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1 TCRP Report 183: A Guidebook on Transit-Supportive Roadway Strategies is a resource for transit and roadway agency staff seeking to improve bus speed and reliability on surface streets while also addressing nearby land uses and the needs of motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. The guidebook: â¢ Discusses why improving bus speed and reliability is important for transit, roadway, and planning agencies, as well as the community at large; â¢ Provides guidance on planning and implementing a successful project, with particular attention to the coordination and communication needs of project stakeholders; â¢ Defines and describes 34 strategies for improving bus speed and reliability, including a range of transit operation, traffic control, infrastructure, and bus lane strategies; â¢ Provides guidance on selecting an appropriate strategy to address a particular cause of a bus speed or reliability problem; and â¢ Gives case study examples of how transit and roadway agencies have successfully worked together to implement these strategies. Figure S-1 presents the structure of this guidebook. The guidebook is organized around several themes: fundamentals, laying the foundation for a successful project, selecting appropriate strategies, identifying the potential benefits of these strategies, and reference material. It is not necessary, or intended, that users read this guidebook from cover to cover. Instead, the majority of the guidebook provides information that will only be needed at specific points in the process of planning, designing, and implementing transit-supportive roadway strategies. The most important sections to read to get a good grounding on the topic are Chapters 1 through 3 and either Appendix A (for transit agency staff) or Appendix B (for transportation engineers and planners). Chapter 1: Introduction defines a transit-supportive roadway strategy as any operational practice or infrastructure element that helps buses move more quickly along a street or route with more consistent travel times. It defines four categories of strategiesâbus operations, traffic control, infrastructure, and bus lanesâand notes that many strategies provide a direct travel time or reliability benefit (or both), while some strategies help other strategies achieve their full potential. Chapter 1 also describes the process used to develop this guidebook and notes that a com- panion report, TCRP Web-Only Document 66: Improving Transportation Network Efficiency Through Implementation of Transit-Supportive Roadway Strategies (which is available by searching for âTCRP Web-Only Document 66â at www.trb.org), describes the research effort behind the creation of this guidebook. Finally, Chapter 1 notes that this guidebook avoids the use of technical jargon when possible but provides definitions when technical terms are S u m m a r y A Guidebook on Transit-Supportive Roadway Strategies
2 a Guidebook on Transit-Supportive roadway Strategies unavoidable. The chapter also introduces key resource documents that are suggested for use in conjunction with this guidebook. Chapter 2: The Need for Transit-Supportive Roadway Strategies describes why improv- ing bus speed and reliability is of interest to transit agencies, roadway agencies, planning agencies, and the community as a whole. It introduces the 34 strategies presented in this guidebook (shown in Figure S-2). The strategies are presented in order of increasing com- plexity to implement and are organized by category and in terms of required infrastructure, planning, analysis, operations, and stakeholder involvement. The chapter also defines each strategy and provides a photograph or graphic illustrating an application of the strategy. Finally, Chapter 2 presents four case studies of successful strategy implementations in the United States and internationally. Chapter 3: Ingredients for a Successful Project describes a best practice for develop- ing and implementing a transit-supportive roadway strategy (or package of strategies) and draws from the experiences of transit and roadway agencies that have successfully worked together to implement projects. While developing a project may be easier in some jurisdictions than in others, this chapter provides a pathway for making improvements regardless of the local policy environment and provides case study examples throughout that demonstrate how transit agencies have successfully applied each of the steps in the process. The chapter is organized around eight primary steps: 1. Developing agency partnerships. This is the most important step because almost all of the strategies identified in this guidebook require the participation of multiple agencies. Even when all of the participating parties are housed within the same governmental body (e.g., a city transit department, a city public works department, a city planning department), they often will have competing goals and objectives that will need to be reconciled. When agency staff understand their partnersâ needs, it leads to more successful outcomes and better working relationships on future projects. A formal interagency working group is always desirable and becomes increasingly essential as the complexity of a project increases. Chapter 1 Introducon Chapter 2 The Need for Transit-Supporve Strategies Fundamentals Chapter 3 Ingredients for a Successful Project Laying the Foundaon Chapter 4 Selecng an Appropriate Strategy Selecng the Right Tools Chapters 5â8 Strategy ToolboxQuanfying the Outcomes Appendix E Glossary Appendix A Traffic Engineering for Transit Professionals Appendix B Transit Operaons for Engineers & Planners Appendix D Model MUTCD Experimentaon Request Reference Material Appendix C Managing Bus and Bicycle Interacons Figure S-1. Guidebook organization.
