Supporting the stepping-up of the COVID-safe economy


COVID-Safe Pedestrian Movement – Geometric solutions (temporary and permanent)

If we are to move to a COVID-safe economy, we will have to ensure pedestrians feel safe, as after all – even car drivers and public transport users are also pedestrians and critically they are almost always pedestrians when they are undertaking the key part of their economic activity (going to the office, shopping, etc).

Feeling unsafe as a pedestrian will hold back economic growth and some simple measures that could be implemented along the lines of ‘NZ Govt to fund temporary cycleways and footpaths post COVID-19 lockdown’ can serve an immediate need during this pandemic, as well as be monitored for longer term adoption opportunities.

If we make use of an extendible barrier on approach to intersections that changes the turn pocket length in line with demand (recognising that both pedestrian and traffic needs should be optimised) and to encourage pedestrians to use mid-block crossings for those pedestrian desire lines that can be captured as this would help reduce the volumes of pedestrians at the high density corner crossing locations typically found in the CBD (and signalised intersections generally).

An extension of this idea would be to further improve the limited space available at the corner crossing location (temporarily) banning left turns and providing footpath widening that would see available pedestrian storage space increase at this key location, further assisting with social distancing.


COVID-Safe Pedestrian Movement – Signal Timing Solutions

As well as geometric changes to intersections in high density pedestrian areas, there is the opportunity for TfNSW Network Operations to re-consider the reliance on long cycle time for SCATS coordination and to provide opportunities for pedestrians to cross more frequently in the pedestrian peak hours (AM, lunchtime and PM and hopefully some-day soon also Friday and Saturday night!)

While the introduction of a “COVID-Scramble” phase insertion sounds appealing to help alleviate the crowding at these corner locations, this would require extensive personality design work and testing before it could be implemented and would most likely take the best part of a year – which would make it less appealing in the short term than having SCATS subsytem marriages.


COVID-Safe Pedestrian Movement – Pedestrian dispersion app

TMA is working on a pedestrian dispersion app that provides guidance to understand the best routes through the CBD to access their desired destination as safely as possible in light of social distancing rules (that are likely to be with us for some time).

Source: Walking count explorer, City of Sydney


Links to schemes that address the need for wider footpaths and better active transport links:

Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1 Success

TMA has been recommissioned by the Great River City Light Rail (GRCLR) consortium to provide transport modelling and signal optimisation advice following award of the Supply, Operate and Maintain Contract.

We had assisted previously for this bid and are excited that the GRCLR consortium was successful in winning this tender.

TMA has begun making subsequent post tender operational model updates to further refine and reflect the latest signal designs (TCS plans) and signal phasing operation. We look forward to working collaboratively with the broader team and the NSW Transport cluster to identify opportunities for further enhancements to deliver a world class light rail system.

The Parramatta Light Rail project represents a significant advance in Sydney’s transport future and we are committed to its success. We will draw upon most recent experience in providing transport modelling, traffic signal design and analysis services for the successful delivery of Canberra Light Rail Stage 1 earlier this year.

For more information of the Paramatta Light Rail program of works, please visit

For more information about our transport modelling and traffic signal design expertise, please contact us on 02 9590 7670 or

GIS in Transportation

We are excited in our expansion and integration of GIS analytics to enhance and support project outcomes. With ongoing improvements to open data accessibility through key Government initiatives and platforms (TfNSW Open Data Hub, Data.NSW, ABS, Elastic Beanstalk), there are significant opportunities to add value for projects of all scales.

Our approach to GIS is to provide an integrated analysis that aims to understand key relationships and their impacts and can serve as a cross-validation tool for modelling outcomes.

GIS helps to visualise geographic relationships that impact infrastructure, to determine capacity and demand, to improve operations and safety, environmental impacts and other concerns related to transportation. Some applications of GIS in Transport that we currently offer are discussed below; we look forward to expanding our capabilities in this field to provide truly integrated transport outcomes.

GIS in Transport Planning

Map visualisation and data integration are the most important objectives of using GIS. GIS offer transport planners a platform for storing and analysing data to identify potential planning problems, and to address the issue by integrating GIS to land uses, population densities, travel behaviour, etc. GIS maps are efficient, effective and economical as compared to conventional applications and are being used to develop transportation policy and planning.

GIS in Transport Modelling

Topographical data in the GIS platform can be converted into functional road models for large-scale traffic simulation. GIS helps to geocode road networks as vector layers with set of attributes which helps to organise and spatially visualise road network based on their characteristics. Road network layer database from GIS can be extrapolated to provide road features for traffic simulation like highways, intersections, smoothly connected ramps and overpasses.

GIS in Data Analytics

Spatial data can harness accurate, real-time and comprehensive information to inform transport and infrastructure use. GIS delivers powerful spatial analytics to process data from mobile phone GPS, public transport usage and roadside sensor to create forecasts based on historical data, to support real-time route suggestions, to build long-term visualisation tools for use by policymakers and traffic planners, regulatory or revenue collection applications and active traffic network management.

GIS in Road Safety

Applications in road safety include analysis of crash data, to share crash risks, to report pedestrian safety issues and to locate high-risk roadways. GIS can analyse historical accident data allowing the authorities to find patterns and identify the hot spots of road accidents. GIS is a key tool in accident analysis and to minimise the number of accidents on roads by identifying the accident locations and providing remedial measures.

GIS in Environment

GIS helps to assess, monitor and mitigate the environmental problems and is useful in preparing Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) for transport infrastructure projects to contain relevant information on risks (areas of high risk), hazards (highly prone areas) and areas to be safeguarded. The environment impact analysis can be carried out efficiently by integrating various GIS layers such as slopes, aspects, and vegetation, to determine various environmental parameters.


GIS in Transport Inventory Management

GIS to know where transport inventory is and information about them. The process of infrastructure management using GIS involves identifying the assets, mapping them and assessing the condition.  A collection of maps are used to inventory street intersections, street signs, traffic signals, streetlights, railroad crossings, bridges, sidewalks, cycling infrastructure, pavement markings, guardrails, calming devices, street furniture, street trees, and other public rights of way assets.