Boulter Consulting




Boulter Consulting specialises in Urban and Transport Planning. It is based in the Wairarapa District in the southern half of the North Island of New Zealand.

Boulter Consulting is based in the Wairarapa District.

CONTACT ME


Roger Boulter
BA (Hons), CMILT
Boulter Consulting
Urban and Transport Planning
P O Box 89
Carterton 5743
281 High Street South
Carterton 5713
Tel 06 379 8909
Mobile 021 872 654
Email roger@boulter.co.nz


Writings

Mayer Hillman - a giant in the research community (June 2017)

in 'Roundabout', magazine of the IPENZ Transportation Group.

Mayer Hillman, Emeritus Research Fellow at London's Policy Studies Institute, now retired, has for many decades strenuously opposed the idea that "cycling is dangerous". His seminal 1992 Cycling: Towards Health and Safety was the turning point, showing conclusively that what cycling did for health far outweighed the statistical risk of death or injury. Equally seminal was, with other co-authors, his 1991 study One False Move: A Study of Children's Independent Mobility, which (along with much more work by Mayer Hillman) pointed to the great gains, in terms of physical fitness, psychological development and social skills, of children being a able to roam 'free range' walking and cycling; implying that the approach to take is to make the road environment safe, rather than have adults escort them everywhere.


ATAP - the return of 'integrated transport'? (March 2017)

in 'Roundabout', magazine of the IPENZ Transportation Group.

This looks at the Auckland Transport Alignment Project. This exciting and ground-breaking project came about for pragmatic reasons: a desire to bring Government policy together with that of Auckland Council. The Government's focus gave prominence to 'roads of national significance' while Auckland Council gave first priority to its Central Rail Link. History was repeating itself: in the late 1980s, the UK Government's priority was roads, while local authorities in Birmingham and the West Midlands gave first priority to rebuilding a rail line between Birmingham and the West Midlands town of Wolverhampton. The 1989 'Birmingham Integrated Transport Study' (BITS) was the result, widely copied not only across the UK but also in some places in New Zealand (and the rail link, by the way, has long since been built).

BITS was widely studied, and its shortcomings were shown to be exclusion of public involvement (through a largely 'closed door' collaboration between official bodies) and ignoring of walking and cycling (through those official bodies being a road authority and a public transport authority). ATAP, despite including some exciting innovation possibilities (for example, the closest New Zealand has yet come to trialling road pricing) seems to show similar shortcomings. For example, on cycling, it simply notes the existing work of NZTA's cycling team (largely some cycleway building in major centres, supported by promotion), and has no significant coverage of cycling to or interface with public transport, or applying filtered permeability methodology to road network design, both of which would make more of a positive difference for cycling. Coverage of walking in ATAP is also conspicuous by its absence.


Oh, those Germans: "Either do or do not, there is not try" (December 2016)

in 'Roundabout', magazine of the IPENZ Transportation Group.

This responds to a previous article in Roundabout about German cycle-friendly roundabout designs. In Germany, roundabouts are designed with tight corner radii and narrow traffic lanes, so that motorists and cyclists can safely share the same space - rather than for speed and traffic throughput efficiency, which is often the case in New Zealand. However, this is not new (as many readers might assume). The same lesson had been drawn in the early 1990s, when 'Continental roundabout design' (read: German-style design) had been found to resolve the recurring problem that while roundabouts may be efficient and safe for general motorised traffic, they can be lethal and obstructive for cyclists and people on foot. A bigger question then arises: if this has been known for so long, then why have planners and road engineers not been applying the lesson?

This problem may have a lot to do with the 'silo' way we approach transport planning, assuming that 'providing for cyclists' means 'building cycleways' (supported by some promotion). In fact, most cycling takes place on general roads, and so these should be designed for cyclists - as, in fact, the Germans have done - everywhere. Impractical? Well the Germans have done it. The quote "Either do or do not, there is not try" is some advice to this effect given by Jedi Master Yoda to Luke Skywalker in one of the Star Wars films.


On Serendipity and cycle routes (September 2016)

in 'Roundabout', magazine of the IPENZ Transportation Group.

This points to the failure in past years of the 'back street' or 'parallel route' approach to cycle route planning. This aimed to increase cycling levels while reducing crashes, but failed to do either, because issues of the wider road environment remained unaddressed. Far more important is a focus on general road network planning and traffic management, which were addressed in the Netherlands, making accessibility by car a lot more difficult than by bike. The results are well-known and dramatic, and the reasons are wider transport planning, not because "Holland's flat" or "has always had a cycling culture" (which it hasn't). "No matter how impressive your plans for a cycle route network, they always needs to be traded off against plans for other forms of transport, most notably the car. And that is where, often, the guidance on cycling facilities and route networks, no matter how impressive, fails to make it onto the ground, and cycling still (after decades of this!) fails to break out of the preserve of what Portland's Roger Geller would call the rather limited "enthused and confident" market - that is, people who already cycle." Readers are invited to "make up your own mind" on whether the NZ Transport Agency's recent Cycle Network Guidance - Planning and Design adequately tackles these wider issues.


Cycling's wind of change may sweep aside valuable lessons

IPENZ Transportation Group Roundabout magazine, March 2015

Identifying the Value of Long Distance Rail Services - Current Issues in Transport Assessment and Evaluation

With D Wignall, C Nash J Jackson. Peer reviewed by Leeds Institute for Transport Studies, UK, and published by Victoria Transport Policy Institute - www.vtpi.org/rail_evaluation.pdf

Land transport programmes under changing legislation

at Planning Law Update Conferences, Wellington, 29 October 2008


Business in a rapidly changing environment

for NZ Roadmarkers Federation workshop, Wellington, 29 July 2008


Identifying the value of long-distance rail services

with D Wignall, conference paper, Land Transport Funding Summit, Auckland, NZ, 14 July 2008

 





Roger Boulter