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bus lanes

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  • Simon Norton
    I thoroughly disagree with Karl Fjellstrom and support Sujit Patwardhan. One purpose of bus lanes is to secure a modal shift from car to bus. If cars get
    Message 1 of 8 , May 8 10:41 AM
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      I thoroughly disagree with Karl Fjellstrom and support Sujit Patwardhan.

      One purpose of bus lanes is to secure a modal shift from car to bus. If cars get
      congested due to loss of roadspace to bus priorities, that should be seen as
      part of the way the scheme is supposed to work.

      There are far too many places where cars have preempted so much roadspace that
      it is totally impossible to run a reliable bus service. This includes lots of
      smaller towns and cities which don't have local rail services to provide
      alternatives for people. The only way of reclaiming these communities is to set
      aside space for a system that is not affected by road congestion. To date few
      towns and cities (in the UK at least) have gone more than a token distance
      towards this end, which is why our transport is in such a mess.

      I have no knowledge of the local situation in Brisbane, but I would like to
      propose a general paradigm that mass car use should be seen as evidence of a
      failure of the powers that be to provide adequate public transport.

      Simon Norton
    • Karl Fjellstrom
      Sorry for the delayed response. Simon Norton considers the new mayor of Brisbane insane for removing a bus lane with a *peak* flow of 12 buses per hour in a
      Message 2 of 8 , May 15 11:45 AM
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        Sorry for the delayed response.

        Simon Norton considers the new mayor of Brisbane 'insane' for removing a bus
        lane with a *peak* flow of 12 buses per hour in a congested inner city
        location. This reflects a dogmatic approach to bus lanes which can easily be
        counterproductive. This bus lane in this street in Brisbane (part of an
        excellent extensive network) served no substantial benefit to bus
        passengers, while just causing irritation amongst car drivers, ultimately
        helping secure the narrow victory of the mayor who ran with one specific
        policy platform being the removal of a bus lane.

        I'm all for mode shift away from cars, and making life much more difficult
        for those who want to take cars into the CBD of Brisbane. But the way to do
        this is through expanding walkways, increasing parking charges still more,
        closing lanes, social marketing, pedestrianisation, dismantling the
        expressway along the river near the CBD, or the myriad other measures which
        have been successful in other cities, and *not* by putting in a bus lane
        where there is so little public transport demand. This just brings bus lanes
        into disrepute.

        There are many successful bus lanes in Brisbane as well as the fully
        segregated busway and I hope they continue to expand. But it's a political
        struggle in Brisbane to get the required funding and to take such bold
        measures, and it's not in the interest of the bus system promoters to fight
        futilely for bus lanes in locations where they are not needed or to
        subsequently froth at the mouth when they are removed from such locations.

        Regards, Karl

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Simon Norton [mailto:S.Norton@...]
        Sent: Sunday, 9 May 2004 12:41 AM
        To: newmobilitycafe@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [NewMobilityCafe] bus lanes

        I thoroughly disagree with Karl Fjellstrom and support Sujit Patwardhan.

        One purpose of bus lanes is to secure a modal shift from car to bus. If cars
        get congested due to loss of roadspace to bus priorities, that should be
        seen as part of the way the scheme is supposed to work.

        There are far too many places where cars have preempted so much roadspace
        that it is totally impossible to run a reliable bus service. This includes
        lots of smaller towns and cities which don't have local rail services to
        provide alternatives for people. The only way of reclaiming these
        communities is to set aside space for a system that is not affected by road
        congestion. To date few towns and cities (in the UK at least) have gone more
        than a token distance towards this end, which is why our transport is in
        such a mess.

        I have no knowledge of the local situation in Brisbane, but I would like to
        propose a general paradigm that mass car use should be seen as evidence of a
        failure of the powers that be to provide adequate public transport.

        Simon Norton





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      • Simon Norton
        The purpose of bus lanes is threefold: 1. So that those who don t contribute to congestion by adding their own motor vehicles to the streets don t suffer the
        Message 3 of 8 , Sep 5, 2005
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          The purpose of bus lanes is threefold:
          1. So that those who don't contribute to congestion by adding their own motor
          vehicles to the streets don't suffer the injustice of falling victim to the
          congestion caused by those who do. Unfortunately generally bus lanes aren't
          thoroughgoing enough to achieve this in full but if well designed they certainly
          do so in part.
          2. To stimulate modal shift by encouraging motorists to switch to buses.
          3. To reduce the cost of running a bus service by minimising the waste caused by
          buses and their drivers sitting in traffic.

