Originally Posted by King of Chicago
So, back to the BRT discussion, I was thinking, that one of the main reasons that Ashland BRT was unpopular, was the configuration...the "No Left Turn" concept was a poor decision. The reason they initially had the BRT lane planned for the left lane, was because the city needs to retain a parking lane for the private company that bought the rights to that, years ago. So instead, what the city should do, is reconfigure the plan....the auto lane should actually be in the left hand lane (allowing for left hand turns). So, the correct configuration should be sidewalk > protected bike lanes > BRT lane > parking > auto transit lane > Landscaped median. This configuration would give the city a BRT lane on Ashland, plus have the ability to park, plus have the ability to turn left.
Also, I think that Emergency responders should be allowed to use the BRT lane...since the BRT bus would only come every 5 mins or so, then there isn't always a bus in the lane...emergency response vehicles could use the lane to more quickly respond.
This would also set the precedent for a uniform city-wide BRT standard.
Parking was not why they chose center running.
The dirty little secret, is that it isn't traffic that slows buses down, it's passengers. Loading and unloading passengers is what keeps the bus from being as fast as a car.
Center running was the plan all along. That way prepaid passengers would be corralled on the platform and enter the bus from all doors at a rapid pace. Just like the EL.
When you include the cost of the new left boarding buses, They could build curbside running on Western for half the price.
Western curbside vs Ashland center running
Bus speed 15.6mph 15.9mph
Increased boardings 9549 new riders 8440 new riders
Average late bus 39secs 22secs
Pedestrian space 30ft 43 ft (inc 14ft station)
Traffic capacity lost 0% 50%
Cost 110 million 165 million + 45mil vehicles
There were only 532 CPM spaces on all of Western and they could have saved most of those by eliminating the median.