Here's a list of important terms used in this guidance. 

15th percentile speed

The speed at which, or below which, 15 percent of travellers are moving.

85th percentile speed

The speed at which, or below which, 85 percent of travellers are moving.

Arterial road

A main road through an area that carries traffic from one area or suburb to another.


Where two or more routes meet at the same vertical level.


A physical barrier to prevent vehicles that leave the roadway from entering pedestrian areas.


Comparing the performance of an organisation, system or network with that of others, using a set of measures (indicators) that are common to each.

Blended crossing

A crossing of the kerb where the roadway and the footpath are at the same level.

Clear zone (for motorists)

(For pedestrians, see Through zone)

An area alongside a roadway, free of potential hazards that are not frangible or breakaway.


The organisation commissioning a project. For many road projects this will be either the road controlling authority or the developer.

Cognitively impaired pedestrian

A pedestrian whose ability to negotiate the walking environment is hampered by a learning difficulty, such as difficulty in reading signs.

Collector road

A non-arterial road that links local roads to the arterial road network, as well as serving neighbouring property.

Community walking plan

A walking strategic plan for improving the walking environment specific to a defined community area, that identifies the area’s issues, difficulties and proposed remedial actions.

Courtesy crossing

Courtesy crossings are usually made of bricks or paving or raised above the level of the road on a platform. A courtesy crossing is not an official pedestrian crossing, but to be polite, motorists should stop for people on the footpath waiting to cross. Motorists must give way to people already crossing. As courtesy crossings are not obvious, to both pedestrians and drivers, their use is generally discouraged except where the pedestrian volumes are very high and vehicle speeds are very low.


The slope of the footpath perpendicular to the direction of travel.

Crossing point

Any point on the road network that has been designed to assist pedestrians to cross the roadway.

Crossing sight distance

The distance over which pedestrians must see approaching traffic to be able to judge a safe gap.


A section of a traffic island or raised median where the height has been reduced to the level of the roadway to make an area where pedestrians can wait before crossing another part of the roadway.

Desire line

A straight line between the origin and the destination of a potential pedestrian trip.


The direction along a roadway towards which the vehicle flow under consideration is moving.


A passageway across the footpath for motor vehicles, which enables drivers to access private property adjacent to the road.

Electric wheelchair

A wheelchair powered by an electric motor that is used by a mobility impaired person.

Fingerpost (or finger board) sign

A thin, directional sign showing the name of, and pointing the way to walk to, a major trip destination.


The part of road or other public place built and laid out for pedestrian use.


Street furniture and other road infrastructure designed to break away or deform when struck by a motor vehicle, in order to minimise injuries to occupants.

Frontage zone

The part of the footpath that pedestrians tend not to enter, next to adjoining land or along fences and buildings.


‘Geographic Information System’ – a computerised system used for storing, retrieving, manipulating, analysing and producing geographic data, which is referenced by map co-ordinates.

Grade separation

The separation of pedestrians from other road users by a difference in heights, usually by use of an overpass or an underpass.


The slope parallel to the direction of travel.

Home zone

See Shared zone


Data collected to measure progress toward a particular goal or objective.

Information board

An upright panel that lists key destinations, with directions showing the way to walk to each one.

Kea crossing

A school pedestrian crossing point that is not marked as a pedestrian zebra crossing, at which a school patrol operates.


A raised border of rigid material (eg. concrete) formed between the roadway and the footpath.

Kerb crossing

A place designed to facilitate convenient pedestrian access between the footpath and roadway, at a kerb ramp or, if at the same level, at a blended kerb crossing.

Kerb extension

A localised widening of the footpath at an intersection or mid-block, which extends the footpath into and across parking lanes to the edge of the traffic lane. Also known as kerb buildouts, outstands or kerb blisters.

Kerb ramp

A localised area where part of the footpath is lowered to the same level as the roadway next to it to facilitate convenient entry to the roadway.

Kerb zone

The part of the footpath next to the roadway.


A flat area at the top or bottom of a ramp.

Latent demand

The amount of walking that would happen if conditions were improved, but which is not happening currently.

Living Streets Aotearoa

An organisation that promotes walking as a healthy, environmentally friendly and universal way of transport and recreation.

Local authority

A regional or territorial authority responsible for local government.

