Auckland Transport's 'Safer Communities' programme has a target to deliver safety improvements to 25 schools per year. A new prioritisation process was required which focuses on predicted crash risk for active modes rather than using only recorded injury crash data. The aim is to identify areas of high risk where the potential to increase the active mode share through safety interventions is high. The active mode risk is sensitive to road network characteristics such as traffic flows and a lack of pedestrian crossing facilities.
The new prioritisation process uses the Auckland Transport Accessibility Model in GIS software to identify areas that are within a walkable time of the school that would exceed an ‘acceptable level of risk’ for walking to school. Students in areas where the walkable time catchment is beyond the acceptable risk catchment cannot walk to school within an acceptable level of risk. Census data plus school roll data is used to identify the schools with the greatest potential to increase the number of students with safer access to school. A Strategic Fit assessment is then applied to the prioritised school list to identify those time catchment areas that achieve high and medium strategic fit ratings based on DSi (death and serious injury) casualty equivalents.
A programme of school catchment areas which meet the high or medium fit criteria can be developed to prioritise action to increase the active mode share for school travel through safety interventions.