sustainable transport futures

Published: | Category: Sustainable land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

The effects of reducing the discount rate used in evaluations of initiatives funded from the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF) were assessed during 2007–09. Over 160 projects across a range of project types were collated and the relative effects of different discount rates were documented. As lower discount rates are applied, the demands on the budget become greater, and every dollar in the budget becomes more valuable. Thus any project that releases an extra dollar of cost is valued more than any project that produces an extra dollar of benefit. A lower discount rate would probably be most favourable to initiatives that reduce the total cost of maintaining and operating the network, and are favourable to major long-lasting infrastructure investments. Initiatives with large future operating and maintenance costs decrease in relative priority.

Research Report 458 A social responsibility framework for New Zealand's land transport sector

Published: | Category: Sustainable land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

Since the implementation of the Land Transport Management Act 2003, public sector land transport organisations in New Zealand have had the obligation to be socially and environmentally responsible, either as one of their organisational objectives (NZ Transport Agency) or in terms of the activities and combinations of activities approved for payment from the National Land Transport Fund (regional councils and road controlling authorities), While most organisations had a strong sense of what was meant by environmental responsibility, less was known about what was required to be socially responsible. In November 2010, after five years of extensive work involving 99 member countries and approximately 450 experts, the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) Guidance on social responsibility (ISO 26000) was published. The ISO 26000 is intended to guide organisations to translate the concept of social responsibility into action.
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