Click for next page ( 6


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 5
5 CHAPTER TWO OVERVIEW OF FINDINGS This chapter provides an overview of survey findings, presents New Jersey, Central Area the experience of areas where projects have been implemented Georgia, Atlanta Metro Area or planned, identifies salient concerns, describes operational Washington, Seattle Area experience, and discusses intelligent transportation systems Miami, Florida (Case Study 3) (ITS) applications. Detailed discussion of selected case stud- San Diego, California (Case Study 4) ies are presented in chapter three and Appendix C contains Ottawa, Ontario supporting materials. Toronto, Ontario (Case Study 5) Vancouver, British Columbia Dublin, Ireland (Case Study 6) SURVEY RESPONSES Auckland, New Zealand. Seventy-one responses to the screening survey were received. Overview descriptions are provided in this section for the Respondent agencies included 17 transit operators, 27 state or six case study BBS applications, with more detailed infor- provincial departments of transportation (DOTs), 25 metro- mation provided in the next section of the report. politan planning organizations (MPOs), and two other agen- cies (motor vehicle commission and turnpike authority). Appendix B identifies the 71 responding agencies. Minnesota, Twin Cities Area Locations with BBSs were divided into two groups: The MinneapolisSt. Paul Twin Cities area is at the forefront of implementation and operations of the bus use of shoulder Current applications and concept in the United States (see Case Study 1). It is cur- Potential new bus use of shoulder projects. rently operating approximately 230 mi of bus shoulder use highway segments. As such, a comprehensive network of bus Following a description of these shoulder use projects, shoulder use facilities is provided. The network has planned general features of the current and planned shoulder use for expansion to nearly 300 mi by 2007. Approximately 400 applications are described. buses operating on 14 routes use the bus shoulder facilities to bypass congestion. Bus drivers have the option of using the designated bus shoulder facilities whenever speeds in the CURRENT BUS USE OF SHOULDER LOCATIONS general traffic lanes drop below 35 mph. The BBS system involves a minimal level of BBS signing and no special pave- A primary purpose of the synthesis project was to identify ment markings. Signs are periodically placed along a current and planned bus shoulder use projects in North shoulder designating it for "Authorized Buses Only." Warn- America. At the outset of the study, applications were un- ing signs ("Watch for Buses on Shoulders") are also provided derstood to exist in four states and two provinces: Maryland, along on-ramps before the merge with shoulder and freeway Minnesota, Virginia, Washington, British Columbia, and traffic. Small yellow advisory signs are posted along the Ontario shoulder at places where the shoulder narrows. The initial application of BBS in the Twin Cities area was on an arter- The screening survey confirmed bus shoulder use appli- ial highway. After a major flood, the BBS concept was cations in these six regions and identified several more loca- expanded to include freeway segments and it has continued tions. Some of the bus shoulder applications are continuous to expand. lanes, whereas others are essentially queue jumpers. Table 1 summarizes current and planned BBS operations. These BBS projects are described in the following order: Virginia, Falls Church Area Minnesota, Twin Cities Area (Case Study 1) The Virginia DOT allows public transit buses to use a 1.3-mi Virginia, Falls Church Area (Case Study 2) segment of the shoulder on the inbound direction of the Dulles Maryland, Metro Washington, D.C. Area Access Highway (Route 267) to facilitate bus access to the Delaware, Wilmington Area West Falls Church Metrorail station. The shoulder lane allows

