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45 PROJECT SUMMARIES The content of this section reflects the topics discussed in the interview protocol and is supplemented by additional investigation performed by the research team, such as reading evaluation reports and other documents sent by the project teams (e.g., presentations and striping plans), reading press releases, perusing project social media and web pages, and other online investigation. The summaries are meant to tell the story of each project while highlighting the more critical pieces of information. They do not provide every detail of each project but rather are based on the conversations the research and project teams had, so as to provide insight into some elements of the projects that are not readily available online or in publicly available reports produced by the project teams. The project summaries are organized alphabetically and correspond to the list of projects in Figure 1. The category the project represents (i.e., Speed + Reliability, Access + Safety, Rider Experience) is indicated by the icon associated with the category (see page 18). As noted earlier, a few projects that had multiple elements or tested various types of infrastructure are included in more than one category. The five projects designated as Superlatives are also identified by the icon introduced in Figure 1. These projects and the reasons the research team deemed them noteworthy are summarized at the right. KING STREET TRANSIT PILOT: This project set out to tackle a lot of elements regarding both the operation and experience of transit, and it produced positive outcomes in respect to almost all of its metrics of success. MAIN STREET BUS LANE: This project was initiated by the advocacy group Better Bus Coalition and became a reality about 2 months after it was approved by the city council. More permanent striping went down within just a few months after its installation. SOLANO AVENUE BUS PARKLET: This project started out as a response to the wishes of a community for a better bus stop and sparked AC Transit to produce a set of design guidelines for the infrastructureâs implementation all over the city. BROADWAY BUS LANE: This project initially began as a week-long test but lasted up to 9 months until the city built the permanent lane. Within that time, Everett continued piloting other elements of bus rapid transit (BRT) service. MASSACHUSETTS AVENUE BUS LANE: This month-long project using cones in Arlington, MA, produced positive results of the highest magnitude among all the projects, namely, 50% savings in transit travel time and 40% improvement in reliability. COMPLEXITY ADVOCACY INITIATION LONG-TERM OUTCOME ITERATION POSITIVE OUTCOME
46 PROJECT TEAM: San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) PROJECT LOCATION: Fulton Street between 6th Avenue and the Temporary Transbay Terminal, San Francisco, CA PROJECT INSTALLATION: October 2013 PROJECT DURATION: Ongoing, iterative improvements underway MATERIALS: Thermoplastic, traffic paint DID IT WORK? SFMTA continues to make incremental improvements to the Fulton corridor through its Muni Forward Implementation Plan. 5L FULTON LIMITED PILOT (1) PROJECT IMPETUSSFMTA conducted a planning process with extensive community input from 2006 to 2008 called the Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP). TEP was the first comprehensive evaluation of the entire transit system in several decades. Following market research, a service assessment, and an operations review, the TEP recommended comprehensive route updates, reliability initiatives, and travel time improvements. The TEP had a service policy framework to guide investments, including travel time reduction measures along the systemâs corridors with the highest ridership, known as the âRapid Network.â The Fulton corridor is part of the Rapid Network, carrying approximately 23,000 riders a day, and SFMTA proposed a pilot project in 2013 to test numerous TEP recommendations, including bus stop consolidation and introduction of a new limited-stop service. In addition to improving the transit customer experience, the pilot project included street design changes to improve safety for all road users. (2) WHY THE QUICK-BUILD METHODOLOGY The 5L Fulton route was one that SFMTA saw being improved through relatively quick, low-cost interventions with limited trade-offs. The pilot approach was chosen because staff believed significant customer benefits could be realized without waiting for more capital-intensive elements to undergo design and construction. The pilot approach also allowed for low- cost treatments (such as bus stop consolidation) to be applied along an entire route and the resulting benefits and impacts to be analyzed prior to investment in permanent infrastructure such as bus bulbs and traffic signals. Furthermore, the pilot enabled SFMTA to test solutions on this route that were being considered for application throughout the Rapid Network. (3) PROJECT TIMELINE: 6 months The project team had the TEP work as a foundation, and they were guided by the recommendations that came of it. The agency also had the full support of the director to start implementing interim solutions. (4) PROJECT TEAM + ROLES â¢ SFMTA â¢ Transit Engineering â¢ Transit Service Planning â¢ Transit Service Scheduling A multipart pilot project including limited-stop service, stop consolidation and relocation, a road diet, bus zone optimization, parking reconfiguration, and signage. â¢ Transit Street Operations â¢ Training and Communications â¢ Paint, Sign, and Meter shops
47 SFMTA SFMTA 2013 2016 SFMTA both operates the transit system and manages the surface transportation in the city, so the pilot project primarily required collaboration between teams within the agency, including Transit Engineering, Transit Service Planning, Transit Service Scheduling (created the schedule for the new 5L service and modified the schedule for the 5 local service), Transit Street Operations, Training and Communications (trained operators on the new 5L service and on stop changes for the 5 local service). Transit engineers and transit service planners jointly developed the designs for bus stop, roadway striping, and parking modifications (eight consecutive blocks of road dieting and addition of perpendicular parking on two blocks), which were ultimately implemented by SFMTAâs Paint, Sign and Meter crews. Transit Service Planning worked with the Training and Communications team to ensure the public was notified prior to implementation via e-mail, website, press releases, notices at bus stops, and on-street ambassadors. (5) PROJECT ELEMENTS + DESIGN PROCESS â¢ Introduction of limited stop service â¢ Bus stop consolidation â¢ Bus zone optimization â¢ Road diet (segment) â¢ Parking reconfiguration (segment) â¢ Signage The pilot project introduced a new 5L Fulton Limited route during weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The route made local stops at the outer ends of the corridor but only limited stops at major transfer points along the most crowded segment (almost 3 miles). The 5 Fulton traverses almost the entire city, with 48 stops and more than 50 minutes of travel time in each direction. During the hours of 5L Fulton Limited service, the 5 Fulton local route was truncated to provide additional service to all local stops in the most crowded segment of the corridor. The combination of these changes added about 20% in service hours. In addition to the new service pattern, the pilot consolidated bus stops along the entire corridor. A total of 18 of nearly 100 bus stops along the route were removed, which readjusted the average stop spacing from about 700 feet to 900 feet. Bus stops were chosen for removal on the basis of ridership, neighboring land uses, and presence of intersection controls (e.g., stops at controlled intersections were generally prioritized over those at uncontrolled intersections to improve pedestrian safety). The project also included numerous changes in street design to improve transit performance and safety. For example, bus zones were lengthened throughout the corridor to allow buses to pull fully parallel to the curb and ease boarding/alighting and accessibility, which also improved the ability of limited-stop buses to pass local buses at local-only stops. A few bus stops were relocated from the near side to the far side of intersections to reduce traffic signal delays.
48 A road diet was also implemented along a portion of Fulton Street between Stanyan Street and Central Avenue (four lanes were reduced to three) to improve pedestrian safety and address a pattern of transit sideswipe collisions that had resulted from operation in 9-foot-wide travel lanes. At a few intersections, parking was restricted to create right-turn pockets to minimize delays for buses waiting behind turning vehicles. Parking was also restricted on a narrow block with frequent commercial loading to provide buses more space to maneuver. The project manager referred to all of these physical changes as the ânuts and bolts of transit engineeringâârelatively low-cost changes that would make a significant impact when applied consistently throughout a corridor. (6) MATERIALS + IMPLEMENTATION â¢ Thermoplastic pavement markings/striping â¢ Traffic paint for curbing Pavement markings and signage indicated bus stop changes and changes to travel lanes and on-street parking. The road diet involved grinding out existing striping and replacing it with new striping, which was implemented by SFMTAâs paint shop. This project element required the most lead time and was implemented over a period of several weeks prior to the launch of the pilot. In addition to the restriping, numerous changes in parking configuration were made. Bus stop removals and relocations were done a few days prior to the launch of the pilot, and customer alerts were posted at all affected stops for a few weeks prior. The removals involved grinding out pavement markings, covering red curb paint with gray, and removing bus stop signs. The relocations required posting of no parking tow-away signs several days in advance to clear parked vehicles, followed by installation of new pavement markings and bus stop signs and by painting new red curb over the gray paint. A few stops that were removed had transit shelters, which SFMTA was not able to remove immediately due to the need to coordinate with the contractor who owns and maintains the shelters. The last step was the lengthening of the bus zones. Some of this work was completed after the pilot was launched, as it was less critical. These relatively low-cost interventions were permanent solutions but could easily be modified or reversed. This approach allowed SFMTA to evaluate the changes prior to funding more capital-intensive treatments, including bus bulbs and new traffic signals. (7) PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT The TEP effort, which included hundreds of community meetingsâsome just focused on the 5 Fulton corridorâhad also recently ended. The project team felt that the pilot was something the community would have seen coming, and so the public outreach process prior to implementation of the pilot was more informative than collaborative. SFMTA conducted two meetings, distributed plenty of flyers, and posted signs well in advance of launching the pilot. For several days before and after the pilot launch, the team posted customer service ambassadors throughout the corridor to inform customers of the upcoming stop and service changes. The digital âNext Busâ arrival displays at all shelters were also programmed to inform customers of the pending stop changes. During implementation of the pilot, there were staff ambassadors in the field answering questions and handing out flyers. Any concerns the team received were about ridersâ stops being removed. (8) PUBLIC FEEDBACK + OUTCOMES Customer feedback was generally positive, which may have created more public buy-in for additional improvements proposed by SFMTA following the pilot. SFMTA tracked public feedback received via Twitter, e-mail, and phone. It also kept a log of feedback received during the public meetings prior to implementation. Ridership along the corridor increased by 17% on weekdays, when both the 5L Fulton Limited and 5 Fulton local were in service and decreased by 5% on weekends when just the 5 Fulton local operated. These changes indicated that the introduction of the limited stop service (coupled with SFMTA 2013
49 SFMTA 2013: Road diet implementation other pilot project improvements) had a substantial impact on ridership. Transit collisions were reduced by almost 40% on the segment where the road diet was implemented, although the total number of transit collisions along the entire corridor increased slightly, likely owing to the substantial increase in transit service. For the entire route in both directions, transit travel times were reduced by an average of 9% when the previous 5 Fulton local service was compared with the new 5L Fulton Limited service. The travel time savings were most pronounced in the segment of the corridor where the 5L Fulton Limited made limited stops (12% savings) but were also noticeable on the outer portion of the route where the service continued to make local stops with slightly increased stop spacing (6% savings). (9) QUICK-BUILD LESSONS + ADVANTAGES The pilot process informed SFMTAâs approach to similar projects on other corridors, in that it made the agency more confident that it could apply similar interventions elsewhere; the pilot process also allowed planners to evaluate the public response to bus stop changes prior to implementation of permanent infrastructure such as bus bulbs. The project team also thinks it helped refine their messaging for future bus improvement projects, where justification for certain changes may need to be communicated. (10) CHALLENGES Prior to implementation, the primary community concerns included the removal of on- street parking associated with relocated and extended bus zones and the increased walking distance for customers that was associated with bus stop consolidation. Shortly after the initial implementation, SFMTA, in response to public feedback, reinstated two bus stops that had been removed. (11) FUNDING The pilot was entirely funded using the agencyâs operating budget. (12) WHATâS NEXT? Two years after the pilot was implemented, the city completed a multimillion dollar capital project that added bus bulbs at approximately 10 intersections and traffic signals at three intersections along the 5 Fulton corridor. These changes were partially informed by the bus stop optimization changes made as part of the pilot project. The 5L Fulton Limited has become a permanent route, renamed the 5R Fulton Rapid, and SFMTA has continued to make improvements to this and other Rapid Network corridors throughout the city. The interviewee said that they use the Quick-Build methodology for bicycle and pedestrian projects and that it is harder to isolate elements of transit improvements that can be tested. The benefit of applying this mind-set to the Fulton corridor was that it set the stage for what can be done to tackle the rest of the priority projects. It was about getting comfortable with some other solutions and learning the variety of conditions within which those solutions would apply.
50 BANCROFT WEST PILOT PROJECT PROJECT TEAM: AlamedaâContra Costa Transit (AC Transit), City of Berkeley Planning Department, Bike East Bay, Telegraph BID PROJECT LOCATION: Bancroft Way between Dana and Fulton Streets, Berkeley, CA (three blocks) PROJECT INSTALLATION: January 2018 PROJECT DURATION: Planned 6 months, will remain until next iteration MATERIALS: Epoxy-modified acrylic asphalt paint, thermoplastic DID IT WORK? Conceptual design of the permanent lane will begin in 2019. A 24-hour, red-painted dedicated bus lane including signage, and a 2-way protected bike lane. (1) PROJECT IMPETUS The Bancroft West Pilot Project addressed the portion of Bancroft Way that is one of three corridor segments included in the cityâs Southside Pilot Projects, a series of low-cost transportation improvements to be implemented over 3 years. The Bancroft West project also included a two-way protected bike lane on one side of the street and multiple pedestrian improvements, such as new crosswalks. AC Transit had recently consolidated bus service on Bancroft Way in the Southside neighborhood of Berkeley because of service delays. When the city proposed a repaving of Bancroft Way, AC Transit proposed using this work as an opportunity to try a dedicated bus lane to further improve transit service on the corridor and simultaneously support the cityâs Complete Streets goals. (2) WHY THE QUICK-BUILD METHODOLOGY The pilot transit lane on Bancroft West would inform the application of similar treatments to the other two segments of the Southside Pilot Projects (Bancroft East and Telegraph Avenue). This was also the first time the city was installing such infrastructure and the first of its kind in the East Bay, so it did not want the changes to be permanent from the outset. Finally, the city was looking for low-cost projects that could be implemented quickly to support its Berkeley Strategic Transportation Plan (13 years in the making). The city does have funding to make the Southside Pilot Projects permanent but wants to test the infrastructure before doing so. The Bancroft West project was messaged as âthe Bancroft bike lane and pilot transit lane.â (3) PROJECT TIMELINE: 2 years + The 24-hour transit lane conceptual design was approved in September 2016 by the Transportation Commission, and the city intended to install it in October 2017. Some complexities in the design delayed implementation a bit, and the city also wanted to wait to time the implementation with the repaving. (4) PROJECT TEAM + ROLES â¢ AC Transit â¢ City of Berkeley â¢ Transportation Division (within Dept. of Public Works) â¢ Traffic Engineering â¢ Consultant and contractors â¢ Bike East Bay and Telegraph BID The cityâs Transportation Division managed the design process and reviewed and commented on the detailed striping plans produced by a consultant. The city was responsible for overseeing the implementation and put out a call to bid for the repaving and striping/pavement markings.
