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Union Tpke

Updates on Bus Lane Projects-Better Bus Action Plan

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6 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

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.

No disagreements here...

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On 5/28/2020 at 9:32 PM, Lex said:

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

Which is why riders opt for alternatives. The MTA/NYCT is blaming everything other than their own operation practices (and vision zero, come to think of it) for ridership drops.

 

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On 5/28/2020 at 9:21 PM, N6 Limited said:

Traffic is way down, yet buses are still crawling.

...to maintain the schedule.

To the higher-ups, a b/o running hot is a cardinal sin.

On 5/28/2020 at 9:32 PM, Lex said:

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

On 5/29/2020 at 6:50 AM, checkmatechamp13 said:

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.

You really think they're capable of accurately revamping schedules for all these routes to reflect the decreased amt. of traffic? I sure as f*** don't :lol:

It's probably better they do a copy/paste job, partly b/c of fluctuating (or worse, an unexpected spike) in traffic in certain areas over others.... Last thing we need, for example, is to have SBS B46's running from Dekalb to KP in half an hour..... Can't be all about safety safety safety & at the same time, expect drivers to maintain something like that.... Of course, all of this means much of nothing for the drivers that DGAF about being a stickler about the schedule anyway.....

1 hour ago, N6 Limited said:

Which is why riders opt for alternatives. The MTA/NYCT is blaming everything other than their own operation practices (and vision zero, come to think of it) for ridership drops.

Yeah, people are bolting for alternatives, largely due to the waning quality of service.... The MTA's (indirectly) blaming typical NYC traffic; by proposing what's being proposed, they're essentially saying it without saying it..... That sort of thing.

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On 5/30/2020 at 10:35 AM, B35 via Church said:

...to maintain the schedule.

To the higher-ups, a b/o running hot is a cardinal sin.

Can they just dispatch buses every 10 mins or so and let the B/O get to the terminal asap?  Being on a slow bus makes me question the decision to use the bus in the first place.

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2 hours ago, N6 Limited said:

Can they just dispatch buses every 10 mins or so and let the B/O get to the terminal asap?  Being on a slow bus makes me question the decision to use the bus in the first place.

Sure, if they rewrite the schedules.

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Here are updates for the E. L. Grant Highway project, which is about to get under construction, and for 149th Street

https://www1.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/edward-l-grant-hwy-cb4-jun2020.pdf

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https://www1.nyc.gov/html/brt/downloads/pdf/e149th-st-cb4-jun2020.pdf

The 149th Street project was already part of the Better Bus Action Plan but was moved up as part of the Better Bus Restart.  Unfortunately, the lanes won't be 24/7. This is the first time the hours of lanes for any street will be 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.. The DOT usually does 7 a.m. to 7 p.m..

50047097116_d471239494_b.jpgScreen Shot 2020-06-26 at 9.52.30 AM by Union Turnpike, on Flickr

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50047354692_b3ae735199_b.jpgScreen Shot 2020-06-26 at 9.52.13 AM by Union Turnpike, on Flickr

 

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On 6/26/2020 at 10:00 AM, Union Tpke said:

50047356052_05038ff69f_b.jpg

 

It really seems like they're trying to come up with "innovative" solutions, rather than designing the bus lane rationally. It's crazy how inefficiently the road is designed in this proposal. They somehow manage to remove parking and two entire travel lanes, despite already having a buffer to work with. What a mess.

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12 minutes ago, P3F said:

It really seems like they're trying to come up with "innovative" solutions, rather than designing the bus lane rationally. It's crazy how inefficiently the road is designed in this proposal. They somehow manage to remove parking and two entire travel lanes, despite already having a buffer to work with. What a mess.

You hit the nail on the head.  Unfortunately, this has been the City DOT's modus operandi since at least the Bloomberg (if not latter-day Guiliani) era.  The mentality has become entrenched and only a seismic shift in planning policy will change it.

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7 hours ago, P3F said:

It really seems like they're trying to come up with "innovative" solutions, rather than designing the bus lane rationally. It's crazy how inefficiently the road is designed in this proposal. They somehow manage to remove parking and two entire travel lanes, despite already having a buffer to work with. What a mess.

This idea is amazing and will ensure that bus lanes are not blocked. I don't know what your issue is. This should be the model whenever the roadway is wide enough. Woodhaven SBS should have been done like this. This could be done on streets line 164th Street.

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8 hours ago, P3F said:

It really seems like they're trying to come up with "innovative" solutions, rather than designing the bus lane rationally. It's crazy how inefficiently the road is designed in this proposal. They somehow manage to remove parking and two entire travel lanes, despite already having a buffer to work with. What a mess.

This design choice is not new as other cities have BRT routes modeled similar to this. I’d like to see how this’ll go.

