Boston to make morning lane for buses, bikes permanent on Washington Street in Roslindale

That didn't take long at all: The Boston Transportation Department today announced it will create a permanent morning lane just for buses and bicyclists on Washington Street between Roslindale Square and Forest Hills - a week after it ended a month-long pilot to see if the idea could work.

The new lane, created by banning all parking northbound on the road between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m., goes into effect on June 18, BTD announced today:

The bus lane received strong support from Roslindale residents, bus riders and cyclists. Following the completion of the pilot, MBTA data confirmed that riders benefited from the bus lane, reducing travel time while in the lane by 20 to 25 percent during the worst hour of congestion (7:30am to 8:30am). For the 1,100 bus riders traveling through the corridor during that hour, that works out to 26 hours of passenger time saved on a typical day, or 38 hours saved on a day when road congestion was significantly higher than normal. In a survey of bus riders and bicyclists on the corridor, 94 percent supported a permanent bus and bicycle lane. Of the bus passengers, 92 percent perceived that the bus lane decreased their travel time. Of the bicyclists, 89 percent reported feeling safer in the shared lane.

In a statement, Boston Transportation Commissioner Gina Fiandaca said:

It is sound transportation policy to implement along Washington Street a designated bus lane that also allows for people riding bikes. Improving public transit and bus service in particular, is an identified goal of Go Boston 2030, the City of Boston’s long-term, comprehensive transportation plan. The Roslindale bus lane was singled out as an early action project in the Go Boston 2030 Action Plan and we are pleased to be implementing this important component of our transportation plan.

BTD and the T have yet to test a similar lane on the other side of the street from Forest Hills to Roslindale Square during the afternoon rush hour.

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Comments

Yay!

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Awesome!

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Voting is closed. 39

I still don't think taking

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I still don't think taking parking away from that many people is a good exchange for a 20% decrease in travel time. Why weren't residents and pedestrians thoughts considered in this? My kid will now have to cross 3 travel lanes with no crosswalk near us to get to the bus stop.

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Voting is closed. 58

but cars

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sigh

No, "but cars" on this one. This usurps cars every single time. sorry., park your car elsewhere between 6-9 am on weekdays. It's time for transit to take priority over cars.

As far as your kid, is there suppose to be a cross walk there? if there is, open a ticket with BOS311 and have one painted. If there's not one, why is your kid crossing there? they should be using a cross walk. Walk to the nearest crosswalk and safely cross there.

Still think you're inconvenienced. Write to the city council or BTD.. it'll fall on deaf ears. This (and Everett's bus lane) are just the start of something very good to happen, and it has much support of the city council. So good luck on that.

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Voting is closed. 95

So if your local government

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So if your local government officials don't provide you a crosswalk, you'll just stay on the side of the street where you are, forever? You're quite the law-and-order authoritarian.

Never mind that the law doesn't require you to only cross in crosswalks. It only says you can't cross outside of a crosswalk if there's one within 300 feet. And for good reason, since they don't exist every block.

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Voting is closed. 30

Streetview is a thing

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It is free and available for all.

Go look at this area before commenting again.

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Voting is closed. 32

What's your point? If you're

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What's your point? If you're trying to say there's a crosswalk at least every 300 feet, please provide Street View links. I'm not going to do your research for you.

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Voting is closed. 28

Ok, changed my mind. Just

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Ok, changed my mind. Just this once, here's your research.

Distance between crosswalks:
Ukraine Way to Harvest Co-Op: 415 ft https://goo.gl/maps/fKs9t4fFdaG2
Harvest to Mahler Road: 1553 ft https://goo.gl/maps/iAAGGYF6rr82
Mahler Road to Archdale Road: 438 ft https://goo.gl/maps/oLEihREpxRS2
Archdale Road to Firth Road: 1865 ft https://goo.gl/maps/vJ5PzjMBwpQ2
Firth Road to Basile Street: 688 ft https://goo.gl/maps/4WG5d4ChmjH2

So you could definitely find yourself more than 300 feet from a crosswalk. I know I wouldn't want to walk 1800 extra feet to cross the street.

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Voting is closed. 32

But why no compromise? I

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But why no compromise? I wouldn't mind if they started it at 7am because that would give some more time to move cars (it starts at 5am not 6). And if they put more crosswalks in the area I'd feel more comfortable. Between Haley field and archdale there are zero crosswalks. At the end of the day, it does nothing to improve overall reliability of the T anyway. So you get to forest hills 5 minutes earlier, as we all know you still run the (huge) risk of a train dying on the tracks or busses being late.

