Step 3 – Consider Potential Measures

Measures that may be suitable for NMVs can be categorised under institutional/regulatory and physical measures.

Institutional/Regulatory Measures

  • Development of an NMV policy and strategy for the long term;
  • Development of a 3–5 year rolling program of measures, subject to review and if necessary change, given the rapid pace of development in cities;
  • Institutional strengthening and capacity building by exposure to international and domestic experience, and by in-situ training courses;
  • Establishing the foundations for better regulation and enforcement by:
    • equipping the traffic police
    • establishing an NMV vehicle and rider database linked to registration and licensing
    • updating traffic regulations

Suitable traffic regulations can promote NMV usage and enforcement of measures. For example, the allocation of highways for NMV use needs to be backed up by regulations so that the allocation can be enforced.

NMV ownership management techniques can be introduced or improved, such as registration, annual licensing and inspection, and “deregistering” of unused or scrapped NMVs. This will help to provide better data on actual “active” ownership and usage.

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Physical Measures

NMV Lanes

NMV lanes are a popular and highly visible measure for accommodating NMV traffic. In general, NMV lanes within carriageways allow NMVs to overtake slow moving or congested traffic without obstruction. They also safely separate vulnerable NMV users from motorised traffic. NMV lanes may be segregated by median, barrier or road markings and can be with-flow (in the same direction as general traffic) or contra-flow.

Figure 3 Road Area Allocated for NMVs with Physical Segregation (Indonesia)

Figure 4 Road Area Allocated for Cycles with Physical Segregation (China)

Contra-flow NMV lanes carry NMV traffic in the opposing direction to a one-way MV lane. In this way, the NMV gains an access advantage over motorized vehicles, such as the means to ‘short cut’ the motorized route. They need to be carefully designed; to avoid the risk of collision and physical separation may be preferable unless traffic speeds are very low.

NMV Separators: Several types of separators can delineate NMV lanes. The simplest is to provide a single solid line with a minimum width of 10–15cm to ensure visibility. Solid lines usually delineate mandatory lanes whilst broken lines delineate advisory lanes, though it may be acceptable and preferable to provide solid lines even if encroachment and enforcement cannot be guaranteed. However, if violation rates significantly reduce the practical capacity of the cycle lane, it may be necessary to upgrade the separator to a physical barrier. To augment the lines, symbols and word markings can be provided. In most cases, physically separated NMV lanes (Type III) are more appropriate to the high NMV environment of Indian cities, though they are more expensive to implement. Physical barriers can take the form of steel railings, vertical posts, or raised curbs and can utilize local labour and materials. Such materials should be carefully selected so that they do not cause hazard if struck by an NMV or MV. Physical barriers can either by implemented with spacing at intervals, such as for use during certain times only, or continuously. The spacing is recommended to be 1.5–3.0m, to discourage MVs from entering the lane.

Allocation of Footway for NMVs: Footways converted to shared use with NMVs in urban areas rarely provide a good quality NMV facility and may inconvenience pedestrians. Space should first be sought within the carriageway. If footways are converted they should have light pedestrian flows, few driveways or minor road crossings and good visibility. NMV tracks away from the carriageway will have different characteristics, but should still conform to high standards of safety and design, particularly regarding sightlines, personal security and maintenance .Where they are intended as main routes, lighting is desirable.

Road Access Restrictions

Vehicle access restrictions can be applied to streets or lanes within a street and at certain times of the day, though adequate enforcement of time-based restrictions may be problematic for many Indian cities. These restrictions on motorized vehicles effectively offer access advantages to NMVs. The access restrictions should be well-defined, through the installation of visible and legible road signs. Movable barriers, such as drums or concrete blocks can be utilized to prevent MV access.

Figure 5 Road Prohibiting Motorized Vehicles at Certain Times of the Day(China)

Figure 6 Road Prohibiting Entry of Motorized Vehicles from One Direction(UK)

The above figures show examples from China and from the UK of a road with a restriction on access for motorized vehicles from one direction. In the UK case, cycle parking is provided on one side of the street and pedestrian crossings with surface dressing have been implemented at the street entrance to calm traffic and aid pedestrians.


Traffic signals offer designers various possibilities for installing features to assist NMVs including:

  • dedicated phases for NMVs;
  • extra clearance time to allow NMVs to cross;
  • tighter junctions so that clearance time is minimized;
  • advanced stop lines for NMVs to enable them to position themselves ahead of MVs thus reducing conflicts between left-turning vehicles and straight-ahead or right-turning NMVs.