51 (5) PROJECT ELEMENTS + DESIGN PROCESS â¢ 24-hour dedicated bus lane â¢ 2-way protected bike lane â¢ Signage The design process was originally supposed to last 4 months but took 6 because of complex curbside uses on the north side of the street (loading/unloading zones and motorcycle parking). For example, during the design process, the team realized it would have to move motorcycle parking that was currently occupying the curbside lane. To reconcile this, it moved the motorcycle parking to a pocket of available asphalt that was between the curb and the point where the red paint started just east of Dana Street. For the loading/unloading zone, the team consolidated a few loading zones on the south side of the street, hoping to make up for the removal of the zones that were in the bus lane. However, it is still grappling with this issue, as some people now have to cross the street to deliver to and pick up from the north side of the street. (6) MATERIALS + IMPLEMENTATION â¢ Epoxy-modified acrylic asphalt paint â¢ Thermoplastic pavement markings and striping The city did not want the red paint to be too permanent, so it used an epoxy-modified acrylic asphalt paint. The city hopes this material will last 3â4 years, until the lane is made more permanent with MMA. The striping and pavement markings were executed by the contractor who did the curbside lane repaving, work that was awarded through a bid process. The signage plan was produced by the city and was added to the repaving contract as a change order. (7) PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT Bike East Bay assisted AC Transit in data collection and was involved in the public outreach from the beginning. The organization also reviewed the designs of the bike and bus lanes with AC Transit along the way. The Telegraph Business Improvement District also worked with Bike East Bay to shape the outreach plans for the Bancroft West project. (8) PUBLIC FEEDBACK + OUTCOMES Both AC Transit and the city say that the feedback has been mostly positive feedback thus far, and they attribute this to the pilot messaging component. The city says it has observed good compliance with the transit changes, most likely because of the long blocks (motorists are not preparing to make right turns as frequently). There has been difficulty with the color, as operators and motorists are claiming that the terracotta used FEHR & PEERS FEHR & PEERS
52 is not visible enough at night. Trucks and rideshare vehicles are still pulling over into the bus lane occasionally to load and unload, so the city has asked parking enforcement to ramp up the monitoring of the bus lane. The city and Bike East Bay are confident that the changes implemented are working so far. However, data on speed and reliability metrics are still to be compiled. (9) QUICK-BUILD LESSONS + ADVANTAGES The AC Transit interviewee said that she thinks the pilot has been successful enough to set the tone for future transit improvements. Additionally, the bus and bike lanes on Bancroft Way have been a powerful combination that has led the way and informed the rest of the Southside Pilot Projects and similar improvements across the city. (10) CHALLENGES The Bike East Bay interviewee stated that because the project was implemented essentially as a repaving project, its permits were only for striping and signage. If signal adjustments had also been a part of the pilot, improvements to the transit service may have made a greater impact. The loading/unloading zone access is something the team is still looking at. (11) FUNDING AC Transit and the city partnered on a federal grant for $6 million for the permanent versions of the pilot projects. For Bancroft West, the city tapped into its Measure M program, a measure adopted in 2012 that authorized the city to invest $30 million in street repaving and rehabilitation and green infrastructure. This pot of money paid for the repaving of the curbside lane. The city used funds from a settlement with the University of California, Berkeley to supplement the funding for the project. In total, it cost $1.2 million, most of which went to the repaving. The design and striping plans cost $53,000, and the implementation of both the bike and the bus lanes cost approximately $262,000. (12) WHATâS NEXT? The conceptual design for the permanent iteration of the transit lane is commencing in 2019. The city said it would like the permanent lane to be at least a half foot wider and that it would like to better address some of the curb usage conflicts in the engineering design. The city would also like to extend the bus lane to College Street, which would lengthen it about one block. FEHR & PEERS FEHR & PEERS
53 BROADWAY BUS LANE PROJECT TEAM: City of Everett Dept. of Planning & Development, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority PROJECT LOCATION: Broadway between Glendale Square and Sweetser Circle, Everett, MA PROJECT INSTALLATION: December 2016 PROJECT DURATION: Planned 1 week; remained until made permanent (9 months) MATERIALS: Cones DID IT WORK? It worked so well, itâs already permanent! An AM peak-hour, shared bus-bike lane that started out just with cones, and has since been made permanent with the addition of bus boarding platforms and Transit Signal Priority. (1) PROJECT IMPETUS At the request of the mayor of the City of Everett, the Massachusetts DOT developed the Everett Transit Action Plan, published in November 2016. This report put forward how people are moving about Everett and how travel patterns might change in the future. At the end of the process, the most obvious strategy for improving bus service in Everett and better connecting Everett to Boston was peak-hour bus lanes. At the time the report was published, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) was also pushing for more efficiency in the bus network and for cities to try out BRT elements as a tool for improving service. In the fall of 2016, shortly after the report was published, the transportation planner and project manager for the City of Everett (interviewee) was looking at how the city could implement a southbound peak-hour bus lane on Broadway and wanted to know if it could reduce travel times enough to add an extra trip and increase frequency. Because MBTA recycles the schedules every 6 months, the agency would have to receive the results of any test by the end of 2016 in order to factor it into the spring 2017 schedule. This meant that the city needed to act fast, and it chose to implement a week-long test on Broadway between Glendale Square and Sweetser Circle. (2) WHY THE QUICK-BUILD METHODOLOGY The choice of the Quick-Build methodology was mostly because of the time constraint. The city was considering this in October 2016, and MBTA needed data by December. There was little to no time for a more robust test. It was also important to show delivery following the Transit Action Plan and demonstrate that the city really did want to âget out there and do stuff.â (3) PROJECT TIMELINE: 1.5 months (4) PROJECT TEAM + ROLES â¢ City of Everett â¢ Department of Planning and Development â¢ Department of Public Works â¢ MBTA The Department of Planning and Development still had to collaborate with other departments, but that was easier because the department had a direct mandate from the mayor to get it done. All of the departments were aware of the mandate and were on the same page about quick implementation. Public Works staff worked overtime to install the cones in the curbside parking lane each day from 4 to 9 a.m., and one to two parking enforcement officers patrolled the 1-mile test lane every day. The city did not need to get sign-off from MBTA, because the city governs the roads, but MBTA was cooperative and enthusiastic from the beginning and helped ITERATION
54 CITY OF EVERETT the city come up with an effective test. MBTA told the city that the buses needed a minimum of 11 feet and advised it to make sure that the corridor selected for the test would allow for a lane that size. (5) PROJECT ELEMENTS + DESIGN PROCESS â¢ AM peak-hour shared bus-bike lane â¢ Signage â¢ Modular bus boarding platforms (2017 iteration) â¢ TSP (2017 iteration) A formal design process for the test was not needed, as the projectâs primary component was the installation of cones. However, much that informed the design of the permanent lane was learned from the test, specifically, about the inclusion of a bike lane. At the time of the test, the corridor was not heavily used by bikes. The interviewee said that in years past, neither MBTA nor the bicycling community had been very supportive of combining buses and bikes in the same lane. However, bicyclists almost immediately started using the lane during the 4-week pilot, so the city added signage that welcomed bikes to use it both in off-peak hours and during the pilotâs operational hours. The project team also learned that 12 feet is really the optimal width for a bus lane (which is what had been tested), to give wiggle room to operators and because the travel lanes on this part of the corridor were 10 feet wide. Feedback from bicyclists was very positive, so the city incorporated this into the permanent design. The interviewee said that this type of design was not really spelled out in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD; http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov), the guideline for roadway markings adhered to by most cities, but that it reflected reality. As with the entire project process, the interviewee had the support of the mayor to employ a more innovative design at the time, one that reflected what was happening on the ground. The interviewee produced the design of the permanent lane entirely in-house, and also using Bostonâs Complete Streets guidelines (http://bostoncompletestreets.org/guidelines/). He said that he did not want to put the project out to a consultant because he felt he had the backing to design the lane in the way he wanted. (6) MATERIALS + IMPLEMENTATION â¢ Cones â¢ Recycled plastic boarding platform (2017 iteration) Cones were the most immediately implementable and the least logistically complex solution at the time. The city set out to execute only a week-long test but ended up continuing the test through to when the paint went down in December 2017. The city had not budgeted for any striping at the time (the cost was estimated at $130,000), so a full Public Works crew and a couple of parking enforcement officers were used to install and deinstall the cones each morning (they had spray painted an X where each cone was to go) and enforce proper usage CITY OF EVERETT
55 of the lane. Public Works had a certain amount of resources allocated for overtime needs, and these resources were tapped into for the bus lane staffing. For the enforcement, the pilot used parking enforcement staff who were already on duty and could patrol the pilot segment for the few hours each morning. The transportation planner said that this was still worth it, and eventually the project team was able to dial back the enforcement personnel on-site. To help with enforcement, the interviewee said that the project team actually tried to make the pilot lane look as much like a construction zone as possible, so as to deter motorists from entering. The âNo Parkingâ signs at the meters also said âconstruction,â and flashing sandwich boards contributed to the construction feel. The interviewee said that within a week of running the pilot, they realized they did not need so many enforcement officers and were able to reduce the number to one to two officers. The project team continued to develop iterations of the initial bus lane. In June 2017, a few months before the permanent striping went down, the city used the Barr Foundationâs BostonBRT program funding to install two boarding platforms and TSP along the bus laneâs corridor. The platforms were installed by the cityâs internal crews. (7) PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT The transportation planner believes that the most important public outreach was the execution of the test itself. The city notified the businesses only 3â4 days before implementation, mostly because it anticipated that most of the responses would be negative if it offered more opportunities for public input and wanted business owners, transit riders, and other street users to be able to react to the test. A few businesses were not in favor of the project, but most initial responses were positive. The transportation planner thinks that being able to produce results so quickly helped develop the publicâs confidence in the cityâs ability to be responsive and nimble. He did cite the mayorâs mandate and buy-in from local officials as a critical success factor unique to the city. Not all communities would have been able to act as fast. (8) PUBLIC FEEDBACK + OUTCOMES The city almost immediately observed (qualitatively) that the pilot lane was making bus travel easier. MBTA collected data on travel times, and the results were enough to justify the continuation of the test. During the first week of the test, travel times reduced by 20% to 30%, a savings of approximately 6-minutes. Trips were also more consistent. The city collected feedback on the bus platforms in November 2018 and asked riders about their perceptions of the permanent lane. The public feedback collected for the platforms revealed that 45% of survey respondents found it âmuch easierâ to board the bus. When those who said it was âsomewhat easierâ and that they were âsatisfiedâ with the platforms were included, more than 80% of the respondents were in favor of the platforms; only 2% of the comments were negative. Eighty-one percent said that they wanted Everett to expand the number of platforms and place them at more bus stops. The majority of respondents claimed that boarding times had not really changed since installation of the platforms, and 49% remained âextremely satisfiedâ with the now permanent bus lane. CITY OF EVERETT TRANSITCENTER
56 Data on boarding times for the platforms were not statistically significant. However, at a time when bus ridership had decreased in Boston by about 1%â2%, ridership in Everett was up 5%. The interviewee thought that there was no doubt that the increase in ridership was attributable to the improvements made to Broadway. Specifically, thanks to the Barr Foundationâs marketing help, the platforms really created a buzz and reinvigorated support for riding buses. The interviewee said that making the bus stops look nice really helped âmarket the service.â (9) QUICK-BUILD LESSONS + ADVANTAGES The transportation planner thought the test accomplished other goals in addition to making bus travel more efficient on the corridor, namely, making the bus a more viable option and making it more prominent in the street. He cited political support as a critical success factor of the project. The mayor was prepared to take the heat if people did not respond well to the test. The city âbypassed a lot of the processâ because the âpilot is the process.â The cityâs leadership empowered the transportation planner to manage the project and directed other city staff to support the project as necessary. Furthermore, the city did not have expectations for test projects, as neighboring municipalities did (Cambridge, for example), which made both the administration and the public more receptive to the process. (10) CHALLENGES The transportation planner cited a few elements of the function of the boarding platforms that are still being addressed. For example, the boarding platforms are fixed at a certain height, whereas the heights of the buses fluctuate slightly, so that sometimes there is a gap between the modular platform and the bus door. The city put asphalt down in both locations to try to make the alignment of the platform and the bus door more seamless. The transportation planner also said that it has been difficult to accommodate riders in wheelchairs because the bus ramp still needs to deploy to the street level. The city will keep the platforms on the street for as long as possible, and as of December 2018 had collected robust feedback that mostly indicated public satisfaction with the temporary infrastructure. (11) FUNDING Both the test lane and permanent lane were funded with city resources. The boarding platforms were procured and installed with BostonBRT program-awarded funds, and the city paid for the remainder of the cost of the TSP (less than $5,000) with supplemental funding from the stateâs Complete Streets Program. The city had applied for funding the previous year for signal adjustments that would provide the base for the TSP, which cost about $200,000 in total. The total cost of the platforms was $100,000, $35,000 and $65,000 each. Given that there was a steep learning curve involved in the installation of the platforms, the interviewee estimated about $10,000 to $20,000 in labor costs. However, this was not quantified or factored into the budget at the time. TRANSITCENTER (12) WHATâS NEXT? The test was so successful that the city continued it with cones until August 2017 and installed the permanent lane in SeptemberâOctober 2017. The permanent lane was designed, financed, and installed entirely by the city. To build on the bus lane test and further advance the cityâs Transit Action Plan, the city applied to the Barr Foundationâs BostonBRT pilot project program in May 2017 for platform-level boarding at two locations and TSP at three intersections along the Broadway corridor (something the project team realized was feasible shortly after the lane test was executed). The recycled plastic modular boarding islands were installed in late June 2017. As of December 2018, the platforms were still installed. The results of public feedback collected for the platforms revealed 45% of survey respondents found it âmuch easierâ to board the bus. Eighty-one percent said that they wanted Everett to expand the number of platforms and place them at more bus stops. The majority of respondents claimed that boarding times had not really changed since the installation of the platforms; 49% of respondents remained âextremely satisfiedâ with the now permanent bus lane.
57 CTA PREPAID BUS BOARDING PROJECT TEAM: Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) PROJECT LOCATION: Four locations in Chicago, IL â¢ Blue Line Belmont station (June 2016âongoing) â¢ Loop Link Madison Street/Dearborn Street station (Sep.âDec. 2016) â¢ Bus stop at Lake Shore Drive/Belmont Avenue (June-Oct. 2017) â¢ 69th Red Line station (JuneâOct. 2017) PROJECT INSTALLATION: First pilot installed June 2016 PROJECT DURATION: Ranged from 3 to 6 months; one is ongoing MATERIALS: Variety of barricades, signage, mobile fare validators DID IT WORK? One was so successful, itâs ongoing! Four prepaid bus boarding pilots using mobile fare validators, movable barriers and signage, and reallocated staff hours. (1) PROJECT IMPETUS The first pilot, at the bus stop at the Belmont Station on the Blue Line, began as a kind of one- off improvement to some observed bus-boarding delays at that location. Early conversations within CTAâs planning department focused on making improvements to speed up service at this bus stop, and CTA decided to test something that would speed up boarding at this location. If the configuration tested at this location worked, CTA would introduce other test locations. Following the pilot, space and accommodations for prepaid boarding were incorporated into the design for the new station (which is currently under construction). (2) WHY THE QUICK-BUILD METHODOLOGY Piloting a strategy at the Blue Line station allowed the CTA to assess whether it made sense to explore strategies to address delays at other bus stations/stops for corridors with heavy ridership. (3) PROJECT TIMELINE: 8 months Between the decision to implement the first pilot and its implementation. (4) PROJECT TEAM + ROLES â¢ Chicago Transit Authority â¢ Planning Department â¢ Operations Department â¢ Facilities Department â¢ Communications Department â¢ Fare & Revenue Systems Department CTA formed an internal team comprising members of the Planning, Operations, Facilities, Communications, and Fare & Revenue Systems Departments with an assigned project manager from the Planning Department. This team conducted regular meetings and made multiple site visits to assess the unique conditions of each pilot. CTAâs Fare & Revenue Systems department made sure that there were accessible facilities at the stations for people to load their Ventra fare cards, as cash was not accepted to enter the prepaid area. (5) PROJECT ELEMENTS + DESIGN PROCESS â¢ Prepaid boarding pilots (4) Because each locationâs conditions were different, a site-specific approach to how the prepaid boarding would be executed was necessary. At the first piloted location (Belmont Station on the Blue Line), there was already an organic queuing process. CTA installed fencing to
58 discourage fare evasion and establish a paid area, and a Bus Service Management (BSM) supervisor scanned Ventra Cards with a mobile validator. A Ventra vending machine was installed adjacent to the bus stop to enable any cash-paying customers to load value on a fare card, as the rail stationâs Ventra machine was in an inaccessible location. CTA also provided free Ventra fare cards at the pilot locations. The fare cards could be loaded with cash (Ventra Cards are usually $5 each). This pilot was executed during weekday peak hours only, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., westbound only. At the Madison/Dearborn Loop Link Station, mobile fare validators were situated on the existing boarding platform. Cash-paying customers were able to load their cards in the Walgreenâs adjacent to the stop. The pilot was staffed by one BSM supervisor and two transitional return-to-work (TRTW) employees and also executed only during weekday peak hours from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. At the Lake Shore Drive/Belmont Avenue bus stop, existing characteristics created an area where customers who paid could wait (a grassy pocket lined with benches). Cash paying customers could fill their cards at a convenience store nearby, and this pilot was also staffed by one BSM supervisor and two TRTW employees from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. on weekdays. At the Red Line 69th Station, one BSM supervisor and one TRTW employee staffed the pilot weekdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Customers could add cash to their cards in the rail station. The preboarding validation was executed on a sidewalk which was adjacent to a CTA bus-only lane. At this location, the bus lane is actually a bridge over the highway. Pedestrians cross on it, but it is not open to general purpose traffic, which helped to create a more easily managed space. (6) MATERIALS + IMPLEMENTATION â¢ Mobile fare validators â¢ Sandwich boards â¢ Mobile barriers The Facilities Department deployed equipment such as semipermanent barricades and swing gates. CTAâs Revenue Equipment group provided the mobile validators, and the Communications/Signage group provided sandwich boards, depending on each locationâs setup. Staff were also key to the execution of the pilots, but no new positions were created for them (staff hours were moved around, not created). The interviewees commented that since there was no facilities manual for the setup of prepaid bus boarding, the execution on the facilities side was somewhat trial-and-error. In general, none of the locations required the installation of robust equipment, although the Blue Line Belmont Station required the installation of electrical and communication lines in addition to the barricades and swing gates. (7) PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT The project team handed out flyers and posted signage prior to the pilots, but did not deploy a robust public engagement effort in advance. Blue Line Belmont Lake Shore/Belmont CTA CTA
59 (8) PUBLIC FEEDBACK + OUTCOMES The project team surveyed riders at each location, and asked questions regarding their satisfaction with the process and whether they thought it sped up boarding. To increase participation, the team used slightly different techniques to collect public feedback. E-mail surveys were conducted, flyers with links to surveys were handed out, and in-person surveying was conducted as necessary. The team found that there was a learning curve at most locations. The pilot at the Lake Shore Drive/Belmont Avenue Station was the best received, with people asking when/if it was going to come back. At the Loop Link and Red Line Station locations, 90% of respondents said they were satisfied with the prepaid process. At the Blue Line location, 79% of respondents were satisfied, and 77% agreed that prepaying sped up boarding (this was the location with the organic queuing, and the new process created some disruption). To collect other data, the project team performed field observations. They used stopwatches to keep track of boarding times and had a specific protocol for keeping track of how long the buses remained at the terminals. The data showed an average of 54% reduction in boarding times across the four pilots, although the actual time saved varied significantly. The largest time savings were observed at the Blue Line Belmont Station for both customer and bus boarding times (54% and 56% reductions, respectively). The actual bus boarding time saved ranged from an average of 37.8 seconds at the Blue Line Belmont Station and 32 seconds at the Lake Shore Drive/Belmont bus stop to 23.3 seconds at the Red Line 69th Station and 15.9 seconds at the Loop Link Station. Supervision feedback and field checks also revealed improved compliance with the payment system, which was twofold. First, after the pilots got started, customers acclimated to the new system, and, because the majority knew that cash was not accepted to enter the prepaid area, fewer people tried to pay with cash. Second, there was a greater understanding that you had to tap your Ventra Card before entering the prepaid area, so fewer people were wandering in accidentally without paying. (9) QUICK-BUILD LESSONS + ADVANTAGES In general, the process was very productive for the team because they learned that boarding time savings were possible in general. The pilots made the largest dent where boarding was particularly heavy. The team already knew it would ultimately have to find a way to automate the fare checking, because staffing every bus stop was not sustainable. These pilots would have to be implemented at multiple consecutive locations along a corridor for the team to be able to discern whether the pilots could contribute to meaningful overall reductions in travel time. (10) CHALLENGES Incorporating cash payments was a challenge. The team introduced special free Ventra fare cards to accommodate one-time cash-paying customers; added a street-level Ventra vending machine at the Blue Line location, which was not ADA accessible; and identified stores at which customers could load value to their cards. Finding and maintaining gates for the prepaid area at the Blue Line location was also a challenge. It was difficult to find gates that were designed for Chicago weather, and maintaining the gates that were used took a decent amount of work. A longer- term challenge will be identifying a scalable rollout strategy that does not result in significant fare evasion and reduced revenue. (11) FUNDING All of the funding came out of CTAâs existing budget, including existing staff time. The cost estimate for the setup at the Blue Line station was $77,000, which included the labor and material for setup (i.e., fencing, gates, trash receptacles, power for the Ventra vending machine, signage) and the vending machine itself, but the team did not calculate the actual costs associated with these materials. The other installations were less expensive because existing environment was used to designate a prepaid area. Labor was the most expensive resource of the pilots, with CTA predicting it would cost from $82,000 (Red Line 69th and Belmont Blue Line Stations) to $222,000 (Madison/Dearborn Street Station and Lake Shore Drive/Belmont Avenue bus stop) in labor annually if the pilots were continued. (12) WHATâS NEXT? The project team did not currently plan to scale up the implementation of these pilots right now. Because of the significant time savings it produced, the Blue Line Belmont pilot will resume following the completion of the construction at the station. To reduce cost, this pilot will only be operated by one TRTW employee rather than by a BSM supervisor. The other pilots were discontinued because of extensive staff needs and the level of cost for less-significant time savings. This was especially true of the Loop Link pilot, which had the highest staffing and lowest time savings. The lack of shelter/weather protection at Lake Shore Drive/Belmont Avenue and at the Red Line 69th Station also contributed to discontinuation of these pilots. In the long term, CTA is considering piloting a proof-of-payment system at heavy-boarding locations along an entire corridor. Customers will pay at payment posts (which will replace staffed fare payment areas) before boarding and a fare enforcement team will verify payment onboard. CTA has estimated that prepaid boarding could save up to 580 hours per weekday if it were implemented systemwide.
