Street Smart (Summer 2021)

From the front...

Summer 2021

Kia ora, 

It’s almost the end: the end of 2021, the end of lockdowns (we hope) and the end of hydrocarbons (well that’s even more hopeful). 

Yes, change is coming and coming fast.  If you haven’t already, I highly recommend reading the Government’s proposal for ‘Transitioning to a low-emissions and climate-resilient future’.  This has some highly ambitious targets regarding transport, that may or may not be enough to limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5° Celsius above pre-industrial levels.  The big targets include:

  • reduce vehicle kilometres travelled (VKT) by cars and light vehicles by 20 per cent by 2035 by providing better travel options, particularly in our largest cities
  • increase zero-emissions vehicles to 30 per cent of the light fleet by 2035
  • reduce emissions from freight transport by 25 per cent by 2035
  • reduce the emissions intensity of transport fuel by 15 per cent by 2035

Just for clarity, that’s only 13 years away!

Achieving only the first item is a massive challenge. It doesn’t matter New Zealand will have an increased population during this period and a larger economy.  Simplistically, a fifth of vehicle trips no longer exist.  What an opportunity! 

There will need to be significant change. The best place for this to happen is to replace short vehicle trips with  walking, cycling, scooting or public transport (and that might be bus, bus rapid transit, light rail or a variant of those).  Clearly our cities are ripe, and some might say overdue for change.  That is a challenge Abley is embracing, it’s what drives us to quantify, digitally automate and justify change to create better functioning and more pleasant environments. 

As we look forward to 2022, if you want to join our team on that journey, give me a call.

I want to wish you, your family and friends a very Merry Christmas, happy New Year and safe holiday.  Go well and I look forward to catching up, in a carbon reduced future. 

merry christmas

This year we are giving our team an extra day of annual leave, in recognition of the tough challenges everyone has faced throughout the COVID lockdowns and restrictions this year. This is our small way of saying thank you and ensuring we support our amazing team to recharge and connect with loved ones over the Christmas break.

Our offices will close at 12.30pm on Wednesday 22nd December and reopen in the New Year on Monday 10th January. 

Thank you to our clients for supporting us to do this. As restrictions begin to lift, we look forward to once again connecting in person!

Noho ora mai from all of us.

Steve Abley 
Chief Executive

unite against covid-19

Guidance for visiting our offices from 3 December 2021

Protecting the health and wellbeing of our people, clients, whānau and communities is our top priority.  

From Friday 3rd December 2021, Abley requires all visitors to Abley offices, or those attending an Abley event, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

For more information on this, please refer to our website.

commuter on bike
carbonwise logo

Introducing Abley's new commuting emissions tool "CarbonWise"

After significant market research and development, Abley is excited to introduce our CarbonWise commuting emissions software tool. CarbonWise provides a New Zealand first by offering organisations an easy and accurate way to measure and record carbon emissions generated by their team members on their daily commute. 

The impact of commuting on greenhouse gases

Commuting is a significant contributor to global warming, but most New Zealanders still rely on cars to travel to work. New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions rose 26% between 1990 and 2019. Transport was the biggest contributor to this rise, with emissions from road transport growing 93%, and cars contributing 54% of those emissions. There is a lot of work to be done and one of the most powerful things most organisations can do to slow climate change is to reduce their employee commuting emissions.

How does CarbonWise work?

CarbonWise makes it easy to measure how employees get to work and raise awareness of their travel impact. The tool was designed with security and privacy in mind, and has the following features:

  • Set up commuter surveys and analyse results with a user-friendly dashboard.
  • Gather instant insights on how employees travel to work and theemissions generated from this travel.
  • Give employees instant feedback on their emissions, so they become more aware of the impact of their travel choices.
  • Track the impact of commuting habits over time.
  • Inform facilities management for cycle parking and EV charging as commuting habits change.

CarbonWise is ideal for organisations with teams in multiple locations because it automates the survey and data analysis process and allows comparing travel patterns at different sites. Pricing is calculated on a per survey basis, depending on the size of your organisation.

Contact us

To find out more, book a demo, or request a quote, visit https://abley.com/carbonwise.

Benjamin Walch
Sustainability Specialist

Speeding up the delivery of safer speeds

Implementing safer speeds on roads is about to get easier.