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Voting is closed. 37

Dear MY CAR morons

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People who live in the area have been aware of this for a long time.

They had plenty of time to say something.

Shut up already and walk.

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Voting is closed. 23

Compromise?

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RTF announcement honey. RESIDENTS LIKED THIS.

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Voting is closed. 31

That would make a lot of

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That would make a lot of sense. NYC has rush hour bus lanes/parking bans all over the place, and they start at 7.

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Voting is closed. 35

City of Boston doesn't do

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City of Boston doesn't do crosswalks anymore because they give "false sense of security" yadda yadda yadda this was from the mouth of Roslindale city council, and public works , believe me I tried. It took them long enough to replace the stop sign next to the little peoples playhouse daycare on Washington St smh

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Voting is closed. 24

Sigh.

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What if there is no where else to park your car between 6-9am on weekdays?

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Voting is closed. 24

Not only that

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But its a rush hour only bus lane. The opposite side still has parking!

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Voting is closed. 55

Be happy we already allocate

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Be happy we already allocate some much public space to car storage. Parking is a luxury, not a right.

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Voting is closed. 56

Don't bother

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Certain Bostonians, many of whom frequent this site absolutely hate any and all things cars and think the world should be only for bikes and pedestrians.

Heaven's forbid someone actually needs a car to you know, live.

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Voting is closed. 28

The New York City Resident has spoken!!

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Ever think of shutting up and reading what was discussed several months ago about this particular project?

Get a driveway, pay for parking, or stfu about your precious car.

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Voting is closed. 32

Why would I think of shutting

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Why would I think of shutting up? Did I say (write) something wrong?

Also my comment was in reply specifically about the people on this site and cars. And I DO NOT OWN A CAR so keep your insults please. Also get over the NY thing, it's a non-issue.

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Voting is closed. 28

Needs a car?

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The only people that NEED cars are chair users.

Everyone else can walk around the corner or put theirs in a lot.

CARS do NOT have RIGHTS
DRIVERS do NOT get SPECIAL rights.

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Voting is closed. 30

So are there not people who

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So are there not people who need a car to drop off their kid in the morning, or make it to work? Those people don't matter right? And please know I am not making this about me and my personal wants as I don't have a car or kids and can get around just fine. That doesn't mean I can't recognize that some people do actually need a vehicle.

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Voting is closed. 29

More people need buses that run

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at a reasonable pace. Does it not make sense to you that buses that carry a lot more people than your car should get prioritized? And does it also not occur to you that every dipshit on a bike on Washington St is one less dipshit in a car on Washington St, making your commute faster? Sheesh.

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Voting is closed. 33

Until there's transit to

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Until there's transit to every office park along 128 (and I think there should be), some people will need cars.

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Voting is closed. 25

The man who lives in NYC

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Wants his free parking that he doesn't even pay for on weekends in Boston.

Okay.

Because NYC parking is such a breeze!

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Voting is closed. 37

?

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Huh? What does NY have to do with anything?

For the record, I don't own a car. Doesn't change the fact that there are plenty of people here who hate all things car related.

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Voting is closed. 28

Heaven Forbid

Heaven forbid if you need a car to, you know live, you pay a fair price to use the public space for your private car storage or move to the 'burbs where ample free parking is available.

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Voting is closed. 38

I don't have a place to put my boat

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What if there is no place to put my boat? Doesn't the city owe me a place to put a boat?

I don't have a place to put a garden - the city owes me a convenient spot to put my garden.

I don't have a fenced yard for the dog of my choice. The city owes me a fenced private yard on one of their parks.

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Voting is closed. 32

No

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Man, you people.

Funny how growing up I never once heard an issue about people parking their cars on the street. But now since some people want to ride bikes everywhere, cars are the devil and should be banned from cities. It just sounds stupid. Cars have been parked on streets for decades with no problem. And people have needed cars for various reasons and they shouldn't be made to be the bad guy because of it.

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Voting is closed. 31

Car culture has always

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Car culture has always favored people who could afford cars. Cars trickled down but with didn't and we ended up with a society organized around motoring most important trips. People need to have an alternative before they can choose it. In the city, owning a car can be prohibitively expensive, even though it affords the owner precious long range mobility.

People end up organizing their lives around how they are going to get from home to school to work back home. Many don't have the option of a car. Building a network of alternative mobility additions that connects neighborhoods currently only conveniently accessible to each other by car, would give more people the choice between modes of transit - and there are many, many reasons to choose anything BUT a car.