60 DENVER MOVES BROADWAY PROJECT TEAM: City and County of Denver Public Works Department, Regional Transportation District (RTD) PROJECT LOCATION: Broadway/Lincoln corridors, Denver, CO PROJECT INSTALLATION: August 2017 PROJECT DURATION: A few elements were permanent from the outset. MATERIALS: MMA, Epoxy traffic paint, thermoplastic markings DID IT WORK? The project resulted in speed and reliability transit improvements, increased ridership, and reduction in non-transit vehicle transit lane violations! A multipart pilot project including the transition of portions of existing bus lanes from peak-hour to 24-hour, the extension of an existing bus lane, the addition of red paint to an existing bus lane, stop consolidation, service changes, and modified signage. (1) PROJECT IMPETUS In May 2016, the City of Denver, along with Indianapolis and Oakland, was selected as a focus city for the Transit Program Accelerator, an initiative of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and the TransitCenter. The Transit Program Accelerator is focused on the implementation of NACTOâs recent Transit Street Design Guide (https:// nacto.org/publication/transit-street-design-guide/). Denver identified the Broadway and Lincoln corridors (a one-way couplet) as ready for the quick implementation of transit improvements to increase reliability and ridership through the guidance of this NACTO program. Denver received in-kind guidance from NACTO and peer city practitioners in the form of corridor analyses and a charrette with the city and RTD staff (RTD is the regionâs transit agency). Following the corridor evaluation, charrette, and field visits, several quick-win/low- cost transit improvements were identified for near-term implementation along these corridors. During the same time, the city was identifying transit capital investment corridors that would benefit from various levels of improvements as a part of the planning process for the development of Denverâs first transit plan (Denver Moves: Transit Plan, January 2019; https:// www.denvergov.org/content/dam/denvergov/Portals/Denveright/documents/transit/ Denver-Moves-Transit-Plan-2019.pdf). The city recognized that the BroadwayâLincoln corridor, one that was highlighted during the planning process, would be a good place to address the low-hanging fruit of transit improvements and test design solutions learned from NACTO. Prior to the installation of transit improvements, the transit services along the Broadway and Lincoln corridors experienced reliability impacts throughout the day due to increased vehicular volumes, mixing of traffic for driveway and adjacent street access within the existing peak- period transit lane, and nonâtransit vehicles violating the transit lane. (2) WHY THE QUICK-BUILD METHODOLOGY Following the completion of Denverâs first transit plan, and as the city begins to develop its transit program to deliver the planning and design of transit improvement projects, it has identified quick-implementation, low-cost measures that address transit speed and reliability. These measures can provide interim improvements in transit operations and passenger experience until funding is identified for major capital transit improvements along key corridors in Denver. Broadway and Lincoln, for example, are envisioned as becoming high- capacity transit corridors (e.g., with BRT). A few aspects of the overall project were to be permanent from the outset. These included transitioning portions of the existing peak-hour transit lanes on Broadway (between 17th and Exposition Avenues) and Lincoln (between 6th and 14th Avenues) to 24-hour operation and
61 extending Broadwayâs lane an extra two blocks north of Colfax Avenue to 17th Avenue. The city applied to FHWA to test red pavement markings in the transit lane to be evaluated for at least a year. (3) PROJECT TIMELINE: 8 months (approx.) Identification of the Broadway and Lincoln corridor transit improvements began in early 2016 during the NACTO Transit Program Accelerator road show. Design of the improvements began in early 2017, and they were implemented in fall 2017. (4) PROJECT TEAM + ROLES â¢ Denver Department of Public Works â¢ Regional Transportation District The senior city planner for Denverâs Department of Public Works, who managed this project (interviewee), communicated regularly with RTD personnel. City and RTD staff attended public meetings about the project, and RTD led the outreach about the stop consolidation and resulting schedule changes (five stops eliminated on Broadway and four on Lincoln to consolidate all stops for the 0/0L route to every Â¼-mile). The red paint and new pavement markings and the new signage were designed and implemented in-house, entirely by the city. RTD contributed data collection and evaluation on the transit metrics. The interviewee said that this was one of the first projects in which the city was leading the implementation of transit improvements. It had the ability to execute the project because the city has jurisdiction over the streets themselves. (5) PROJECT ELEMENTS + DESIGN PROCESS â¢ Conversion of portions of existing peak-hour transit lanes to 24-hours â¢ Red pavement application and new markings â¢ Signage â¢ Existing transit lane extension (Broadway) â¢ Bus stop consolidation â¢ Bus service changes The city designed the pavement markings in-house and incorporated a variety of different red-dashed and solid pavement markings in the transit lane at intersections on the basis of the control (signalized/unsignalized) and presence of a right-turn pocket. The city applied for and received permission from FHWA to design, install, and evaluate (over 1 year) the effectiveness of the use of variations of red pavement treatments to reduce violations by nonâtransit vehicles and vehicular conflicts in the transit lanes. These treatments were only applied to Broadway, as Lincoln was scheduled for resurfacing and the project team wanted to make sure the paint would not have to be redone. NACTO NACTO
62 The city modified existing signage for the new 24-hour lane conversions by covering up the part of the signs that said â3 p.m.â6 p.m.â Existing overhead flashing signals indicating when the bus lane was operational were also modified where necessary. (6) MATERIALS + IMPLEMENTATION â¢ Methyl methacrylate (MMA) â¢ Epoxy traffic paint â¢ Thermoplastic pavement markings/striping The city used three different pavement coating materials for the application of red pavement markings: MMA, epoxy traffic paint, and thermoplastic. It will monitor the durability of each material type. The red paint was the focus of evaluation not only for the FHWA requirements, but also to inform the way in which the city will apply various transit improvements along this and other corridors. The 24-hour lane conversion was permanent, but the city still made sure to observe its performance. The installation of all the pavement markings took about a week. The RTD bus stop consolidation and activation of the 24-hour lane happened simultaneously. No additional enforcement was established for the project, as the team wanted to evaluate the effectiveness of the red paint application and new signage to reduce violations by nonâtransit vehicles and vehicular conflicts in the transit lanes. (7) PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT The city had previously done a lot of outreach on the corridor with regard to the earlier installation of a bikeway along Broadway and was able to build on similar messaging used for that project. The city disseminated flyers about the red paint before it was applied, RTD held meetings for the bus stop consolidation, and a project website provided updates. (8) PUBLIC FEEDBACK + OUTCOMES A few of the comments received indicated the perception that the project had âtaken away a lane.â The public also expressed that some of the red pavement markings could not be seen at night. There was also an adjustment period with the consolidated bus stops and with regard to compliance with the new 24-hour transit lane. The interviewee said the community sometimes had difficulty understanding how these improvements could move more people than vehicles by repurposing a lane for transit-only use (except for right-turning movements). Shortly after the implementation of the transit improvements, the Better Broadway Coalition sponsored a community engagement event to roll out the red carpet in fall 2017. They also asked transit riders what would make bus stops better on Broadway and Lincoln. The top responses were shelters, real-time arrival information, benches/seating, and better lighting. The midpoint results of the transit improvement evaluation (June 2018) showed a 2.8% increase in ridership on the 0/0L routes, two major routes serving the BroadwayâLincoln corridors. The midpoint summary also revealed an average transit travel time savings of 2.2 minutes round-trip for all transit routes on BroadwayâLincoln. The evaluation of the red paint showed a reduction in nonâtransit vehicle violations and improved transit operations, thus providing an overall benefit. In concluding the experiment, the city is retaining the red pavement treatments along Broadway. (9) QUICK-BUILD LESSONS + ADVANTAGES By testing the red paint on a portion of the corridor, the project team was able to assess whether it should be applied to the rest of the corridor and to others in Denver and whether the design and pavement markings should be modified. The interviewee also thought the process had been good for clarifying the cityâs role in transit and how it can coordinate with RTD in implementing transit improvements. The project also brought to light issues regarding bus stop amenities, specifically, the presence or lack of bus shelters and their associated locations and maintenance. (10) CHALLENGES The interviewee thought the project, with the support of NACTO, was helpful in encouraging the departmentâs engineers to buy into a bit more innovation in transit improvements (specifically, the red paint). It was challenging to communicate the âwhat is being evaluated and what is permanentâ message to the public and the media. The city is working with RTD to establish an implementation process to help deliver these types of projects more effectively. (11) FUNDING The project was funded entirely by the city. The pavement markings cost about $106,000, and the sign fabrication and installation cost about $10,000. (12) WHATâS NEXT? The city, in coordination with RTD, is continuing to look at corridors that are considered ready for low-cost improvements. Funding has been identified for the BroadwayâLincoln long-term corridor multimodal design (intersection improvements, extension of the bikeway, and transit speed and reliability improvements), but less money is available for small transit projects across the city. The city and RTD have recently developed a streamlined process for the implementation of similar projects on other corridors, especially now that the transit plan is complete and the cityâs transit capital investment corridors are identified.
63 GO AVE 26 PROJECT TEAM: LA MÃ¡s PROJECT LOCATION: Avenue 26 between Figueroa Street and the Lincoln/Cypress Metro Gold Line station, Los Angeles, CA PROJECT INSTALLATION: August 2017 PROJECT DURATION: The sidewalk graphics and murals remain, whereas the park furnishings, signage, and pole wraps were removed after three months. MATERIALS: Epoxy paint, vinyl decals, wood, steel, acrylic paint DID IT WORK? The project resulted in a city council motion for an Adopt-a-Sidewalk pilot program! A multipart project including wayfinding signage, sidewalk art and wayfinding, public art, and public space enhancements. (1) PROJECT IMPETUS In the fall of 2016, the nonprofit organization LA MÃ¡s received a grant from the New York Cityâ based foundation TransitCenter for just under $150,000 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. Because this stretch of Avenue 26 hosts quite a few transit connections, it sees a fair amount of pedestrian traffic. The organization identified this stretch both to implement solutions to transit access for these pedestrians and also because it was practically in its backyard. They saw it as a great opportunity to do some hyperlocal engagement and project work. (2) WHY THE QUICK-BUILD METHODOLOGY At the outset, the project had three primary goals: to create a scalable pilot project that would expand the tool kit of first- and last-mile strategies, to build partnerships between different local government and community entities, and to test âlow-cost and easy-to-implement infrastructureâ that would improve pedestrian safety and wayfinding in accessing transit along the quarter-mile stretch. LA MÃ¡s chose the Quick-Build process to accomplish these goals for several reasons. To begin with, they were working within a confined timeline and budget and were also planning installations that the city was not familiar with. The city was not going to contribute any funding and preferred not to do anything permanent without testing the interventions first. The permitting process, although arduous, was also only for temporary infrastructure. The organization is familiar with the pilot-style project and has used the methodology on several occasions to push for something permanent. (3) PROJECT TIMELINE: 8 months The first 3 months were focused on building partnerships with the transportation agencies and local neighborhood groups and executing robust community research, the findings of which were published in the projectâs Community Findings Report. The final 5 months included more public outreach and the design and materials procurement processes for the interventions. The interventions were evaluated, and public feedback collected, until December 2017. (4) PROJECT TEAM + ROLES â¢ LA MÃ¡s (w/ local artists, fabricators, and local government permitting bodies) LA MÃ¡s interfaced with multiple local government agencies at different levels throughout the process: Los Angeles Metro (county), the cityâs Bureau of Engineering and Department of Recreation and Parks (city), and the California DOT (Caltrans) (state). All of these parties were enthusiastic about the project. The Bureau of Engineering helped the nonprofit test the sidewalk materials, and Los Angeles Metro promoted the project on its blog. LA MÃ¡s has worked
64 with Caltrans before and was able to bypass some permitting steps with the support of the agencyâs leadership, although the complexity of the permitting process as a whole was cited as the biggest challenge of the project. (5) PROJECT ELEMENTS + DESIGN PROCESS â¢ Wayfinding signage â¢ Pole wraps â¢ Sidewalk art and wayfinding â¢ Murals â¢ Fence art â¢ Public space furnishings LA MÃ¡s led all of the design and construction administration. It chose the black and white color palette because it mimicked colors found on the street, reflected light well, and was not something that the community would respond strongly to (as opposed to bright colors). The simple shapes were flexible and could be applied across different mediums easily. The organization based the choice of the interventions largely on feedback they received from their outreach. The murals were meant to brighten up the underpasses and make walking on the corridor more pleasant. The public space furnishings reflected the most popular idea heard from the community: a place with shade to rest and hang out in. The signage, sidewalk art and wayfinding, and pole wraps all helped alert motor vehicles to a pedestrian presence and helped pedestrians navigate their way to the transit along the corridor. (6) MATERIALS + IMPLEMENTATION â¢ Epoxy paint â¢ Vinyl decals â¢ Wood + steel â¢ Acrylic paint LA MÃ¡s tested a variety of materials for the interventions, especially the sidewalk art, as mandated by the cityâs permitting process. There was no set duration for the interventions at the outset, but the team knew it wanted the interventions to be durable yet removable. The implementation of the various project elements occurred over a few days, with considerable help from volunteers where other partners had not been brought on for installation (mostly for the sidewalk art and wayfinding, pole wraps, and some fence art). The organization did most of the installation itself but outsourced the fabrication and installation of the park furnishings, wayfinding signage, and murals. For the sidewalk wayfinding and art, the organization used a mix of epoxy paint and vinyl stickers, materials it had used before. The park furnishings were outsourced to a fabrication lab and were made of treated wood. The pole wraps were also vinyl decals, and the wayfinding KEVIN POLI, COURTESY OF LA MÃS JON ENDOW, COURTESY OF LA MÃS Park furnishings Public engagement
65 signage was a combination of wood and steel. The murals were painted with acrylic paint. The murals and sidewalk graphics still remain, although the sidewalk graphics have faded. The park furnishings have been removed. (7) PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT In addition to the organizationâs initial analysis of the corridorâs challenges, it executed a robust community outreach process to understand local needs and preferences. More than 100 responses to intercept surveys done over multiple days were received, as well as 219 responses to an online survey. LA MÃ¡s encouraged people to follow the project on social media and join its e-mail list and hosted a community walk to analyze existing conditions in person. (8) PUBLIC FEEDBACK + OUTCOMES LA MÃ¡s was not required by any of its partner agencies to do evaluation but still collected public feedback during and after the installation. The organization engaged the public with a block party, bike ride, and walk upon the projectâs completion. The project was very well received by the community, as documented both anecdotally and through the teamâs feedback collection. The feedback collected during the block party indicated the majority of attendees felt that the most salient impact of the interventions was increased pedestrian safety. The organization continued to collect feedback after the installation through more than 60 intercept and online surveys. The 24-question survey asked respondents about their experience following the installation and found that 23% used the Metro and other transit along the corridor more since the project installation. Almost half said that the area was more enjoyable to be in with the installations in place, and 19% reported walking more frequently. The project team did not collect data on other metrics, such as ridership, at the bus stops or Metro station. Demonstrating the publicâs response to the project helped LA MÃ¡s create a cohesive final report and advocate for a second phase that would involve easing the permitting process for similar projects in the future. (9) QUICK-BUILD LESSONS + ADVANTAGES One of the biggest goals of the project was to build partnerships with different local government entities, and LA MÃ¡sâ Community and Policy Lead (interviewee) said the organization thinks the project really helped it advance these relationships. It was able to show the agencies a new approach for first- and last-mile initiativesâsomething it thinks the city will continue to run with. Additionally, it used the project to encourage the local government agencies to make other improvements to the right-of-way. (10) CHALLENGES LA MÃ¡s spent about $10,000 on the permitting process and fees. The interventions had to be reviewed by Caltrans, the Bureau of Engineering (which included the review of seven different departments), and the Department of Recreation and Parks. The interviewee said that they saw JON ENDOW, COURTESY OF LA MÃS ABBY STONE, COURTESY OF LA MÃS Underpass mural Sidewalk installation
