Hastings District Wide Area Modelling in New Zealand
The importance of sustainable transport initiatives is becoming increasingly well recognised – influencing the environment, our health and well-being, and feel and function of the places where we live. Active mode is a termed used for physical activity undertaken as a means of transport – notably walking and cycling, but also use of Public Transport as this generally involves an active component (e.g. walking to and from stops).
Since 2008 Traffic Design Group has worked with Hastings District Council to analyse and monitor the changes in transportation use by mode. In early 2010 Hastings District Council became one of four Local Councils to be awarded funding by NZTA to become New Zealand’s first walking and cycling community.
An integrated multi-modal Paramics Microsimulation model has been a key component of these initiatives. To assist with their role as being a walking and cycling community, Hastings District Councils primary objectives are to determine the functionality of the existing road network, how to plan for the sustainable future growth of Hastings and how to make walking and cycling a more attractive choice than driving.
Some of the key and innovative aspects of the Paramics Microsimulation modelling include;
- Investigation and analysis of area-wide transport initiatives of all forms
- Development of a cycle distribution and assignment model to run in parallel with the Paramics Microsimulation model. Applied to identify active mode network gaps, rank and prioritise active mode schemes, and on-going monitoring of initiatives
- Linkage with Census data allowing select link interrogation of the Paramics Microsimulation model to extract trip length distribution by trip purpose. This in turn provided prioritisation of network improvement schemes for movements by active mode
The yearly active mode monitoring provided by Traffic Design Group has been conducted successfully, indicating the success and fitness of the techniques and processes employed.