Also, I think Hillside Avenue should adapt this model of bus lanes given its high amount of bus trafffic.

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2 hours ago, Union Tpke said:

This idea is amazing and will ensure that bus lanes are not blocked. I don't know what your issue is. This should be the model whenever the roadway is wide enough. Woodhaven SBS should have been done like this. This could be done on streets line 164th Street.

I don’t think 164 St would need it. Outside of the road south of Grand Central Pkwy, traffic flows well. And south of there its issue is road width in general, not just for buses. The Q65, while it is frequently bunched, is usually smooth sailing on 164 St. Main St and Parsons Blvd are its two trouble areas. From personal observation, the bike lanes on the street don’t receive too much usage. Probably would have been fine with a shared lane, but there is enough room for a full one, so no problems there.

On a similar note, I really hope the city is able to make their proposed Flushing Busway permanent, as I’ve seen that apparently the City Council Member Peter Koo is already opposed to it, and I don’t even know when it’s supposed to be implemented. I heard it was supposed to be the first one the city makes this year, but not much else. I always thought that Flushing to have a bus terminal similar to either Jamaica 165 St or Mineola Intermodal, but since neither of those are really possible, a busway is a very good alternative.

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6 hours ago, Union Tpke said:

This idea is amazing and will ensure that bus lanes are not blocked. I don't know what your issue is. This should be the model whenever the roadway is wide enough.....

5 hours ago, LaGuardia Link N Tra said:

This design choice is not new as other cities have BRT routes modeled similar to this. I’d like to see how this’ll go.

Also, I think Hillside Avenue should adapt this model of bus lanes given its high amount of bus trafffic.

This is good for the buses, but nightmarish for other motorists.... Not that I have much of a reason to anyway, but I wouldn't take E.L. Grant (as a motorist, not as a bus passenger) if they implemented this.... I can see it now - people parking in the bike lane "to get something (or go see someone) right quick", amongst other things.... Barring weak enforcement, other motorists will get fed up & start using the bus lane.....

I question this design for a lesser reason though..... While I happen to like the (beast that is the) Bx35, while it definitely carries from end to end, this is a bit much for one bus route (bear in mind it's articulated now, so.... less buses) for that short a stint..... Sure every minute shaved off helps, but I personally don't find E.L. Grant to be the slowest part of the thing (even though it has a propensity to get slammed at times)....

 

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1 hour ago, B35 via Church said:

This is good for the buses, but nightmarish for other motorists.... Not that I have much of a reason to anyway, but I wouldn't take E.L. Grant (as a motorist, not as a bus passenger) if they implemented this.... I can see it now - people parking in the bike lane "to get something (or go see someone) right quick", amongst other things.... Barring weak enforcement, other motorists will get fed up & start using the bus lane.....

I question this design for a lesser reason though..... While I happen to like the (beast that is the) Bx35, while it definitely carries from end to end, this is a bit much for one bus route (bear in mind it's articulated now, so.... less buses) for that short a stint..... Sure every minute shaved off helps, but I personally don't find E.L. Grant to be the slowest part of the thing (even though it has a propensity to get slammed at times)....

 

The concerns of other motorists are outweighed by those of bus riders. We are in a climate crisis and need to get people out of cars. If anything, increasing the travel times for drivers will incentivize them to switch to transit.

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25 minutes ago, Union Tpke said:

The concerns of other motorists are outweighed by those of bus riders. We are in a climate crisis and need to get people out of cars. If anything, increasing the travel times for drivers will incentivize them to switch to transit.

I'm the last person you need to preach a pro-transit talking point to, fam......

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27 minutes ago, B35 via Church said:

I'm the last person you need to preach a pro-transit talking point to, fam......

Well aware. Some people in this discussion do not get the point.

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14 hours ago, Union Tpke said:

This idea is amazing and will ensure that bus lanes are not blocked.

Think about it, when a car is standing on the road with this design, how are other cars going to go around it? They will go into the bus lane to drive around the double parked car, so the buses still have to deal with cars merging in front of them. Doesn't really seem like an incredible improvement.

Not to mention, the design requires left-turning cars to cross the bus lane to get to the left turn bay, which is a mess from the standpoint of merging. What happens when the left turn bay fills up? The line will back up into the bus lane, meaning the buses will have to merge into the general purpose lane to get around them.

14 hours ago, Union Tpke said:

I don't know what your issue is.

Let's go over the most obvious ones, then.

- As stated earlier, buses are going to get cut off whenever someone is double parked, or wants to get into the left turn lane.

- If someone is on the sidewalk and sees a bus at the bus stop, they may be encouraged to run to the bus stop against the light, since they only have one lane to cross. This is quite unsafe. Compare to this to a more standard setup, where someone would have to be significantly more invested to run across a 6-lane road against the light.