The Ministry of Transport and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency recently consulted on a proposed new rule Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits which will introduce a new regulatory framework to improve how road controlling authorities (RCAs) plan for, consult on and implement speed limit changes.  The proposal, if enacted in its current form, will replace the existing speed management process, which is resource intensive, time-consuming and complex. This more holistic, coordinated and transparent speed management process that is better integrated with infrastructure and enforcement proposals will enhance delivery and do more to reduce death and serious injury on our roads. 

New regulatory framework introduces regional speed management plans

Regional speed management plans, prepared by regional transport committees following input from each RCA in the region will take a whole-of-network approach to speed management, including changing speed limits, safety cameras, and delivering safety infrastructure.  A critical part of these is an implementation programme, over at least three financial years, that sets out the timeframe each proposed change is to come into force.

Communities get to see the bigger picture

The beauty of the proposed approach is the streamlined consultation process.  Consulting on speed management plans at a regional level, brings substantial benefits for communities, RCAs and other stakeholders.  Local communities get to see the bigger picture – understanding how a speed limit proposal or infrastructure upgrade fits in with the plan for the wider road network.  The RCA benefits through the support of the regional transport committee, which formulates a plan based on the RCA inputs and removes onerous consultation processes at street-by-street or neighbourhood levels.  It’s a win-win situation for all involved and should speed up the delivery of much needed safer speeds, enhanced enforcement and improved infrastructure on our roads. To find out more about Abley’s work in speed management, contact Paul below.

Paul Durdin
Technical Director Transport

HERE 15 minute city map (https://app.developer.here.com/15-min-city-map/)

Mapping with HERE

Abley is a member of HERE Technologies global network of partners, selling a wide range of HERE location data products. HERE’s location platform consists of rich location data, intelligent products and powerful tools, that help organisations gain insights and make more informed, data-driven decisions.

The HERE platform has 3 core components:

  • HERE Map Data and Content (for enterprise grade data with a single global schema, consistent tile structure & topology-attribution model.
  • HERE Location Platform (Cloud based environments for location-centric data exchange, visualization, and solution development)
  • HERE Workspace (to build and scale location-based products, services and applications in a secure, cloud-based environment)

Real world reality with HERE

The HERE Map Data and Content is the foundation on which the location and workspace platforms are built.

For over 30 years HERE has been building an index of the real world, described as their Reality IndexTM. The Index allows HERE to provide a broad coverage and depth of spatial data that is highly accurate, available in over 200 countries and is based on a single, consistent specification. This premium content is particularly useful to the transport sector and includes search, display, tracking, business intelligence, digital advertising and navigation features. Advanced safety systems and automated driving are just two examples of how this data can be used.

With HERE map content you can leverage and enrich the value of your own data to build new services. We’re excited to see it being used in the 15 Minute City tool where you can enter an address to see if it meets the criteria of a “15 Minute” City. This is a concept that aims to improve quality of life by planning accessibility at a neighbourhood level.

If you’d like to know more about the HERE map content and the location and workspace platforms, visit our website or contact Jacob Pescini (Wellington) for a chat.

Jacob Pescini
Associate Business Development Manager

Guiding safe use of micromobility devices

Abley recently completed an in-depth study into the safety of electrically powered micromobility devices (e-bikes, e-scooters, segways, e-skateboards) in Auckland

There has been a rapid increase in micromobility in Auckland in recent years, particularly since rental devices were licensed in September 2017.

Crash data and surveys were used to capture accidents and involving micromobility respectively, Surveyed incidents included near misses, falls, collisions with stationary objects or moving road users. The study involved a deep dive into the available crash data as well as direct surveys of users. Over 900 surveys were completed recording a mixture of near miss incidents, collisions and falls. This data was mapped showing where incidents occurred.

Self-identified micromobility incidents – Auckland CBD (Esri Community Maps Contributors, LINZ, Stats NZ, Eagle Technology, Esri, HERE, Garmin)

Types of injury are similar between bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters

The study showed the use and type of incidents involving e-bikes and e-scooters were distinctly different, while the types of injuries incurred were similar. The profile of injuries was similar between cycles (both e-bikes and non-powered cycles) and e-scooters, though with a slight increase in concussion-type injuries for e-scooters. Critical collision speeds which could cause concussions to either a micromobility user or someone involved in a collision (based on research from the University of Monash) were identified, showing that a collision speed above 20km/hr could cause concussion. E-scooters can achieve speeds in excess of 50km/h and users do not currently have to wear helmets, so providing for safe use of these devices is an important ongoing consideration.