Free parking is a subsidy for people who can afford cars. Why can't it be subject to cost benefit analysis? I live in Boston and I DO own a car, but when I see this kind of smart planning - A TEMPORARY rush hour no parking zone - it gives me hope that I will be able to ditch the auto soon.

One big step in the right direction is the MBTA's planned fare systems upgrade, which will enable all-door boarding on trolleys and buses, and more importantly, transfers to commuter rail with the same contactless payments.

Now we just need to build West Station now.

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Voting is closed. 26

Isn't Brighto, er, Boston

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Isn't Brighto, er, Boston Landing going to save us all first?

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Voting is closed. 15

Need more crosswalks

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I'd say the anon has a point about scarcity of crosswalks. Firth Road to Archadale is a pretty large gap (six blocks) without a single crosswalk. The solution, of course, is to add crosswalks rather than block the bus lane. I'd very much support adding several more crosswalks along that corridor. Anon should contact WalkUp Roslindale if s/he is interested in actively engaging the city on this issue.

http://www.walkuproslindale.org/

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Voting is closed. 29

Priorities

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So you think that providing free storage for 200 cars for a few hours is more important than thousands of people getting to work faster? More than 1/2 of the people traveling on Washington Street in the morning are on those buses.

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Voting is closed. 94

Did the residents provide feedback?

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Did they band together to fight this?

The point of having a period where the impacts of the change is that people can provide feedback. Perhaps most residents thought it was a good thing. I was torn a new one on this website for even suggesting that the residents might have issues with this, but in the end if no strong objections were heard, the only thing the city saw was buses being able to transport the majority of those who travel on the road in the morning quicker.

Did you contact the city about this?

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Voting is closed. 36

Nope

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Neither the City or the MBTA scheduled, or held any public input meetings. All of the input came from specific "walk" or "bike" groups.

Sure, transit riders also liked it but none of the residents on the impacted street, connecting side streets, nor businesses were part of a public process. None received specific flyers. Nothing.

There are still businesses in that 1-mile stretch that have yet to have anyone put something in their mail box or knock on the door.

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Voting is closed. 55

There are ways to make one's voice known

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You don't need meetings to do that, either.

I'll give you a Roslindale example. There are some people that claim that the rustic charm of the area is being destroyed by airplanes flying overhead. They call government authorities, from Massport to the City Council. They form groups to get their voices heard. They force the government to hear what they say.

If this experiment so negatively affected the area and no one spoke up, they got what they deserved. Few other parts of Boston would have just allowed this to happen if they were opposed. The 28x bus line was shot down because the community opposed it. The city took out a bike lane on River Street in Hyde Park because the residents opposed it.

Sometimes it is as simple as calling one's city councilor, or 311. Don't do those things and it's your own fault.

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Voting is closed. 35

The claim that there was no

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The claim that there was no local public outreach is totally false. There were folks from the city who went up and down the street talking to all the businesses.

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Voting is closed. 49

Washington st is poor

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Wouldn’t happen if they could fight back. They can’t because they have no money.

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Voting is closed. 47

Well...

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Maybe when they call they always get the snarky and sassy switchboard operator? I mean, that would discourage me after the eleventh time...

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Voting is closed. 30

One more thought

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How did residents of this same stretch of Washington Street organize when Gria Y Tambora were being bad neighbors, but somehow they couldn’t organize against this if it’s so bad?

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Voting is closed. 41

>too poor to make a phonecall

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>too poor to make a phonecall or send an email

>wealthy enough to need parking for several multi-thousand dollar chunks of metal, and certainly too wealthy to take the bus, which is "for poors"

???????

dozens of people along that stretch get on and off the buses all the time. that's part of why the congestion on that stretch is so bad for busses, because they're in and out of traffic. the poorest residents of washington street will benefit the most from this change, along with the intangible benefits like, less air pollution from stop-and-go cars, safer ways to cross the street (visibility from the curb, the bus lane isn't always full), fewer strangers from outer neightborhoods driving up and parking in those spaces just to hop in the bus, turning the neighborhood into a defacto parking lot for the wealthy

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Voting is closed. 49

Making a phone call would

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Making a phone call would have approximately zero effect on the decision-making process. That's not how you gain influence in this town.

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Voting is closed. 23

I contacted the city and bta

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I contacted the city and bta about the concerns and only the bta replied..by saying thanks for my positive review and they were glad I liked the program.

