National Academies Press: OpenBook

Fast-Tracked: A Tactical Transit Study (2019)

Chapter: Access + Safety: Projects

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Page 31
Suggested Citation:"Access + Safety: Projects." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Fast-Tracked: A Tactical Transit Study. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25571.
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Page 32
Suggested Citation:"Access + Safety: Projects." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Fast-Tracked: A Tactical Transit Study. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25571.
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Page 32
Page 33
Suggested Citation:"Access + Safety: Projects." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Fast-Tracked: A Tactical Transit Study. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25571.
×
Page 33
Page 34
Suggested Citation:"Access + Safety: Projects." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Fast-Tracked: A Tactical Transit Study. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25571.
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Page 34

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31 ACCESS + SAFETY: PROJECTS The projects in this category feature elements such as modular boarding platforms, bike lanes, pedestrian infrastructure, road diets, parklets and other public space enhancements, and wayfinding. 5L FULTON LIMITED PILOT: San Francisco, CA Starting in 2013, SFMTA implemented a multipart pilot project along the Fulton Street corridor. The recommendations for this project were derived from a previously conducted planning process called TEP. A variety of physical and operational changes were made along the more than 5-mile Fulton Street corridor to improve transit speed and reliability and safety for all roadway users, as follows: • Introduction of limited stop service (5L Fulton Limited), • Bus stop consolidation (total of 18 stops removed), • Bus zone optimization (stop relocation and lengthening), • A road diet from four lanes to three on an approx. .5-mile segment, • Parking reconfiguration at several intersections, and • Signage where necessary to alert riders of the changes. Outcome(s): 40% reduction in collisions, 17% increase in ridership BANCROFT WEST PILOT PROJECT: Berkeley, CA In 2018, as a part of a series of pilot projects in Berkeley’s Southside neighborhood, the City of Berkeley implemented a .25-mile long, 24-hour dedicated bus lane on Bancroft Way in the westbound curbside lane. In addition to the bus lane (11 feet 6 inches wide), the project included a two-way protected bike lane in the other curbside lane, leaving two travel lanes available for westbound traffic. The conceptual designs for the permanent iteration of the transit lane were to commence in 2019. Outcome(s): Final data is still being compiled, but compliance with the dedicated lane has been strong. BROADWAY BUS LANE: Everett, MA Following the release of the Everett Transit Action Plan in November 2016, the city wanted to test the most obvious strategy for improving bus transit service that had come out of the planning process: peak-hour bus lanes. A month later, the city used cones to implement a test bus lane 1 mile long and 12 feet wide in the southbound curbside parking lane on Broadway from 4 to 9 a.m. each day. Because the test was so successful, the city continued it until the lane was made permanent about 9 months later. Just prior to the bus lane being made permanent, the city decided to test additional improvements to the corridor. In June 2017, two modular bus 5L FULTON LIMITED PILOT BANCROFT WEST PILOT PROJECT BROADWAY BUS LANE GO AVE 26 HANDS ON EXCHANGE KING STREET TRANSIT PILOT LOS ANGELES BUS BOARDING PLATFORMS MT. AUBURN STREET BUS LANES NOLENSVILLE CROSSING TREATMENT NYC BUS BOARDING PLATFORMS OAKLAND BUS BOARDING PLATFORMS SOLANO AVENUE BUS PARKLET STREETS FOR PEOPLE 13 projects 12 cities

