Walking is an essential mode of transport. New and improved pedestrian facilities promote walking and provide greater access and mobility within our communities.

The NZ Transport Agency has recently updated the procedures for the evaluation of pedestrian improvement projects. The benefit factor applying to new pedestrian trips was increased from $0.50 to $2.70/km, making pedestrian facility improvement projects more economically viable. Thus, estimating the increase in pedestrian flows (as opposed to simply recording existing pedestrian flows) is now important in the economic evaluation of new or improved facilities.

This research analysed case studies at eight New Zealand sites where the implementation of new pedestrian facilities (or the improvement of existing facilities) led to increased pedestrian usage and improved perception of the sites. The study recorded pedestrian rates both before and after facility implementation, and analysed accompanying factors such as safety, delay and directness. It also tried to develop an expected pedestrian-usage model, based on before and after data analysis, for planners and funding agents to use when planning new or improved facilities, and for use in project evaluation.

Finally, a monitoring database containing before and after pedestrian count data for various new and improved pedestrian facilities, along with a list of the accompanying factors mentioned above, was developed for future use.