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Research Report 649 Great Kiwi road trips: enhancing New Zealand’s tourism industry through better visitor journeys

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of the expectations, motivations, experiences, information preferences and behaviour of visitors (both domestic and international) travelling on New Zealand’s transport network. Such knowledge enables a multi-agency approach combining tourism, heritage and transport to identify ways to monitor and improve visitor travel experiences, grow tourism and consequently promote regional economic gain. To do this, a pilot visitor travel survey was trialled, including an information-based intervention. The purpose of this was to capture unique visitor travel behaviour information, and to test a method to deliver during-trip information in a fun, interactive format, using motivation theory and gamification methods to promote different visitor experiences in an intervention group (compared with a control group).

Research Report 623 Effects of land transport activities on New Zealand’s endemic bat populations: reviews of ecological and regulatory literature

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audiences: General, Road traffic engineers & consultants

Roading projects may have adverse effects on indigenous wildlife. In New Zealand the effects of roading on long-tailed bats (Chalinolobus tuberculatus) is an issue and projects have attempted to monitor and mitigate effects on bats populations. However, how to undertake monitoring and mitigation is unclear. The New Zealand Transport Agency commissioned Wildland Consultants, Landcare Research and AECOM to:

review the literature on effects and mitigation of roads on bats, and relevant statutory processes
research road effects on long tailed bats
develop a framework for managing these effects. Roads affect bats by severing their flight paths and depleting roosting habitat by removing trees. Most bat road research has quantified effects on behaviour rather than population survival, making prediction of effects difficult. No studies have demonstrated any mitigation options to be effective for bats.

Research Report 625 Use of technology to measure and improve freight movements

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Publication Category , Research programme , Presentations , Research & reports

The advance of technology has created several rich sources of data to analyse road network performance and freight patterns. New technology is also driving intelligent transport systems (ITS) designed to improve transport operations. This research used Auckland as a case study to explore how existing and real-time data sources could be used to manage network performance and improve journey predictability for urban freight using ITS solutions. Drawing on previous research and a wide range of international literature and case studies, the report presents an overview of the role of ITS and the innovative ways technology is being applied to measure congestion and manage infrastructure more effectively. Extensive industry stakeholder engagement revealed a high level of frustration and urgency to find solutions to improve network efficiency and an acknowledgement of the role of technology alongside infrastructure and regulatory measures to support efficient urban freight movement.

Research Report 601 Understanding the value of transport investment in historic and cultural heritage

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audiences: Advice and assistance, General, Land developers, Local & regional government

The 2015 Government Policy Statement on Land Transport focuses on economic growth, productivity, road safety, and value for money. The transport system must also support economic, social, cultural and environmental well-being. This means that road controlling authorities (RCAs) must mitigate the impacts of their projects on heritage sites without placing an unreasonable funding burden on the economy.  

RCAs such as the Transport Agency have their own approaches for assessing and managing historic and cultural heritage. No consistent national guidelines for heritage conservation actions exist, however, which creates risks and opportunities during project development, delivery and ongoing ownership of heritage. The requirements for heritage conservation follow from designation processes, but do not necessarily strengthen the heritage and cultural values of structures and environments. An economic perspective of such values can improve the value for money of heritage investments, and support New Zealand’s heritage stock.

Research Report 596 Understanding trends in roadside air quality

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

The primary aim of this research was to improve the understanding of how vehicle emissions are trending over time in New Zealand and how this relates to observed trends in local air quality. Two sites (Auckland and Christchurch) were used to assess the roadside trends in CO and NOx concentrations from 2006 to 2014. To assess trends in the on-road vehicle fleet profile and vehicle emissions, 10 days of roadside vehicle emission monitoring were undertaken using the remote sensor device (RSD) in Auckland in February and March 2015.

Research Report 590 Impacts of exposure to dust on unsealed roads

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

The primary purpose of this research was to improve our understanding of the impacts that dust emissions from unsealed roads have on people and investigate dust mitigation measures. The project’s key research objectives were:

Characterise the dust and quantify the impacts of dust from unsealed roads on people. Determine the effectiveness and cost of dust mitigation measures. Estimate the costs of the health impacts of dust and estimate the benefits of mitigating the dust. Propose a methodology to support decision making about mitigation options. A two month road dust monitoring campaign was undertaken on a section of Mataraua Road, 10km southwest of Kaikohe in the Far North District, during February, March and April 2015. The monitoring results indicated that potential adverse human health impacts might occur due to the dust discharged from untreated unsealed roads.

Research Report 585 Risk assessment of road stormwater run-off

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

This report describes a GIS-based road stormwater screening (RSS) model developed to upgrade and widen application of the NZ Transport Agency’s 2007 vehicle kilometres travelled screening tool. The RSS model provides a robust, consistent method for assessing relative risks to receiving waterbodies using estimates of copper and zinc from road traffic and non-road (urban) sources. Risk levels are evaluated using contaminant strength and receiving environment sensitivity scores with streams/rivers assessed by sub-catchment reach and coasts/estuaries at their catchment outlets. The model uses nationally consistent datasets and takes account of traffic congestion, load attenuation in the road corridor and land use type. Results of a case study risk assessment of Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour catchment (Pauatahanui Inlet and Onepoto Arm) are described including risk profiling, sensitivity analysis, validation against field data and example applications.

Research Report 515 - The effect of rainfall and contaminants on road pavement skid resistance

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audiences: Communities, General

This research project, which was undertaken between 2003 and 2006, aimed to improve the understanding of the effect that environmental factors (eg rainfall and detritus) have on the variation of measured skid resistance, both in the short and longer term. Phase 1 of the research was a field study of seven sites in the Auckland and Northland regions over 2. 5+ years, with regular skid resistance measurements primarily utilising the GripTester. Phase 2 involved developing a new laboratory-based accelerated polishing device and methodology for testing large (600 x 600mm) chipseal surfaces with the Dynamic Friction Tester. Phase 1 results demonstrated that significant and previously unpredictable variations (greater than 30%) in measured skid resistance could occur over short time periods. These variations were the result of a number of interrelated factors, including the geological properties of the aggregates and the contaminants themselves.

Research Report 513 Impact of urban form on transport and economic outcomes

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

Urban form describes the physical shape and settlement/land use patterns of cities and towns. This research addressed two key questions: 1) How urban form impacts on transport and economic outcomes and 2) How regional and local council planning policies can contribute to a more efficient and durable urban form. We found that urban form has modest impacts on transport outcomes, through reductions in vehicle ownership and drive mode share. On the other hand, urban form was found to have relatively large impacts on economic outcomes, primarily by virtue of its impacts on agglomeration economies. Several promising areas of further research have been identified that would seek to strengthen and deepen our understanding of the linkages between urban form, transport, and economic outcomes.

Research Report 503 A natural environment and cultural asset management system for New Zealands state highway network: towards a practical concept and application

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

Internationally there is an increasing expectation for roadways to have a minimal environmental footprint, to express local environmental and cultural context, and to protect or respect natural, historical and landscape assets – in addition to being efficient and safe. New Zealand depends on the integrity of its clean green brand and the highways are the shop window of the nation and critical to the impression gained by overseas tourists and traders, but also to residents. Legibility of heritage is a sign of identity, protectiveness and cultural maturity. Key elements that should be revealed are geo-morphology, indigenous biota, Maori and colonial culture. This can be achieved through conservation, restoration and interpretation. Engagement with communities, iwi, engineers and ecologists is crucial, and culture change has to be championed at the highest level. Leadership must reinforce the latent interest in asserting an Aotearoa New Zealand identity.