66 a few opportunities to streamline the process so as to eliminate redundancies and the need to go through multiple internal loops for approval. The process to obtain approval was about 6 months, which the interviewee said would be unreasonable for a community group to have to go through in the future. Also, LA MÃ¡s had to test the materials used in the right-of-way again, even though it had used them before for another project. Its proposal would create a list of preapproved materials that would not have to be tested on a project-by-project basis. LA MÃ¡s is also suggesting that, as long as applicants have a guaranteed maintenance partner in the future, projects should not have to have a set duration at the time of application. (11) FUNDING The project was funded entirely by a grant from TransitCenter for $147,850. The breakdown of the physical intervention costs is as follows: park furnishings, including hiring a woodworking team, $8,000; signage, including hiring a sign-painting team and wood/steel fabricator, $3,200; murals, including hiring the painting team, $6,000; and sidewalk/fences/poles, $20,000. The physical interventions, including the above costs for materials and labor, design, permitting, maintenance, and deinstallation, accounted for more than 50% of the entire project budget. Other resources were spent on building partnerships ($12,000), the community research and outreach ($39,000), evaluation ($8,300), and project administration and management ($8,000). (12) WHATâS NEXT? In November 2018, the Los Angeles City Council introduced a motion for an Adopt-a-Sidewalk program as a result of a follow-up proposal by LA MÃ¡s. The program aims to simplify and lower the cost of the permitting process for sidewalk improvements. The chief legislative analystâs office is conducting an analysis to develop a report that will be heard by the Public Works Committee in spring 2019. JON ENDOW, COURTESY OF LA MÃS AARON PALEY, COURTESY OF LA MÃS Underpass mural Underpass wayfinding
67 HANDS ON EXCHANGE PROJECT TEAM: University of Akron Foundation, Street Plans, Knight Foundation, City of Akron Engineering Bureau PROJECT LOCATION: Exchange Street between Goodkirk Street and Arc Drive, Akron, OH PROJECT INSTALLATION: August 2018 PROJECT DURATION: 2 months MATERIALS: Contractor-grade traffic tape, acrylic field marking paint, traffic paint, 36â FlexStake vertical delineators DID IT WORK? The pilot project was removed earlier than initially planned. A two-way protected bike lane pilot project including bus stop enhancements. (1) PROJECT IMPETUS The project started as part of a series of workshops funded by the Knight Foundation around the Tactical Urbanistâs Guide to Materials and Design (http://tacticalurbanismguide.com/), an open-source guide published in 2016 by Street Plans. Akron was chosen as one of the grant cities, and a workshop with the city was hosted by Street Plans in February 2017 to introduce the Tactical Urbanism process to local staff and community members. As part of that workshop, a subject corridor was chosen to show how the city might use this methodology in the future. East Exchange Street was chosen because it is the subject of a longer-term federal Complete Streets reconstruction that was intended to include a road diet component after the city analyzed the capacity of the corridor and deemed a road diet feasible. The workshop identified several different alternatives along Exchange Street that the city might pursue. Following that workshop, the Knight Foundation funded a follow-up pilot project to implement a larger design exercise. The goal was to test the road diet and help train staff in the use of Tactical Urbanism. (2) WHY THE QUICK-BUILD METHODOLOGY The corridor is the subject of a longer term capital improvement project. Using the Quick- Build (Tactical Urbanism) methodology allowed the city to test in real time how a road diet would function, and how it might inform the capital project. (3) PROJECT TIMELINE: 10 months The first public meeting for the pilot project was held in November 2017. The back-and-forth between Street Plans and the city about the design was what took the longest. (4) PROJECT TEAM + ROLES â¢ Street Plans (lead consultant) â¢ University of Akron Foundation (project partner) â¢ Knight Foundation (funder and partner) â¢ City of Akron Bureau of Engineering (design review, permitting, evaluation) The project was funded by the Knight Foundation and was designed and executed by Street Plans in partnership with the University of Akron Foundation. The University provided significant resources in the form of on-the-ground logistics for the project installation (materials storage and transport), while the city provided support throughout the planning and design of the project, which was led by Street Plans. The city reviewed the site plans with Street Plans, offering engineering design review and facilitating the permitting of the project (as well as aspects of the installation, such as traffic control). The city also collected traffic and transit data along the corridor and created a final evaluation report. The University of Akron led the public outreach effort, organizing the venues for the public meetings, reviewing and
68 disseminating the marketing materials (created by Street Plans), and soliciting volunteers for the project installation. All parties participated in the 2-day installation. (5) PROJECT ELEMENTS + DESIGN PROCESS â¢ Two-way protected bike lane w/ bus stop treatments (including ADA ramps) â¢ Bus stop consolidation â¢ Crosswalks and painted curb extensions â¢ Temporary signage (coroplast) The initial Tactical Urbanism workshop identified potential design alternatives. The first public meeting on the pilot project was held in November 2017, where the design alternatives were first workshopped with the community. The designs sought to implement a classic four-to- three road diet conversion with a protected bike lane. The major design challenge involved whether to implement a two-way protected bike lane on one side of the street or protected bike lanes on both sides of the street. After the first public meeting, and back-and-forth within the project team, it was determined that the two-way bike lane worked best on the north side of Exchange Street, owing to the complexity of driveways and businesses on the south side. Four bus stops were relocated or consolidated for more efficient traffic flow along the north side of Exchange Street. At the bus stops, Street Plans designed treatments in the bike lane that would enable safe boarding of the buses and would allow them to make the stops in the travel lane. These treatments were reviewed and commented on by the Akron Metropolitan Regional Transit Authority. A final public meeting that focused more on brainstorming the implementation with community volunteers was held in May 2018. (6) MATERIALS + IMPLEMENTATION â¢ Epoxy traffic paint â¢ Water-based field marking paint â¢ Contractor-grade traffic tape â¢ 36â FlexStakes (adhered with epoxy adhesive) As the project was implemented in the summer and was intended to last about 6 months, it was imperative that all of the materials would perform during the winter months. Paint, signs, and FlexStakes had to resist both high and low temperatures but also be relatively easily to remove, as it was a temporary project. During the week prior to the installation, the city installed new ADA ramps at the four relocated bus stops along the project route as well as signage indicating the bike lane and instructing bikes to yield to pedestrians at the crossings at the bus stops. TIM FITZWATER TIM FITZWATER
69 (7) PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT Three public meetings in total were hosted by Street Plans prior to the projectâs implementation. The University of Akron Foundation promoted the project heavily throughout social media, and its e-mail network. (8) PUBLIC FEEDBACK + OUTCOMES Signs were installed along the project route with a link to an online survey, which received more than 1,400 responses. The project received considerable public pushback and was removed before the originally intended test period (6 months) was complete. Almost all of the negative feedback was focused on the increased congestion that the removal of the curbside lane caused and came from motorists (89.55% of the respondents used a car as their primary mode of transportation on Exchange Street). Data on traffic and on transit ridership were collected, but the metrics did not provide conclusive evidence. The evaluation report showed that the number of bicyclists on the corridor actually decreased. There were no significant changes in vehicular or transit travel speeds, yet on the basis of anecdotal information and the evaluation, traffic congestion along the corridor increased during the pilot. The online survey responses did reveal satisfaction with the bus stop treatments, and the city received a few direct e-mails from citizens who would have liked the project to last longer to get a better idea of the longer-term impacts of the road diet and, possibly, to give bicyclists more time to become aware of the bike lane and comfortable with it. The project team was aware that the survey may not have reached enough users of the bike lane and transit riders, which could have produced more insightful feedback. (9) QUICK-BUILD LESSONS + ADVANTAGES One major element that was improved as a result of the project was the addition of ADA ramps at each of the bus stops. Furthermore, the detailing of the bus stopâbike lane interaction is being used in other projects around the city, which ideally will help with faster boarding. It was the intention of the bus stop consolidation and bus stop treatments to speed the transit service along the corridor, but because of the other impacts of the project, such as the increased congestion, it was difficult for the project team to isolate any potential positive effects of the transit elements. In general, however, the project team was happy with the execution of the project, and the city believes that the forward-thinking design and experience with the Quick- Build methodology will serve it in future projects. (10) CHALLENGES The project team said that changes to the signal timing along the test portion of Exchange Street could have alleviated the resulting congestion and also may have helped the team get a clearer picture of the impacts of the bus stop treatments. Also, having a local community TIM FITZWATER partner champion the project after its execution may have improved communication and messaging of the project to the public and targeted a wider variety of roadway users for postimplementation feedback. Better preparation for making adjustments to the project following its implementation might have helped alleviate negative feedback and prevent the project from having to be prematurely removed. (11) FUNDING The project was funded by the Knight Foundation. The total cost was $156,000 (including the materials, which were approximately $23,500 of the total project budget). (12) WHATâS NEXT? The project team hopes that the reconstruction of the corridor will remain on course and intends to further improve the transit amenities along the corridor as a result of the project. The city will be breaking ground on a Complete Streets project on Main Street in its downtown in 2019 and will use the pilot project and the Main Street project to inform the future design of Exchange Street.
70 HENNEPIN AVENUE BUS LANES PROJECT TEAM: Metro Transit, City of Minneapolis PROJECT LOCATION: Two lanes on Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN â¢ Northbound between 26th St. and Colfax Ave. S. (6:30â9:30 a.m.) â¢ Southbound between 26th St. and Uptown Transit Center (3:30â7 p.m.) PROJECT INSTALLATION: May 2018 PROJECT DURATION: 3 days MATERIALS: Traffic channelizers DID IT WORK? Speed and reliability werenât significantly impacted, but the project team still learned a lot. Two AM and PM peak-hour dedicated bus lanes (one in each direction) demarcated with traffic channelizers and including signage. (1) PROJECT IMPETUS The senior planner in the Service Development Department (interviewee) within Metro Transit (the transit provider for the MinneapolisâSaint Paul area) was assigned to work on speed and reliability projects earlier in 2018. He became the project manager for the Hennepin Avenue project on the Metro Transit side. Hennepin Avenue was a particularly highly trafficked corridor by both motor vehicles and buses. At the north end of the corridor is a freeway on- ramp that causes a lot of backup on Hennepin Avenue during peak hour. The interviewee had seen the bus lane project in Everett the year before and thought that it made sense for them to try a similar experiment on Hennepin Avenue. (2) WHY THE QUICK-BUILD METHODOLOGY The interviewee said that the ultimate goal was to âget something out there and get the publicâs reaction.â The project team wanted to do something that would quickly demonstrate the benefit and impacts of bus-only lanes and hear immediately what riders thought. The corridor was a natural fit for the first test project. The interviewee also said that while they could have hired a consultant to conduct a traffic study and get something on the ground in 1 to 2 years, he thought Metro Transit was well positioned to advance the pilot on its own. Through the test, it could more quickly assess the feasibility and impact of bus lanes on the corridor and observe any big flaws or issues that could be addressed in a future, more long-term project. (3) PROJECT TIMELINE: 3â4 months The timeline was âsomewhat longer than originally anticipatedâ (the original goal was to implement the pilot in March). Metro Transit was uniform in wanting to try the project, but a bit more time was needed to get the city on board with the planned changes. The city requested data that illustrated that the traffic congestion was what was slowing the buses down, as opposed to just longer dwell times from higher peak-period boardings. Time was also needed to ensure that both city leadership and policymakers approved the plan. (4) PROJECT TEAM + ROLES â¢ Metro Transit â¢ City of Minneapolis Metro Transit took the lead on the project, with the major tasks being communication efforts, operator education, and production and distribution of the rider survey. The agency contracted with a signage company, Warning Lights, to install and remove the cones (2 times per day). The city hooded the parking meters, although a majority of the test stretches were not metered, and enforced the no-parking mandate. The city put out temporary âno parking by police orderâ signs that allowed cars to be towed immediately.
71 (5) PROJECT ELEMENTS + DESIGN PROCESS â¢ Signage â¢ AM and PM peak-hour dedicated bus lanes Warning Lights worked with Metro Transit and the city to determine the on-street layout. Otherwise, a robust design process was not required. A challenge from the start was working with a 10-foot lane. (6) MATERIALS + IMPLEMENTATION â¢ Traffic channelizers The test was very much modeled after Boston and Everettâs lanes. The interviewee said they knew it would be a considerable staff effort for the few days, but they believed it would be worth it to maximize as much data collection and observation as possible (they were able to get more-detailed information on travel speeds block by block and by time of day). From Metro Transit, two to three street supervisors adjusted the cones and monitored the buses daily. Metro also had one to two planners or other staff making on-street observations and taking pictures and one to two additional planners or staff on buses. Likewise, the city had several staffers observing the corridor and one to two drivers measuring changes to motor vehicle travel times and executing enforcement. Because the lanes were not too long and were operational for only a few hours each day, Metro Transit was able to saturate coverage. This was very effective, as there were just two cars ticketed and towed over the course of the three days. Existing staff who might have patrolled elsewhere were reassigned to this project, so there was no net cost increase for enforcement. (7) PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT About 2 months prior to installation, Metro Transit conducted a survey of corridor riders to ask their perceptions on speed and reliability along Hennepin Avenue; the same survey was repeated after the project. To promote the project, the agency posted on social media, created a web page, sent an e-mail blast to the same survey group, and posted signs at the bus stops. (8) PUBLIC FEEDBACK + OUTCOMES The interviewee said that most of the feedback was very positive, even though the impact of the bus lanes ended up being pretty modest. He thinks that most of the positive feedback was a reflection of the publicâs satisfaction that public agencies were at least trying something to improve travel through the corridor and bodes well for future tests or a permanent intervention on the Hennepin Avenue corridor. Seventy-five percent of the riders that used the bus lanes responded that they âimproved their experience,â and 63% said that the lanes would make them more likely to use transit in the future. Ninety-two percent of the bus operators thought that there was an advantage to having a bus lane, although the majority expressed concern or dissatisfaction with the width METRO TRANSIT METRO TRANSIT
72 of the bus lane (the bus lane would be wider if permanently implemented). Both Metro Transit and the city were on the street during the 3 days collecting a variety of data, with Metro Transit leading on-bus data collection from each busâs automatic vehicle locator and driving the corridor with the city. Travel speeds for vehicles overall were not changed; travel speeds for buses actually slowed overall, most likely because of the lanesâ 10-foot width, which caused the bus operators to drive more slowly than normal. Travel speeds for buses were, however, more consistent, since the buses did not have to maneuver around stopped traffic. Bus travel speeds did increase between the first and final day of the test (16% northbound and 10% southbound), which could have been because the operators were more comfortable with the new operating environment. Time allocation (in motion, dwell, signal, or traffic) also did not significantly change. Although the bus lane was slower than the general-purpose lanes when traffic was free- flowing, it was very clear that the bus lanes were effective during heavy traffic backups. (9) QUICK-BUILD LESSONS + ADVANTAGES The biggest takeaway from the test is that any future lane on this corridor would necessitate changing the right-of-way configuration and allocating a minimum of 11 feet for a bus lane. For the test, the project team did not want to change the center line of the road and wanted to leave two travel lanes in each direction (60 feet total width, leaving just 10 feet in each direction for the bus lanes). (10) CHALLENGES The biggest challenge was the narrow width of the bus lanes. Since these lanes were normally curbside parking lanes, they were 10 feet. The bus operators drove considerably slower and also had to be cautious of obstructions such as trash cans and tree branches, as the buses were right against the curb and did not have much wiggle room. Cones being knocked over into the bus lanes posed a challenge for similar reasons. Steps to clear the curbs could be used if future tests were implemented, and the team would likely not use cones again. Motorists struggled with knowing where to enter the bus lane to make right turns, which is something that could have been mitigated with more signage and striping. (11) FUNDING The cost of the project was nominal. The cones and signage were less than $5,000, and while staff time was certainly important, Metro Transit does not break down staff time by project, so there was not a clear cost associated with the project. (12) WHATâS NEXT? The interviewee thinks the test was successful for multiple reasons beyond any data results. Metro Transit developed some new strategies for data analysis, which he thinks it can apply to analyze other corridors. For example, the agency has developed tools to measure segment AARON ISAACS PHOTO delay (delay being considered optimal as opposed to actual), signal delay, and the effect that both have on riders. The interviewee does think that while similar tests could be executed on other corridors, Metro Transit would not need to spend the time and resources doing that if a permanent project on Hennepin Avenue were successful. The same treatment could just be applied elsewhere. The test did get policymakers excited about the concept and revealed other improvements the team could make to the corridor beyond bus lanes. For example, the team is considering queue jump lanes, stop consolidation, and a peak-hour bus-only lane on a portion of the corridor where parking is already restricted from 7 to 9 a.m. (outside of the test segment). However, because Metro Transit is not moving forward with the bus lanes at this time, there is not as much urgency to implement these other treatments. The team is keeping in mind that there is an opportunity for bus lanes as the city redesigns and reconstructs Hennepin Avenue in 2022.
