Step 2 – Consider Policy Options

Following the identification of key issues, policy options for NMVs should be considered. Such policy should concur with national policy, such as the NUTP, as well as state and city level directives or strategy. Globally, NMVs are viewed positively in helping to create a sustainable city environment, whilst contributing to the health of the populous. Therefore, most types of NMV are encouraged.

Aims for Promotion of NMVs

NMVs may be promoted through the following initiatives.

  • providing better facilities to accommodate existing NMV use and encourage more NMVs through visible infrastructure;
  • developing a strategic NMV plan including a network of routes available to NMVs throughout the city;
  • segregating NMVs/MVs to improve safety and smooth passage of NMVs;
  • promoting freight NMVs for the transport and delivery of small goods to markets and shopping areas;
  • identifying sub-projects which make positive, pro-active provision for NMVs as part of a balanced approach to traffic planning;
  • giving NMVs priority over MVs on selected routes and in selected areas;
  • strengthening Road User Education (RUE) programmes for NMV users to improve behaviour and road safety;
  • rationalising and improving NMV registration, licensing for use as a PT or freight vehicle, regulation and enforcement
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Mandatory or Advisory Measures

NMV measures can be implemented either as mandatory or advisory. Mandatory measures are ‘formal’ and require to be backed up by appropriate traffic regulations. For example, part of the highway may be designated for NMVs only. Advisory measures are usually designed to encourage NMV use, or where mandatory measures are difficult to implement due to the requirement of traffic regulations or the practicalities of accommodating motorized vehicles within limited road space. For example, part of the highway may be allocated for NMVs, but MVs would be allowed to encroach for side accesses or when traffic volume is high. Even advisory measures can incur costs such improved road surfacing or removal of physical obstructions to ensure that NMV passage is smooth and comfortable.

The advantages and disadvantages of mandatory and advisory measures are summarized below.

Table 2 Advantages and Disadvantages of Mandatory and Advisory Measures

Advantages Disadvantages
Mandatory
  • Provide maximum benefit and encouragement to NMV users, such as physical segregation (protection)
  • Require regulations, which may need public consultations, and therefore take time to implement
  • Requires enforcement resources to ensure compliance
  • Can be more difficult to design due to higher level of restriction on access by other vehicles
Advisory
  • Do not require formal regulations
  • Can be introduced quickly
  • Usually relatively cheap
  • Do not require enforcement
  • Such measures are usually only indicative, so may not always be effective
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Mixed or Segregated NMV Measures

There are two main options that city authorities can pursue to better manage NMV and MV movements:

Option 1: Segregate NMVs and MVs as far as possible

Option 2: Allow NMVs to mix with MVs and reduce MV speeds

It is usually recommended that the first option be practiced as much as possible. The second option relies heavily on traffic calming and there are many examples in the Netherlands, Australia and Japan, though frequently in low-volume streets.

Segregated NMV measures can take the form of dedicated lanes within the highway (with physical dividers or simple line demarcation) either with-flow or contra-flow, and streets that prohibit motor vehicles. Mixed flow measures allow all types of traffic to mix within the highway and are typically a do-nothing or minimum case, though some treatments can be implemented to improve the comfort level of NMVs or provide priority, e.g. at intersections.

The table below compares the mixed and segregated approaches.

Table 3 Comparison Between Mixed and Segregated Approach

Mixed Segregated
Definition Utilises streets and areas for mixed NMV/MV use Measures that segregate vehicles and pedestrians; such as dedicated lanes. Segregation can be in terms of time or space
Conditions Appropriate on low–flow roads and NMVs can mix safely with vehicular traffic below 30km/h. NMVs can also mix safely with vehicular traffic at speeds between 30km/h and 50km/h unless volumes are high or there are significant numbers of trucks Preferable when traffic flows are heavy or speeds are above 50km/h and there are few side roads. Above 65km/h segregation is necessary for the majority of NMVs. Segregation is best suited to new areas and developed early in the planning process, though can be applied at later stages
Advantages Relatively easy and inexpensive to implement using existing road space
  • Provides a safe and efficient network for NMVs
  • gives priority to NMVs
  • suitable for areas with high volumes of NMVs
Disadvantages
  • mixing slow modes with motorised traffic can reduce road capacity
  • safety issues for NMVs due to presence of motorised vehicles
  • does not visibly promote pro-active NMT policy
  • expensive to implement (especially in existing urban areas where there is a lack of road space)
  • difficult to enforce
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Trunk or Feeder Routes


Figure 2 Trunk Cycle Route

NMVs measures can be implemented either on main transport corridors or on feeder routes to interchanges, after which transfer to a different mode such as public transport, would take place.

The feeder route approach is advantageous when the network requires relatively long origin-to-destination trips, such as within large or elongated cities, and NMV use for the entire route are less feasible. Segregated facilities for NMVs on feeder routes is unlikely to be necessary or cost-effective as they are often in outlying suburban areas where traffic volumes and congestion are relatively low.

NMV measures on main corridors provide continuous multi-destination facilities for intra-city travel. They assist NMV use and effectively display a visible message that NMVs are being strategically accommodated within the transport environment.

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Ad Hoc or Area-Wide Facilities

Facilities for NMVs can be implemented either on an ad hoc basis to ameliorate specific problems or as an area wide plan. The latter option is usually preferred to ensure a consistent strategy and that routes are comfortable from origin to destination. It is often considered that an NMV route is only as effective as its weakest link. Therefore an area-wide plan should be designed that accommodates targeted users on actual travel desire lines. Ad hoc improvements can be implemented to ameliorate safety problems at specific points within the network.

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