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Union Tpke

Updates on Bus Lane Projects-Better Bus Action Plan

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There has been little news coverage on these changes, apart from on Fresh Pond Road. I would love to hear about progress on the projects, and whether they are working as intended.

M42 SBS, I mean M42 update. The M42, M96 and B35 among other routes will essentially be SBS routes, but, with the arrival of OMNY, SBS branding will go away. Bus stops are being consolidated, bus lanes are being added, queue-jumps and quik curbs are being added-this is an SBS route. I just wish that the bus lanes were 24/7. This will be implemented in September-October.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/42nd-st-cb6-sep042019.pdf

Bus lanes were added to a portion of Utica Avenue:

Bus lanes are being added on Fresh Pond Road, and some stops were consolidated:

https://mymtaalerts.com/m?BECDA

Better bus lanes will be added on Lex! Portions of the street had their pavement removed and will be redone for the project. Unfortunately, they only decided to add bus boarding islands in two locations. 68th Street anyone?

Queue-jump lanes were added along Broadway:

Work started on the Webster Avenue project:

 

Work began on Rockaway Beach Boulevard:

M15

 

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I see something similar happening on Grand Avenue in Baldwin as to improve road safety.

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@Via Garibaldi 8

Battery Pl, MN
DOT is proposing transit, safety and traffic improvements at the intersection of Battery Pl and West St. This project will provide faster travel times and more reliable service for express bus riders heading north on West St and entering the Brooklyn-Battery/Hugh Carey Tunnel.

Battery Pl – presented to Manhattan Community Board 1 Transportation Committee in October 2019

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@Union Tpke:  Just saw the Church Avenue bus lane reduction during my drive down Church Avenue on Friday... NYPD-70 PCT is patrolling a section of the bus lane along Church Ave at Marlborough Road.. Overall Church has bottleneck issues. I'm not convinced if this was the right thing for TA to designate Church Avenue b/w East 16th and Ocean Parkway bus lane status from 7A-7P.. Hopefully, this does work.

 

10/18 TSP Update: TSP is now active along new segments of the M15 corridor, speeding up buses on 1st Ave (2nd-13th & 72nd-122nd Sts) & 2nd Ave (72nd-124th Sts)

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EJWyIX3WkAcOOt-.jpg

Better Buses Update: Ridgewood

Quote

According to @NYCTBus data, Q58 bus speeds (btn Bleecker St & Putnam Ave) have doubled since DOT implemented #BetterBuses improvements on Fresh Pond Rd in #Queens over the summer (comparing Oct 18 to Oct 19). At the same time, speeds for other vehicles have improved by 5%.

Source: NYC DOT.. via Twitter.

 

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Here are new projects for the Bronx that I missed from a couple weeks back:

  • Queue-jump signals at three locations on West Tremont and an eastbound curbside bus/bike lane between Morris and Webster Avenues, including a section between Morris and Grand Concourse replacing a parking lane, and an offset bus lane between Anthony Avenue and Valentine Avenue replacing a travel lane
  • Offset bus lanes replacing travel lanes on University Avenue in both directions from Tremont Avenue to Washington Bridge. Parking will be moved adjacent to the bus lanes to allow the bike lanes to become protected. Parking will be replaced at bus stops with bus boarding islands. North of Tremont, the shared bike/travel lanes will be replaced by offset shared bike/bus lanes. Boarding islands will be installed at stops. At University Avenue and Fordham heading north, queue jump/right turn bay lane will be installed, a separate travel lane will be stripped, and a striped bike lane will be painted. As part of the project, queue jump signals might be installed in both directions. In addition, additional traffic lights might be installed.
  • Two lanes on the Washington Bridge will become bus lanes.
  • Study to look at ways to improve the Fordham Road bus lanes

Draft plans to be presented in Winter/Spring 2020. To be implemented later in 2020.

https://www1.nyc.gov/html/brt/downloads/pdf/bx-cb5-projects-dec032019.pdf

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Bx35 Bus Priority and Safety Improvements
Bronx Community Board 4 Municipal Services Committee | February 5, 2020

Edward L Grant Highway: Protected Bike Lanes, Protected Bus Lanes, Bus Boarding islands, Left Turn restrictions, new truck loading zones and metered parking

