National Traffic & Transport Conference Abstracts 2021
Developing a methodology to assess Level of Traffic stress for cycling (LTS) for Victoria – the basis of a standard national approach?
Tom Gardner, Phil Gray & Craig Fletcher
WSP Australia, Department of Transport & Ergonomie, Victoria & NSW
This presentation was delivered at the 2021 Online Conference Series and until October 2022 is only available to registered delegates and Content Access Pass holders via Interchange. For information on accessing this and other presentations please review the Content Access Pass options.
The past year has seen more bikes sold and kilometres of bicycle facilities constructed than ever before, with Australia no exception to the surge in cycling popularity. As state and local governments re-evaluate their transport networks in response to COVID-19, it is important to consider whether current and future cycle infrastructure provides a comfortable experience for all users.
This joint presentation by the Victorian Department of Transport (DoT), WSP and Ergonomie will introduce the concept of level of traffic stress (LTS) for bicycle riders, first developed through research in Portland, Oregon. This categorises cycle links and intersections into one of four LTS levels linked with a user’s comfort cycling in that environment. The presentation will focus on its application to a methodology for assessing LTS in Victoria.
The presentation will discuss cycling user groups in the Australian context, including the important ‘interested but concerned’ user group that surveys show comprises 60% of the population. Using Australian cycle infrastructure examples, it will outline key LTS drivers for this group and what assumptions have been made to adapt the Oregon approach to the Victorian context.
Results of a user testing program undertaken to validate the methodology on a cross-section of Victorian cycle environments will be discussed. This includes the use of video-based surveys to gauge user’s responses to different cycle infrastructure types, which was analysed linked with the respondent’s cycling confidence level.
The final section of the presentation will review the bigger picture around how LTS can be used to influence and inform cycling investment and create a safer network for all users, reinforcing the link between cycling’s popularity growth and the importance of investing in infrastructure designed for the comfort of all users. The presentation aims to commence a debate around the need for a standardised LTS approach nationally.
Tom Gardner | WSP
Tom Gardner is a chartered Civil Engineer and Senior Transport Engineer at WSP with 6 years’ experience working in active transport, transport planning and delivery of major highways and public realm improvements. Tom has led multiple walking and cycling studies, including advancing feasibility design of multiple ‘Quietway’ cycle routes in Central London, developing a toolkit for promoting walking for short trips, and working as an independent reviewer of Transport for London’s (TfL’s) development of a new 7km cycle superhighway route. Since moving to Australia in 2020, Tom has supported the Victorian Department of Transport to develop methodologies to prioritise investment in walking and cycling, assess the performance of strategic walking and cycling networks, and assess level of traffic stress for cyclists in Victoria.
Phil Gray | DoT VIC
Phil Gray is the Vulnerable Road User Program Coordinator as the Victorian Department of Transport (DoT). As the Project Manager for the LTS project, Phil was responsible for the development of the methodology and implementation as a key planning tool in Victoria.
Craig Fletcher | Ergonomie
Craig has a master’s degree in Human Factors and over 20 years’ experience working in complex operating environments, including rail, road, aviation and healthcare industries. Craig is the Managing Director of Human Factors consultant Ergonomie, who led the user testing section of the LTS project.
Online Conference Series 2021 proudly supported by: