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Research Report 340 Estimating demand for new cycle facilities in New Zealand

Published: | Category: Transport demand management , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

Funding for new cycling facilities is based on cost benefit ratios, which are dependent on the predicted future demand by cyclists. Currently there is no standard method to estimate future demand for a facility, and there is a danger that less worthy projects will get funding ahead of better projects due to the use of inconsistent methods of estimating cycling demand.

This research project compared cycle traffic flows after facilities have been built with predictions and with cycle traffic flows before construction. The aim of the project was to develop a tool to estimate demand for new facilities.

Ten sites (five off-road and five on-road) were studied and had cycle count surveys undertaken between November 2006 and May 2007. Analysis of the data has led to the following conclusions:

  • A wide variety of methods has been used by different facility proponents to estimate cycle traffic on new facilities.
  • The collection of cycle count data is in general minimal and is not consistent across road controlling authorities (RCAs).
  • The amount of cycle traffic growth after a facility was installed varies considerably.
  • More sites need to be studied to allow a more robust analysis.

Estimation tools have been developed for both on-road and off-road facilities based on 'before' cycle counts, results of documented growth on New Zealand cycle facilities and census travel to work data trends.

Publication details

  • Author:
  • Published: February 2008
  • Reference: 340
  • ISBN/ISSN: ISBN 978-0-478-30954-6 ISSN 1177-0600