Summary 3 2. Working within the policy environment. Some jurisdictions are more open to transit- supportive roadway strategies than others. This guidebook presents a range of strategies applicable to different policy environments, whether they are strongly auto-focused, very transit-supportive, or somewhere in between. Successful first projects can help improve the policy environment for future projects. 3. Problem identification and strategy development. The transit agency should ask itself what the problem is that needs to be solved, determine whether transit-supportive road- way strategies are the best approach to solving the problem, and if so, identify potential strategies to evaluate. Typical sources of problems that can be addressed by the strategies in this guidebook are traffic congestion, traffic signal delays, poorly connected street net- works, increased passenger demand, and the number and location of bus stops. Problems requiring a different approach include long-term road construction, buses breaking down while in service, inadequate bus and operator availability, insufficient time allocated in the schedule, differences in operator driving skills and route familiarity, and environmental conditions (e.g., rain, snow). 4. Working within the regulatory environment. Transportation engineers typically work with three types of documents: a. Standards, which provide no room for variation and interpretation, except that pro- vided through a formal exception process; b. Guidance, essentially a recommendation on best practice, with room for interpretation; and c. State or local practice, which is the way individual roadway agencies implement stan- dards and guidance. Transit-supportive roadway strategies are still an emerging area of traffic engineering practice and are not fully accounted for in current standards, guidance, or practices. Therefore, particularly the first time a particular strategy is used in a community, there is often a need to identify constraints and either work within them or look for opportunities to modify them. Stop relocaon Stop consolidaon Route design Fare payment changes Vehicle changes Bus movement exempons Turn restricons Yield to bus Adjust signal ming Phase reservice Traffic signal shadowing Transit signal priority Transit signal faces Bus-only signal phase Queue jumps Pre- signals Traffic signal for buses Traffic control enforcement Speed hump modificaons Bus stop lengthening Bus shoulder use Red-colored pavement Curb extensions Boarding islands Bus-only links Curbside bus lanes Shared bus- bike lanes Interior bus lanes Bus shoulder use LeÂ-side bus lanes Queue bypasses Median bus lanes Reversible bus lanes BUS OPERATIONS STRATEGIES TRAFFIC CONTROL STRATEGIES INFRA- STUCTURE STRATEGIES BUS LANE STRATEGIES INCREASING COMPLEXITY TO IMPLEMENT IN CR EA SI N G RO AD W AY A G EN CY C O O RD IN AT IO N Contraflow bus lanes Figure S-2. Transit-supportive roadway strategies presented in this guidebook.
4 a Guidebook on Transit-Supportive roadway Strategies 5. Engaging project stakeholders. No matter the size of the project, there will likely be a need for the transit agency to engage stakeholders beyond just the roadway agency. For a bus stop relocation, this may simply involve the adjacent property owner(s). For a large corridor project (e.g., a bus rapid transit route incorporating bus lanes and other strategies), an extensive stakeholder engagement effort will likely be needed. Potential stakeholders include a range of public agencies, community organizations, institutions, individuals, business and property owners, and nonprofit organizations. 6. Implementing the project. It is a good idea to establish memoranda of understanding or interagency agreements that specify the role of each partner agency in planning, funding, designing, constructing, operating, or maintaining the project. In addition, a common theme from the transit and roadway agency interviews conducted during the development of this guidebook was to not underestimate the time required to take a project from the planning stage to opening day. It is suggested to establish adequate milestones with expected outcomes and to build contingencies into the schedule to address challenges that arise during the course of the project. 7. Quantifying the results. An often-overlooked step is to quantify the projectâs outcomes, but this step is important for identifying improvements in the way the strategy is applied, to build support for implementing the strategy again in the future, and to improve the transit industryâs knowledge of the benefits of particular strategies. 8. Building on success. Once the project is complete, it is important to consider other opportunities to build on the projectâs success. The interviews conducted for this guide- book indicated that although roadway agencies may initially be hesitant to pursue transit- supportive roadway strategies due to concerns about automobile operations, they often become more open to implementing more strategies when they have a positive first experience with a strategy. Chapter 4: Selecting an Appropriate Strategy describes potential methods for selecting and evaluating strategies, provides guidance on specific strategies that can address particular bus operations problems, and provides a summary table that highlights the key applications, benefits, costs, and constraints of the strategies presented in this guidebook. In particular, the traditional approach of using warrants based on minimum bus volumes to justify the implementation of transit-supportive roadway strategies is contrasted with the current evo- lution of traffic engineering practice toward more flexible approaches to solving problems by considering a variety of factors and stakeholder needs. Chapters 5 through 8, the strategy toolbox chapters, make up the majority of this guide- book and provide detailed descriptions of each of the strategies addressed. The information provided for each strategy includes definition, purpose, potential applications, other strate- gies that can be implemented in combination with the strategy, potential constraints that could prevent the strategy from being applied, potential benefits for the transit agency and other project stakeholders, cost considerations, implementation examples, implementation guidance, and references to other relevant documents. Illustrations and photographs are provided when relevant. Five appendices provide supplemental information: â¢ Appendix A: Understanding Traffic Engineering Practice (for Transit Professionals) is designed to provide transit professionals a description of the traffic engineering profession as it relates to implementing transit-supportive roadway strategies. It covers the use of traffic engineering standards, describes reference documents and analysis tools commonly applied by traffic engineers, and provides a primer on how traffic signals operate and how transit operations can be integrated into traffic signal operation.
Summary 5 â¢ Appendix B: Understanding Transit Operations (for Transportation Engineers and Planners) is designed to provide transportation engineers and planners a description of transit operations, how transit-supportive roadway strategies can help improve transit operations, and why improving operations is an important goal of transit agencies. It contrasts the service-oriented nature of transit operations to the facility-oriented nature of roadways, presents basic bus scheduling concepts that illustrate the direct relationship between bus speeds and a routeâs operating costs, and describes transit-specific performance measures and reference documents. â¢ Appendix C: Managing Bus and Bicycle Interactions provides guidance on potential solutions for accommodating both bicycles and buses on streets and at bus stops. Even though bicycle facilities are not necessarily transit-supportive roadway strategies, not considering bicyclist needs may result in a strategy that cannot be implemented. â¢ Appendix D: Request to Experiment Template provides a model Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) experimentation request for using red-colored pavement on bus-only lanes and links. The model is for use until such time that this strategy is incor- porated into the MUTCD or is addressed by an Interim Approval issued by the Federal Highway Administration. â¢ Appendix E: Glossary provides definitions of transit and traffic engineering terms used in this guidebook.