The following table from France discusses what type of contra-flow cycle provision to consider in different road and traffic situations:
Contra-flow cycle facility decision-making table (CERTU 2012)
Greater levels of separation are recommended as traffic volumes and speeds increase, from no markings (N), to painted symbols (NSM), painted lines (SM) and physical separators (S). The guidance also acknowledges the practical difficulty of allowing contra-flow cycling as road widths get narrower (relatively few New Zealand roads would fall into the “below” 5m categories, which in practice means <9m carriageway width if the available space between parked cars either side was considered).
The above information is taken from a conference paper on “Developing Options for Contra-flow Cycleways(external link)” (Koorey et al, 2017), which also details the process undertaken to determine feasible options for contra-flow cycleways at three locations in Auckland. The options were site-specific and encompassed a range of treatments from fully separated cycleways, to on-road marked indications. Based on this, feasible options for contra-flow cycling provision in New Zealand may include:
- Separated cycleway or shared path
- Marked contra-flow cycle lane
- End-treatment signage only (although, in the short-term, a more extensive treatment is advised).
Site-specific factors to consider include:
- Type and location of parking – in particular, be cautious of high-turnover parking and reverse-out angle parking.
- Driveways – see the interim guidance note on separated cycleways at side roads and driveways [PDF, 1.8 MB], especially concerning contra-flow cycling.
- Traffic volumes and available width – there must be sufficient opportunity, in terms of space and time, for vehicles and oncoming cyclists to pass each other.
- Interactions with pedestrians – if considering a shared path for contra-flow movement.
- Treatments at the start and end of the facility – are all required movements supported and clear to users?