32 boarding platforms were installed along test route as well as TSP. The boarding platforms were installed on top of the sidewalk to ease getting on and off the bus by eliminating the gap between the height of the sidewalk and the height of the bus. Outcome(s): Over 80% of riders responded positively to the platforms, and it was observed that overall ridership in Everett after the platforms were installed increased 5%. GO AVE 26: Los Angeles, CA In the fall of 2016, Los Angeles-based urban design nonprofit LA Más received a grant from the foundation TransitCenter to address first- and last-mile transit connections on a .25-mile segment of Avenue 26, a corridor in Northeast Los Angeles with a Metro Gold Line station and several bus lines. What they came up with was a multipart pilot project that included wayfinding signage, sidewalk wayfinding, and art, murals, pole wraps, public space enhancements, and fence art all to make the journey to transit safer, clearer, and more enjoyable for those accessing it on the corridor. Outcome(s): 23% of post-implementation survey respondents said they used the Metro and other transit along the corridor more since the project’s installation, and 19% reported walking to transit more frequently. HANDS ON EXCHANGE: Akron, OH In August 2018, design firm The Street Plans Collaborative (Street Plans) installed a .75-mile-long two-way protected bike lane on Exchange Street in Akron, OH, in the curbside travel lane. The project was funded by a grant award from the Knight Foundation with partners the University of Akron Foundation and the City of Akron. This project included specific treatments and improvements to the four bus stops within the project segment to ease boarding. ADA ramps and pedestrian crossings across the bike lane were installed so that buses could also stop in the travel lanes. The project was removed after 2 months. Outcome(s): Significant public pushback about the bike lane, but public satisfaction with the bus stop treatments KING STREET TRANSIT PILOT: Toronto, CAN After years of observing that the streetcar service on King Street was slow and unreliable, the City of Toronto initiated the King Street Pilot Study to develop new concepts for testing strategies to improve the streetcar’s speed and reliability. In November 2017, the project team implemented a 1.6-mile multipart pilot project on King Street that included the following elements: “We basically just did this. We didn’t treat it like a giant capital project.” Senior Transportation Engineer, City of Los Angeles Solano Avenue Bus Parklet Utica Avenue, Brooklyn ZICLA STEPHEN NEWHOUSE

33 • Restriction of motor vehicle access along the corridor, prohibiting through movements and left turns, and allowing only right turns onto King Street for curbside access; • Designation of curbside lanes in both directions solely for transit stops, taxi stands, accessible loading, pickup/drop-off/delivery, and public space installations; • Relocation of streetcar stops (18 stops) beyond traffic lights to facilitate right turns and allow for more direct boarding; • Signal timing adjustments; and • Installation of art and street furniture where curb space was not being used for motor vehicle or transit access. In April 2019, the City of Toronto City Council voted to make the project permanent. Outcome(s): Cycling volumes increased 440% during the afternoon commute, all- day, weekday streetcar ridership increased approximately 16%, and 45 public space amenities were installed. LOS ANGELES BUS BOARDING PLATFORMS: Los Angeles, CA Out of curiosity, and in sync with its Vision Zero initiative at the time, the city decided to test a modular bus boarding platform from a Spanish manufacturer that it had heard about. In October 2017, the first platform was installed at a stop with a buffered bike lane to see whether boarding could be made safer for both riders and bicyclists. A second platform was installed almost a year later. Since the second platform, two more have been installed as a part of citywide initiatives or pilot projects. Outcome(s): No formal data was collected, but the city continues to use the platforms to address a variety of potential mobility conflicts/challenges. MT. AUBURN STREET BUS LANES: Cambridge/Watertown, MA Capitalizing on the momentum from multiple local entities to address delay and unreliability on Mt. Auburn Street in Cambridge, the city formed a team to test some solutions it had been studying. Starting in October 2018, Cambridge and Watertown implemented an eastbound, red-painted shared bus–bike lane on Mt. Auburn Street (.65 mile), and an eastbound segment on Belmont Street where it intersects Mt. Auburn Street (.25 mile). The segments varied in width from 11 to 13 feet, and mostly occupied the existing travel lanes. In addition to the bus lanes, the project implemented the following measures: • Westbound, .5-mile conventional bike lane on Mt. Auburn Street/Belmont Street; • Queue jump lanes on Mt. Auburn Street at Walnut Street and School Street, two intersections within a mile west of the start of the bus lane; • Signage where necessary to alert riders of the changes; • TSP and signal timing adjustments at multiple intersections along Mt. Auburn Street; • Painted curb extensions where the bike lane was implemented to reduce roadway width and pedestrian crossing distances. Outcome(s): The bus lane and bike lane received positive feedback from bicyclists, and as of a few months after its installation, no complaints were received regarding any bus-bike conflicts. NOLENSVILLE CROSSING TREATMENT: Nashville, TN After seven pedestrian deaths in 7 years at a bus stop on the Nolensville Pike, nonprofit Walk Bike Nashville, the Tennessee DOT, and Metro Nashville teamed up to implement a near-term interim crossing solution. Within 3 months of the most recent fatality, in November 2017, the crossing was restriped and a median refuge and flashing pedestrian beacons were installed. Outcome(s): It has been observed that drivers are proceeding more cautiously by the bus stop, and there have been zero pedestrian fatalities since its installation. NYC BUS BOARDING PLATFORMS: New York, NY The New York City DOT had not explored the use of interim bus bulbs and realized that it would be the first to test the new modular boarding platforms coming from a Spanish manufacturer. In July 2016, the city department installed the first platform on Utica Avenue, a corridor that would be receiving a new Select Bus Service route. The platform received positive feedback from riders and community members, and it was deinstalled and relocated to Harlem at another location. Since the use of Go Ave 26 JON ENDOW, COURTESY OF LA MÁS