          A bonus which bus lanes can achieve is to provide routes for cyclists which are
          shared with fewer vehicles than all-traffic routes. This reduces the danger to
          cyclists and the amount of pollution they have to breathe in (especially if the
          buses are "clean", but even if they aren't it's still better for them to use
          bus routes than routes with both buses and cars).

          However, I can think of no possible reason for allowing motorcyclists on bus
          lanes unless one takes the view that people should be encouraged to shift from
          cars to motorcycles to reduce congestion. In all other ways motorcycles aren't a
          significant improvement on cars. I would, however, agree with the contention
          that electric assisted bikes not capable of more than about 15mph should be
          allowed.

          Simon Norton
        • Stephen Plowden
          My contention was not so much that electric cycles with a top speed no more than 15mph should be allowed to use bus lanes, but that they should be treated in
          Message 4 of 8 , Sep 6, 2005
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            My contention was not so much that electric cycles with a top speed no
            more than 15mph should be allowed to use bus lanes, but that they
            should be treated in traffic management exactly like push bikes, so
            they should be allowed to use any bus lanes that push bikes are allowed
            to use. Whether or not push bikes should be allowed to use bus lanes is
            another question, to which I suppose the answer is that they should be
            allowed to use some and not others. As a cyclist myself, I appreciate
            being able to use bus lanes in London, but would prefer the greater
            segregation one finds in more cycle-friendly cities.

            Simon Norton wrote:

            > The purpose of bus lanes is threefold:
            > 1. So that those who don't contribute to congestion by adding their
            > own motor
            > vehicles to the streets don't suffer the injustice of falling victim
            > to the
            > congestion caused by those who do. Unfortunately generally bus lanes
            > aren't
            > thoroughgoing enough to achieve this in full but if well designed they
            > certainly
            > do so in part.
            > 2. To stimulate modal shift by encouraging motorists to switch to buses.
            > 3. To reduce the cost of running a bus service by minimising the waste
            > caused by
            > buses and their drivers sitting in traffic.
            >
            > A bonus which bus lanes can achieve is to provide routes for cyclists
            > which are
            > shared with fewer vehicles than all-traffic routes. This reduces the
            > danger to
            > cyclists and the amount of pollution they have to breathe in
            > (especially if the
            > buses are "clean", but even if they aren't it's still better for them
            > to use
            > bus routes than routes with both buses and cars).
            >
            > However, I can think of no possible reason for allowing motorcyclists
            > on bus
            > lanes unless one takes the view that people should be encouraged to
            > shift from
            > cars to motorcycles to reduce congestion. In all other ways
            > motorcycles aren't a
            > significant improvement on cars. I would, however, agree with the
            > contention
            > that electric assisted bikes not capable of more than about 15mph
            > should be
            > allowed.
            >
            > Simon Norton
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
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          • Stefan Langeveld
            Stephen and many others would prefer the greater segregation one finds in more cycle-friendly cities. Hmm, cycle-friendly cities, I like that vision. All in
            Message 5 of 8 , Sep 12, 2005
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              Stephen and many others "would prefer the greater
              segregation one finds in more cycle-friendly cities."

              Hmm, cycle-friendly cities, I like that vision.
              All in all, (even) dutch cities are not
              cycle-friendly.
              There are cycle-friendly policy papers and rhetoric.
              Cyclists have holes, humps, impossible corners & turns
              in cycle paths, delays at traffic signals, amazing
              diversions (round roadworks) and much else.

              Segregated cycle paths appear to be beneficial to
              cyclists, but in cities they have a truckload of
              disadvantages (there are 13 on Baluw.nl ).
              First, segregation is an illusion, because there are
              always intersections. Car drivers , turning right, are
              less aware of cyclists, who are at some distance.
              Second, the roads become car-friendly, no bikes to
              attend to. Speed will go up (unless the road is
              narrowed to -say- 2.5 m (per lane), but in the
              Netherlands they are 3m +).
              Third, it takes a lot of space, which is usually taken
              from the pavements.
              We have also separate tram/bus lanes. Even wide
              (shopping) streets thus end up with an astonishing 2
              metres of pavement.
              Crossing the road means : crossing a bike path (look
              left and right, because they are all used in both
              directions, also by mopeds), maneuvering between
              parked cars, crossing a car lane, crossing the
              tram-lane, crossing a car lane, maneuvering between
              parked cars, and crossing a bike path. I've left out
              the elevations.

