Today’s Headlines

  • BRT for People not Cars

    Regarding “How to Not Kill Bus Rapid Transit” (GGW):

    These self-styled BRT “standards” seem to reflect an auto-first way of thinking:
    “Stations, placed at intersections, leave insufficient space for free
    left turns (the equivalent of free right turns in the U.S.), and
    left-turning vehicles yielding to pedestrians back up traffic.”

    No, the “space” for free left turns in India (right turns in the U.S.) can come from having a dedicated
    pedestrian-only crossing phase in the signal cycle, or from timing a
    protected left turn (right turn) signal phase before the cross traffic with the bus.

    “If bus stations are set away from intersections, as recommended here, transfers at points where lines cross are inconvenient.”

    Very true: by making the BRT less convenient for passengers, these “standards” make its failure more likely.

    “This raises a point (perhaps an obvious one, but as I live on the
    other side of the river I’ve not been following the BRT discussion): how
    will provisions be made for turning across the bus lane? And what about
    for pedestrians? For the latter I’d be an advocate of some kind of
    pedestrian bridge crossing.”

    Pedestrian bridges are often not for pedestrians, for whom they often
    represent a gross inconvenience of extra time and effort spent going up
    and down in a confined space that is vulnerable to crime, but rather to
    allow more cars to go through at a higher rate of speed.

    Plus, these bridges are absurdly expensive in the United States,
    because the Americans with Disabilities Act has led agencies to include
    elevators on both sides in order to avoid liability. One planned
    pedestrian bridge over a normal street intersection in Los Angeles
    (Lankershim/Campo de Cahuenga) is estimated to cost $19 million! How
    much bus transit can that buy? Depending on an agency’s cost structure, over 200,000 revenue service hours!