The Chainlink

The proposed Bus Rapid Transit strikes me as wrong, but maybe I don't understand. What I don't get is how buses can be faster if they run at surface level with all the intersections.

Also, I don't see drivers smacking their foreheads and exclaiming, "Gee, I could be riding that bus, I'm leaving the car home tomorrow!"

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Considerations:

http://chi.streetsblog.org/2013/08/07/the-virtues-of-repurposing-ca...

I don't know enough to have an opinion but I have a feeling the bus lanes might become effective buffered bicycle lanes in which case I'm all for the idea.

On a related note, wouldn't it be nice to see the return of street-cars instead of buses. If this is a permanent installation it seems to me rails might be more efficient.

A dedicated bus only lane would make them somewhat faster.. but I am sure it would end up like bike lanes, jammed packed with cabs, delivery trucks and morons who do not abide by the rules

I think buses are to run in the middle next to the median, so parked cabs etc. will not block the bus lane. I saw it work pretty well in Seoul, but not sure how the designs, traffic loads, number of lanes, etc. compares.  Should work pretty well if designed well.

And I should have provided a link from proponents.

LINK

Again, I am a skeptic of BRT. But I am an enthusiastic CTA and Metra rider, so I would be happy to be wrong about this.

Maybe they should consider a physical barrier to keep non-bus motor traffic out.

It has been successfully implemented in Cleveland. How successful? A $200 million government investment generated a $4 billion increase in private investments, and a 30 to 100 percent increase in property values near the BRT.  A 200% ROI sounds pretty good government investment to me.

http://www.startribune.com/local/east/215377221.html

Or use cameras above the lane to capture and ticket cars in the lane. Isn't that how HOV lanes make sure single-occupancy cars don't abuse it?

Tom D said:

Maybe they should consider a physical barrier to keep non-bus motor traffic out.

Chicago is planning to implement center lane BRT. cabs and elivery trucks should not be an issue.

The traffic signals will be timed, so speed improvement can be significant for the bus.

Michael A said:

A dedicated bus only lane would make them somewhat faster.. but I am sure it would end up like bike lanes, jammed packed with cabs, delivery trucks and morons who do not abide by the rules

Ugh.  Let's not bring streetcars back to Chicago, please.  When a streetcar arrives at a traffic collision, or a street full of fire trucks, or a street flooded by a broken water main...it stops and has nowhere to go.  A bus, not on tracks, simply detours around the obstruction and keeps on going.

Streetcar (and train) tracks, which are slippery in the rain and often have bike-wheel-trapping-grooves next to the track, can cause some of the most dangerous conditions that cyclists have to deal with.  This is according to the Canadian "Bice Study" which found, among other things:

"Route features that increased risk included:
- streetcar tracks (my emphasis)
- downhill grades
- construction
- shared car / bike lanes
- traffic circles
- arriving at intersections opposite to traffic"

 

BRT has few of the problems streetcars/trams bring to city streets.


 
Daniel G said:

Buses suck ass.

If they want people with options to ride them, they should put them on rails and overhead wires and call them streetcars. Better than nothing though.

Guess it's a matter of personal preference. The bus is my favorite way to get around Chicago.

Daniel G said:

Buses suck ass.

If they want people with options to ride them, they should put them on rails and overhead wires and call them streetcars. Better than nothing though.

Actually BRT is more cost effective and adaptable than rail systems. As populations and commercial centers shift it is less expensive and time consuming create new bus routes than it is to build new infrastructure for for trains. 

Daniel G said:

Buses suck ass.

If they want people with options to ride them, they should put them on rails and overhead wires and call them streetcars. Better than nothing though.

Dedicated bus lanes, signal priority (the light changes green as the bus approaches intersections) and further-spaced stops makes BRT a significant improvement over traditional buses that get stuck in auto traffic. Add to the fact that passengers pay before they board, and you've essentially got as close to light rail as you can get without installing tracks.

BRT's primary benefit is low cost as compared to rail.

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