Local road

A road or street used mainly for access to neighbouring properties with little through traffic.


See Pedestrian precinct

Manual wheelchair

A chair on wheels used by a mobility impaired person, and propelled by the muscular energy of the user or pushed by another person.


A continuous painted or raised strip along the centre of the roadway.

Median refuge

A raised area within the roadway that provides a place for pedestrians to wait before crossing the next part of the road.

Mid-block pedestrian signals

Traffic signals that are not at intersections, that stop traffic to permit pedestrians to cross the roadway.

Mobility impaired pedestrian

A pedestrian whose ability to walk is hampered by a temporary or permanent loss of ability. It includes those using mobility aids, those carrying difficult parcels or accompanying small children, and those with temporary conditions such as a broken limb.

Mobility scooter

A powered vehicle designed for use in the pedestrian environment by a person with a physical or neurological impairment.

Mountable kerb

A kerb designed to define the edge of a roadway but which may be mounted or driven across, if the need arises, with little risk of damage to a vehicle.

Natural surveillance

The observation of people and their surrounds by others carrying out their normal activities.

Older pedestrian

A pedestrian who may be physically or cognitively less able than others due to aging.

One Network Framework (ONF)

The ONF national classification system is used to determine the function of roads and streets, and inform decision making.

Overhead clearance

The height above the footpath within which there should be no obstructions for pedestrians.

Passing place

A short section of widened footpath to allow one group of pedestrians to pass another easily.


Any person on foot or who is using a powered wheelchair or mobility scooter or a wheeled means of conveyance propelled by human power, other than a cycle.

Pedestrian advisory group

A defined group of people interested in walking who are consulted as a matter of course about relevant issue.

Pedestrian crossing point

Provision at a particular place to assist pedestrians to cross the roadway.

Pedestrian fence

A fence that channels pedestrian movement. It offers no protection from vehicles that leave the roadway, but provides physical separation from a hazard.

Pedestrian on small wheels

A pedestrian on a device with small wheels propelled by human power, such as a skateboard, inline-skates or a kick-scooter.

Pedestrian permeability

The extent to which pedestrians can walk by direct routes to their desired destinations.

Pedestrian platform

A raised area of roadway or raised table that slows vehicles and assists pedestrians to cross. They generally have a flat top and sit flush with the kerbs. On their own they provide a focus for pedestrians to cross, however pedestrians must still give way to vehicles.

Pedestrian refuge/island

A raised area within the roadway that provides a place for pedestrians to wait before crossing the next part of the road.

Pedestrian precinct

An area set aside for pedestrians only. Some vehicles may be permitted under specified conditions, such as for deliveries, or cyclists exercising care.

Personalised journey plan

A plan developed on a one-to-one basis, according to the individual’s specific travel needs, to encourage them to use public transport, walking and cycling.

Personal security

Feeling safe from the risk of injury, attack or accident.

Pram crossing

See Kerb ramp

PUFFIN crossing

PUFFIN crossings are a type of crossing widely used in the United Kingdom with the pedestrian signal displays on the same side of the road as the pedestrian user and sensors to detect if pedestrians need more time to cross. They are not defined as PUFFIN crossings in NZ, the correct terminology is a mid-block signal-controlled pedestrian crossing with nearside signals.

Raised safety platform

A vertical deflection device designed to reduce the maximum comfortable operating speed for vehicles to Safe System collision speeds, particularly at intersections.


See Road controlling authority

Rest area

A flat area, part-way through a ramp or steps, at which pedestrians can recover from their exertions. Also known as a landing area.


See Road corridor

Road controlling authority

Organisations that are legally responsible for roads, including every city and district council, unitary authorities and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

Road corridor

The whole of the road corridor from one frontage to the other including footpaths. Legally roads include beaches and places to which the public have access whether as of right or not.


The part of the road used or reasonably usable by vehicular traffic in general.

Safe routes to school

A programme that aims to improve safety and remove barriers to walking (and cycling) to and from school.

Road safety audit

The process of checking a proposed design or existing road to identify features that may result in unsafe conditions.

School patrol

Older children or occasionally adults that use swing signs to stop traffic and permit children to cross free of traffic conflict at pedestrian zebra crossings or kea crossings.

School speed zone

Specially signed temporary speed limits covering the school zone for the time before and after school.