73 KING ST. TRANSIT PILOT PROJECT TEAM: City of Toronto City Planning and Transportation Services Divisions, Toronto Transit Commission PROJECT LOCATION: King Street between Bathurst and Jarvis Streets, Toronto, CAN PROJECT INSTALLATION: November 2017 PROJECT DURATION: Planned 1 year; remains until next iteration MATERIALS: Tactile warning pads, ramps, concrete barriers, pavement markings, public art installations, street furniture DID IT WORK? Multiple positive outcomes! A multipart pilot project including motor vehicle access restriction, stop relocation and enhancements, signal adjustments, signage, and public realm installations. (1) PROJECT IMPETUS The pilot came after years of observations that the streetcar service on King Streetâthe highest ridership surface transit route in the cityâwas slow and unreliable and after a few attempts to mitigate the issues did not have sufficient impact. The city had altered the signal timing on the corridor, tried out TSP, extended peak-period restrictions (e.g., no stopping in the lane), and tried a dedicated lane that was unsuccessful because of the enforcement resources required. The city and the Toronto Transit Commission were encouraged to take another look at the corridor during the cityâs most recent initiative, TOcore: Planning Downtown. As a spin- off of this planning process, the Commission and the cityâs City Planning and Transportation Services Divisions initiated the King Street Pilot Study, which developed new concepts for testing strategies to improve the speed and reliability of King Streetâs streetcar. In the past, the strategies they tried were not so obvious to the public, as they were more operational in nature. This time, the project team executed a more robust public engagement process, and the surface transit projects manager at the city (interviewee) said the three-way partnership with the cityâs two departments is what ultimately made the project feasible. This time, they had âbuy-in from everyone.â (2) WHY THE QUICK-BUILD METHODOLOGY The project team decided to run the pilot for 1 year, so the team needed to execute it with materials that could be relocated or removed if it was not performing well by the end. The team also wanted to run the pilot during winter to see how it would perform and, similarly, needed to be able to make adjustments to accommodate winter street maintenance if necessary. The interviewee said that the project gained a lot of political attention and that the team did not really have âthe option of delaying,â as approval to implement the project would need to be obtained from the City Council, whose members were already participating in the conceptual stages of the project. They wanted to implement the project before the election year. (3) PROJECT TIMELINE: 1.5 years Concept development, a process led by the City Planning Division and the Transportation Services Division, started in June 2016. These divisions picked up the detailed design starting in April 2017, and the Toronto Transit Commission led operations, service planning, and much of the public awareness campaign. The pilot was approved by the City Council in July, and the team implemented the 1.6-mile-long pilot in November. COMPLEXITY
74 (4) PROJECT TEAM + ROLES â¢ City of Toronto â¢ Planning â¢ Transportation Services â¢ City contractor â¢ Toronto Transit Commission The City of Toronto led the design (after a consultant team helped with the first phase for the King Street Pilot Study), implementation, and maintenance of the project; the interviewee served as the project manager. City contractors installed any pavement markings and signage. A new subway line to relieve pressure on the current over-burdened system is under design, and the three partner entities saw the King Street pilot as a way to more immediately improve the capacity of transit downtown, while funding for construction of the new subway line was pending. Developing the concept was truly a joint effort. The team created an organizational structure that included parking enforcement, police, an overall project manager, and several staff task leads. The team also created a steering committee with whom it met regularly about the concept and any foreseeable issues. Before the launch of the pilot project, the team conducted an education and awareness campaign on the new regulations, and it has periodically conducted renewed general enforcement campaigns as well as targeted enforcement informed by the data that have been collected so far. (5) PROJECT ELEMENTS + DESIGN PROCESS â¢ Motor vehicle corridor access restriction â¢ Public realm art and street furniture installations â¢ Streetcar stop relocation and enhancements â¢ Signal adjustments â¢ Signage The focus of the design was mostly on how to reallocate the curbside space. Street parking had to be removed, but the removal on the pilot project segment was actually fairly minimal as compared with the available parking in the area (a parking study was conducted prior to the pilot implementation). The team was also able to find about 100 additional parking spaces elsewhere in the area to compensate. Once the pilot was implemented, the curbside became used for transit stops, taxi stands, accessible loading, pickup/drop-off/delivery, and public space. Where there were wider sidewalks or greater building setbacks, the curbside lane was not used for public space. The public realm improvements were what took the longest to design. The interviewee said that there was a lot of feedback from the businesses, primarily regarding particular operational needs and wishes, and that these conversations made the process a bit more complex. After CITY OF TORONTO CITY OF TORONTO
75 CITY OF TORONTO first giving business owners with frontage on these spaces the option of an outdoor cafe, the city decided to let the public decide how these spaces would be designed, and in January 2018 it launched the Everyone is King designâbuild competition for temporary public space installations. Over summer 2018, 18 public spaces were implemented along the curb, and 45 public amenities, such as parklets, seating, cafes, and art installations, were installed in these spaces. The team also moved 18 of the 20 streetcar stops in the pilot segment beyond the traffic lights, a move that would facilitate right turns while allowing for more direct boarding. (6) MATERIALS + IMPLEMENTATION â¢ Tactile warning pads, ADA ramps, concrete barriers â¢ Thermoplastic pavement markings â¢ Public art installations â¢ Street furniture Transportation Services, with input from the Transit Commission, began the signal and signage work a few weeks before the launch and put the pavement markings down a week before. Signal timing was adjusted and right-turn green arrow phases were added, but a transit-only signal was not implemented. Signage directed traffic to turn right at every intersection; no left turns or through traffic were permitted at most intersections. The biggest push was in the final 2â3 days before the launch, when concrete barriers were installed to designate the boarding areas at the streetcar stops, the new signage was unbagged, and the signal changes were activated. Along the curb at the transit stops, the project team installed concrete barriers, planters, and tactile pads. They chose to not use materials that would create raised platforms flush with the concrete curb because they still wanted bikes to be able to easily pass through. The barriers and planters were meant to demarcate the stops and to protect pedestrians, who would then be utilizing the curbside lane as the waiting area. Signage and pavement markings were also a crucial part of ensuring that the pilot functioned as intended, as the project team knew there would be an adjustment period. Both of these elements were installed with standard, permanent materials that could nevertheless easily be modified or removed. Successful enforcement of the pilot required a close partnership and frequent communication with the cityâs partners at the Toronto Police Service. (7) PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT This public engagement period was about 6 months. At first, some business owners along the corridor were very concerned with the removal of parking and reallocation of curbside space. The project team was very diligent and communicative with them about what changes would be coming and how those changes could actually benefit them. Eventually, after collection of data on existing curbside use, the project team gave many business owners the option of a loading zone or public space in front of their business. CITY OF TORONTO
76 The project team took the projectâs conceptual design to the public twice and worked hard to deliver cohesive and consistent messaging. In the time leading up to the installation, the team communicated that the project was a pilot through web pages on the cityâs website, social media, and more than 30,000 mailed brochures. The interviewee said that public meetings helped the team refine its goals for the project. The public was heavily involved in the installations in the public realm, notably, through the design competition and through the interactive nature of the installations. (8) PUBLIC FEEDBACK + OUTCOMES Throughout the pilot period, the project team recorded that customer satisfaction on key measures such as travel time, comfort, and wait time significantly improved. The project team collected a variety of data throughout the life of the pilot, and published monthly and bimonthly reports on the following metrics: bicycle and pedestrian volumes, transit ridership, transit travel times, transit reliability, car travel times and volumes, economic point-of-sale data, and public realm improvements. The Transit Commission collected the data on streetcar speed and reliability. Cameras were installed to generate multimodal counts at key intersections in the study area, and Bluetooth sensors at intersections measured general traffic speeds. The team also made limited use of temporary cameras in some locations to gather additional data on curbside use (e.g., deliveries, loading, and parking). The final pilot report, released to the public in April 2019, portrayed a successful project. King Street became the second most popular cycling route in the downtown core, with cycling volumes having increased 440% during the afternoon commute as of October 2018. Car travel times did not change much, and the parallel streets have absorbed the rerouted car traffic well. Pedestrian volumes also did not change much, but all-day, weekday streetcar ridership increased approximately 16% (i.e., approximately 12,000 more riders daily). As of summer 2018, 82% of the streetcars were arriving within 4 minutes westbound during the morning commute, and the final report indicated an approximately 5-minute travel time savings during the afternoon commute for the slowest streetcar travel time. The final report shows that approximately 30,000 minutes of travel time were saved by streetcar customers daily by the pilot. Spending in the restaurants along King Street declined by 1.2% in the year period following the pilotâs implementation, but spending in the retail and services sector increased by 1.7%, effectively offsetting losses in spending in the pilot area. The pilot project was not entirely without negative feedback, but the mayor and City Council were pleased that the pilot facilitated the accomplishment of one of their priorities: getting people in the city to use transit more. (9) QUICK-BUILD LESSONS + ADVANTAGES The pilot demonstrated significant improvements on key metrics, such as transit travel times and reliability. Congestion on the corridor has in general been significantly reduced, and the streetcar now has clearer priority than under past conditions. This was the first time that the cityâs Planning Division, the cityâs Transportation Services Division, and the Toronto Transit Commission all came together, and they had very clear goals and support from leadership. (10) CHALLENGES The interviewee said the largest challenge was probably allaying the different concerns, especially those of the businesses along the corridor. A lot of time went into configuring the curbside space in a way that would serve the needs of the businesses, taxis, ride share drivers, and business deliveries. Deciding on a final treatment at the stops that would not obstruct bicycle movement and that would provide a safe boarding area for transit riders was also a challenge. (11) FUNDING The project received federal funding from Canadaâs Public Transit Infrastructure Fund, which covered 50% of the cost of the project. The city matched those funds with existing capital funding resources. In total, the project had a $1.1 million ($1.5 million Canadian) budget. (12) WHATâS NEXT? Since the implementation of the pilot, slight design changes have included the addition, removal, resizing, or relocation of loading zones and public realm spaces. These decisions were made as a result of field observations and consultation with affected parties, including business owners. Signal timing and lane configuration changes have also been made to improve signal coordination and reduce queuing. In April 2019, the City of Toronto City Council voted (22 to 3) to make the pilot permanent and to include the creation of 45 new, permanent patios in the pilotâs experimental public spaces. The Council also voted unanimously to pass a motion to continue monitoring and evaluating the project. The interviewee said Toronto may need an intermediate design to try out transitioning some elements of the pilot to a more permanent form. These elements included stop platform modifications and signal design changes to reinforce the no through traffic regulation (aside from taxis between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.). The city has expressed that it will capitalize on the 2023 King Street track repair project to integrate the pilot project elements and create a true destination street in the urban core.
77 LA BUS BOARDING PLATFORMS PROJECT TEAM: Los Angeles Department of Transportation PROJECT LOCATION: Two locations in Los Angeles: â¢ First Street between Main and Spring Streets â¢ Figueroa Street near 7th Street PROJECT INSTALLATION: October 2017, September 2018 PROJECT DURATION: First platform remains MATERIALS: Modular, recycled plastic elevated platform (Spanish manufacturer) DID IT WORK? The department is planning to install a third in early 2019, and continue expanding their use. Multiple modular bus boarding platform installations at spot locations, including site-specific design modifications. (1) PROJECT IMPETUS The interviewee, the senior transportation engineer at the cityâs DOT, was working on its Vision Zero initiative at the time the city started hearing about the modular platforms being manufactured in Spain. There was a general willingness and curiosity within the department to try the product. It chose a location close to the office and serviced by DASH (transit provided by the Los Angeles DOT), that would be easy to monitor. There were no expectations and no planned evaluation. There was a buffered bike lane passing by this particular bus stop, so the platform would also prevent the buses from pulling into the bike lane. (2) WHY THE QUICK-BUILD METHODOLOGY The team ultimately found it to be a good opportunity to test the product, and to see if it could be a viable and flexible solution at other locations across the city. (3) PROJECT TIMELINE: 6 months Most of the process leading up to the first installation was devoted to iterative conversations about the platform design with the manufacturer. (4) PROJECT TEAM + ROLES â¢ City of Los Angeles â¢ Department of Transportation â¢ Bureau of Street Services â¢ City contractor The department was able to install the first platform relatively free of any permitting process or sign-off from other local agencies or departments. Because the location was a DASH bus stop, there was no need to involve the Los Angeles Metro (a regional transit provider). The cityâs Bureau of Street Services did some repaving along the curb, where the platform needed to be boosted a bit to be even with the sidewalk level. A city contractor installed the first platform. (5) PROJECT ELEMENTS + DESIGN PROCESS â¢ Modular bus boarding platforms The manufacturer started by sending a proposal, and the process became iterative for a while. The city had to ensure that the first platform would be manufactured according to some of its regulations and site-specific conditions. The most important part to get right was perhaps the bike ramp, to enable cyclists to pass over the ramp to continue in the existing bike lane. The first ramp that connected to the platform had to be reordered because it was too steep. The final design was mostly informed by the physical constraints of the location (available width, bike lane width, and length of the bus stop).
78 (6) MATERIALS + IMPLEMENTATION â¢ Recycled plastic boarding platforms w/ striping + markings â¢ K-71 bollards â¢ Tactile warning pads (second installation) A city contractor installed the first platform within a day. (7) PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT The department did not really do any public outreach for the first platform. It was not messaged as a Vision Zero project; rather, it was more about the department testing the infrastructure. The bus drivers were educated so that they would not drive over it. The interviewee said that riders quickly adjusted and understood how to interact with it. (8) PUBLIC FEEDBACK + OUTCOMES The city did not conduct a formal feedback process for the first platform and has not yet developed a way to formally evaluate the infrastructure for any other metrics such as ridership or dwell time, although it plans to. Anecdotally, it was observed that bikes sometimes went around the first platform if they did not want to slow down. Other than that, the city did not receive robust feedback. The city plans to create a process for evaluation as it installs more boarding platforms throughout the city. (9) QUICK-BUILD LESSONS + ADVANTAGES The first platform was a success, in that it proved to the city that it could do such a project and helped staff brainstorm other ways the platforms could be useful in addition to other applications. (10) CHALLENGES Other than needing to change the first platformâs bike ramp, all other changes were considered a part of the design process. (11) FUNDING The manufacturer gave the first platform to the city for free. Funding for the second platform was acquired through the My Figueroa Streetscape Project, and funding for the third will be acquired through the Great Streets Initiative. The average cost of a platform is approximately $40,000 (at a baseline). (12) WHATâS NEXT? The city has already installed a second platform as a part of its My Figueroa Streetscape Project and plans to install a third on Robertson Blvd. as a part of one of the cityâs Great Streets projects. This project includes more public outreach and will have an evaluative component. LA DOT JOE LINTON, STREETSBLOG Figueroa Street First Street
79 PROJECT TEAM: City of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Metro, Better Bus Coalition PROJECT LOCATION: Main Street between E. 6th Street and Central Parkway, Cincinnati, OH PROJECT INSTALLATION: November 2018 PROJECT DURATION: Planned 1 month; remained until next iteration MATERIALS: Thermoplastic DID IT WORK? The project team already added more striping and pavement markings as a follow-up in January 2019. An AM peak-hour dedicated bus lane demarcated with a single, thick thermoplastic stripe, including signage and bus stop modifications. (1) PROJECT IMPETUS The bus lane was about a year in the making, and had been proposed multiple times by Cincinnatiâs transit advocacy group, the Better Bus Coalition. The location of the proposed bus lane was certainly no surprise, as Main Street is one of the most congested corridors in downtown Cincinnati, traveled by more than 600 buses a day during the PM peak. The buses on the approximate six-block stretch of Main Street were experiencing significant delays during peak hour, often taking almost half an hour to move four blocks. The buses on the test segment had to weave in and out of traffic, which contributed to the congestion all modes experience on the corridor. The Better Bus Coalition brought data (analysis the group had performed for its Better Bus Plan, published earlier in summer 2018) to one of the city councilmen (the interviewee from the city) that illustrated how congestion in the urban core was causing a ripple effect throughout the entire network, substantially affecting peopleâs commutes and transportation choices. The group proposed to the councilman that a bus lane on a particularly backed up segment of Main Street could alleviate some of that effect. The group needed a political ally to champion the lane, and the councilman put forward a piece of legislation at the end of the summer that the city council voted on and approved in September 2018. Cincinnati Metro (transit agency) wrote a letter of support for the legislation. The interviewee from Metro said that it was skeptical that the city would approve the legislation and worked together with the councilman and city staff to figure out how to get it approved. The councilman said that with the pilot bus laneâthe first ever dedicated bus lane in the cityâ he hoped to âgive people back the gift of timeâ and that the lane would provide more equity for transit riders. (2) WHY THE QUICK-BUILD METHODOLOGY According to Metro, there is a general sense of frustration in the city with âendless studies.â The project team wanted to get something done relatively quickly to see what advantages it could provide. They wanted to forego hypothesizing what the effects would be. The councilman said that he is a âbig believerâ in pilots, which to him are more advantageous than studies on which millions of dollars are spent or even a permanent project from the outset. According to the projectâs manager in the city government, âtraffic models only do so much.â The entire team was aligned in the belief that the best way to get an accurate picture of what a bus lane on this corridor would do was to test it. The project also had to fit within a certain budget. A robust dedicated bus lane was not feasible with the amount of money that had been approved for the project. The city did not have enough funding for the signal timing that would have to accompany a true dedicated lane. MAIN STREET BUS LANE ADVOCACY INITIATION
80 The team thought that because on-street parking was already prohibited in the curbside lane during the AM and PM peak periods, a bus lane using cost-effective striping and signage would still be an effective test. The only obstacle to doing this was to remove a bump-out in the lane at one intersection. (3) PROJECT TIMELINE: 2 months The project team adopted an approach with a pretty low barrier to implementationâsome line striping and signage. A bump-out in the curbside lane had to be removed, but other than that, the process was able to move quickly. The councilman said that the fact that the argument made sense to people, and that it would be easy to implement, made it a quick process. (4) PROJECT TEAM + ROLES â¢ City of Cincinnati â¢ Department of Transportation and Engineering â¢ Department of Public Services â¢ Office of the City Manager â¢ Cincinnati Metro â¢ Better Bus Coalition The city and Metro partnered on the projectâs communication efforts, which included a press release, ribbon cutting, social media, and website information dissemination. They also collaborated on the design of the projectâs signage. Metro led the formal evaluation for any time savings the lane would produce. Metro recently had launched an initiative called Reinventing Metro and was looking at several ways to make service better and increase the incentive to use public transit. This initiative tied in well with the pilot lane communications. Once the lane was approved, Metro and the city held multiple meetings to work through the design and implementation. The cityâs Department of Transportation and Engineering designed the lane (and the implementation plan) with review from Metro, and the two entities coordinated regarding a few bus stop modifications. At one location in particular, there were two bus stops on one block. One stop was within a right-turn-only lane (for bus routes making a right turn), which was removed so that the lane could be made both a right-turn and through lane. Metro also trained its operators in the use of the lane. The city also executed the laneâs implementation in-house by using the Department of Public Services. This department houses the cityâs sign shop and pavement marking division. Public Services also implemented the small signal change that had to occur at the intersection where the bump-out was removed (adjusted pedestrian crossing time). The cityâs Parking Facilities Division and the Police Department led the enforcement of the lane during its operational hours. Metro noted that the process did not differ much from its standard collaboration with the city. It already had a good process in place, especially for the production and review of new signage. CITY OF CINCINNATI CITY OF CINCINNATI Striping in action
81 (5) PROJECT ELEMENTS + DESIGN PROCESS â¢ AM and PM peak-hour dedicated bus lane â¢ Bus stop modifications â¢ Signage The design of the lane was done entirely in-house by the city, something that the councilman said really spoke to the ânature of a pilot.â The city felt that the scale of the pilotâstarting off with a lighter design touchâwas something it could really wrap its arms around. The lane, which occupied the curbside lane from 7 to 9 a.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m. (and within which minimal parking was removed during operational hours), was marked with a single thick stripe and signage. The cityâs project manager said that early deliberations about the lane focused on how to make it as obvious to motorists as possible without going over budget. He said they were trying to balance adherence to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices with âwhat was actually going to make sense to people.â They debated for about 3 weeks on whether the project should include a lot of pavement markings, overhead signage, curb signage, and so forth. (6) MATERIALS + IMPLEMENTATION â¢ Thermoplastic striping The bump-out was removed a few weekends before the striping began and the signage went up. That part of the lane was then repaved a week later. The striping, signage, and bus stop removal was done within 48 hours in the first week of November, all with city crews. The cityâs project manager said that the city was not confident that painted lines would last through the winter, so it decided to use thermoplastic striping. The street had been repaved a few years previously, so he knew that if the striped line had to be removed for some reason, the pavement would regenerate easily. The project team said it could have planned a bit better for enforcement. The cityâs parking enforcement had to ramp up efforts quickly following implementation after it noticed that cars were traveling and idling in the lane when they were not supposed to. (7) PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT The project team promoted the project robustly on social media and worked with three primary stakeholder groups downtown to get the word out: Cincinnati Regional Chamber, Downtown Residents Council, and Downtown Cincinnati, Inc. According to the councilman, this project âbelonged to the public.â They were very aware of it and very excited. The cityâs project manager said that the only negative feedback it received prior to the laneâs implementation was about parking. The city repeatedly reminded people that parking was already restricted during the laneâs operational hours. CITY OF CINCINNATI CITY OF CINCINNATI Bump-out removal
82 (8) PUBLIC FEEDBACK + OUTCOMES So far, the public response has been very positive. The project team received positive feedback, mostly for the effort of trying something, and compliance has also improved. Initial data collection revealed a 20% savings in travel time. Compilation of data for a final report was to have begun after 4 months, in February 2019; these data will primarily reflect speed and reliability improvements. At first, the city tried to be lighter with enforcement and focus on education. In the first half of November 2018, 18 citations were given. Upon realizing that it needed to be more strict to ensure compliance, the city ended up issuing 43 citations in December. (9) QUICK-BUILD LESSONS + ADVANTAGES The councilman said that if the pilot lane hit the cityâs goals, it would look to expand bus lanes throughout the city. He said that, in coming years, the city would like to use the bus lane to connect the bus hub downtown with one in an area north of downtown. The city said that one of the biggest takeaways was learning to work with its internal departments and partners. Instead of speculating from its offices about whether or not a bus lane would work, it was more important to create an opportunity for riders and operators to experience it and give the city direct feedback on what worked and what did not. Pursuing that line of speculation, as opposed to experiential feedback, would never have gotten it the bus lane. In regard to enforcement, the cityâs project manager said the city now knows to âuse as many means as possible.â (10) CHALLENGES Enforcement was a main challenge, as the city had to play catch up to monitor the bus lane. Metro thought that if the lane were operational 24 hours a day, enforcement would be easier as a result of a more consistent mandate to avoid the lane. The city had not factored enforcement into the project budget, so it could not have designated parking enforcement staff or police officers solely for the enforcement of the lane. Parking enforcement and the police accommodated the project, but it was difficult to cover the length of the project during both operational periods. The cityâs project manager also said he thought that with more funding, the city could have planned better for enforcement and used more obvious pavement markings from the start. He also observed that getting engineers on board and comfortable with trying something new could have been more of an issue had it not been for his department directorâs mandate to get the project done. (11) FUNDING The project cost about $55,000 and was funded by an existing Department of Transportation and Engineering capital programâthe Downtown Infrastructure Improvements programâfunds that the department had received the previous year. The cityâs project manager said that some of the departments had to bill to a general line item, which meant that some of the soft costs of the design and labor for the review process were not included in the project budget. The budget was for the creation of the signage, implementation of the pavement markings, and removal of the bump-out and resulting repaving and signal-timing adjustment. (12) WHATâS NEXT? The city hoped to install âBus Onlyâ pavement markings by February 2019. The councilman said that although the formal evaluation was not complete, he was pretty confident that the bus lane would remain permanent. As other street improvement projects come up across the city, they will look for more ways to try dedicated bus lanes.