The position of the approach NMV lane (nearside or central) needs to be carefully considered and there is no evidence that advanced stop lines reduce the capacity of the junction. On roads with three or more lanes, a two stage, “jug handle” turn will assist less confident NMV users to turn right. “Staggered stop–lines”, where the NMV lane is continued one or two metres ahead of the main stop line, but without a widened reservoir, can also be beneficial to NMVs. These help to place NMVs in the driver’s view. Staggered stop lines may be appropriate where the right turn is not available or where, for some local reason, a standard advanced stop line cannot be accommodated.

“Cycle by–passes” may also be incorporated into signal-controlled junctions to enable NMVs to bypass the signals, particularly for NMVs turning left or going straight ahead at T-junctions. NMV speed and manoeuvres should be considered when determining signal phasing, cycle times and linking of sets of signals. The length of the green time on staggered junctions is particularly important. Traffic signals are generally preferred to roundabouts by NMV users for safety reasons and because their rights of way are better respected.

Other NMV Facilities

Ramps: In order to reduce the obstructions to NMVs caused by pedestrian steps in streets or subways, ramps can be provided. These allow NMV users (typically cyclists, but also wheelchairs, prams, carts) to push their vehicles over the stepped area. Such ramps can be implemented as an addition to existing steps or be designed at an early stage within the stairs.

Figure 7 Cycle Ramp at Steps

Aesthetic considerations: In order to encourage NMV use, measures should be designed to provide socially attractive routes. Designers should consider aspects such as landscaping, surfacing, and lighting to provide routes that are attractive to NMV users. Routes across parks are likely to have high aesthetic value. Such considerations are extensively utilised in European countries to promote NMV use as an attractive and healthy mode. Leisure routes are also developed to promote cycle use.

Figure 8 Attractive Cycle Route

Signs and Road Markings: Signing can be either mandatory or advisory. For example, signs can indicate where only NMVs may enter streets or provide advice on a suitable NMV route which uses relatively quiet streets that avoid heavy motorized traffic. Signing can also visibly indicate areas for NMV parking.

Traffic Calming

Traffic calming facilities aim to reduce the speed of motor vehicles, thereby creating a safer environment for NMVs and pedestrians. At speeds up to 20mph, motor vehicles and NMVs can generally mix with comfort, however at higher speeds, dedicated traffic calming facilities may be considered. Traffic calming measures can include signing such as speed limits, but physical measures tend to be more effective. Such measures can include vertical or horizontal deflections to the carriageway.

Vertical Deflections: speed humps (raised areas across the carriageway); speed tables (flat topped speed humps); raised sidewalks (speed tables that also indicate pedestrian crossing areas).

Horizontal Restrictions: realigned intersections (to reduce the approach speed of motor vehicles); pinch-points (build outs on both sides of the carriageway that reduce carriageway width); chicanes (build outs staggered on alternate sides of the carriageway); central islands (islands within the carriageway that reduce carriageway width). Such facilities are especially beneficial to NMVs if their needs are considered within the design. For example, the above horizontal restrictions are most effective to NMVs if they include NMV ‘bypasses’ allowing the NMV, such as a cycle, to circumvent the restriction at its side and proceed smoothly without interruption. Textured or colored surfacing can also be beneficial as a means to increase driver awareness when entering areas of NMV activity.

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NMV Parking Facilities

The strategic location of parking for NMVs is an important consideration. NMV parking facilities should be located at markets, transport hubs (rail, bus and metro stations), institutions such as schools and hospitals, and where NMV users gather to seek work. Where there is high cycle parking demand, extra land space may be necessary and innovative measures could be considered such as multi-storey or basement parking. Some cycle parking facilities have theft prevention devices, while others are basic stands or security staff on site. The wheel holding parking loop is no longer recommended as it can cause damage to the bicycle wheel. Parking facilities that attach to the bicycle frame are now preferred.

Figure 9 Wheel Holding Cycle Parking Facility

Figure 10 Basement Cycle Parking Area Concept

In addition to NMV parking facilities, cities may also provide waiting areas e.g. for cycle rickshaws. The allocation of dedicated space for cycle rickshaw waiting helps to reduce road congestion and avoid obstruction to pedestrians on sidewalks. However, the measure may require frequent enforcement, as the allocated area may not be in the ideal place for patronage and therefore not be fully utilised.

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