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Douglas Street Busway BRT


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#41 Mike K.

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 01:02 PM

We started planning in 1996, have acquired the Galloping Goose right of way for future BRT/LRT and by 2008 we'll have a busway constructed from downtown to Saanich. Not bad for a region inching towards 400,000 people.

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#42 van-island

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 06:01 AM

We started planning in 1996, have acquired the Galloping Goose right of way for future BRT/LRT and by 2008 we'll have a busway constructed from downtown to Saanich. Not bad for a region inching towards 400,000 people.


Can you expand on this a little? Any more details of the plan?

#43 G-Man

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 08:50 AM

Here is the BRT plan: http://www.bctransit.com/regions/vic/news/commission/pdf/cmtg-ri-234.pdf

Here is some of the LRT plan:

http://islandtransformations.org/files/IT%20LRT%20Study%203%20Dec.pdf

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#44 Mike K.

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 09:59 AM

The more I read about this dedicated bus lane the more I support it. This is exactly what the region needs -- not a half-billion dollar LRT serving a few thousand riders.

Feb 27 comment in the TC:

Plan for bus lanes a welcome step
Better transit services have to start somewhere,
and a quick route down Douglas makes sense
It promises to be biggest change on Douglas Street since they started putting up signals at the busiest intersections. It will reshape the way our transit system works and the way all drivers use the thoroughfare.

B.C. Transit has been given more than $5 million in federal gas-tax money to build dedicated bus lanes along the centre of Douglas Street between the old Bay building and Town and Country Shopping Centre at Saanich Road.

The 2.2-kilometre stretch would represent the first phase of a plan to link downtown and the West Shore with service similar to light-rail transit, using buses rather than trains. The buses will have priority at traffic lights, allowing fast travel along the corridor.

Victoria and Saanich have already endorsed the idea in principle and B.C. Transit is working on detailed plans to present to the two councils this fall. If all goes well, construction will start by the fall of 2008, with the new lanes open before the 2009 tourist rush.

Douglas is wide enough to handle the two dedicated bus lanes, four traffic lanes, two bike lanes and two sidewalks, although parking spaces will have to be eliminated. [sounds good!]

Still, the project is more complicated than repainting the lines on the street.

The key concern is the location of the three stations, the stops that will serve the dedicated bus lanes. These will be in the roadway and about three metres wide. Accommodating them, while preserving traffic and bike lanes, means more land might have to be purchased.

Each station will be adjacent to crosswalks in order to make access as safe as possible.

Precise placement will be based on several factors, including the impact on left-turning vehicles and the ease of transferring to other buses.

Most of those other buses will be using the curb lanes, as they do today. They make many more stops than the express buses that will be in the centre of Douglas.

If everything works according to plan, buses in the dedicated lane will be able to travel along Douglas at 50 kilometres an hour, even during rush hour.

It will give us a hint of what to expect if — or when — a light-rail system is built along the street. An LRT system would use the same alignment, with stations at the same places.

But first we will see the dedicated bus lanes — on Douglas at the start, with expansion to the west, to the University of Victoria and to the Saanich Peninsula in the future.

The plan won’t please everyone, especially drivers stuck in traffic who will see a bus lane on one side and buses pulling in and out of stops on the other.

But it will make riding the bus much more appealing to more people — which, in turn, is sure to convince more drivers to opt for public transit.

This is a major change in transportation philosophy, one that has been a long time coming.

The old way of doing things worked for years, but it now results in daily traffic jams on Douglas. It is worth trying something new.
=================================

And the winning comment of the day is (although I can't figure out whether he is more concerned about the traffic or bus riders):

Douglas bus lanes will create problems
Re: “Buses to take centre of Douglas,” Feb. 24.

Now that B.C. Transit is going to occupy the centre of Douglas Street here are some points.

Traffic coming into town from the western communities will face more of a traffic bottleneck. Considering that there will be bus stops and shelters along the route, it will require more than one lane each way to accommodate the buses. [see above comment]

In bad weather many riders wait in shop doorways — where will they wait now? [Huddled in groups under traffic lights?]