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Voting is closed. 20

Some trade-offs are hard to

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Some trade-offs are hard to figure out -- this isn't one of them. Cutting significant time for 19,000 riders daily between Forest Hills and Roslindale Square VS a couple hundred cars at most that are still allowed to park on public streets, they just have to go a block or three away. This isn't even factoring in all the people who will now take public transit from Roslindale because there's now a reliable, timely way to get to the Orange Line.

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Voting is closed. 73

Reducing bus travel times by

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Reducing bus travel times by any amount is a good thing. But I still wouldn't call Washington Street buses timely or reliable.

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Voting is closed. 29

On Tuesday nights the other

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On Tuesday nights the other side of Washington gets swept so fitting hundreds of cars onto small already packed side streets is not an option. My side street had no parking on Tuesdays by 6pm. And they didn't do anything to fix the reliability of the T so it's still not really worth it to take it. I still saw overcrowded busses skipping stops. Then when riders get to forest hills they have to deal with the orange line which is continually failing.

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Voting is closed. 30

The obvious solution is to

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The obvious solution is to change the street cleaning time on the southbound side to start at 9 am or a little bit after. Bingo, hundreds of free spots on the northbound side just when you need them.

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Voting is closed. 44

So this must mean ...

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That you deserve a special right to take over property because you are special because you have a special one-person transport vehicle to store there?

Get a drive way, rent a space, or go fish.

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Voting is closed. 38

You say this like they're the

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You say this like they're the only person with a car, and they came up with the idea of on-street parking themselves.

On-street parking is often a great convenience. That's why it's an official thing.

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Voting is closed. 29

Move

☝️ Move to the 'burbs if you want easy parking. Living in the city has many, many perks, easy parking is not (and should not) be one of them.

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Voting is closed. 43

There's more to the city than the North End

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The outer neighborhoods have any number of low-density areas (at least when compared to the North End, South Boston, Back Bay, etc.) where parking is fairly easy. I rarely have problems parking right outside my door on my Roslindale street of single-family and two-family houses.

Not disagreeing with your main point for high-density areas, just asking that folks making such pronouncements remember that Boston neighborhoods are not all the same.

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Voting is closed. 27

It's time for cars not to be

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It's time for cars not to be the concern and better infrastructure and transit to be the concern.

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Voting is closed. 28

Saves me almost 30 minutes.

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Saves me almost 30 minutes. Now it's time for the other side to be permanent. Cars have been king for far too long and it's caused us nothing but shite.

Walk to the next crosswalk... we all have to do it or work to get a crosswalk made closer to your home.

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Voting is closed. 42

Let's see, 1100 passengers,

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Let's see, 1100 passengers, 26 hours saved. If they can multiply to make a more impressive number for the press release, I can divide to get back the actual measurement. That comes to 1.42 minutes saved on an average peak-hour bus trip. Or 2.07 minutes on a day with higher than normal congestion. (Too bad traffic isn't even worse, so even more time could be saved.)

Wouldn't it be better if BTD fixed some of the godawful light timing? There are plenty of places where main street traffic sits at a red for more than a minute, for no reason at all.

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Voting is closed. 27

Drive Alone

Yeah, I wish those 1,100 passengers all drove alone to work instead. That would really speed up travel times!

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Voting is closed. 40

When did I say that?

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When did I say that?

I'm pointing out that this project doesn't do much, though they use misleading math to make it seem impressive. And there are other easy ways to provide more benefit for bus passengers.

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Voting is closed. 33

Transportation

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Transportation is about PEOPLE not about CARS.

If less storage for personal property on public land means more PEOPLE get through, that is the priority for that public land.

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Voting is closed. 40

Again, when did I say

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Again, when did I say anything about prioritizing cars over people?

My point was the benefit was inflated in the press release. And there are cheaper and less disruptive ways to provide EVEN MORE benefit to transit riders.

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Voting is closed. 19

This is great! So glad the

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This is great! So glad the City is starting to find solutions for where buses get bogged down in traffic. When transit is faster, more people will use it (which also frees up road space for people who have no other option but to drive.)

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Voting is closed. 37

This is good but

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I fear this bus & bike only lane will work as well as the Essex St bus lane

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Voting is closed. 30

If they want to emulate Essex

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If they want to emulate Essex Street, they'll have to make sure the signs are tiny and infrequent, and the pavement markings are quickly obliterated by patching.

At least Washington Street has frequent enough service for a bus lane to not be a total waste. 12 minutes or more between buses on the SL4 -- why bother?

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Voting is closed. 30