Tuesday, March 19, 2013
TriMet's half-ass attempt at improving bus service...
The problem, of course, is that it does not resolve the safety issues affecting the 4th and Hall stop. It will still require the line 12 and 44 buses to make the lane change in a congested area with multiple traffic impacts and heavy pedestrian traffic (including one unsignalled but very heavy crosswalk). The 17 and 43 will be required to make a right turn and then make not one, not two, but THREE lane changes in the two blocks between Lincoln and Hall to make the left turn.
And of course as soon as the buses reach 6th Avenue, they will still have to make the extremely difficult right hand turn onto 6th, with all of the pedestrian conflicts. However now they'll be one block short of Harrison, which is the one time on the 6th Avenue mall where vehicles can make a right hand turn (in the #3 lane, just left of the MAX lane, and thus have a dedicated signal). So buses will possibly be required to wait for an extra red light - OR, make a lane change into the #2 lane to get around stopped cars in the #3 lane just to move back to the #3 lane to make their stops.
Now we all know this is all because of a flaw with the Transit Mall - specifically removing the old bus stop at 6th and Montgomery (so that TriMet could use the existing bus stop shelters for a MAX station) without a suitable replacement. TriMet had no problem coming up with the money to then add another MAX station between College and Jackson - two blocks away - but when it comes to funding safe and appropriate bus stops...safety takes a back seat to all other needs.
And let's see how long it takes, until that apartment complex starts complaining about the TriMet riders right at window level.