Traffic wanting to turn left at Hillside from Douglas will have to cross over the bus lane.

People catching buses will have to cross one lane of car traffic and in some cases one lane of bus traffic to get to the centre of the road. [It's called a crosswalk, and stations will be located beside crosswalks]

What about those who are late and always run to catch a bus, will they dart across the traffic resulting in an accident? [Yes. I recommend bullbars installed on all private vehicles to combat this problem]

What about where multiple bus routes share the same stop? Will the bus at the rear have to wait while the one blocking loads?

I strongly believe in public transit, but impeding the flow of vehicular traffic is wrong, especially to gain a few seconds or a minute in travelling time along that short stretch of Douglas Street.

William Jesse,

Victoria.

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#45 G-Man

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 10:07 AM

But again with the insane time delays. Now we are saying Fall 2008. Holy crap they could seriously start this next month if there was some political will.

There was some letters to the editor in the TC today regarding this system as well. All of them writing about how this is going to destroy their lives and one guy actually said that this is going to make his commute to Victoria worse. Ummm yeah well how about trying to use it then?

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#46 Holden West

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 10:07 AM

Kings:


Chatham:


Herald:


Finlayson:

"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#47 Mike K.

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 10:09 AM

Careful, the bandwidth police will hunt you down for posting those pics!

But again with the insane time delays. Now we are saying Fall 2008. Holy crap they could seriously start this next month if there was some political will.


There's some serious planning involved to get this right. I imagine configuring the station approaches and purchasing tracts of land where the stations are located will add some complexity. A 2 kilometer redesign of one of the busiest streets in BC should be done with precision so we don't end up wasting tax dollars fixing bloopers. Although for the record I too wish this whole process was started earlier, but ah well...

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#48 G-Man

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 10:09 AM

LRT, not bus lanes, offers real advance
Times Colonist
Published: Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Re: "Buses to take centre of Douglas," Feb. 24

Although any effort to expedite travel times, encourage commuters to consider alternatives to the automobile and reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions is laudable, this project might be proceeding at the expense of more practical alternatives.

The priority transit right-of-way facilitates a faster movement of buses.

However, the single north and southbound lanes will require buses to form a queue. During peak hours, the queue could be 10 buses long. Despite the plan to give buses priority at traffic signals, the volume will result in considerable idling periods.

Idling buses will discourage transit riders and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.

A light-rail transit (LRT) system carrying three or four cars per train would accommodate the same number of passengers as 10 or 12 buses and would easily move through a prolonged traffic signal. The train would make the same stops without any idling or queuing.

When funds for a light-rail system become available, the priority bus lanes will serve to discourage the construction of the system. Transforming the transit rights-of-way into rail lines will require buses to travel along Douglas Street among other commuting vehicles. The reduced lanes will compound traffic congestion during construction.

Rather than investing millions of dollars in a flawed short-term transit project like the dedicated bus lane on Douglas Street, we should be starting to build an LRT system that will provide a long-term solution.

Dean Murdock.

Sierra Club Victoria Group.

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#49 Holden West

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 10:14 AM

Hybrid buses would solve the idling problem.

I wasn't sure when I saw the parking gone but now I realize our primary arterial shouldn't be used for storing cars, but should be for moving people in and out of the city quickly and efficiently.

Having the bike lanes against the curb and not out in no-man's-land is better too.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#50 G-Man

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 10:15 AM

Douglas bus lanes will create problems
Times Colonist
Published: Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Re: "Buses to take centre of Douglas," Feb. 24.

Now that B.C. Transit is going to occupy the centre of Douglas Street here are some points.

