TRAFFESSIONALS staff made significant contribution toward three New Zealand Transport Agency research projects since 2005 – the common thread being an interest in roundabouts, and in particular catering for cyclists and pedestrians at them. The reports are: Research Report 287 ‘Improved Multi-lane Roundabout Designs for Cyclists’, Research Report 476 ‘Improved Multi-lane Roundabout Designs for Urban Areas’, and Research Report 510 ‘ Evaluation of the C-Roundabout an Improved Multi-lane Roundabout Design for Cyclists’.
With a British heritage roundabouts have long been an integral part of New Zealand roadway culture, but in recent times multi-lane roundabouts are being much less commonly applied in urban areas and this is often due to (often justified) concerns for pedestrians and cyclists. However this is a somewhat contrary direction to the road strategy objective of reducing serious injury or fatality crashes, since the alternative traffic signals will generally experience substantially more of these. Indeed in the United States since the 1990’s, roundabouts have been installed in exponentially increasing numbers due to this revelation in road safety quarters and well over 3000 have been built to date. The underlying reason for us to look more closely at ways pedestrians and cyclists might be more safely catered for at roundabouts, was to attempt to resolve this dilemma and develop some design solutions for multi-lane roundabouts that could make them the intersection control of first choice in New Zealand. In 2011, Duncan Campbell of TRAFFESSIONALS attended the 3rd TRB International Roundabout Conference in Indiana, United States to give a 20 minute presentation of the main findings.
Outcomes on the ground thus far have included the construction of several C-Roundabouts (Cyclist-Roundabouts) in West Auckland, and the application of raised platforms at zebra crossings for multi-lane roundabouts.
Most recently in 2014/15, this work has led to development of a new category of roundabout called Compact Urban Roundabouts.