School traffic wardens

Older students or occasionally adults who choose the times at which it is safe for students to cross the road.

School travel plan

A programme that aims to encourage students to walk, scoot and cycle to school and reduce the effects of traffic near the school.

School zone

Area in the vicinity of a school where crossing assistance, safety measures and parking provision should be considered.

Segregated shared-use path

A route shared by pedestrians and cyclists where both groups use separate, designated areas of the path.

Sensory-impaired pedestrian

A pedestrian whose ability to walk is hampered by the partial or full loss of a sense, mainly sight or hearing. It may include those who are colour blind.


Separation of people from facilities and services they wish to use within their community due to obstacles to access such as busy roads.

Shared path

A shared path is a path that is intended to be used by both pedestrians, cyclists, mobility devices and wheeled recreational devices (Traffic Control Devices Rule, Part 2: Definitions). A shared path may become a 'multi-use path' if it includes additional users, for example horse riders.

Shared zone

A residential street that has been designed to slow traffic and signed to give priority to pedestrians. The shared zone sign means that traffic is required to give way to pedestrians but pedestrians must not unreasonably impede traffic.


The part of the road corridor outside the traffic lanes.

Sight distance

The distance, measured along the roadway, between a pedestrian about to enter the roadway and an approaching driver, or between two drivers, or between a driver and an object on the roadway.

Standard safety intervention

A proven road safety countermeasure that delivers beneficial safety outcomes by improving the existing road network. There is a streamlined process for applying for funding approval for standard safety interventions.

Street audit

An audit using a checklist to assess a street’s safety, convenience or usability.

Street furniture

Equipment within the footpath such as signal poles, lighting columns, signs, parking meters, seats, landscaping etc.

Street furniture zone

The part of the footpath between the through route and kerb zone primarily used for street furniture.

Tactile indicators

A specially profiled footpath surface that can be felt underfoot. It is provided to warn or direct vision impaired people. Legally named Tactile Ground Surface Indicators (TGSI) and also known as tactile paving.

Through zone (or through route)

The central part of the footpath designed as the place where pedestrians have a continuous and accessible path of travel.

Traffic calming

Changes to the road environment to reduce driver speeds.

Traffic reduction

Changes to the road environment to reduce the number of vehicles travelling through an area.

Trail signs

Markings (often metal studs, coloured tiles or painted markings) set directly onto the footpath that pedestrians follow to reach their destinations.

Travel plan

A package of measures tailored to particular sites, such as schools or businesses, to promote active and environmentally friendly travel choices and reduce reliance on single-occupancy motor vehicles.

Trip destination

The place a journey ends.

Trip origin

The place a journey starts.

Unsegregated shared-use path

A path shared by pedestrians and cyclists where both groups share the same space.


The direction along a roadway that the vehicle flow under consideration has come from.

Urban form

The overall design and structure of settlements.

Vision impaired pedestrian

A pedestrian whose vision is reduced and cannot be adequately corrected by spectacles or contact lenses, and who may use tactile, visually contrasting and audible cues when walking.


An attachment to a traffic signal face to minimum glare and reflection effects and reduce the possibility of a signal being seen by a road user for which it is not intended.

Vulnerable pedestrian

Pedestrians at greater risk than others of being involved in a crash, or more susceptible to serious injury. It includes older people, impaired people and children.


The extent to which the built environment is walking friendly.


The act of self-propelling along a route, whether on foot or on small wheels, or with aids.

Walking advocate

An individual, or group of individuals, who encourage, support and enable pedestrian activity.

Walkable or walking catchment

The area covered by a set walking time (e.g. 5 minutes) from a destination. Also known as a Pedshed.

Walking strategy or walking action plan

A document setting out a strategy to increase walking and provide a walkable environment, including a programme of actions to achieve this.


Methods to assist pedestrians to find where they are and where they need to go to reach a destination. 

Workplace travel plan

A travel plan tailored to a particular business, workplace or group of workplaces sharing a common location, influencing travel choices of staff and visitors.

Young pedestrian

A pedestrian whose physical and cognitive development means their abilities have not reached those of normal adults.

Zebra crossing

A pedestrian crossing point with longitudinal markings, where traffic is required to give way to pedestrians on the crossing. Legally they are called pedestrian crossings.