83 PROJECT TEAM: Town of Arlington, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), City of Cambridge, MA Dept. of Conservation and Recreation PROJECT LOCATION: Massachusetts Avenue eastbound between Lake Street and Alewife Brook Parkway, Arlington, MA PROJECT INSTALLATION: October 2018 PROJECT DURATION: 1 month, some elements remain MATERIALS: Cones DID IT WORK? Significant time savings! An AM peak-hour shared bus-bike lane demarcated with cones, including Transit Signal Priority and other signal adjustments, intersection treatments, queue jump lanes, signage, and bus stop relocation. (1) PROJECT IMPETUS The town had known of significant delays in bus service on Massachusetts Avenue, specifically in East Arlington, since 2005. After years of thinking through first- and last-mile connections to the MBTA Alewife Station, and after a recent streetscape reconstruction did not alleviate the issues, the town wanted to take advantage of the BostonBRT funding program to take another look at ways to improve traffic flow, reduce bus travel times, and improve reliability on the corridor. The project garnered support from town officials and the town manager, which the townâs director of planning and community development (interviewee) considered a major reason the test was an option in the first place. (2) WHY THE QUICK-BUILD METHODOLOGY The interviewee said that the town was excited at the prospect of testing somethingâan otherwise rare opportunity for municipalities. They were ânew at this.â The idea that the project was a test made town officials and the public more comfortable that the town was not going to waste resources. The interviewee said they were hopeful that they could try out multiple BRT elements in one project, something that may not have been possible if not for the Quick-Build approach. (3) PROJECT TIMELINE: 7 months The interviewee said that staff turnover had an impact early on in getting the project up and running. (4) PROJECT TEAM + ROLES â¢ Town of Arlington â¢ Consultants â¢ City of Cambridge â¢ MA Department of Conservation and Recreation â¢ MBTA Arlington, Cambridge, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) formed a team that conversed regularly about the project. The Metropolitan Area Planning Council conducted a parking utilization study. The town brought on a consultant for the analysis, design alternatives, and final test design and elements. Within the town, the project touched multiple departments and coordinated with the City of Cambridge and the DCR about the signal changes at Alewife Brook Parkway. The consultant also helped the town with implementation during the final month of its contract (September 2018). MASS. AVENUE BUS LANE POSITIVE OUTCOME
84 (5) PROJECT ELEMENTS + DESIGN PROCESS â¢ AM peak-hour shared bus-bike lane â¢ Transit Signal Priority and other signal adjustments â¢ Intersection treatments â¢ Signage â¢ Queue jump lanes â¢ Bus stop relocation The design process portion of the project, for which the town contracted with Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. (VHB), ran from April through September 2018. The town and VHB divided the test into three segments, or primary components: a curbside shared busâbike lane that occupied the parking lane and adjacent bike lane and intersection and signal treatments at the intersection of Lake Street and Alewife Brook Parkway. The team got feedback from the public on the length of the bus lane, and on the different treatment options at the intersections (e.g., shared leftâthrough lane, single through and left-turn lanes, or moving the left-turn lane north of the median to keep the existing two lanes as through lanes at Alewife Brook Parkway). Three lengths of the shared busâbike lane were presented: .45 mile, .25 mile, or just under .20 mile. These different segments would start at Lake Street, Varnum Street, or Teel/Thorndike Street, respectively, and end at Alewife Brook Parkway. Each length had different parking removal implications. (6) MATERIALS + IMPLEMENTATION â¢ Cones Implementation began in August, when Arlingtonâs Department of Public Works (DPW) removed one pedestrian bump-out in the lane to be tested. MBTA moved the bus stop signage and placed temporary signage for the pilot during September. Also in September, the City of Cambridge changed the traffic signal at an intersection to accommodate other signal changes and align them with new signage. An MBTA contractor installed TSP at three traffic signals (one in the pilot area, Lake Street) during September and early October. The traffic signal at Alewife Brook Parkway was changed to split phase. DPW staff repainted signage at an intersection and bus stop and installed all signage for the project in September and early October. DPW staff placed and removed the traffic cones along the outer edge of the bike lane at 5:45 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. every day of the pilot along the .25-mile stretch. The project also included a combination of temporary and traffic signage that closed parking, indicated the bus stop relocation at Lake Street (to beyond the traffic light), and indicated the queue jump lanes at Lake Street and Alewife Brook Parkway (right lane must turn right, except for buses and bikes). All features of the test, except for the cones delineating the shared busâbike lane, were to remain from the beginning. For the first 2 weeks, the town had seven police officers enforcing the test, TOWN OF ARLINGTON TOWN OF ARLINGTON
85 stationed along the route and at the intersections to make sure people did not turn into the bus lane. Once drivers and bicyclists better understood the changes, enforcement was reduced to two officers on motorcycles for the remainder of test period. (7) PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT The interviewee said that without the public engagement, the positive feedback received may not have been quite as robust. Arlington made sure to prioritize engagement and was diligent about notifying people along the corridor about the project (town messaging boards and all social media accounts were used to promote the project) and about meeting face-to-face with businesses. The town held a kickoff public forum in May 2018, after which a consultant commenced corridor analysis and the conceptual design process. The town had a few smaller stakeholder meetings, a second public forum in August (at which attendees voted on their preferred option for each segment of the test corridor), and meetings with the police, public works, and MBTA in the final month. The project was implemented on October 9th. A final forum was held in November following the projectâs implementation. (8) PUBLIC FEEDBACK + OUTCOMES The town was very satisfied with the test, which has already informed its next steps. Nearly 95% of survey respondents (mostly riders) said they wanted the lane to be made permanent. Most negative feelings throughout the planning and design process came from people concerned about the change, the interviewee said. Concern was also expressed by neighbors and businesses adjacent to the corridor because of a previously challenging project. The test was well received by bicyclists, and evaluation did not reveal any significant impacts on vehicular flow or speeds. No violations or traffic tickets were issued during the pilotâs operational hours. Consultants collected data primarily on bus travel times (the 77 and 79/350 routes) to assess improvements in speed and reliability. The test evaluation showed a 5â6 minute savings (50% reduction in travel times) for the buses, and a 40% reduction in the variability of the travel times (comparing the average versus the most delayed trips). (9) QUICK-BUILD LESSONS + ADVANTAGES The interviewee also thinks that the test did a good job of making people aware of why treatments that were tested in the project are important for mobility. (10) CHALLENGES The interviewee said the main challenge was fielding negative feedback, mostly about the removal of parking. The interviewee also said that messaging the pilot as a test and simultaneously trying to let the public know that the pilot would inform a long-term process was also tricky. Doing the test, however, would ultimately allow the town to get the evaluation JENNY RAITT it needed for this process in a shorter time frame. Another challenge included the messaging about the movement of the bus stop at Lake Street, simply in terms of making sure that riders were aware of the move. (11) FUNDING The project was funded entirely by the $100,000 from the Barr Foundation. The funds were spent to retain a consultant to study corridor conditions and produce a design for the BRT Pilot ($48,990), police detail during the implementation of the pilot to ensure traffic safety ($27,103), new and temporary signage for the pilot and other materials (e.g., traffic cones; $22,840), and marketing materials (approximately $1,000). (12) WHATâS NEXT? The project was so successful that the bus lane was to be made permanent as of spring 2019. The signal modifications will remain, and the town will continue to look at improvements to the Alewife Brook Parkway intersection. The team will also investigate pedestrian improvements and more TSP along the corridor and consider platform level boarding. The team is continuing to look at other BRT elements that could be tested on the corridor and other transportation corridors in town.
86 MT. AUBURN STREET BUS LANES PROJECT TEAM: City of Cambridge, Town of Watertown, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation PROJECT LOCATION: Mt. Auburn and Belmont Streets, Cambridge and Watertown, MA: â¢ Mt. Auburn Street between Ralph Piteri Terrace and Coolidge Avenue â¢ Belmont Street between Brimmer and Mt. Auburn Streets â¢ Mt. Auburn Street at Walnut and School Streets PROJECT INSTALLATION: Oct.âNov. 2018 PROJECT DURATION: Permanent from outset; iterations pending evaluation MATERIALS: Thermoplastic, asphalt paint DID IT WORK? Evaluation is underway. 24-hour shared bus-bike lanes (two segments) with red paint, including Transit Signal Priority and other signal adjustments, queue jump lanes, painted curb extensions, signage, and a conventional bike lane (small portion of corridor where there isnât a bus lane). (1) PROJECT IMPETUS The pilot segment of Mt. Auburn and Belmont Streets fell within areas already under study by the Town of Watertown, the City of Cambridge, and the stateâs Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). Cambridge had identified this portion of Mt. Auburn Street as one of the worst in the city for Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) bus delay and unreliability. Two intersections within Watertown that touched the pilot project area were also within a long-term Complete Streets capital planning process, and DCR had been planning short-term capital improvements at Fresh Pond Parkway. Watertown was also studying a longer portion of Mt. Auburn Street in its jurisdiction and had been interested in testing some solutions to congestion and transit delays. The DCRâs process for Fresh Pond Parkway had showed willingness from the surrounding community to implement transit improvements, and all three entities thought they could apply the solutions tested to each of their study areas. In general, there was momentum from both municipalities and the state in this area to push for improvements to the bus service. The majority of the pilot area was within Cambridge, so it took the lead on the Barr Foundationâs BostonBRT program application, in partnership with Watertown. (2) WHY THE QUICK-BUILD METHODOLOGY The project team thought that with the Barr Foundation funding, it could test some of the solutions it had been studying to advance each entityâs planning process. The interviewee pointed out that pilots carried out with cones can require lots of person power, are typically intended to be for a short duration, and typically have numerous design challenges that are not intended to be addressed during the pilot. By using the Quick-Build process, Cambridge could invest slightly more money in modest changes, such as restriping with thermoplastic and testing the red paint, without making changes that were difficult to remove or modify. This way, the project could remain in place for a longer evaluation period. The elements Cambridge implemented would not be removed but would be evaluated regularly and could be made more permanent or tweaked on the basis of performance. Cambridge would decide which elements of the pilot it could rework with more permanent materials on the basis of the formal evaluation. The city had been doing protected bike lane pilot projects and was getting used to implementing and evaluating projects quickly so that it could arrive at vetted and more informed permanent projects; however, it had not yet tested a bus lane.
87 (3) PROJECT TIMELINE: 10 months (approx.) The project team initiated the concept design and public outreach process in January 2018, and the pilot was implemented over a few weeks in October and November. Implementation was originally intended for summer 2018, but because of the interdependency of the pilot with other projects managed by other entities, it had to be pushed back a bit. (4) PROJECT TEAM + ROLES â¢ City of Cambridge â¢ Community Development Department â¢ Traffic, Parking, and Transportation Department â¢ Contractors â¢ Town of Watertown â¢ MBTA â¢ Massachusetts DCR Cambridge took the lead on the BostonBRT application, and, after working with a consultant to develop the design, the cityâs Traffic, Parking, and Transportation Department finalized the striping plans for the shared busâbike lane. The city used contractors for the implementation of the pavement markings, paint application, and signal changes (TSP at Aberdeen and Homer Avenues and retiming at Belmont Street). DCR implemented a queue jump signal with detection at Fresh Pond Parkway and Coolidge Avenue (the eastern end of the lane). Watertown led the implementation of the queue jump lanes at Walnut Street and School Street as well as a bus stop relocation. The municipalitiesâ interaction with MBTA in this project was similar to that of the other BostonBRT awardees. MBTAâs main liaison was a new position, specifically created to improve collaboration with the municipalities in the Greater Boston area. Cambridge, Watertown, and MBTA had regular check-ins throughout the process. Cambridgeâs transportation planner said that the city had worked with the service planning team for a long time prior to this project, but that the new position made MBTA more accessible and responsive to municipalities. (5) PROJECT ELEMENTS + DESIGN PROCESS â¢ 24-hour shared bus-bike lanes (two segments) â¢ Conventional bike lane â¢ Queue jump lanes â¢ Signal adjustments and TSP â¢ Painted curb extensions â¢ Signage TEGIN TEICH TEGIN TEICH
88 Varying existing conditions within the pilot segment of Mt. Auburn Street necessitated a few different treatments. For the majority of the segment, the busâbike lane was implemented in one of the eastbound travel lanes. Where there was curbside parking, the lane was implemented in the adjacent travel lane. This meant that while no parking was removed, travel eastbound was reduced to one lane where there was a bus lane. For about one block in the Watertown portion (Belmont Street to Ralph Piteri Terrace), the lane was implemented in both directions. The busâbike lane was demarcated with red paint, the words âBus Only,â shared lane markings, and signage. There was not enough width to implement the lane in both directions for the entire segment, but the team was able to fit a bike lane heading westbound that started at Brattle and Mt. Auburn Streets, and continued along Belmont Street to Brimmer Street. This bike lane included green-backed conflict zone treatments and a bike box at Mt. Auburn and Aberdeen Streets. Cambridge also reduced the asphalt space on Brattle Street where it meets Mt. Auburn Street with buffered striping to reduce the crossing distance for pedestrians and prevent cars from entering the unsignalized intersection at high speed. (6) MATERIALS + IMPLEMENTATION â¢ High-friction asphalt paint (red and green) â¢ Thermoplastic pavement markings and striping Watertown used high-friction red paint and thermoplastic to stripe in right-turn lanes in the existing wide curbside travel lane at Walnut and School Streets. Cambridge also used thermoplastic for the striping and new pavement markings and high-friction red and green paint that would fade over time and could be made more permanent for the busâbike and bike lanes. The signage was made permanent from the outset. The transportation planner in Cambridgeâs Community Development Department (interviewee) said that the success of the busâbike lane pilot was really contingent on the signal changes, which is why it adjusted the signals about a month before the paint went down in late October. This gave all road users a chance to get used to the new movement patterns before having to adjust to the changes that would result from the laneâs implementation. DCR made its signal changes after the red paint went down. In August, in advance of the lane implementation, Watertown implemented two eastbound queue jump lanes on Mt. Auburn Street at Walnut Street and School Streetsâtwo inter- sections within a mile west of the bus lane pilot (mostly in Cambridge). They also moved a bus stop at the western initiation of the lane within the segment within Watertownâs jurisdiction. (7) PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT From other pilot projects that Cambridge has done, the city learned that robust public engagement prior to implementation is crucial, and the team thought it successfully engaged the community along the corridor in the design process. TEGIN TEICH TEGIN TEICH
89 Watertownâs interviewee said that their part of the pilot was not intended to be removed unless there were safety or other significant concerns over it not functioning as intended, and the city messaged it as such, with the caveat that it would be made more permanent if deemed a success. Watertown was more pointed in using the temporary messaging and it messaged the queue jump lanes at Walnut and School Streets, which were installed in August 2018, as a part of the townâs Complete Streets efforts. Watertown communicated more effectively that its part of the pilot would be removed if necessary. The project team thought that more of the trust building happened between municipal departments. The cross-jurisdictional communication, and effectively not messaging the project in silos, greatly strengthened the relationships between Cambridge and Watertown, MBTA, and DCR. (8) PUBLIC FEEDBACK + OUTCOMES It might still be too early to tell, but since the projectâs implementation, most of the negative feedback has been from motorists. It took about 3 weeks to get the signals working the way they should, which the interviewee said will be difficult for the motorists to forget. Although Cambridge has done pilot projects before and is always diligent in communicating that the projects do not have set deinstallations, there is still a feeling from motorists that the city is âconstantly taking things away from them.â Bus operators and riders immediately saw the benefits of the lane, and so far there have not been any complaints about busâbike conflicts. The interviewee doubts the project will bring out many more bicyclists, but thinks it will be greatly appreciated by people already riding on the corridor. Two weeks after the pilot was fully implemented, the project team went out to the street and surveyed 225 riders. Ninety-eight percent of riders said they wanted to make the bus lane permanent, and 70% said they thought the lane had sped up their ride by at least 4 minutes. In December 2018, Cambridge started collecting early data on bus travel times, but a more robust collection of this quantitative data was planned for spring 2019, at which point the city also planned to collect data on bicyclist usage and travel times for motorists. Data collected at this time were to be compared with data from spring 2018 (before the pilot was implemented). The Cambridge interviewee said that violations along the corridor also decreased, even just weeks after the pilot was fully implemented. People were most confused when merging from two lanes to one where the busâbike lane started, and did not seem sure where they could enter the lane when they wanted to make a right turn. The project team also heard from bicyclists that the point where the bus lane drops for a block and a half feels most uncomfortable because the lane becomes a general travel lane, with drivers merging with buses. Watertown did not collect feedback on the queue jump lanes alone; its Complete Streets project has a website where people can submit comments. The Watertown interviewee said that in general, the interventions were well-received, specifically because the no-turn-on-red restrictions were removed, which made traffic flow better for all users. LAURA WIENER LAURA WIENER
90 (9) QUICK-BUILD LESSONS + ADVANTAGES The Cambridge interviewee was confident that one of the biggest benefits of the process was the building of the cross-jurisdictional relationship. Without political pressure, existing planning processes to springboard from, and departments willing to try innovating things, the project would not have been a success. The desire to implement the project quickly meant the team was forced to arrive at solutions together faster, even during times of frustration. For a region that the interviewee claims is not âgood at crossing (municipal) boundaries,â the project implementation alone was a success. Additionally, the lane inadvertently helped the city enforce good driver behavior in general on the corridor. Aside from enforcing the busâbike lane, the police officers on-site were able to catch other violations that were already occurring but worsening because of the lane (e.g., cars using left-turn lanes to jump ahead of traffic). The process also helped advance conversations about similar treatments on other corridors in Cambridge and has overall moved the needle on addressing regionwide MBTA service improvements. As for Watertown, the queue jump lanes would inform its Mt. Auburn Street planning process and Complete Streets goals. The town did not get conclusive data on speed and reliability because of the isolated nature of the interventions. (10) CHALLENGES Cambridgeâs project manager said that it would be ideal in the future to streamline implementation so that it does not have to take place over multiple weeks. She also said that future signal work performed by contractors should be more closely supervised by the city to ensure quality control. Consistent enforcement for the first month or so of the pilot was also difficult. The team had to pay police officers overtime, who sometimes got pulled away for other jobs. Choosing the enforcement strategy was also challenging. The team was deciding between heavy enforcement (more officers) for a shorter, but more consistent period of time or fewer officers over a few more weeks. It found that having too many police officers on the corridor was counterproductive, as it did not want roadway users to get used to conditions that would not be the permanent ones. Where there was no parking, it was difficult for officers to pull people over for violations. The interviewee said that the buses were all equipped with cameras but that the city was not able to use the cameras for enforcement at that time. The implementation of the jump lanes in Watertown was smooth, but there was initial confusion among drivers, since there were new right-turn lanes where there had not been before. Signage was adjusted to improve visibility. (11) FUNDING This project was funded with $100,000 of the BostonBRT program, plus extra contributions from Cambridge for its portion. Ten thousand dollars of the program funds were allocated for Watertownâs portion of the project. Cambridge spent $120,000 (double what it had proposed) on signage, pavement markings, and paint, $27,000 on the signal changes ($20,000 had been proposed), and $25,000 for enforcement ($10,000 proposed). DCRâs work was its own construction project and did not utilize any of the grant funds. (12) WHATâS NEXT? Watertownâs jump lanes remain, and there is desire to work with MBTA to implement TSP at the two intersections. However, the need to upgrade signal equipment is a significant barrier pending implementation of the Complete Streets project. Cambridge learned a lot about how it might streamline its internal collaboration for similar projects in the future, whether these are Quick-Build in nature or not. The spring 2019 results were expected to inform the cityâs decision to upgrade the red paint to something more permanent or not. The city also planned to launch a process to finalize a design for the reconstruction of Belmont Street (one segment of the pilot) within a few months. Designs were expected to be finalized in the fall of 2019 and construction (utilities only) to start in late 2019. Surface construction will start in 2020.
