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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 1Update 24 December 2014

  • The Nationally trialled 'Sharrow and Lane Marking' for cyclists, is now complete. Thank you to all those who provided feedback through the online 'perception survey' form. A copy of PN's 'perception survey' results are available here. Technical surveys such as video trial data, will be summarised early 2015.
  • The Road Controlling Authority (RCA)  Active Modes Infrastructure Working Group will be collating results from all Local Authorities involved in the trial early 2015. The group will then be considering a recommendation to present to the Traffic Control Devices Rule Steering Committee later in 2015. The full results from the trial should be available later in 2015 and will be posted to this site at that time.

A shared lane marking within the New Zealand 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, proven successful in improving safety, 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:

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 undertook its trial for six months, in conjunction with Nelson and Dunedin City Councils. Palmerston North City Council Officers carefully selected sites appropriate to the trial conditions that are set by the RCA Steering committee. Those sites were:
• Broadway Avenue - between Princess Street and The Square;
• College Street - between Victoria Avenue and Albert Street.

The supplementary "LANE" marking trial was undertaken along:
• Broadway Avenue, from Victoria Avenue to Princess Street;Sharrow trial suplamentary
• College Street, from Victoria Avenue to Fitzherbert Avenue;
• Victoria Avenue, from Broadway Avenue to College Street.

Palmerston North City Council conducted 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 aimed to identify road user's natural/instinctive reaction and perception to the meaning of the marking. The resulting analysis of this nationally conducted trial helped determine whether New Zealand Standards are adjusted to support further introduction throughout New Zealand.