Revitalising Canterbury: keeping Christchurch moving

Chch Traffic Ops team

As a key specialist expert in Canterbury, and with over 30 years’ on the ground experience in the region, TDG’s Christchurch team is helping local and regional bodies with a large variety of projects aimed at keeping Christchurch moving.

Senior Associate Bevan Wilmshurst has been seconded to the essential Christchurch Transport Operations Centre (CTOC). This role assists the City with a range of travel and transport issues, and aims to keep Cantabrians moving through major events (such as the great combination of a Black Caps test match, Bruce Springsteen concert & Earthquake Memorial Day) and while the reconstruction continues.

Here’s a quick summary of some of the projects underway.

February 21 and 22nd: a perfect storm of big events (& the aftermath of the Port Hills fires)

With the 22nd of February being the sixth anniversary of the Christchurch earthquakes, the city was humming after ‘The Boss’ Bruce Springsteen's concert, the Hagley Oval hosting the Black Caps v South Africa Test Match and the official unveiling of the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial Wall on Oxford Terrace.

Three such major events combine to create a potential “perfect traffic storm”, let alone when combined with the additional unexpected issues caused by the Port Hills fires. Such days call for the implementation of the Major Events Operation Centre (MEOC) which monitors the situation to ensure both the events and the surrounding traffic all run smoothly.

TDG’s role in the CTOC is to use Christchurch’s Bluetooth network to analyse the paths people take through the CBD, in order to provide the best transport solutions for the public, residents, and visitors to the City on busy days like the 21 & 22 Feb. And on MEOC days, Bevan takes his turn in the traffic control room monitoring traffic flows.

Helping to ensure reliability of local public transport

TDG has developed a system which measures the reliability of the Metro bus network around Christchurch. This system helps Environment Canterbury keep the city and its people moving. It monitors bus arrival times compared with scheduled arrival times at time-points around the city.

The TDG team is modifying this data into a Monthly Report which will demonstrate how bus lines are performing against targets (and whether the bus network is delivering to expectations). TDG’s role is also to review the targets and consolidate them against those of other agencies, so that a true picture of transport outcomes can be provided to Council.

Major Christchurch Cycle Routes

We are starting to see some of Christchurch’s thirteen Major Cycle Routes open for public use, after nearly $150 million has been invested in their development. TDG’s role in the cycle route development has been to provide an estimate of vehicles using the cycle routes and therefore how many potential riders could use each route. So far, with four of the major routes open, or getting closer to opening, a large number of cyclists are using the new paths every day. Christchurch is such a cycling-friendly city due to its terrain, when the full 13 routes are open, Cantabrians should see a material reduction in vehicle journeys each day. TDG’s additional role in the development of these cycle-ways involves modelling complex intersections where the cycle paths meet significant transport hubs.

Key Route Travel Time Monitoring

TDG has developed a monthly report showing key travel routes around the City. The report uses data collected through Bluetooth sensors, which show on-the-ground travel times for the month.

The team then applies a filter across the data and this delivers key metrics including absolute travel time, variability, predictability, congestion and delays. The report compares general traffic with public transport to assist in finding the relative gap between modes.

Recently, the number of routes included in the report has been expanded to provide even more coverage of the Christchurch network. This system has been used as the base for various pieces of analysis such as comparing school holiday vs term travel patterns, calculating economic costs of congestion in Christchurch and providing real data for validating traffic models.

Thanks to the Christchurch team of Bevan Wilmshurst & Cameron Bradley for this report and for their involvement with the essential rebuild projects. We look forward to continued updates!

Our Christchurch office has worked with the Canterbury Rebuild teams since the earthquake to help get essential infrastructure, business and day-to-day life up and running.

We’re looking for senior engineers to join this great team. Visit our website for more info on joining TDG. Click here to find out more about Bevan & Cam’s work on transport modelling.

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