OCR for page 5
6 TABLE 1 SUMMARY OF BUS BYPASS SHOULDER PROJECTS Location Type Description Use Status Metropolitan Comprehensive 230 mi No BBS time restrictions, Continually MinneapolisSt. network primarily transit buses, expanding since Paul Twin Cities speeds limited to use 1991 Area (Minnesota) when congestion slows to 35 mph--buses allowed to move 15 mph faster than general traffic Virginia near Falls Eastbound queue 1.3-mi segment Buses limited to Appears to have Church jumper on Route with no maximum speed of 25 been operational for 267 interchange mph between 4 and 8 p.m. some years weaves Maryland near US-29 southbound 4-mi arterial hwy. SB 6 to 9 a.m. Appears to have Burtonsville and northbound segment with NB 3 to 8 p.m. been operational corridor several signalized No information on for some years junctions maximum bus speed Maryland near I-495 northbound About 3 mi in NB 6 to 9 a.m. Appears to have Bethesda queue jump of I- length NB 3 to 7 p.m. been operational 270 interchange No information on for several years maximum bus speed Washington SR-520 westbound 2.7 mi with several Buses and 3+ carpools use Early 1970s Seattle Region corridor BBS interchanges shoulder lane, no restrictions on speed or time of day Washington SR-522 arterial 2.2 mi with several Buses only; no restriction WB opened in Seattle Region BBS corridor signalized on speed or time of day 1970 and EB in intersections 1986 New Jersey near Route 22 About 1 mi in Buses only; no Appears to have Mountainside eastbound BBS length information on speed or been in corridor time-of-day limits operation some years New Jersey near Route 9 NB and About 4 mi in Morning NB and evening Nearing Old Bridge SB arterial BBS length SB, buses only, no implementation information on speed restrictions Georgia near GA 400 freeway 6 mi initially When general traffic Opened on Sep. Alpharetta BBS corridor expanding to 12 mi drops to 35 mph BBS 12, 2005 buses allowed to run 15 mph faster Delaware near Route 202 About 1,500 ft No time restriction for Appears to have Wilmington southbound BBS with one BBS use been operational queue jumper intermediate signal for some years Vancouver, BC Route 1 queue NA NA NA jumper Toronto, Ontario Highway 403 About 3 mi When traffic slows to 38 Started in 2003 congestion bypass mph BBS allowed 12 mph both directions faster Ottawa, Ontario Highways 417 and About 14 mi BBS buses allowed to In operation for 174 operate at posted speed of many years 62 mph Dublin, Ireland Many segments in 50 to 70 mi Rules vary by BBS Expanding since the network location 1998 initial application Auckland, New Several corridors NA No speed restrictions Expanding since Zealand 1991 Miami, Florida SR-821/SR-836 Corridor When traffic slows below About to begin Area I-75/SR-826 applications 35 mph operations SR-826/I-95 SR-874/SR-878 California, San I-805/SR-52 1-year pilot BBS When general traffic Opened on Diego Area project of about 4 slows below 30 mph, bus Dec. 2005 mi allowed to move up to 10 mph faster Notes: SB = southbound; NB = northbound; WB = westbound; EB = eastbound; NA = not available.

OCR for page 5
7 buses destined for the Metrorail station to bypass the conges- a six-lane, 50 mph arterial roadway with some signalized tion queue, which develops during the evening commute for intersections and a few grade-separate interchanges on the the Route 267 exit movement onto I-66 (the next interchange northern segment (55 mph). This shoulder use project is ap- downstream from the Metrorail station). Although the seg- proximately 4 mi long. The southbound lane restriction is in ment is relatively short, the passenger and motorist perception effect on weekdays from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. The northbound bus of travel time savings is substantial, as buses move at 25 mph shoulder use lane is operational from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. The past traffic stopped in the general traffic lanes. Case Study 2 operation has faded diamond lane pavement markings on the describes the Dulles Access Road BBS project in more detail. shoulders and conventional HOV type signage, using the HOV diamond (Figure 2). Maryland, Metro Washington DC Area Another Maryland shoulder use application is in operation on the I-495 Washington Beltway near I-270 (see Figure 3). Shoulder use bus lanes are provided on US-29 southward from This BBS application is essentially a queue jumper for east- Burtonsville approximately halfway toward the Washington bound buses to bypass congestion at the I-270 interchange. Beltway (I-495). Figure 1 shows this BBS location. US-29 is The project operates from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to FIGURE 1 Maryland US-29 BBS location.