34 the first platform, the city installed three more platforms in 2018 and committed to spending $3 million on the platforms over the next 3 years for more installations. Outcome(s): Survey feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and the platforms have proven useful at both easing and expediting boarding at certain locations. OAKLAND BUS BOARDING PLATFORMS: Oakland, CA As a part of the Telegraph Avenue Complete Streets project—a series of pilot projects and transformations to Telegraph Avenue guided by the Telegraph Avenue Complete Streets Plan—the city installed four modular bus boarding platforms in 2018. The platforms were intended to serve as an interim solution while permanent floating boarding islands for the street were being designed, and were customized to allow for the safe pedestrian crossing of the curbside bike lane to board the bus. Outcome(s): Data is still being compiled for the bus platforms, but a progress report of the entire Complete Streets Program showed a 9% increase in sales, and 52% of bicyclists surveyed said they increased their frequency of riding on the corridor because of the bike lane. SOLANO AVENUE BUS PARKLET: Albany, CA What started with an application for a Safe Routes to Transit grant and a request from business owners to replace an existing bus stop with a parklet turned into a successful precedent for bus parklet design guidelines regionwide. In February 2018, the City of Albany, CA, and Alameda–Contra Costa Transit (AC Transit) installed a parklet at a bus stop on Solano Avenue. Now, AC Transit’s Bus Parklet Design Manual (http://www.actransit.org/wp-content/uploads/Bus-Parklet-Study- Manual-FINAL-12.26.18.pdf) will guide the design and installation of more bus parklets throughout the transit network. Outcome(s): The parklet was immediately well received by both transit riders and operators, and sparked the production of a manual to scale up the installation of bus parklets at other locations. STREETS FOR PEOPLE PILOT PROJECT: Miami, FL In September 2017, Miami’s Downtown Development Authority initiated a multipart pilot project on Southeast/Southwest 1st Street in downtown to test a Complete Streets configuration. Along an approximately .63-mile-long segment, the project team implemented a 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., red-painted dedicated bus lane (11 feet wide) and a green-backed buffered bike lane. The project also included the installation of leading pedestrian intervals at two intersections within the project segment, other signal timing adjustments along the route, and new signage for the bus lane. Outcome(s): Peak-hour bicycle volumes increased 40% when compared to data collection from two years prior, and collisions have reduced 65%. Hands on Exchange Broadway Bus Lane TIM FITZWATER AD HOC INDUSTRIES

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As transit agencies, local governments, and citizens look for ways to improve existing, and start new, transit service, many of them are turning to the Quick-Build (Tactical Urbanism) methodology. This approach uses inexpensive, temporary materials and short-term tactics as a way of implementing projects in the short-term, while longer-term planning takes place.

The TRB Transit Cooperative Research Program's TCRP Research Report 207: Fast-Tracked: A Tactical Transit Study documents the current state of the practice with regard to what are called Tactical Transit projects, specifically for surface transit (bus and streetcar). These are both physical and operational strategies that improve the delivery of surface transit projects using this methodology. Tactical Transit projects, operational and physical Quick-Build projects that uniquely focus on transit, have evolved as a way for municipal governments to improve the way they respond to rider needs and increased demand for service.

The report highlights Tactical Transit projects happening in cities across North America and how transit agencies and other entities are using innovative methods to improve transit speed, access, and ridership at a fraction of both the cost and time of conventional projects.

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