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Roadway art to support safer streets projects

An example of roadway art on the streets of Asheville, North Carolina, USA. Photo: Supplied/NZTA.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency says changes being made to the rules for road markings will support street safety projects, by allowing roadway art to be used by local road controlling authorities (councils) on low-risk streets, similar to many projects seen overseas.

The Land Transport: Traffic Control Devices Rule 2004, which has been amended to enable the change, specifies requirements for the design, construction, installation, operation and maintenance of traffic control devices, and sets out the functions and responsibilities of road controlling authorities.

From August 30, 2020, the rule change will support the delivery of projects across the country that intend to use roadway art to test how they improve the safety and vibrancy of towns and cities. Roadway art can include colourful designs, artwork, or murals on the road.

Used properly and alongside other tactical changes, overseas experience shows that roadway art can to help achieve safe operating speeds of 30km/h or less, says a sokesperson for the roading agency.

"International evidence shows that roadway art can influence motorist behaviour, build community pride and identity and make a street feel safer and more inviting. This helps to reinforce that towns and cities are for all people – not just those driving through them.

"This Rule change is part of Waka Kotahi’s Innovating Streets for People programme, which aims to improve capability and overcome system barriers to transitional street design."

Waka Kotahi is developing guidance on the use of roadway art and will work with councils through the Innovating Streets programme.

The Rule comes into force on August 30, 2020.

You can view the amendment Rule and Q&A here: https://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/rules/traffic-control-devices-index

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