OCR for page 5
8 The New Jersey DOT is about to implement an additional BBS project on US-9 in Middlesex County near the town of Old Bridge (Figure 6). The Old Bridge BBS project is ap- proximately 4 mi long and is scheduled to open in mid-2007. The BBS operation will be between Spring Valley Road and Cindy Street and between Fairway Lane and Perrine Road. The project is estimated to cost approximately $8.5 million, and includes new sidewalks and pedestrian refuge islands as well as shoulder improvements. Existing 12-ft-wide shoul- ders will be replaced with full-depth pavement for buses. The drainage cross slopes of the shoulders will also be reduced from their current 4% to 2.5%. To maintain effective drainage, 78 new drainage inlets are planned for the BBS segment. The project is an element of New Jersey DOT's En- hanced Bus Improvement Program and is designed to reduce delays and increase on-time bus service performance. US-9 is a six-lane arterial highway with an 18-ft-wide grass me- dian. BBS operation would serve northbound buses toward New York City during the morning commute peak period and southbound buses during the afternoon/evening com- mute peak period. Approximately 440 buses and 6,800 pas- sengers use the Route 9 corridor daily. Pavement markings for the US-9 project will consist of "Bus Only" markings and signage will indicate "Bus Only" with the hours of BBS op- erations. The posting of "Yield to Bus" signs has been sug- gested for the beginning of the BBS operations. New Jersey's vehicle code includes the "yield to bus" right-of-way rule, FIGURE 2 Maryland US-29 BBS signage. where motorists are required to yield the right-of-way for buses merging back into traffic. 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. I-495 has five eastbound lanes along the BBS segment and a posted speed limit of Georgia, Atlanta Metro Area 55 mph. The Georgia Regional Transportation Authority and Geor- gia DOT opened a BBS operation on September 12, 2005, Delaware, Wilmington Area for the GA-400 freeway between the North Springs Metro- politan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) rail sta- Delaware has a BBS operation on US-202 north of Wilm- tion and Mansell Road (Figure 7). The BBS project will ington The BBS application is a short queue jumper for eventually extend northward to the Windward Parkway, southbound traffic that is bound toward I-95 (see Figure 4). connecting Alpharetta with the MARTA North Springs The BBS is located between Powder Mill Road and Foulk Station, a distance of approximately 12 mi (broken line in Road for a distance of 1,500 ft. One signalized "T" intersec- Figure 7). The shoulders of GA-400 were widened by 2 ft tion is located on this segment. Pavement markings and sig- and reinforced to accommodate the shoulder use at a cost of nage use the diamond symbol. Signs clearly mark the length approximately $2.8 million. The initial segment is approxi- of the BBS operation and a special bus signal indication is mately 6 mi long, and when complete the BBS will be 12 mi provided for BBS buses. The signal indication for buses is long. The operating plan allows MARTA buses to use shoul- similar to a walkdon't walk display, but provides a green ders when general traffic speeds drop below 35 mph. Buses bus for go and a green bus with a red X for stop. The BBS are only allowed to operate at a maximum speed of 35 mph; operation is available to buses any hour of the day. however, they can travel no more than 15 mph faster than general traffic. To minimize conflicts at interchanges, buses New Jersey, Central Area are required to reenter general traffic lanes before the inter- change and not to reenter the shoulder until after the A bus use of shoulder project is in operation on New Jersey interchange. Commuter buses are estimated to save between Route 22 in Mountainside (see Figure 5). It is a short east- 5 and 7 min of travel time using the shoulders and might bound segment of an arterial road leading toward Perth save up to 25 min at times when major disruptions occur. A Amboy. This project has minimal BBS signage ("Buses May change in the vehicle code was required to permit buses to Use Shoulder") and no special pavement markings. use the shoulder lanes.

OCR for page 5
9 FIGURE 3 Maryland I-495 BBS location. Washington, Seattle Area section of SR-520. Shoulders are marked with a solid white line separating them from general traffic lanes and HOV di- Two bus shoulder use projects are currently in operation in amond markings are provided (see Figure 8). Wayside HOV the Seattle area. The first, a 2.7-mi westbound BBS segment diamond lane traffic signs also identify the special use lane. of SR-520 from I-405 to the Evergreen Bridge, allows buses Only limited physical improvements were made to the shoul- and 3+ HOVs to use the freeway shoulder lane to bypass con- ders to implement the BBS. HOV drivers and buses must gestion. SR-520 is basically a 60-mph posted-speed limit, weave with exiting traffic at interchanges and again with en- four-lane freeway connecting Bellevue to Seattle. Buses and tering traffic at on-ramps. Figure 9 describes signage and HOVs are allowed to operate at the posted speed while using lane marking guidelines for interchange areas. Motorists the shoulder. This BBS was originally opened in 1970 as a with automobile troubles are encouraged to exit the freeway toll booth bypass and it was later converted to its current rather than use the shoulders, and tow trucks are strategically HOV 3+ usage. The shoulder is 13 to 14 ft wide along this stationed to remove disabled vehicles from shoulders and

OCR for page 5
10 FIGURE 4 Southbound US-202 BBS, north of Wilmington, Delaware. traffic lanes of SR-520. Overall, motorist compliance has along the route. On SR-522, the BBS allows buses to queue been good as has the safety record. jump congestion at traffic signals. Some conflicts have been reported with bicycles on the SR-522 shoulders. The second BBS project is on SR-522, a five-lane ma- jor arterial highway serving the northern suburbs of Seat- Both of these BBS operations in the Seattle area are full- tle. For both directions of travel on a 2.2-mi segment of time operations. Special speed restrictions are not posted for SR-522 (NE Bothel Way) between NE 165th Street and the shoulder lane operations, allowing buses to operate at 73rd Avenue NE (Kenmore, Washington) the shoulder the full posted speeds. Travel time and reliability perfor- lanes are restricted for bus use only. The westbound BBS mance has been good on both BBS projects. An advantage opened in 1970 and the eastbound BBS in 1986. The shoul- of the BBS operations as seen by bus operators is that they der pavement is marked with "Only Transit" (see Figure eliminate the weaving movements across general traffic 10) and "Transit Only" signs are intermittently placed lanes to enter and exit center median HOV lanes. In addition,