49516189252_97c78e7c83_b.jpgScreen Shot 2020-02-10 at 8.42.59 AM by Union Turnpike, on Flickr

49515966151_4a6bdc102e_b.jpgScreen Shot 2020-02-10 at 8.42.51 AM by Union Turnpike, on Flickr

49516189247_85f897cba6_b.jpgScreen Shot 2020-02-10 at 8.43.06 AM by Union Turnpike, on Flickr

East 167th/168th Streets: Bike/Bus Lane segments, Queue Jump signals, new truck loading zones/metered parking

49515449748_0a971afb8e_b.jpgScreen Shot 2020-02-10 at 8.44.43 AM by Union Turnpike, on Flickr

49515966106_061e57b4b4_b.jpgScreen Shot 2020-02-10 at 8.44.50 AM by Union Turnpike, on Flickr

49516189207_c463ca16ac_b.jpgScreen Shot 2020-02-10 at 8.45.01 AM by Union Turnpike, on Flickr

49515966076_c00a3c562a_b.jpgScreen Shot 2020-02-10 at 8.45.11 AM by Union Turnpike, on Flickr

To be implemented in Late Spring-Fall 2020

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I like the curb side bike lane on El Grant Highway. It's away from traffic, and you're protected from doors swinging open.

Have cities thought about squeezing in protected bus lanes but having the buses drive on the left to save space and use island platforms for boarding/alighting in both directions?

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9 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

I like the curb side bike lane on El Grant Highway. It's away from traffic, and you're protected from doors swinging open.

Have cities thought about squeezing in protected bus lanes but having the buses drive on the left to save space and use island platforms for boarding/alighting in both directions?

Some cities do this in separated busway lanes on highways, but the left-hand-driving is generally only at the stations and buses cross over when entering and exiting, which limits capacity.

No one does this in a street with intersections, because it would be extremely confusing to drivers crossing and not expecting vehicles coming from a reverse direction and would be extremely dangerous.

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There were enough times I've gotten fed up waiting for the bus & hoofed it over the bridge from the Hub... This doesn't include other times I chose to do so, because the damn thing (Bx19) was crushloaded (more often than not, I'd beat it to Lenox also).....

Too bad bus lanes along 149th won't help how sluggish the thing is along 145th,, but I suppose beggars can't be choosy......

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On 5/27/2020 at 3:19 PM, Union Tpke said:

The Better Buses Program is in jeopardy. My comments are in the Riverdale Press:

City bus improvement plan halted by pandemic, cuts

Posted May 24, 2020

20200520-104709-BetterBuses-1.jpg

A sign hangs in front of a roped-off section of a bus informing passengers that buses citywide are for essential travel only. The city’s bus network is one of the hardest hit areas of the MTA since the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen ridership plummet. Mayor Bill de Blasio has decided to defund the Better Buses Action Plan, intended to speed up bus service.

JULIUS CONSTANTINE MOTAL

By PATRICK LINDO

It was a project intended to boost average bus speeds by as much as 25 percent through improvements and new construction of bus-only lanes, including a planned lane on Broadway through Marble Hill. 

But it seems the coronavirus has claimed yet another victim as Mayor Bill de Blasio has put the brakes on his Better Buses Action Plan as the city scrambles to make up for budget shortfalls caused by the current economic turmoil.

When asked by reporters about his decision to defund the Better Buses program, despite previously saying that he would draft a plan for car reduction, de Blasio reasoned that priorities have shifted.

“The most basic things are health, safety, food (and) shelter,” the mayor said during an April 16 coronavirus briefing. “So, we’re going to focus there first.”

de Blasio acknowledged that such programs like Better Buses were necessary — especially when the city tries to return to normal — but basic necessities were far more important. 

But that doesn’t mean Better Buses is dead. It could be part of a post-pandemic world.

“There’s no question that a lot of the other things are very important,” de Blasio said. “That’s why we put them in the budget to begin with, and they will continue as we have more resources in the future.”

The mayor might be looking for money that he can shift around in the city budget, but not everyone is happy with better transit becoming a victim, like Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, who represents the area around the stretch of Broadway that was supposed to get a bus-only lane.