91 PROJECT TEAM: Tennessee DOT, Metro Public Works, Walk Bike Nashville PROJECT LOCATION: Nolensville Pike at Welshwood Drive, Nashville, TN PROJECT INSTALLATION: December 2017 PROJECT DURATION: Will remain until permanent project is implemented MATERIALS: Thermoplastic, modular refuge islands, flashing crossing beacon DID IT WORK? Itâs functioning well, and there have been zero pedestrian fatalities since its installation! An interim crossing treatment at a bus stop, including refuge islands and signage, built with new striping, vertical barriers, and flashing pedestrian signals. (1) PROJECT IMPETUS The intervention was installed at one of the deadliest intersections in the city, at a stop with one of the highest daily boardings on Nolensville Pike. Seven people had been killed in 7 years. In 2016, following a data collection project on fatal crashes throughout the city, local advocacy nonprofit Walk Bike Nashville received a grant from New York Cityâbased foundation TransitCenter to create an outreach project along the Nolensville Pike. The organization teamed up with another advocacy group on the corridor (Conexion Americas), and conducted public meetings to brainstorm revitalization efforts and ways to make it safer for pedestrians. As a part of the project, the team hosted walk audits to identify the most challenging areas. A week after one of these walk audits with the Tennessee DOT and the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County (Metro), one more person was killed. Although the Tennessee DOT had a Highway Safety Improvement Program project to signalize the intersection, it was still about a year away, so the organization started encouraging the local government, with which they have a very positive relationship, to implement a solution immediately. The Tennessee DOT had already been invested in an interim solution for the intersection. With this revived impetus to act, the pilot project was conceived. (2) WHY THE QUICK-BUILD METHODOLOGY The intervention was temporary only because a permanent project was planned for the intersection, but the materials used were sturdy. The quickest part of the project was the process leading up to the implementation. The entities involved had decided it was imperative to find resources and work together fast. (3) PROJECT TIMELINE: 3 months The high profile nature of the location encouraged the project team to work together quickly to procure the materials and install the intervention. (4) PROJECT TEAM + ROLES â¢ Metro Government of Nashville and Davidson County â¢ Public Works â¢ Tennessee Department of Transportation â¢ Walk Bike Nashville Because the project involved an installation in the right-of-way, Metro Public Works led the design and installation of the project. Metro was also responsible for maintaining the intervention, for example, replacing posts that had been hit. The Tennessee DOT provided NOLENSVILLE CROSSING TREATMENT
92 support in materials and labor, and both entities communicated efficiently (bypassing most of the capital project permitting process) to get the intervention on the ground as quickly as possible. Because they were not moving the curblines, some permits, such as stormwater and water quality, were not needed. The number of permits otherwise required would have added weeks to the projectâs timeline. Both the Tennessee DOT and Metro interviewees said that there was already regular communication between each entity, but this project helped them see how to mobilize the troops for quick implementation of projects in the future. The Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority liked the project, which enhanced access to its transit. The agency was minimally involved in the process and did not have any permitting power over its execution. (5) PROJECT ELEMENTS + DESIGN PROCESS â¢ Refuge islands â¢ Pedestrian signals â¢ Signage Two doweled refuge islands were installed in the right-of-way, one in the existing buffered median and another between the curbside lane and the first southbound travel lane, to create a buffered lane where the bus would pull up to the shelter. Delineator posts and reflective thermoplastic striping were installed at the edges of the curbing. Signage indicates to drivers to yield to pedestrians when the flashing beacon is on. A continental crosswalk aligned with the southbound bus shelter (slightly up the street from the northbound shelter) was installed, and yield (âsharks teethâ) pavement markings were installed leading up to the crosswalk. New ADA ramps were constructed. The interviewees from Metro Public Works expressed an initial level of discomfort with installing crossing at an unsignalized intersection on such a large arterialâapproximately 35,000 annual average daily traffic (AADT)âalthough they had observed that cars slow down significantly at this location and that, so far, no one had been hurt. Had a permanent project not already been in the works, an interim design may not have been pursued. Metro Public Works considers temporary interventions to be especially valuable when it needs to test things such as dimensions or to evaluate roadway user response. However, if Public Works knows that a treatment is needed somewhere, it typically just develops a permanent project from the outset. (6) MATERIALS + IMPLEMENTATION â¢ Rubber, doweled refuge islands â¢ Reflective thermoplastic pavement markings and striping â¢ Delineator posts â¢ Tactile warning pads â¢ Flashing beacon WALK BIKE NASHVILLE WALK BIKE NASHVILLE
93 Metro Public Works and the Tennessee DOT had much of the equipment and materials needed on-hand. The materials had to be sturdy enough to be effective but not difficult to remove once it was time for the permanent traffic signal to be installed. It was more a question of who had what equipment and how could they make the intervention the most cost-effective. The director of project development for the Tennessee DOTâs middle Tennessee region (interviewee) said that they needed to find a solution that would not involve major changes to the right-of-way and that they had to avoid an installation that would normally have to go through a much longer process. The refuge islands were the first ones Metro Public Works had ever used. The city provided the pedestrian beacon and took the lead on installing the striping, modular pedestrian refuge islands (doweled into the asphalt), posts, signage and ADA accessible curb ramps. The Tennessee DOT contributed labor for the installation through its existing on-call contracts. In Tennessee, the DOT owns the roads, but Metro maintains the signals, pavement markings, striping, and so forth. Luckily, there were not too many limitations in terms of the roadway at this location (i.e., the crossing could be fit between existing driveways and drains), so the customization of the equipment to fit the context did not take too long. (7) PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT There wasnât a public engagement or input element of the project, but all parties interviewed think it has been a success purely because they were able to respond quickly to an urgent matter. (8) PUBLIC FEEDBACK + OUTCOMES The project team observed that people are driving more cautiously at the crossing. To the project team, the changes implemented seem to be functioning well so far. The interviewee from the Tennessee DOT said that because of this project, the conversation about using interim materials is âalive and well.â In January 2019, Walk Bike Nashville observed the crosswalk for pedestrian compliance and recorded pedestrian counts. The organization actually thinks the interim solution will be safer for pedestrians, as signalizing the intersection will result in longer crossing cycles that will make pedestrians more likely to use the crosswalk outside of the signalized cycles if they do not want to wait as long. (9) QUICK-BUILD LESSONS + ADVANTAGES The executive director of Walk Bike Nashville (interviewee) said that she is optimistic that this will have applications for other arterials in the future, but that there may still be work to do to navigate the city and state permitting processes. Walk Bike Nashville will continue to advocate for improved processes and quicker responses to dangerous roadway conditions in the city and to support other initiatives such as the Nashville Civic Design Centerâs TURBO Nashville (Tactical URBanism Organizers) to advance projects that may not garner enough support because of limited resources at the city and state levels for collecting data or public input. All three entities said that the project was successful, even just for the efficient communication and ability for all entities to be nimble and work together. It has enhanced their working relationship. (10) CHALLENGES The project has been a challenge to maintain. The project team said theyâd avoid posting signs within the refuge area in the future, as theyâre frequently getting hit. (11) FUNDING Metro Public Works donated the flashing pedestrian beacon, and procured the refuge islands. Metro and the Tennessee DOT contributed up to $25,000 total in labor and other materials. (12) WHATâS NEXT? Both Metro and the Tennessee DOT are open to using a quick implementation process again, and Metro is looking at other possible applications. Metro has worked with local initiative TURBO on installing projects it wanted to evaluate temporarily and is collaborating with the group on the establishment of a permitting process for temporary projects in the city. Metro has been supportive of thinking through ways to streamline permitting when there are temporary projects it feels comfortable testing and that will yield useful information.
94 NYC BUS BOARDING PLATFORMS PROJECT TEAM: New York City Department of Transportation PROJECT LOCATION: Four locations in New York, NY â¢ Utica Avenue @ Ave. N, Brooklyn (July 2016) â¢ W. 125th Street @ Malcolm X Blvd. (March 2018) â¢ 7th Avenue @ 42nd Street (October 2018) â¢ 7th Avenue @ 37th Street (October 2018) PROJECT INSTALLATION: July 2016 (1st) PROJECT DURATION: 20 months (1st) MATERIALS: Modular, recycled plastic elevated platform DID IT WORK? Theyâve already installed two more, relocated the first one, and have received material for more than 12 more. Multiple modular bus boarding platform installations at spot locations, with site-specific design modifications. (1) PROJECT IMPETUS The New York City DOT was familiar with bus bulbs as permanent infrastructure and had been building them since 2007, a year before the launch of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Select Bus Service program. The department had the quick in-house execution of pedestrian and bicycle projects down pretty well but had not explored an interim solution for bus bulbs (these had typically been capital projects). Someone from the department caught wind of a Spanish manufacturer that made modular recycled plastic bus boarding platforms that could be customized and installed without pouring concrete, and the department realized that it would be the first to use this product in the United States. The project ended up being managed by the deputy director of the Select Bus Service program (interviewee), housed within the New York City DOT Division of Transportation Planning and Management. This program was responsible for working with MTA to improve bus operations and customer experience where possible. The deputy director and staff ended up choosing a location in Brooklyn along Utica Avenue, a corridor that would be getting a new Select Bus Service route. The bus stop the program chose for the platform was a low ridership stop, chosen intentionally because the program had not used the product before and was not sure how it would perform in the winter. (2) WHY THE QUICK-BUILD METHODOLOGY The department was already working on the design of permanent bus bulbs along the same corridor. The platform was not necessarily meant to inform the permanent design, but rather to be an interim solution to get platform-level boarding on the ground sooner. The department could easily have decided not to implement an interim intervention but wanted to test the new product in case it could be reused elsewhere in the city. If the platform benefited bus transit at the first location, the department would use it throughout the city, tailoring it to site- specific conditions if need be. (3) PROJECT TIMELINE: 1 year + Installation happened over a year after the department first contacted the Spanish manufacturer (which was in April 2015). (4) PROJECT TEAM + ROLES â¢ New York City Department of Transportation â¢ Select Bus Service program â¢ Metropolitan Transportation Authority The intervieweeâs division is engaged in a fiftyâfifty partnership with MTA through its Select Bus Service program, which enables efficient communication and collaboration between the transit
95 agency and the entity that governs the streets (the New York City DOT). The process for joint execution of projects had been in place for a long time, so trying out the platforms followed that process. The interviewee commented that this partnership was particularly advantageous, because there was an existing formal structure for collaboration. Furthermore, he said that the fact that there is always a need for these types of interventions in the city makes it easier to justify moving quickly to install projects that improve transit service. (5) PROJECT ELEMENTS + DESIGN PROCESS â¢ Modular bus boarding platform w/ edge striping The platforms and installation sites were customized as needed. The interviewee cited things such as leveling the asphalt (if the platform was not flush against the curb), adjusting the height of the existing curbs if need be, and removing obstructions at the curb. The department also had to avoid utilities, either by not placing the platform over them or by covering them with removable pieces. The striping around the edges had to conform to regulations, and the platforms on 7th Avenue had additional ramps to give pedestrians access to the platforms from the painted curb extensions. At these locations, the department used white reflective tape and planters to make the ramps more visible. (6) MATERIALS + IMPLEMENTATION â¢ Recycled plastic boarding platform The department has used only internal crews for the installations. At first, the installations took about 3 days, but the interviewee said that once the crews became better trained, installation would likely be completed within a day. (7) PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT There was not a robust public engagement process before the implementation of the first platform; flyers were distributed at the stop letting riders know when to expect the installation. The interviewee said that New Yorkers typically are used to the city trying out new things. (8) PUBLIC FEEDBACK + OUTCOMES The department surveyed bus riders about the first platform, mostly regarding whether or not they found the platform an improvement to their commute/overall experience. Ninety-four percent of riders surveyed said it was easier to enter and exit the bus after the installation of the bus boarding platform; 92% of riders surveyed said it was easy to walk from the sidewalk to the bus boarding platform; and 94% of riders surveyed said they were satisfied with the bus boarding platform. One comment the interviewee recalled was a rider who said the platform âadded prestige to her neighborhood,â an indication that neighbors were pleased with the investment in their local transit system. The interviewee said anecdotally that people did not have a hard time understanding how to use or engage with the platform. ZICLA EVAN BIALOSTOZKY, MTA NEW YORK CITY Utica Avenue W 125th Street
96 NYCDOT 7th Avenue (9) QUICK-BUILD LESSONS + ADVANTAGES The interviewee was confident that the use of these platforms consecutively along a corridor will speed up service by reducing boarding times (more room for people to line up, and the buses do not have to pull in and out of the curb). On the basis of the intervieweeâs observations, the modular platforms improve accessibility because the buses do not have to awkwardly pull up to the curb. Because the platform edge is aligned parallel to the bus, there are not gaps between the platform and bus door. The interviewee also noticed that fewer cars park illegally in the bus area and that riders have more room to wait without feeling crowded. The department is working on how to quantify the impact of bus bulbs in general (not just the modular platforms) and select appropriate measures of success for evaluation. (10) CHALLENGES The manufacturer had not manually disassembled and reassembled the platforms before, because locally the company installs them permanently from the outset. However, when the department told them of its plans, the manufacturer created instructions for disassembly and reassembly. The department is learning how to order the platforms according to the cityâs regulations (correct color of striping around the edges, addition of tactile warning pads), but the interviewee said that, aside from one or two cases, the department is still not using bus platforms much to inform permanent design. The platforms are very customizable, and so the project team was able to request adjustments to them according to the unique right-of-way conditions in the city. For example, the length of the platforms had to match the bus length, and the platforms had to be installed in a way that avoided manhole covers and utilities (these platforms had to be customized on more of a site- by-site basis). The procurement process was therefore a bit more complex, but the interviewee still said the use of the platforms is âworth itâ and valuable to the city. The manufacturer has been helpful in working with the department to modify the platforms where necessary. (11) FUNDING The city used a micropurchase mechanism to obtain the initial Utica Avenue platform from the Spanish manufacturer. Because the cityâs procurement limit was $20,000 and the platform cost $40,000, the manufacturer sold it to the city for half off. More recently, the city committed to $3 million for platforms over 3 years, which will amount to about 40 platforms to be deployed as needed throughout the city. City funds allocated to the Select Bus Service program were used for this contract. Extra costs for the installations included site preparation, such as asphalt leveling or minor curb preparations, but these were done with in-house crews to minimize expenses. (12) WHATâS NEXT? The Utica Avenue platform was disassembled and reassembled in Harlem in March 2018. The materials to install platforms in at least a dozen more locations, such as Cypress Hills Street in Queens, were expected to arrive in the following months. In October 2018, two more platforms were installed on 7th Avenue, at 42nd Street and 37th Street. As far as identifying other locations for future installations, the interviewee said that at first he thought it would be good to install them at locations where capital projects were already planned or on corridors that were launching new Select Bus Service. However, he said, other criteria have since trumped that rationale. For example, on 7th Avenue, the city is widening the sidewalk with paint. At the bus stops, however, a curb or platform needs to be level with the bus to accommodate wheelchair boarding and to allow pedestrians to step onto the platform from the painted curb. The department will also look for locations where buses are pulling into protected bike lanes to reach the curb. Platforms at locations such as this will problematize permanent design solutions to address pedestrian, transit, and bicycle conflicts.