OCR for page 5
11 Local Roads Local Arterials Interstate Freeway BBS Eastbound FIGURE 5 New Jersey Route 22 Mountainside eastbound BBS. the shoulders offer opportunities to serve passengers with on- the Homestead Extension of Florida's Turnpike, SR-826 line freeway bus stops along the corridor. (Palmetto Expressway), and SR-836 (Dolphin Express- way). Subsequent discussions reportedly have expanded The Washington State DOT also has about a dozen on- this feasibility analysis to consider bus shoulder use on ramps where buses and HOVs are allowed to use shoulder I-95 from SR-112 to downtown Miami. The work scope for lanes through interchange areas to bypass congestion. These the further studies is provided in Appendix C, which also interchange applications are limited to commute periods lists key concerns raised by agencies participating in the when ramp metering is operational. study. Miami, Florida Agreements between MiamiDade Transit, the Miami Dade Expressway Authority, and the Florida DOT have been The MiamiDade MPO completed a Special Use Lane executed. Actual operation is anticipated for May or June Study for the region in 2005 that addressed BBS projects 2006. The first BBS express service will be on the Dolphin patterned after the Minneapolis program. The Special Use Expressway from NW 107th Avenue to downtown Miami. Lane Study recommended further analysis of an Express Operations on the Don Shula Expressway and the Snapper Core System that would consist of buses using shoulders on Creek Expressway should follow shortly.

OCR for page 5
12 FIGURE 6 New Jersey Route 9 BBS in Middlesex County, New Jersey. Future BBS projects under study include a section of the the peak direction of travel would be allowed to use the Homestead Turnpike extension project (Homewood Exten- shoulders, and special training would be given to bus drivers. sion of Florida's Turnpike) extends from the Turnpike inter- The training program is currently under development by change with I-75 to Homestead; however, the shoulder MiamiDade Transit. use concept is being considered from SR-836 (Dolphin Expressway) to Kendall Drive (SW 88th Street). The Palmetto Legislation is now pending to allow the bus use of shoul- Expressway is a major northsouth wide urban expressway der facilities and the projects are anticipated to be imple- serving the western and northern edges of Miami. The Dolphin mented late in 2005. A marketing program is envisioned to Expressway links Miami's downtown to the Miami educate motorists about of the program and an enforcement International Airport and also to the Miami Dolphin football program is under development. stadium. At I-95, the Dolphin Expressway becomes I-395. Details of ITS features of the bus shoulder use program The bus use of shoulders concept that is currently under are still under development, but are expected to include study is envisioned to limit bus speeds to a maximum of 35 transponders on buses to allow them to use the SunPass lanes mph when using the shoulder. Only public buses traveling in at toll plazas.

OCR for page 5
13 FIGURE 7 Georgia Route 400 BBS location. San Diego, California Initially the pilot BBS concept was considered for I-15. Cur- rent plans are to operate a 1-year pilot project on I-805 and State Highway 52 between Kearney Mesa and University City. The California DOT (Caltrans) has assumed the lead for this project, which opened in December 2005. Caltrans led the preparation of the signage and striping plans and pro- cessing National Environmental Policy Act 1989 environ- mental clearance for the project, and the MPO and transit operator developed the bus operating plan and a training pro- gram for bus drivers. It is understood that in some places the travel lanes were restriped to provide 10-ft minimum shoul- der widths. Messages ("Freeway Shoulders for Buses Only") FIGURE 8 Washington State DOT SR-520 BBS on-ramp are posted on the back of buses. Case Study 4 provides more diamond weave markings. details on this BBS project.