Safely accommodating these new modes must be considered

The rapid evolution and growth of micromobility devices means that data about their safety is catching up with use. Indeed, Waka Kotahi consulted on the Accessible Streets package in February 2020 which seeks to more clearly define the legal use of vehicles and devices on footpaths. The enthusiasm with which micromobility is being adopted shows it will be an ongoing part of our transportation system, and safely accommodating these new modes must be considered as networks are developed. For example, councils can encourage or enforce how and where devices are used by developing This research provides useful guidance as to speeds above which critical injury may occur and can be used by local councils to inform their plans for tactical urbanism and/or infrastructure. To find out more about this research or our work on micromobility devices, contact Jo below.

Jo Draper
Associate Transportation Planner

Changing the course of road safety in the USA

Road safety in the United States is catching up to the rest of the world. 

Earlier this year Shane Turner was invited to join the Safety System Consortium in the USA, as one of two international Safe System specialists. Established by the Institute of Engineers and the John Hopkins Centre for Injury Research and Policy, the purpose of the Consortium was to reimagine road safety in the United States, and to develop recommendations for moving to a safer, more equitable transportation system.

There is a growing interest in the safe system approach

In recent years there has been growing interest in the safe system approach in the United States, with a desire to shift away from conventional safety practices. Road safety leaders saw the outstanding results achieved by other countries that adopted the safe system approach, particularly in Europe and Australasia. Through a series of workshops, several key aspects of the safe system approach were discussed, including how it might best be applied in the USA context. A recommendations document was prepared for industry consultation and for discussion with the federal government.

Addressing inequalities in the transport system

In addition to making a strong case for officially adopting the safe system approach at federal and state level, the Consortium called for the inequities in the transport system to be addressed. A key focus being overcoming structural racism that resulted in inadequate transport investment in communities of colour and other historically underserved communities. The same concept of equity could be applied to other at-risk groups in society, including disabled people who are often disadvantaged by poor road design and at more risk of serious harm.

Through Shane’s involvement, the Consortium benefited from learnings in Australia and New Zealand over the past twenty years, as both countries progressively integrated safe system thinking into the planning, design and management of the transport system. Click here to read the recommendations of the Safe System Consortium  or contact Shane below.

Shane Turner
Technical Director, Road Safety

Meet the team: Rav Fernando

Ravindu (Rav) joined the Abley team as a graduate from the University of Canterbury in 2016. Before starting at Abley, Rav worked for Auckland Transport as a graduate engineer for a short period where his work was focused on designing infrastructure for public transport.

Since joining Abley, Rav gained a broad range of experience in transport planning, traffic engineering and road safety. Rav’s first few years at Abley were focussed on strategic transport planning, primarily Network Operating Frameworks. He had a lead technical role in two Network Operating Frameworks delivered in 2019/20.

Road safety

Rav is a valued member of Abley’s Road Safety Delivery team. He is one of our experienced road safety auditors, and has a special interest and experience in assessing the road safety impacts of digital billboards which are increasingly becoming commonplace on New Zealand roads. He has helped private sector clients obtain resource consent for new billboards, and has peer reviewed several billboard proposals for road controlling authorities.

Rav is also supporting the delivery of the Waka Kotahi Safer Speed Programme, which is focused on treating the top 10% of the state highway network that is expected to achieve the greatest reduction in deaths and serious injuries. As a technical assessor and internal project manager, Rav uses a risk-based model to calculate the underlying risk for sections along road corridors, assessing safe and appropriate speeds and recommending appropriate speed limits, while collaborating with road safety experts and road controlling authorities to achieve a consistent best practice outcome for each assessment. Rav also undertakes site specific assessments to recommend infrastructure improvements, including signs and lines treatments (low-cost low risk), intersection upgrades and midblock improvements.

Outside of work, Rav is an avid cricket fan, supporting the Blackcaps and the Sri Lankan cricket team. He is also involved in competitive scrabble.

Ravindu Fernando
Senior Transportation Engineer

New evacuation routes research published

Abley’s Framework for Evacuation Routes research was published by Waka Kotahi in October 2021.

While transport systems enable people to get to and from their destinations on a day-to-day basis, their ability to enable people to evacuate during an emergency is critical to keeping people safe. In a disaster caused by a natural hazard, people must evacuate if there is an unacceptable risk to their safety, or if the hazard renders the area uninhabitable. A range of transport modes may be used on evacuation routes, with people travelling by foot, vehicle, vessel or aircraft.