In a letter, Rodriguez reminded the mayor how bus services power the city’s emergency response, shuttling frontline “essential” workers such as doctors, nurses, EMTs and grocery workers. 

And then there’s the inevitable reopening of the city, the councilman added. Many rely on buses, especially in low-income communities, immigrant neighborhoods, and among the elderly and mobility impaired, all of whom Rodriguez says would be disproportionately impacted, as they have throughout the pandemic.

“Having access to reliable and frequent bus service will help bring racial and economic justice to bus-dependent communities,” Rodriguez said in his letter.

Vittorio Bugatti, founder of the Express Bus Advocacy Facebook group, also stressed how important it is the city’s transportation system remains focused on reopening.  Bugatti — who still depends on express buses from his Riverdale home, even during the coronavirus crisis — says the city and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority should be looking to entice riders back onto buses, especially as many say it might be a long time before they feel safe from disease on mass transit in the wake of the pandemic. 

“It’s extremely important that we maintain it,” Bugatti said of the plan. 

Some observers fear many might turn away from buses and trains when the city reopens, and instead rely on cars and services like Uber to get around. Drawing commuters back to buses will likely be a top priority, Bugatti said, which is why programs such as Better Buses needs more advocacy from the mayor’s office rather than funding cuts.

More cars mean more congestion, Rodriguez said, creating environmental and health concerns. With cars off the road right now during the statewide stay-at-home orders, air quality has substantially improved. But if and when the city reopens, without better preparations, the councilman fears an environmental relapse.

“The city should plan for an increase in automobile traffic that could be worse than pre-pandemic levels,” Rodriguez said, “leaving millions of riders in endless traffic, and destroying air quality — making millions more vulnerable to respiratory illness.

Danny Vaughn, a member of Bugatti’s transit advocacy group, said that while he’s still concerned about unsanitary conditions on buses, a better, quicker, more reliable service would be a boon to the city. Changes like those detailed in the Better Buses plan, he added, are necessary to achieve it.

de Blasio unveiled the Better Buses Action Plan a year ago, with an eye to speed up buses by 25 percent by the end of 2020. Those plans include not just bus-only lanes, but also a mix of improvements to the system overall like new routes, better accessibility to bus stops, real-time schedule information, enforcement of bus lane rules, and improvements to buses themselves, including a push for all-electric vehicles.

Source: https://www.riverdalepress.com/stories/city-bus-improvement-plan-halted-by-pandemic-cuts,71865?

 

 

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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So personally I don't trust BdB as far as I can throw him, so I don't know that I believe he will restore funding after the fact.

That being said, the city's cash flow is absolutely f**ked right now, so I see why this is happening. Wouldn't traffic be down due to lockdowns anyways, reducing the need for measures that take buses out of traffic?

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43 minutes ago, bobtehpanda said:

Wouldn't traffic be down due to lockdowns anyways, reducing the need for measures that take buses out of traffic?

Traffic is way down, yet buses are still crawling.

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10 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

Traffic is way down, yet buses are still crawling.

As far as I'm aware, the schedules still assume typical traffic...

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5 hours ago, bobtehpanda said:

So personally I don't trust BdB as far as I can throw him, so I don't know that I believe he will restore funding after the fact.

That being said, the city's cash flow is absolutely f**ked right now, so I see why this is happening. Wouldn't traffic be down due to lockdowns anyways, reducing the need for measures that take buses out of traffic?

It's when the traffic returns...

Unless there's a sudden crash in ride hailing services, it's highly likely that the folks who can afford it are going to Uber/Lyft or drive instead of taking Transit. So on one hand, cutting Better Buses would make sense.

But it's another action that screws the average person since there are enough people here who can't and don't live the "Sex and the City" life who need buses to move faster to avoid losing wages due to tardiness or would have to pay extra for childcare because the bus is stuck in a jam right as the daycare's late fee kicks in.

(This is just as stupid as ending SBS.)

I'm sooooo looking forward to the day we see the back of DeBlasio. 

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9 hours ago, Lex said:

As far as I'm aware, the schedules still assume typical traffic...

Which is the problem. They just copy-paste the schedules including the runtimes. But in any case, traffic is already starting to pick up and if we're not careful it could easily be worse than pre-pandemic levels.

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