OCR for page 5
14 FIGURE 9 Washington State DOT BBS interchange signage and striping. Ottawa, Ontario their discretion. The buses normally get on and off at most interchanges to make station stops and the BBS operation Ottawa operates 14 mi of bus use of shoulders on limited helps to minimize conflicts with traffic at the ramps. Figure access facilities. Only public transit buses are allowed to use 11 portrays Ottawa's station stopping concept. Additional the shoulder lanes. No special speed restrictions are defined shoulder facilities have been developed on some segments to and buses are allowed to operate up to the posted speed at accommodate disabled vehicles. Buses using shoulder lanes are allowed to operate at speeds of up to 100 kph (62 mph). Therefore, buses can operate at substantially higher speeds during periods of con- gestion than vehicles in the adjacent general purpose traffic lanes. Figure 12 describes two cross-section plans for bus use on shoulders in Ottawa. Regional Road 174 was opened for shoulder bus use in 1992 and has a 5 m (16.4 ft) width to edge of pavement. A 2% cross slope is allowed. Regional Road 417's bus use of shoulders operation is more recent. Its shoulder cross section spans 7 m (23.0 ft) and includes a 3.5 m bus shoulder, plus a 1 m shoulder and 1 m refuge edge area. The adjacent general purpose lane is 3.75 m (12.3 ft). The Ottawa experience suggests that where an emergency shoulder can be provided adjacent to the bus shoulder it is FIGURE 10 Washington State DOT SR-522 BBS pavement desirable, but not essential. Again, these shoulder cross sec- markings. tions allow for buses to operate at speeds of up to 62 mph.

OCR for page 5
15 FIGURE 11 Ottawa Bus station stopping concept. Bus volumes are relatively high (100 buses per hour) and Auckland, New Zealand this constant use of the shoulder might help to minimize sur- prises to motorists in the adjacent general purpose lane. The Auckland, New Zealand, Bus Priority Initiatives 2003 program identifies a number of shoulder use applications for its Northern Motorway, Northwest Motorway, and Toronto, Ontario Southern Motorway. These were implemented from 1997 through 2002. BBS has been implemented in several of GO Transit has implemented a bus use of shoulders project Auckland's major travel corridors, none of which are lo- for Highway-403 between Erin Mills Parkway and Mavis cated in the center city core. The longest BBS projects are Road. Buses are permitted to use the shoulder when speeds located on the north and west sides of Waitemate Harbor. drop below 38 mph, and are instructed to go no more than The Northern Motorway projects extend from just across 12 mph faster than traffic using the general traffic lanes. The Waitemate Harbor from Auckland to Takapuna and the shoulder is 12.3 ft wide in both the eastbound and westbound Northwest Motorway BBS serves the area toward Massey directions. The presentation used to train bus drivers on the West. A short section of BBS was implemented on the use of the shoulder lane is provided in Appendix C (C6). Ad- Southern Motorway. The Auckland Regional Transport ditional information on the Highway-403 BBS is provided in Authority considers its BBS projects to be one of their suc- Case Study 5. cess stories and is interested in setting up other BBS sites. Vancouver, British Columbia Northern Motorway BBS The British Columbia Northbound Route 1 approach to the Tristan Avenue to Exmouth Road a.m. peak shoulder Ironworkers Memorial Bridge (Highway 1) into Vancouver lane (pre-1996 implementation)--travel time savings has a BBS queue jumper. This application functions similar reported as "high." to a long queue jumper. Constellation Drive to Tristan Avenue a.m. peak BBS (1997)--travel time savings reported to be "high." Northcote Road Interchange a.m. peak BBS (2000)-- Dublin, Ireland travel time savings reported to be "moderate." Esconde Road Interchange a.m. peak BBS (2000)-- The Ministry of Transport and Eireann Bus operate BBS proj- travel time savings reported as "minor." ects on dual carriageways connecting Dublin to satellite Esconde Road to Onewa Road a.m. peak BBS (2000)-- towns. BBS projects include the N2, N3, N4, N6, N8, and travel time savings reported as "minor." N11. Some of the BBS projects have adjacent bicycle lanes. Greville Road to Constellation Drive BBS extended to Case Study 6 provides details. p.m. peak.

OCR for page 5
16 FIGURE 12 Typical shoulder bus lane sections in Ottawa. (Source: John Bonsall, McCormick Rankin International.) St. Marys Bay BBS extended eastward to start at Patiki Road to Rosebank Road a.m. peak BBS (2001)-- Fanshawe off-ramp (2001)--travel time savings re- travel time savings reported as "high." ported to be "moderate." Northwest Motorway BBS Southern Motorway BBS Lincoln Road to Patiki Road a.m. peak BBS segments Mt. Wellington to Ellerslis/Penrose a.m. peak BBS (1996)--travel time savings reported to be "high." (1999)--travel time savings reported to be "high."