Active modes

Forms of transport that involve physical exercise – for example walking and cycling. For planning purposes, this is the most common term used to group pedestrians and cyclists.

Bike (bicycle)

Technically a bicycle is a cycle with two wheels, but the term ‘bike’ is commonly used to refer to any cycle, regardless of its number of wheels. See Cycle.


Disproportionately intense resistance to a project, which goes beyond the 'not-in-my-backyard' (NIMBY) concern commonly experienced by other infrastructure projects not related to cycling.

Bus lane

A special vehicle lane reserved for the use of buses, cycles, mopeds, and motorcycles. If a bus lane is specified as ‘bus only’ it may not be used by other modes. Road controlling authorities may also choose to specify the inclusion of additional user classes, eg taxis.

Cargo bike

A cycle that is specifically designed to carry larger and heavier loads than a regular bicycle, generally with an in-built container. Sometimes these may involve electric motors (see power-assisted cycles) or more than two wheels.


A particular type of engagement, with a legal definition and statutory obligations for local government. It is not a synonym for engagement.

Contra-flow cycle lane

A cycle lane that accommodates cycling in the direction opposite to that of general traffic in a one-way street.


A vehicle with two or more wheels and pedals that is propelled mainly by the muscular effort of the rider. It includes bicycles, tricycles and power-assisted cycles (‘e-bikes’) with no more than 300 watts total auxiliary power.

Cycling advisory group

A group of stakeholder representatives that advises on improving cycling conditions, often convened together with walking stakeholders as an active modes advisory group.

Cycle facility

Infrastructure that is cycling-specific, such as cycle lanes, cycle only paths, shared paths, grade separation and bike parking.

Cycle lane

A special vehicle lane marked on a road with a cycle symbol, which can only be used for cycling. Note that infrastructure commonly referred to as ‘cycle lanes’ that are not on the roadway are mostly shared paths and separated cycleways.

Cycling network guidance

An online framework developed by the NZ Transport Agency which compiles guidance relating to all stages of planning and design for cycling for use by transport practitioners.

Cycle network plan

A map of the primary cycle network and a schedule of the cycle infrastructure projects required to develop it.

Cycle-only paths

An off-road path exclusively for cycles. Also known as exclusive cycle paths. Note that paths that can also be used by pedestrians are called shared paths.

Cycle provision

The provision of satisfactory conditions for the intended cycling target audience, whether or not there are specific cycle facilities. This may include neighbourhood greenways.


A broad category which includes all facilities provided for cycling. However, it is best to use more specific terminology, eg to distinguish separated cycleways from other cycling facilities such as cycle lanes.

Cycling planner/champion

A road controlling authority employee who is responsible for the day-to-day planning and implementation of cycle provision in the authority’s area.

Cycling policy

A general course of action relating to cycling to be adopted by the government or an organisation.

Cycling review

A process to identify how well existing facilities meet cyclists’ needs and potential improvements that can be made. These are broader than cycling safety audits.

Cycling safety audit

A formal process to identify factors that could either increase the risk of crashes involving cyclists, or increase the severity of cyclists’ injuries in a crash.

Cycling strategic plan

A document setting out cycling objectives and the actions required to achieve them, including a cycle network plan.


A person who rides a cycle. While strictly an accurate description of anyone cycling, it can have negative connotations, and many people who ride do not identify themselves as ‘cyclists’ (see Koorey 2007). Therefore careful use is needed in public documents. Different ways of defining types of cyclists are given in People who cycle.

Desire line

A person’s ideal route between the origin and destination for a potential cycle trip.


Electric bicycle or ‘pedelec’ – see power-assisted cycle.


The practice of actively bringing community or public voices into decisions that affect or interest them.

Enthused and confident

A particular target audience for cycling that consists of people who, when traffic volumes are high, generally require some space on the roadway, either informally (eg wide kerbside lanes) or formally (eg painted cycle lanes) to choose to cycle. This is the group that traditional cycle provision in New Zealand has often sought to accommodate. This term was first developed by Geller (2009).

Exclusive cycle path

See cycle-only path.

FREE cycling

Friendly rides for enjoyment and exercise.

GIS (geographic information system)

A computer software programme designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyse, manage and present all types of spatial or geographical data.

Grade separation

A facility that separates people on bikes (and generally also on foot) from motor traffic on a vertical level, for example by a bridge or underpass across a roadway or railway line. This contrasts with an at-grade intersection or level crossing.

Hook turn

A right turn a cyclist makes at traffic signals, where they keep left while proceeding most of the way through the intersection then wait at the far left side for the lights to turn green, then cross at the same time as the side road traffic. Sometimes a marked facility is provided to assist this.

Interested but concerned

A particular target audience for cycling that consists of people who wish to cycle more, but are deterred by concerns about danger from traffic. To be comfortable cycling on busy routes they require separation from motorised traffic, and only a minority are comfortable with cycle lanes. As traffic volumes and speeds reduce they become more comfortable with cycle lanes, but may only be prepared to mix with motorised traffic where both volumes and speeds are quite low. This group represents a greater proportion of the general population than the enthused and confident target audience. This term was first developed by Geller (2009).

Level of service (LOS)

The quality measure of how well conditions provide for road users. For motor traffic it mainly assesses interruptions to free traffic flow. For cycling, other factors seem to be more important such as perceived safety, comfort and directness of route (see General route requirements).