Based on a literature review, stakeholder engagement and case studies, Abley developed a framework and methodology for identifying, planning, designing and assessing emergency evacuation routes. The framework consists of three parts: evacuation factors, evacuation scenarios, and evacuation route identification and assessment. It can be applied pre-event to identify and evaluate potential route options, or during an event to assess potential routes in real time. The research is intended for all organisations with an interest or role in evacuation planning, including Waka Kotahi, road controlling authorities, Civil Defence Emergency Management groups and iwi.

Becky Tuke is presenting a summary of the research at the Transport Knowledge Conference on 1 December.

Becky Tuke
Senior Transportation Engineer

New starters add valuable skills and experience to our growing team

Welcome to our new team members:

Clare Cassidy (Principal Transportation Engineer) is located in Tauranga and has over 20 years’ road safety engineering and transport planning experience, including crash reduction studies, forensic crash investigations, road safety audits, active transport and traffic management projects. Clare enjoys sailing, and spending time with her family.

Jeremiah Nogales (Senior Transportation Engineer) recently joined our Safety Delivery team in Auckland. He has previously worked on detailed 12D modelling and design for City Rail Link and the America’s Cup Development. Jeremiah enjoys playing the piano and guitar.

Debajeet Baruah (Associate Transportation Planner) based in Auckland, is experienced in transportation infrastructure planning and design, project management and stakeholder management. Debajeet has previously worked on the design of major public transport infrastructure, including the Eastern Busway, Manukau Bus Station, Pukekohe Bus Station and bus priority projects.

Ashrita Lilori (Senior Transportation Planner) located in Auckland, has joined the Land Development team in Auckland and is a whiz at preparing ITA’s. On a personal note, she has two young daughters at home which keep her very busy.

Ali Sultani joins our Location Solutions team in Auckland as a Junior Full Stack Developer. Ali’s coding experience started as a hobby when he was a teenager building personal projects with different technology stacks. Outside of work Ali enjoys motorcycling and is an electronics hobbyist.

Kate Salmon (Transportation Planner) is new to our Safe Systems team in Christchurch, utilising both her experience in transportation and GIS analysis. Kate is currently pursuing her Masters in GIS at UC, and enjoys orienteering, mountain biking and climbing.

Amanda Pullan (student intern) has recently finished her BSc (Data Science and Geography) and is currently completing her Master of Applied Data Science. Amanda will be working on a Callaghan Innovation funded project “Potential applications of the Safe Viewer forward visibility model”. Amanda is located at our Christchurch office.

Mohamed Maaz (Graduate Spatial Advisor) has joined our Location Solutions team in Christchurch, and has recently completed his BSc in Geography. Mohamed has worked as a research intern, analysing bus stop accessibility for the elderly. Outside of work, Mohamed spends his time biking, snowboarding, and gaming.

Also new to our Digital Engineering Team, Sophie Kolston (Graduate Spatial Advisor) has recently completed a BSc (GIS). Sophie has been working on a research project to create a virtual reality game space for GPS data, involving programming, videogame development, GIS tools and interviewing stakeholders. Sophie enjoys tramping, skiing and biking and is moving from Auckland to Christchurch shortly.

An experienced commercial leader, Richard Fry has joined Abley’s Christchurch office to lead our Service Delivery team and brings project governance and operational capabilities. Balancing his busy work life, Richard enjoys competing in multi-sport events and spending time with his family in the Southern Alps.

Our Wellington team continues to grow, with Jacob Pescini joining us as an Associate Business Development Manager. Jacob has 20 years’ experience in spatial and is kept busy with family and cycling.

Rebecca Wieczorek has recently joined our Auckland team as our Business Process Lead. Becks brings a strong background of implementing new processes and compliance. In her spare time, you will find Becs surfing, or doing outdoor nature and adventure activities.

Aini Fayaz Mansoor joins us as a Graduate Transportation Engineer and is about to complete her natural resources engineering degree at the University of Canterbury.  She is passionate about urban resilience and is excited about how our transport systems can play a significant role in building resilience. Outside of work, Aini is a keen scuba diver, swimmer and tennis player.

Chris Tredinnick joins the Christchurch office as a Senior FME Specialist. Chris worked at Christchurch City Council as a data analyst for 10 years and is experienced in FME, Geomedia and Esri tools within an SQL environment. Outside of work, Chris enjoys getting outdoors and hiking.

Join our team

We are always on the hunt for talented professionals to join our award-winning team. We have lots of exciting opportunities coming up, which will be advertised on our website over the next few weeks.

If you have transportation, spatial or software development skills and experience, and you are looking for an exciting new opportunity, we would love to hear from you! 

View our careers page for our current vacancies.