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Bus Bulbs Are Blooming

11:10 AM EDT on April 18, 2007

bus_bulb.JPG

According to a more-than-a-little-snarky post on Curbed, the first of Lower Broadway's hotly anticipated bus bulbs has been constructed on Broadway south of Spring Street.

As Streetsblog wrote when the DOT announced the plan to construct the bulbs back in March, this is a noteworthy development for several reasons:

The benefits of bus bulbs include preventing buses from being delayed, reducing sidewalk congestion, providing space for bus shelters and other amenities, and reducing pedestrian crossing times.

In a small but very tangible way, bus bulbs may single-handedly change the pecking order on Lower Broadway by forcing other vehicles to wait behind or detour around loading and unloading buses rather than the buses having to defer to them.

Most promising, DOT appears to be taking a far more experimental approach in this particular project. Rather than allowing itself to become bogged down in complicated, expensive street engineering, it sounds like the agency will be creating the bus bulbs by putting down temporary curbs, filling them in with concrete, and just gerrymandering the drainage. The results might not look particularly pretty but advocates have, for years, been calling on DOT to show more willingness to conduct quick-and-dirty street design experiments.

And now that it's done, this one doesn't look half bad after all.

Photo via Curbed

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