              I think we must admit that the traditional
              non-segregated street is superior, on all counts.

              We should consider segregation in time, not in space.
              During the peak hours, cars and motorcycles are not
              allowed (except EVs and those with more than 2
              persons).
              Othertimes trams and buses are not running, because
              large, subsidized and near-empty vehicles are
              unwanted.

              In the Netherlands, cyclists do not use bus lanes.
              It's not an issue. It's not allowed, but that means
              little to cyclists.
              I use them* occasionally, but only after a careful
              check on upcoming buses. I sense that bus drivers
              would not be tolerant.
              With the time-segregation, you don't need bus lanes,
              as buses are not hindered by cars , during peak hours.


              Stefan Langeveld


              * the bus lanes !

              --- Stephen Plowden <stephenplowden@...>
              wrote:

              > My contention was not so much that electric cycles
              > with a top speed no
              > more than 15mph should be allowed to use bus lanes,
              > but that they
              > should be treated in traffic management exactly like
              > push bikes, so
              > they should be allowed to use any bus lanes that
              > push bikes are allowed
              > to use. Whether or not push bikes should be allowed
              > to use bus lanes is
              > another question, to which I suppose the answer is
              > that they should be
              > allowed to use some and not others. As a cyclist
              > myself, I appreciate
              > being able to use bus lanes in London, but would
              > prefer the greater
              > segregation one finds in more cycle-friendly cities.
              >
              > Simon Norton wrote:
              >
              > > The purpose of bus lanes is threefold:
              > > 1. So that those who don't contribute to
              > congestion by adding their
              > > own motor
              > > vehicles to the streets don't suffer the injustice
              > of falling victim
              > > to the
              > > congestion caused by those who do. Unfortunately
              > generally bus lanes
              > > aren't
              > > thoroughgoing enough to achieve this in full but
              > if well designed they
              > > certainly
              > > do so in part.
              > > 2. To stimulate modal shift by encouraging
              > motorists to switch to buses.
              > > 3. To reduce the cost of running a bus service by
              > minimising the waste
              > > caused by
              > > buses and their drivers sitting in traffic.
              > >
              > > A bonus which bus lanes can achieve is to provide
              > routes for cyclists
              > > which are
              > > shared with fewer vehicles than all-traffic
              > routes. This reduces the
              > > danger to
              > > cyclists and the amount of pollution they have to
              > breathe in
              > > (especially if the
              > > buses are "clean", but even if they aren't it's
              > still better for them
              > > to use
              > > bus routes than routes with both buses and cars).
              > >
              > > However, I can think of no possible reason for
              > allowing motorcyclists
              > > on bus
              > > lanes unless one takes the view that people should
              > be encouraged to
              > > shift from
              > > cars to motorcycles to reduce congestion. In all
              > other ways
              > > motorcycles aren't a
              > > significant improvement on cars. I would, however,
              > agree with the
              > > contention
              > > that electric assisted bikes not capable of more
              > than about 15mph
              > > should be
              > > allowed.
              > >
              > > Simon Norton
            • Richard Allsop
              Come off it Stefan! I can t see well enough to drive or cycle where it s busy and my legs don t take me much further than the bus stop. I only have a small
              Message 6 of 8 , Sep 13, 2005
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                Come off it Stefan!

                I can't see well enough to drive or cycle where it's busy and my legs don't
                take me much further than the bus stop. I only have a small pension to
                live on, and it's mid morning. I want to go out but you've taken away the
                buses and trams

                Are you going to send me a subsidised taxi, or what?