Traffic coming into town from the western communities will face more of a traffic bottleneck. Considering that there will be bus stops and shelters along the route, it will require more than one lane each way to accommodate the buses. (yep that is the plan one lane each way)

In bad weather many riders wait in shop doorways -- where will they wait now? (In the stations, which will be covered)

Traffic wanting to turn left at Hillside from Douglas will have to cross over the bus lane. (actually traffic wanting to turn left at all the intersections where it will still be allowed will have to cross two buslanes. That is why we created traffic lights)

People catching buses will have to cross one lane of car traffic and in some cases one lane of bus traffic to get to the centre of the road. (Actually pedestrians will cross two lanes of traffic and a sometime 2 buslanes too!)

What about those who are late and always run to catch a bus, will they dart across the traffic resulting in an accident? (Because people never have to cross four lanes of traffic now to catch the bus they are late for!)

What about where multiple bus routes share the same stop? Will the bus at the rear have to wait while the one blocking loads? (Regular bus routes will operate in the same place that they currently operate. Only BRT routes will operate in the centre median, otherwise the buses would misss dozens of stops.)

I strongly believe in public transit, but impeding the flow of vehicular traffic is wrong, especially to gain a few seconds or a minute in travelling time along that short stretch of Douglas Street. (I agree they should put the buslanes all the way to Langford and Sidney)
William Jesse,

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#51 Galvanized

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 10:38 AM

I wasn't sure when I saw the parking gone but now I realize our primary arterial shouldn't be used for storing cars, but should be for moving people in and out of the city quickly and efficiently.

Having the bike lanes against the curb and not out in no-man's-land is better too.


I totally agree, looking at those pics you posted you can see all forms of transportation are being accounted for; pedestrians, cyclists, buses and cars. It's an even split for all 4 modes of transportation, as car drivers we need to share the road.

I know 3 people who hate the bus and have now said they'd now consider taking it because it will be faster than driving.
Past President of Victoria's Flâneur Union Local 1862

#52 G-Man

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 10:50 AM

Derf: At the open house I went to over a year ago they had some pretty technical plans for the entire route already. One would figure that in thelast 12 months could have easily have completed them and could be starting construction. Instead we are still doing consultation.

Looking at the pics Holden posted I am wondering what the benefit is to having the stations on both sides of the intersection. Why would they not have just one station with the bus lanes on either side. The only reason I can see is because the buses don't currently have both side loading but could this not be fixed? Just wondering the costs involved especially if the plan is to change this into an LRT route eventually than it would seem the stations will have to be rebuilt at that time anyways...

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#53 Mike K.

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 04:34 PM

Interesting. I didn't think they would have had detailed plans available that long ago.

As for the stations, will they be simple glass bus shelters or brick-and-mortar shelters?

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#54 Holden West

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 09:31 PM

I'm sure they would be all glass shelters like the [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/98_B-Line:1d01e]B-Line[/url:1d01e] shelters in Vancouver for cleanliness, safety and visibility.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#55 aastra

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 10:08 PM

They've got slick new-style shelters all over now. Even a lot of the local stops have them.

#56 aastra

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 10:12 PM

It promises to be biggest change on Douglas Street since they started putting up signals at the busiest intersections.


Ripping out the streetcars or pulling down the overhead trolley lines were bigger changes that have happened since then, methinks.



#57 aastra

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 10:20 PM

So no one's concerned that removing meter parking might "uncongest" Douglas Street and all but turn it into a highway through downtown? What about the whole "congestion is good" argument?

#58 obscurantist

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 10:58 PM

They've got slick new-style shelters all over now. Even a lot of the local stops have them.

Yes, they're very pretty. Not so good for keeping the rain out, but then one hardly expects functionality from street furniture....

#59 G-Man

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 08:51 AM

So no one's concerned that removing meter parking might "uncongest" Douglas Street and all but turn it into a highway through downtown? What about the whole "congestion is good" argument?


Well there is the going to be the same amount of car lanes so the only thing that would change anything would be that more people are riding the bus thus less congestion.

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#60 aastra

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 10:52 AM

Hey, the stops I wait at as part of my daily routine don't offer any protection from the elements whatsoever. I'll take coverage on three sides any day!



If you can manage to stake out the inside corner spot behind the advertising then you've got pretty good protection from driving rain.

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