- What happens when a bus breaks down in a bus stop? Any further buses will have to awkwardly merge into the general purpose lane and block it, and when those buses make a stop, passengers would need to go all the way back to the crosswalk, and then walk the entire length of the bus in the roadway just to get to the bus. Then, surprise, you now have horrible bus bunching and congestion.

- This lane is planned to be 24/7, which is frankly unnecessary at low traffic times such as overnights (when the bus is running once an hour).

14 hours ago, Union Tpke said:

This should be the model whenever the roadway is wide enough. Woodhaven SBS should have been done like this. This could be done on streets line 164th Street.

You're forgetting the most important part, which is an actual reason for the bus lane to exist. I have been on 164th Street on both weekdays and weekends, and it never appears to be particularly congested (on the wide part, anyway). If this is how 164th Street generally is, there is no point in having a bus lane, since most cars move faster than the bus, therefore the bus is not getting held up by them.

6 hours ago, Union Tpke said:

The concerns of other motorists are outweighed by those of bus riders. We are in a climate crisis and need to get people out of cars.

What did "motorists" do to deserve such a fate? Road design should be equitable, rather than throwing one group in the pit to satisfy the other.

There are many situations where driving is more practical than taking transit (hint: most of these trips don't involve an endpoint in Manhattan). Not everyone wants to be in the transit system 1.5 to 2 hours each way.

If electric cars are going to be the norm in decades, the climate crisis argument falls flat. Don't ruin the roads if the cars aren't going to be causing a crisis in the future? 

6 hours ago, Union Tpke said:

If anything, increasing the travel times for drivers will incentivize them to switch to transit.

This is idiotic. The vast majority of drivers do not think like this, and it would take much more than a few minutes' increase to get people to even consider changing modes for that reason, especially considering that switching to transit has the potential to add 30-90 minutes to a commute. This also seems to contradict your earlier climate crisis argument. If a non-EV car is running for longer, it will burn more fuel and contribute more to the issue. It's almost as if having a more efficient road network is actually better.

5 hours ago, Union Tpke said:

Some people in this discussion do not get the point.

It comes off as condescending for you to say that people who disagree with your very specific views on things, are not getting "the point", as if your views are only to be accepted and not questioned.

May I just point out that I have never said that this road should not receive a bus lane? I simply think that the design presented by NYCDOT is poorly thought out, and a sub-optimal way to utilize the road space.

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The solution to a bus lane getting screwed up by double parking is to, I don't know, actually enforce and tow double parkers.

People will stop double parking real fast if they have to get their car from the impound lot.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, B35 via Church said:

I question this design for a lesser reason though..... While I happen to like the (beast that is the) Bx35, while it definitely carries from end to end, this is a bit much for one bus route (bear in mind it's articulated now, so.... less buses) for that short a stint..... Sure every minute shaved off helps, but I personally don't find E.L. Grant to be the slowest part of the thing (even though it has a propensity to get slammed at times)....

Also keep in mind that the Bx11 will be using more of the road under the bus redesign (and the bus lane will make it a bit easier to get into the left turn lane at 170th)

@P3F I think part of it may be to reduce off-peak speeding (the same reason the Richmond Avenue bus lane is 24/7 even though none of the routes along it are 24/7). Though obviously Richmond Avenue is much wider than EL Grant Highway.

Edited by checkmatechamp13

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2 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

Also keep in mind that the Bx11 will be using more of the road under the bus redesign (and the bus lane will make it a bit easier to get into the left turn lane at 170th)

Alright, so 2 routes if we consider the redesign (albeit only to 170th for the Bx11, which is only about 4-5 blocks from the bridge approach)....

Still think this setup is overkill for E.L. Grant.... Something like this would be more suitable for Hillside av.

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I posted the link to the 5th Avenue presentation here:

 

Here are some sides from the Main Street and Jay Street presentations:

https://www1.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/jay-st-busway-tillary-st-livingston-st-cab-jul2020.pdf

https://www1.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/main-st-flushing-busway-cab6-jun2020.pdf

50078861298_7812f836b6_b.jpgScreen Shot 2020-07-05 at 11.23.51 AM by Union Turnpike, on Flickr

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Notice the epic fail here:

50078857923_f6deda7451_c.jpgScreen Shot 2020-07-05 at 11.26.55 AM by Union Turnpike, on Flickr

 

This is almost identical to my proposal from 2018, which I attached along with my essays for my successful college application.

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On 6/28/2020 at 10:56 PM, P3F said:

What did "motorists" do to deserve such a fate? Road design should be equitable, rather than throwing one group in the pit to satisfy the other.

There are many situations where driving is more practical than taking transit (hint: most of these trips don't involve an endpoint in Manhattan). Not everyone wants to be in the transit system 1.5 to 2 hours each way.