                Richard


                At 14:37 12/09/2005 -0700, you wrote:

                >Stephen and many others "would prefer the greater
                >segregation one finds in more cycle-friendly cities."
                >
                >Hmm, cycle-friendly cities, I like that vision.
                >All in all, (even) dutch cities are not
                >cycle-friendly.
                >There are cycle-friendly policy papers and rhetoric.
                >Cyclists have holes, humps, impossible corners & turns
                >in cycle paths, delays at traffic signals, amazing
                >diversions (round roadworks) and much else.
                >
                >Segregated cycle paths appear to be beneficial to
                >cyclists, but in cities they have a truckload of
                >disadvantages (there are 13 on Baluw.nl ).
                >First, segregation is an illusion, because there are
                >always intersections. Car drivers , turning right, are
                >less aware of cyclists, who are at some distance.
                >Second, the roads become car-friendly, no bikes to
                >attend to. Speed will go up (unless the road is
                >narrowed to -say- 2.5 m (per lane), but in the
                >Netherlands they are 3m +).
                >Third, it takes a lot of space, which is usually taken
                >from the pavements.
                >We have also separate tram/bus lanes. Even wide
                >(shopping) streets thus end up with an astonishing 2
                >metres of pavement.
                >Crossing the road means : crossing a bike path (look
                >left and right, because they are all used in both
                >directions, also by mopeds), maneuvering between
                >parked cars, crossing a car lane, crossing the
                >tram-lane, crossing a car lane, maneuvering between
                >parked cars, and crossing a bike path. I've left out
                >the elevations.
                >
                >I think we must admit that the traditional
                >non-segregated street is superior, on all counts.
                >
                >We should consider segregation in time, not in space.
                >During the peak hours, cars and motorcycles are not
                >allowed (except EVs and those with more than 2
                >persons).
                >Othertimes trams and buses are not running, because
                >large, subsidized and near-empty vehicles are
                >unwanted.
                >
                >In the Netherlands, cyclists do not use bus lanes.
                >It's not an issue. It's not allowed, but that means
                >little to cyclists.
                >I use them* occasionally, but only after a careful
                >check on upcoming buses. I sense that bus drivers
                >would not be tolerant.
                >With the time-segregation, you don't need bus lanes,
                >as buses are not hindered by cars , during peak hours.
                >
                >
                >Stefan Langeveld

                Richard Allsop
                Centre for Transport Studies
                University College London
                Gower Street
                London WC1E 6BT

                Phone +44 20 7679 1555
                Fax +44 20 7679 1567
                email rea@...
                http://www.cts.ucl.ac.uk
              • Stefan Langeveld
                Dear mr. Allsop, Everyone is better off with ride sharing (esp. off-peak): door to door , for a reasonable price. RS- organisations already exist [in UK
                Message 7 of 8 , Sep 14, 2005
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                  Dear mr. Allsop,
                  Everyone is better off with ride sharing (esp.
                  off-peak): door to door , for a reasonable price. RS-
                  organisations already exist [in UK Liftshare.com ] ,
                  and can operate without subsidy , but the government
                  could help and promote them.

                  We must trim down subsidies in transport (and other
                  areas) and taxation. You'll have more disposable
                  income.
                  Taxi companies should diversify into shared rides,
                  subscriptions and lower rates / higher volume.

                  Stefan Langeveld


                  --- Richard Allsop <rea@...> wrote:

                  > Come off it Stefan!
                  >
                  > I can't see well enough to drive or cycle where it's
                  > busy and my legs don't
                  > take me much further than the bus stop. I only
                  > have a small pension to
                  > live on, and it's mid morning. I want to go out
                  > but you've taken away the
                  > buses and trams
                  >
                  > Are you going to send me a subsidised taxi, or what?
                  >
                  > Richard
                  >
                  >
                  > At 14:37 12/09/2005 -0700, you wrote:
                  >
                  > >Stephen and many others "would prefer the greater
                  > >segregation one finds in more cycle-friendly
                  > cities."
                  > >
                  > >Hmm, cycle-friendly cities, I like that vision.
                  > >All in all, (even) dutch cities are not
                  > >cycle-friendly.
                  > >There are cycle-friendly policy papers and
                  > rhetoric.
                  > >Cyclists have holes, humps, impossible corners &
                  > turns
                  > >in cycle paths, delays at traffic signals, amazing
                  > >diversions (round roadworks) and much else.
                  > >
                  > >Segregated cycle paths appear to be beneficial to
                  > >cyclists, but in cities they have a truckload of
                  > >disadvantages (there are 13 on Baluw.nl ).
                  > >First, segregation is an illusion, because there
                  > are
                  > >always intersections. Car drivers , turning right,
                  > are
                  > >less aware of cyclists, who are at some distance.
                  > >Second, the roads become car-friendly, no bikes to
                  > >attend to. Speed will go up (unless the road is
                  > >narrowed to -say- 2.5 m (per lane), but in the
                  > >Netherlands they are 3m +).
                  > >Third, it takes a lot of space, which is usually
                  > taken
                  > >from the pavements.
                  > >We have also separate tram/bus lanes. Even wide
                  > >(shopping) streets thus end up with an astonishing
                  > 2
                  > >metres of pavement.
                  > >Crossing the road means : crossing a bike path
                  > (look
                  > >left and right, because they are all used in both
                  > >directions, also by mopeds), maneuvering between
                  > >parked cars, crossing a car lane, crossing the
                  > >tram-lane, crossing a car lane, maneuvering
                  > between
                  > >parked cars, and crossing a bike path. I've left
                  > out
                  > >the elevations.
                  > >
                  > >I think we must admit that the traditional
                  > >non-segregated street is superior, on all counts.
                  > >
                  > >We should consider segregation in time, not in
                  > space.
                  > >During the peak hours, cars and motorcycles are not
                  > >allowed (except EVs and those with more than 2
                  > >persons).
                  > >Othertimes trams and buses are not running, because
                  > >large, subsidized and near-empty vehicles are
                  > >unwanted.
                  > >
                  > >In the Netherlands, cyclists do not use bus lanes.
                  > >It's not an issue. It's not allowed, but that means
                  > >little to cyclists.
                  > >I use them* occasionally, but only after a careful
                  > >check on upcoming buses. I sense that bus drivers
                  > >would not be tolerant.
                  > >With the time-segregation, you don't need bus
                  > lanes,
                  > >as buses are not hindered by cars , during peak
                  > hours.
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >Stefan Langeveld
                  >
                  > Richard Allsop
                  > Centre for Transport Studies
                  > University College London
                  > Gower Street
                  > London WC1E 6BT
                  >
                  > Phone +44 20 7679 1555
                  > Fax +44 20 7679 1567
                  > email rea@...
                  > http://www.cts.ucl.ac.uk
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • Simon Norton
                  For bus lanes that are seen as inadequately used an alternative to the high occupancy vehicle system would be a no car system. This would allow buses and
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jan 4, 2008
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                    For bus lanes that are seen as inadequately used an alternative to the "high
                    occupancy vehicle" system would be a "no car" system. This would allow buses and
                    goods vehicles but not cars. (Whether taxis are allowed is another matter.)

                    This is based on the principle that demand for goods vehicles is less elastic
                    than demand for cars, so allowing them would be less likely to encourage their
                    numbers to grow. This principle was emphasised by Jane Jacobs when she said that
                    the problem of provision for goods vehicles was the main argument against
                    concentrating solely on the needs of public transport users and non-motorised
                    travellers and ignoring the needs of "general" motor traffic.

                    "No car" lanes would also score highly on Colin's principles of enforceability
                    and finding a system which would not encourage abuse. It's easy to see at a
                    glance whether a vehicle is a car or a goods vehicle !

                    Also the time profile of goods vehicles is, I believe, less peaked than that of
                    cars, so one is more likely to get all day reliability in a no car lane.

                    However, it is also pertinent to ask what happens when public transport is so
                    run down that a bus lane, even allowing for the higher occupancy of buses, is
                    carrying fewer people than all purpose lanes in the same road. Let us assume
                    that the number of goods vehicles is too small to affect the argument, as is
                    likely to be true at peak times. Is it worth making the argument for bus lanes
                    in such circumstances ?

                    I say yes, for the following reasons:

                    1. A bus lane will encourage motorists to shift, which will in turn lead to more
                    buses.

                    2. An "empty" bus lane provides a less polluted environment for cyclists -- and,
                    if the lane is adjacent to the pavement/sidewalk, for pedestrians.

                    3. It is more important to ensure punctual running for buses than for cars
                    because passengers on the buses may well need to connect to other services, and
                    also people will be waiting for them further down the route.

                    On 23 Nov 2007 I posted a message which revealed a very high level of
                    inconvenience to myself as a result of both the factors mentioned in the last
                    paragraph.

                    Simon Norton
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