"The Great Myth begins, as so many myths do, with an arduous journey - in this case, then-Lieutenant Colonel Dwight D. Eisenhower's 62-day cross-country trip with a military convoy along our nation's rutted roads during the summer of 1919. Conditions like those faced by Eisenhower were all too familiar to the small but growing number of drivers, who clamoured for public investment in better roads. But how to pay for them?
Cycling is a sustainable mode of travel and an alternative to motor vehicle trips, particularly for shorter trips (less than 5km). Government transport strategies, including the New Zealand Transport Strategy and Getting there – on foot, by cycle, encourage the development of cycling and walking plans and infrastructure improvements that encourage more ‘active’ mode trips. While health and transport benefits are likely to result from promoting more cycling, the risk of having a crash while cycling is typically higher than while travelling as a driver or passenger in a motor vehicle. This is of concern to cyclists, potential cyclists and organisations involved in road safety.
The challenge for transport engineers and planners is to create a transportation environment that is as safe as possible for cyclists. This can be achieved through a series of measures, including, where practical, reducing traffic volumes and speeds, building on-road cycle lanes and intersection facilities, and constructing of off-roadway cycle paths. The safety benefit of most of these measures has not, to date, been quantified in New Zealand. Internationally, the research is also limited, particular in terms of the direct relationship between crashes and various roadway features and traffic conditions. This study extends previous work on the relationship between crashes and volumes of cycles and motor vehicles to the development of crash prediction models for on-roadway cycle facilities at intersections and along road links. The effects of speed and off-roadway paths have been assessed based on overseas research.