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New Road Marking Trial – Sharrow

In 2012, the Road Controlling Authority (RCA) Research and Guidelines Steering Group agreed to establish a national cycling signs and markings working group. This new working group convened in 2012 and its membership contained a mix of Road Controlling Authorities throughout NZ.

Sharrow Trial 1This group agreed to undertake trials on a number of markings to further define a cycle lane, a shared lane and the safest route for cyclists.

The need for a shared lane marking within the NZ context has arisen due to the need to try and provide an additional ‘toolbox’ measure to help in the design of infrastructure. Internationally the use of shared lane markings has, on the whole, proved successful in improving safety, way finding and awareness of cyclist routes. The RCA working group identified ‘sharrow markings’ and ‘supplementary cycle lane’ markings for trial.

The two markings approved in May 2014 by the Traffic Control Devices (TCD) Steering Committee for trial in Palmerston North, are as pictured on the right:Sharrow trial suplamentary

Auckland Transport helped paved the way for the trial conditions, and monitoring of the Palmerston North research is consistent with Auckland Transport’s methodology and analysis. Details of Auckland Transport’s trial sites can be found at

Palmerston North City Council is undertaking its trial for six months, in conjunction with Nelson and Dunedin City Councils. PN City Council Officers have carefully selected sites appropriate to the trial conditions that are set by the RCA Steering committee. Those sites are:
• Broadway Avenue – between Princess Street and The Square (coming June 2014);
• College Street – between Victoria Avenue and Albert Street (coming July 2014).
The supplementary “LANE” marking trial will be undertaken along:
• Broadway Avenue, from Victoria Avenue to Princess Street;
• College Street, from Victoria Avenue to Fitzherbert Avenue;
• Victoria Avenue, from Broadway Avenue to College Street.
Palmerston North City Council will be conducting the following surveys as part of the trial:
• video recording to observe road user behaviour,
• installing tube counters to measure traffic volumes and vehicle speeds,
• road user perception survey to investigate the public’s perception of the markings.

The research aims to identify road user’s natural/instinctive reaction and perception to the meaning of the marking. The resulting analysis of this nationally conducted trial will help determine whether New Zealand Standards are adjusted to support further introduction throughout New Zealand.
Your feedback of these markings is important to us and we need to hear what you have to say