Neighbourhood greenway

Streets with low volumes of motor traffic travelling at low speeds where no specific cycle facility is required. This will generally imply the use of lower speed limits, supported by physical measures to ensure low traffic speeds and volumes, as well as guiding drivers and people on bikes to share the same road space. May also be known as ‘quiet streets’, ‘slow streets’ and ‘bicycle boulevards’.

One Network Framework (ONF)

The One Network Framework is our national classification system. It will be used to determine the function of our roads and streets, and inform decision making. The new One Network Framework acknowledges the transport network has a ‘Place’ function. This means roads and streets are destinations for people, as well as transport corridors. The new framework also introduces classifications for different modes of transport, recognising that our roads and streets have different functions for different modes.

Power-assisted cycle

A cycle to which is attached one or more auxiliary electric propulsion motors that have a combined maximum power output not exceeding 300W. Also commonly known as an e-bike, or ‘pedelec’.

Primary cycle network

The most used cycle facilities, often designed mainly for trips across town and between suburbs, but could also include important short connections.

Recreation cycling

Cycling undertaken just for enjoyment rather than utility; not in view of reaching a particular activity at the journey's end. Recreation cycling includes cycle touring, sports cycling and cycling for pleasure.

Road reserve

The area legally designated for transport, between adjacent property boundaries, thus including not only the roadway, but also footpaths, berms and possibly shared paths and cycle-only paths situated adjacent to the roadway. In legislation, this is referred to as the ‘road’ (although ‘road’ also legally encompasses other public spaces too).


The portion of the road reserve used or reasonably usable for the time being for vehicular traffic in general (definition from the Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004). Within an urban area, this is generally the sealed area between kerbs that can be driven on.

Separated cycleway

A facility exclusively for cycling, which involves some form of physical separation from motor traffic and is generally situated on or adjacent to the roadway, usually within the road reserve. The separation used may involve horizontal and/or vertical components.

Shared traffic lane

A mixed traffic environment involving a traffic lane on the roadway that cyclists share with some motor vehicles (including the subsets of bus lanes and transit lanes).

Shared path

A path provided for use by both cyclists and pedestrians, with motor vehicles being legally excluded.

Shared zone

A mixed traffic environment where the road corridor is not separated into specific lanes, rather the space is shared by pedestrians, drivers, and people on bikes. The concept relies on a particular urban design approach as well as lower speed limits.


A traffic control device marking in the form of a cycle symbol with two chevrons above it, used to indicate a shared traffic lane environment for both cyclists and motorists. A sharrow is different to a standard cycle symbol as the former is applied in a general (ie mixed) shared traffic lane, whereas the latter denotes a special vehicle lane for cyclists.

View best practice guidance note for sharrow markings [PDF, 1.3 MB]

Strong and fearless

People who will choose to cycle regardless of the road and traffic conditions. They have usually learnt by long experience how best to interact assertively with traffic and have a low level of risk-aversion. This group represents a very small proportion of the general population and it is therefore not advised to be chosen as a target audience for cycling provision. This term was first developed by Geller (2009).

Target audience

The subset of people for which a particular cycling route or network is intended. There are different ways of defining these groups, including with respect to risk tolerance, willingness to cycle or cycling skill level. If using the Geller (2009) method, either enthused and confident or interested but concerned people will generally be adopted for the target audience, as the strong and fearless group is typically very small.

Traffic calming

A combination of measures (mostly changes to the road environment) aimed at altering driver behaviour (such as by reducing speed or discouraging ‘rat-running’) and improving conditions for pedestrians, cyclists and residents.


A typically unsealed, off-road path; usually shared by cyclists and pedestrians.

Transit lane

A lane that can only be used by public passenger vehicles, motor cycles, cycles and motor vehicles carrying a specified minimum number of passengers.


A transport journey that starts at an origin and ends at a destination and can have a variety of purposes generally aimed at either utility or recreation.

Utility cycling

Cycling done mainly to get to an activity at the trip's end, such as commuting trips to work, education or shops. Also known as ‘transport cycling’.

Vehicular cycling

A practice of cycling in mixed traffic in accordance with the principles of driving, that is without requiring separate provision from motor vehicles. In some circumstances, vehicular cycling requires adopting a central position within the lane, similar to that of a motor vehicle, to ensure visibility and eliminate the potential for being passed by motor vehicles where it is unsafe to do so. The willingness of people to adopt this cycling technique will be influenced by speeds and volumes of motor traffic.

The vehicular cycling technique may be also referred to as cyclists ‘claiming the lane’, ‘defending the lane’ or ‘taking the lane’. The message that cyclists and motorists are expected to share the lane may be portrayed through use of a sharrow marking.

Wheeled recreation device

A vehicle that is a wheeled conveyance (other than a cycle that has a wheel diameter exceeding 355mm) and that is propelled by human power or gravity; and includes a conveyance to which are attached one or more auxiliary propulsion motors that have a combined maximum power output not exceeding 300W.

Abbreviations and acronyms

BCI: bicycle compatibility index.

CAS: Crash Analysis system.

CNG: Cycling network guidance.

EECA: Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority.

GPS: global positioning system.

GPS: Government Policy Statement on Land Transport.

LOS: level of service (see glossary).

LTP: long-term plan (formerly known as LTCCP – long-term council community plan).

LTSA: Land Transport Safety Authority (former-government agency).

MoT: Ministry of Transport.

MTB: Mountain bike.

NLTF: National Land Transport Fund.

ONRC: One Network Road Classification

RCA: road controlling authority.

RTC: regional transport committee.

RTS: regional transport strategy.

TCD: Traffic control device.

UCP: urban cycleways programme.