Yes, which is why better transit alternatives are needed. I am not saying ban all cars. That is idiotic.

If electric cars are going to be the norm in decades, the climate crisis argument falls flat. Don't ruin the roads if the cars aren't going to be causing a crisis in the future? 

Not true. EVs are not nearly enough. Even if California electrifies its entire fleet in time, a 15% reduction in VMT is needed to become carbon neutral. This is also predicated on 75% renewable energy.

See https://www.curbed.com/a/texas-california/electric-cars-climate-change-sacramento-california

This is idiotic. The vast majority of drivers do not think like this, and it would take much more than a few minutes' increase to get people to even consider changing modes for that reason, especially considering that switching to transit has the potential to add 30-90 minutes to a commute. This also seems to contradict your earlier climate crisis argument. If a non-EV car is running for longer, it will burn more fuel and contribute more to the issue. It's almost as if having a more efficient road network is actually better.

If you make it more and more inconvenient to drive, people will switch. Making transit more attractive is not enough to reduce car use. You have to incentive drivers to stop driving, whether by increasing the cost or time of driving.  The argument you are saying is what DOTs do across the country. They justify highway widening projects by mentioning how additional lanes will reduce congestion, and therefore burn less fuel. Adding lanes induces people who drive at other times, use alternate modes of transportation, or don't travel at all, to use the new lane, causing more congestion than there was in the first place, resulting in more congestion, and thus more pollution. Inversely, if you remove a lane from cars on a street or highway, some drivers will elect to travel at less busy times, to use alternate modes, or not to travel at all. The increaed emissions for increased travel times by non-EV cars will more than be offset by the fewer drivers on the road.

https://www.curbed.com/word-on-the-street/2019/5/30/18646017/traffic-emissions-transportation-maryland-hyperloop

It comes off as condescending for you to say that people who disagree with your very specific views on things, are not getting "the point", as if your views are only to be accepted and not questioned.

I am sorry for coming off that way, and understand that I need to do a better job of framing my arguments, which are throughly backed up.

May I just point out that I have never said that this road should not receive a bus lane? I simply think that the design presented by NYCDOT is poorly thought out, and a sub-optimal way to utilize the road space.

On 6/28/2020 at 10:56 PM, P3F said:

Think about it, when a car is standing on the road with this design, how are other cars going to go around it? They will go into the bus lane to drive around the double parked car, so the buses still have to deal with cars merging in front of them. Doesn't really seem like an incredible improvement.

The bus lanes are separated by the car lanes by barriers, and are protected.

50079037248_5a2ba84bf5_c.jpgScreen Shot 2020-07-05 at 12.17.29 PM by Union Turnpike, on Flickr

Not to mention, the design requires left-turning cars to cross the bus lane to get to the left turn bay, which is a mess from the standpoint of merging. What happens when the left turn bay fills up? The line will back up into the bus lane, meaning the buses will have to merge into the general purpose lane to get around them.

The DOT did analysis of traffic to determine which left turns to ban, and which ones to keep, and presumably looked at the issue you have, and deemed it not to be an issue.

Let's go over the most obvious ones, then.

- As stated earlier, buses are going to get cut off whenever someone is double parked, or wants to get into the left turn lane.

- If someone is on the sidewalk and sees a bus at the bus stop, they may be encouraged to run to the bus stop against the light, since they only have one lane to cross. This is quite unsafe. Compare to this to a more standard setup, where someone would have to be significantly more invested to run across a 6-lane road against the light.

Median bus stops are safer as you do not have to cross the entire width of the roadway if your destination is on the opposite side of the street. There will also be pedestrian islands at intersections to reduce the distance people need to walk.

- What happens when a bus breaks down in a bus stop? Any further buses will have to awkwardly merge into the general purpose lane and block it, and when those buses make a stop, passengers would need to go all the way back to the crosswalk, and then walk the entire length of the bus in the roadway just to get to the bus. Then, surprise, you now have horrible bus bunching and congestion.

The bus lanes are double wide at bus stops, so this is not an issue.

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- This lane is planned to be 24/7, which is frankly unnecessary at low traffic times such as overnights (when the bus is running once an hour).

You will have the Bx11 and Bx35 running via the roadway overnight. The Bx11 runs every 40 minutes, and the Bx35 runs every hour.

You're forgetting the most important part, which is an actual reason for the bus lane to exist. I have been on 164th Street on both weekdays and weekends, and it never appears to be particularly congested (on the wide part, anyway). If this is how 164th Street generally is, there is no point in having a bus lane, since most cars move faster than the bus, therefore the bus is not getting held up by them.

I was giving 164th Street as an example of a wide street. Also, the only reason the street is so wide is because space was taken away from a streetcar line, which had a dedicated right-of-way.

 

 

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