cowboyeagle05 wrote:To bring us back to the main discussion here is the last submitted plan for removing the bus lane as is now and relocating it one lane over.
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I mean, I know what image they have in their minds, but these changes don't get them any closer to that, really. The pedestrian zone stays the exact same width because they kept that "valet lane." The only pedestrian enhancement is sporadic additional landscaping, and, at least in this instance, bulb-outs at the crosswalk. But even the bulb-outs aren't much of a safety enhancement at signalized intersections, where safety is primarily driven by the signals and turning radii.
Despite keeping the transit lane, transit operations will still be significantly degraded, particularly since I assume the "valet lane" is just an eye-rollingly renamed loading/unloading zone. Whatever it is exactly, the point would assumedly be that you'd have a high volume of cars in and out instead of a couple being parked all day there. So what that means is that now, instead of just having car/bus merging going on at right turns, you'd have cars trying to cross through the bus lane in and out of the valet lane, constantly.
And the biggest indicator that they don't really have any idea what they're doing is that "Relocated Bus Stop." So changing the Elm/Harwood stop to a far-side bus stop.. is good! But, uh, why is it in that weird pocket lane? Every bus on Elm stops at that stop, so it's not like it's to allow limited-stop buses to continue on while locals stop. So you're slowing down every single bus that now has to veer into the lane to make the stop and veer out of it to get back into the travel lane. Not to mention that it's now more likely that the bus stops somewhat off the curb, meaning passengers have to walk a little longer to get on. It doesn't sound like a lot, but all that time really adds up. And they could have had their extra landscaping stuff there instead!
The only thing I can think of is that they really intend for the "bus lane" to be a general travel lane, so the buses are getting out of the way of cars traveling in the bus lane. Which is just.. aggggh just say you're eliminating the bus lane then.
Again, this makes it worse for cars, worse for transit, and minutely better for pedestrians. And I guess the buildings also get a loading zone right in front. A clusterfark of a loading zone, but hey.