97 OAKLAND BUS BOARDING PLATFORMS PROJECT TEAM: City of Oakland Department of Transportation, Alamedaâ Contra Costa Transit (AC Transit) PROJECT LOCATION: Four platforms on Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA: â¢ Telegraph Avenue and 24th Street (x2) â¢ Telegraph Avenue and 27th Street (x2) PROJECT INSTALLATION: First two in January 2018, second pair in August 2018 PROJECT DURATION: 1-2 years, until permanent islands are implemented MATERIALS: Modular, recycled plastic elevated platform DID IT WORK? The project team is still compiling the data. Multiple modular bus boarding platform installations at spot locations along a pilot project corridor. (1) PROJECT IMPETUS The platforms were installed 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. Adopted in 2014, the plan was aimed at improving the safety and increasing the mode share on one of the cityâs most dangerous corridors. These pilot projects are to serve as interim solutions until a grant-funded capital project will make them permanent with features such as concrete bike lane medians and boarding islands. In 2015, the city identified an opportunity to pilot some of the Complete Streets elements through a repaving project planned for the corridor. As a part of the first pilot installations in April 2016, the city added high-visibility crosswalks and new lane lines on nine blocks of Telegraph Avenue. In anticipation of permanent median-protected bike lanes, it incorporated a protected bike lane (the cityâs first) into the 2016 Complete Streets project implementation, along with painted curb extensions and buffer zones and a new parking configuration. One element missing from the bike lane, however, was an interim boarding island. The city had also observed buses pulling into the bike lane at the bus stops, which reinforced the idea that an interim intervention could help resolve this issue. Before the interim boarding islands were installed, a progress report on the pilot projects revealed a 40% reduction in bicyclist and vehicular collisions, and reductions in travel speeds of 27% northbound and 45% southbound, and, for the first time, no pedestrian crosswalk collisions had been reported in 5 years. (2) WHY THE QUICK-BUILD METHODOLOGY Permanent boarding islands were going to take too long, and the city wanted an interim solution it could implement as soon as possible. The recycled plastic platforms (Spanish manufacturer) seemed to be a good interim strategy, especially because they could be reused and customized, and were still cost-effective relative to a permanent project. The project team said that the city was typically resource constrained, which encouraged it to get creative and seize opportunities (as it did with the repaving project) to get infrastructure on the ground. (3) PROJECT TIMELINE: 6 months It took about 6 months to plan for and install the first two temporary platforms. (4) PROJECT TEAM + ROLES â¢ City of Oakland â¢ Department of Transportation â¢ Contractors â¢ AC Transit
98 The city and AlamedaâContra Costa Transit (AC Transit) worked very closely on the design and deployment of the boarding islands. AC Transit was very excited about them and did a lot of work with the bus operators to educate them on how to use the platforms. Planners from the Oakland DOT also brought the boarding island design to AC Transitâs Accessibility Advisory Committee for review. The city used internal funds for the platforms and installed the islands with the same contractors it used for the bike lane. (5) PROJECT ELEMENTS + DESIGN PROCESS â¢ Modular bus boarding platforms w/ edge striping and markings The boarding islands float in the bike lane buffer space, that is, they are not flush against the curb. The city had to accommodate bicyclists in the bike lane and pedestrians accessing the bus with ramps that were placed in the bike lane and connected the curb to the platforms. The platforms did come with reflective striping around the edges, but the city wanted to add additional striping to ensure the platforms were visible to both drivers and bicyclists. After the installation of the second two platforms, the city finalized the platforms by adding another set of tactile domes on the sidewalk side, yield markings, and crosswalk markings across the ramps. It also added striping and posts around the edges of all four platforms. (6) MATERIALS + IMPLEMENTATION â¢ Recycled plastic boarding platforms The platforms were an intriguing and cost-effective interim solution. Originally, the city wanted to install all four in January, but the vendor shipped the wrong number of pieces. To implement full platforms, the vendor needed to use parts of two of the platforms to make the other two fit the length and width the city wanted. Some tweaks to the platforms were made for a second delivery and installation in August (see above). (7) PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT The city installed notices at each location with a photo simulation of the boarding islands and indicated that the boarding islands were coming. The city continues public outreach for the entire Complete Streets project, and so far has received a lot of positive feedback. It has been trying out different kinds of outreach, such as mobile workshops and sidewalk decals, in addition to community meetings, to keep the public engaged and give them a preview of the next iteration and possible new projects. The current project manager (interviewee) said that the city thinks it can do even more regular outreach. (8) PUBLIC FEEDBACK + OUTCOMES The city is still compiling data on the performance and impact of the boarding islands. The bike lane data, which were presented in the 2017 progress report, showed that 52% of the bicyclists who travel on the corridor said they had increased their travel on Telegraph because of the bike lane. As of January 2017, there was a 9% increase in retail sales along the corridor. TRANSITCENTER SARAH FINE 24th Street 27th Street
99 (9) QUICK-BUILD LESSONS + ADVANTAGES There are no data just yet, but the city feels that implementing the pilot projects on the corridor has in general been beneficial for internal processes and communication. The Complete Streets project was the cityâs first such project and the city has since become much more confident in testing infrastructure. Department leadership urgently wants to address the most unsafe corridors in the city and would like to continue to apply the Quick-Build methodology to implement solutions. The city team said it continues to realize how important ongoing public outreach and communication is for the pilot process. (10) CHALLENGES In the beginning, all four platforms couldnât be installed at the same time, because of a vendor mix-up. Any other observations of the entire pilot, including the bike lane, were able to be addressed fairly quickly by the city and AC Transit. (11) FUNDING The city was able to tap into an Oakland DOT fund programmed for bicycle and pedestrian improvements. The procurement and installation of each platform was approximately $50,000. (12) WHATâS NEXT? The concrete boarding islands are still in the works, and the city thinks the interim platforms will help inform its permanent design. It has already begun other pilot projects in other parts of the city (non-transit related), but is sticking to those that have an eventual permanent component for now, because the structure and process for implementation is already in place. The project manager continues to keep a log of permanent projects that could be tested with interim elements, and other possible pilot projects throughout the city. ZICLA
100 PROJECT TEAM: District Department of Transportation, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) PROJECT LOCATION: Rhode Island Avenue NE between North Capitol Street and 12th Street NE (both directions) PROJECT INSTALLATION: July 2018 PROJECT DURATION: 6 weeks MATERIALS: Traffic paint DID IT WORK? The results were mixed, but the team learned a lot! A 12-hour shared bus-bike lane including signage, demarcated with temporary âBus Onlyâ pavement markings. (1) PROJECT IMPETUS The project was a solution to the temporary shutdown of the Red Line (subway) between the Fort Totten and NoMaâGallaudet stations. Two stations would be under construction along the Red Line between Rhode Island and Michigan Avenues. To compensate for the resulting less- accessible subway line, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) added shuttle buses and additional service on local Metrobus routes, many of which would operate along the Rhode Island Avenue corridor. Advocates had been vocal about the District trying out bus lanes on Rhode Island Avenue ever since the areaâs Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 5E (a nonpartisan, neighborhood body made up of locally elected representatives) unanimously passed a Comprehensive Transportation Resolution in January 2018. This resolution included several ideas for improving transit access for the area, one of them being to take advantage of the Red Line shutdown to implement bus lanes on the Rhode Island Avenue corridor. The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) decided to take advantage of an opportunity to test a priority bus lane and show the community that bus lanes were something that could improve bus travel time and reliability in the District. DDOT and WMATA collaborated to implement a bus-only lane for 12 blocks in the existing curbside parking/travel lanes in both directions, active from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Because the lane would be taking away a combined parking/travel lane, DDOT thought it would be a good opportunity to test something that would be applicable to other conditions throughout the city. (2) WHY THE QUICK-BUILD METHODOLOGY DDOT chose the Quick-Build methodology mostly because of the time constraints of the subway station shutdown. DDOT had seen examples of pop-up bus lanes in the Greater Boston area and was encouraged by the methodology. (3) PROJECT TIMELINE: 5 months WMATA announced in February that the stations would be closed, and the project team acted fast to implement the bus lanes 5 months later. (4) PROJECT TEAM + ROLES â¢ Mayorâs Office of Community Relations and Services â¢ District Department of Transportation â¢ Transportation Operations and Safety Division â¢ District Department of Public Works â¢ Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority RHODE ISLAND AVENUE BUS LANE
101 As one of WMATAâs funding partners, DDOT already has an ongoing working relationship with WMATA. Leading up to the pilot implementation, DDOT and WMATA worked closely to finalize the shuttle routes and other operational details. WMATA, DDOT, and the Mayorâs Office of Community Relations and Services went out together to ANCs for the messaging effort of the project. (5) PROJECT ELEMENTS + DESIGN PROCESS â¢ 12-hour shared bus-bike lane â¢ Signage Because the parking lane operates as a travel lane during peak hours, and this lane was repurposed as a bus lane, there was not much to be done for design. DDOTâs Transportation Operations and Safety Division used its existing templates for the âBus Onlyâ pavement markings and âEmergency No Parkingâ and other signage and installed them on-site. (6) MATERIALS + IMPLEMENTATION â¢ Traffic paint DDOT implemented the pavement markings and signage and deployed traffic control officers to manage the higher-than-usual volumes of buses at key locations. The pavement markings and temporary signage were installed the weekend before the bus lane went into effect. Beginning in April, DDOT and WMATA met biweekly with the Districtâs Department of Public Works (a separate agency) regarding enforcement of the no-parking regulations and with the Districtâs Metropolitan Police Department regarding enforcement of regulations against illegal travel in the bus lanes. (No additional funds were spent on enforcement.) Once the project was underway, DDOT collected and compiled a variety of performance data from WMATA to evaluate the performance of the buses. The pavement markings were not removed after the project and will fade over time. The project team did not want to use red paint because the project would be so short term. The team wanted the materials to be easily removable, but early evaluation of the lane revealed that more robust markings and signage, and maybe even physical barriers, may have made it more effective and reduced violations. DDOT used red paint for a permanent bus lane on another short corridor in the District, and in that location the red paint has been shown to be helpful in reducing violations. The project team believes that red paint would have made a big difference in bus lane compliance for the pilot. (7) PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT Leading up to the project, the project team did a lot of outreach with the areaâs three ANCs and a civic association. WMATA posted signage and staff at closed stations and transfer locations to inform riders in advance of the closure, and DDOT posted notices and doorknob hangers at businesses and residences along Rhode Island Avenue. The team was diligent in communicating that the bus lanes would not be implemented permanently. DDOT DDOT
102 DDOT (8) PUBLIC FEEDBACK + OUTCOMES The project team says the community is happy that DDOT performed the pilot, especially following its advocacy earlier in 2018. As Washington, DC, has few existing bus lanes, any successes that could be documented will be helpful in gaining momentum for future projects. In general, the team says that public engagement is a critical part of bus lane projects. The team does have support from their department leadership, but it is important to document any successes. Compliance with the bus lane was poor over the study period, as more than 70% of vehicles in the bus lane in most sections of the corridor were private vehicles, either parked or driving. It is possible that many motorists were unaware of the bus lane, as pavement markings were only installed near intersections and because many of the temporary parking restriction signs were torn down. For a few weeks after the reopening of the Red Line, ridership on the MetroExtra G9, which operates along Rhode Island Avenue, continued to be higher than the ridership before the closure. In the 3 months before the Red Line closure, the average monthly ridership on the G9 was 684 riders per day. This increased to an average of 1,095 riders per day during the weeks of the closure; in the 3 months following the reopening, the average was 742, an increase of about 8% since July 2018. Initial data collection and observation showed that the test had mixed results. While bus speeds decreased during the bus lane pilot, general travel speeds also decreased during this time period, which suggests that increased vehicle volumes were a major contributor to the decreased bus speeds. Because WMATA includes dwell time in its calculations of bus travel speed, increased ridership also probably contributed to slower segment bus speeds as additional passengers took more time to load. (9) QUICK-BUILD LESSONS + ADVANTAGES The public enjoyed seeing the lane implemented, but the project team thought that some critical design factors limited its effectiveness (e.g., not using red paint and the limited use of bus lane markings). Regardless, the team thinks the Quick-Build process served it well in other ways. The test was another opportunity to see how the District could improve bus operations by implementing bus lanes, and the different entities will be even more ready for permanent implementation of bus lanes at other locations across the District. Doing bus improvement projects quickly is also a priority for the District, and it is working on identifying solutions for slow or unreliable bus service that will get it the most bang for the buck. The test helped the District think about how it might tackle the low-hanging fruit and make incremental corridor improvements. It is building its best practices for when and where different treatments are warranted. (10) CHALLENGES The team said that it would have red-painted bus lanes, more signage, more frequent pavement markings, and better enforcement. It would also be out with other staff in reflective vests and in greater numbers on launch week for higher visibility around the project corridor and to remind operators and motorists about the project. These measures would likely improve the compliance rate of motorists and bus operators with bus lanes. (11) FUNDING The project team was unable to provide funding information. (12) WHATâS NEXT? The city will have 3 miles of bus lanes in the next few years. There is a desire to formalize the process for delivering these projects, possibly with the formation of a dedicated team focused on bus infrastructure. The test was a good way to build momentum for an upcoming permanent bus lane project on 16th Street and a pilot bus lane project on 14th Street. Rhode Island Avenueâs bus volumes do not warrant bus lanes under ordinary conditions, but the team identified some things it would do better for temporary bus lanes next time.
103 SOLANO AVENUE BUS PARKLET PROJECT TEAM: City of Albany, AlamedaâContra Costa Transit (AC Transit), Business Owners PROJECT LOCATION: Solano and Cornell Avenues, Albany, CA PROJECT INSTALLATION: February 2018 PROJECT DURATION: Permanent MATERIALS: Doweled concrete, treated wood, pavers, steel, plant material DID IT WORK? Itâs looking good so far! A parklet at a bus stop, which incited the production of AC Transitâs Bus Parklet Design Manual. (1) PROJECT IMPETUS The AlamedaâContra Costa Transit (AC Transit) project manager (interviewee) initiated the project with an application for a Safe Routes to Transit grant from TransForm, a California foundation. He socialized the concept by engaging local high school students through the University of California, Berkeleyâs Y-PLAN program, asking them to reimagine bus stops as communal spaces. Coincidentally, around the same time the City of Albany was approached by two business owners asking for the replacement of an existing bus stop with a parklet. In lieu of removing the bus stop, this request presented an ideal opportunity to develop a âstopletââthe first of its kind in the country and the first parklet in the City of Albany. (2) WHY THE QUICK-BUILD METHODOLOGY Public opposition to transit improvements on a similar corridor had delayed implementation and resulted in dramatic reductions to transit benefits. Messaging this project as temporary was thought to reduce opposition and simplify environmental review processes. The design and installation process was fast-tracked within the city administration thanks to strong support from the city manager. Although this was technically a pilot project, strong public support emboldened project stakeholders to use durable materials that could remain for the long term. The parklet was designed, however, with ease of removability in mind. A maintenance agreement with the business owners clarified that the parklet could be removed if need be, pending any future street capital projects or major damage. (3) PROJECT TIMELINE: 1.5 years The business owners designed the infrastructure, based on a few minimum design regulations from AC Transit. This process was what took the longest, in addition to finding a contractor that could install it. (4) PROJECT TEAM + ROLES â¢ City of Albany â¢ Department of Recreation and Community Services â¢ Department of Public Works â¢ Department of Community Development â¢ Alameda-Contra Costa Transit (AC Transit) After being initiated by the former AC Transit project manager, the project was led primarily by the director of the Recreation and Community Services Department of the City of Albany. These two and the business owners met regularly throughout the process. The city handled the site inspection, issued the encroachment permit, and worked closely with the contractors chosen LONG-TERM OUTCOME
104 by the business owners to install it. The business owners are now in charge of the maintenance of the bus parklet and have assumed liability for it, as they would have to for sidewalk dining. This system of stewardship was based on San Franciscoâs parklet program. The city will inspect the parklet each year for major damage and reissue the encroachment permit. The parklet has hours that coincide with the bus service to prevent loitering, and the city has added police patrolling at certain hours to ensure compliance. (5) PROJECT ELEMENTS + DESIGN PROCESS â¢ Bus stop parklet Business owners designed the parklet according to a set of design requirements provided by AC Transit (ADA accessibility, clearance at door zones, durable curbs, wayfinding signage) with review by the cityâs Recreation and Community Services and Public Works Departments. The city project manager (interviewee) said that she did not think the parklet would have had âas much characterâ if the city had designed it. The final design is unique and something the city is proud of, although it was more expensive than anticipated. While they used precedents such as Los Angelesâ People St Program Kit of Parts and San Franciscoâs parklet program to guide their process, they did not want to uniformly replicate what had been done in these cities. The AC Transit project manager suggested that more specific guidelines about design and materials may have improved efficiency. (6) MATERIALS + IMPLEMENTATION â¢ Concrete pavers and curbing â¢ Steel levelers â¢ Wood and steel planters The designers of the parklet chose materials that would be durable, as the parklet was planned to be permanent from the beginning (unless any changes needed to be made). Pavers comprise the foundation, and sit on top of steel levelers bolted into the ground. A doweled cement curb was built around the edge of the parklet to protect the structure from incidental contact with the wall of the bus tires during pull-in and pull-out, and the seating and planting fixtures are a combination of treated wood and welded steel. Contractors chosen by the business owners and approved by the city were used for the installation. (7) PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT The design of the parklet heavily involved the business owners and community, so a formal public engagement process wasnât necessary. Other adjacent business owners on the corridor were aware of the project. COMMUNITY DESIGN + ARCHITECTURE STEPHEN NEWHOUSE
105 (8) PUBLIC FEEDBACK + OUTCOMES The parklet was immediately positively received by transit riders. AC Transit began data collection on metrics such as ridership and dwell times for the bus stop in late summer 2018 and planned to collect more formal feedback from operators and riders to isolate whether there have been any behavioral changes since the installation (e.g., are more people choosing to use this stop? is the ADA access adequate?). The data collection will be for 6 months, and the public surveying for 1 month. (9) QUICK-BUILD LESSONS + ADVANTAGES Both AC Transit and the city think the process of design and installation can be made even faster and more efficient for future applications by using a unique approval process within the cityâs Public Works Department. AC Transit hired local design firm Community Design + Architecture to produce its Bus Parklet Design Manual (http://www.actransit.org/ wp-content/uploads/Bus-Parklet-Study-Manual-FINAL-12.26.18.pdf). The AC Transit project manager also learned that a key to repeating this process would be setting aside regular, internal funds to put toward pilot projects. (10) CHALLENGES Solidifying a contractor was a main challenge, in addition to working through the design review process with all the city departments involved. (11) FUNDING The project in total cost just under $95,000. AC Transit received a grant for $100,000 for a proof of concept (to build the parklet) and a design guideline manual (which was produced after the projectâs implementation). Of that, $25,000 was transferred to the City of Albany to contract out construction, and about $2,000 was used for rewards for the Kickstarter campaign. The city Department of Recreation and Community Services contributed about $13,500, the Kickstarter campaign raised $21,000, the business owners contributed about $20,500, the project earned about $8,000 in other donations, and the Albany Community Foundation contributed about $2,000. For its contribution, the city used the Recreation Reserves, the collection of the cityâs capital improvement fee from facility rentals, which is typically put back into recreation facility and park improvements. The city received City Council approval for the allocation to the parklet. (12) WHATâS NEXT? The cityâs project manager said that this project definitely âcatalyzed interestâ in the city to do more. In creating a more streamlined process, the city would have to work out exactly which departments or divisions should be in charge of approvals and review and at what points in the process. The city remains open to letting third parties design parklets if they can use the Bus Parklet Design Manual produced by Community Design + Architecture. In January 2018, the project won the Outstanding Facility or Park award from the California Park and Recreation Society (District 3). STEPHEN NEWHOUSE COMMUNITY DESIGN + ARCHITECTURE
106 PROJECT TEAM: Miami Downtown Development Authority, MiamiâDade County Department of Transportation and Public Works, City of Miami Department of Public Works and Office of Capital Improvement Projects PROJECT LOCATION: SE/SW 1st Street between SW 2nd Avenue and Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL PROJECT INSTALLATION: September 2017 PROJECT DURATION: Planned 1 year; all elements remain MATERIALS: Thermoplastic, epoxy traffic paint, delineator posts DID IT WORK? The project will not be removed! A 6 a.m.â8 p.m. dedicated bus lane with red paint, a buffered bike lane, signal adjustments, and signage. (1) PROJECT IMPETUS The project was initiated both as a part of the Miami Downtown Development Authorityâs (DDAâs) Complete Streets goals for downtown Miami and in response to the 2015 U.S. DOTâs Mayorâs Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets. The Miami DDA wanted to create a project that could be implemented for advocacy and awareness purposes and have an impact on the increasing difficulty of moving people around downtown as a result of recent population growth and development. Furthermore, the project aligned well with the MiamiâDade County Complete Streets Design Guidelines (http://www.miamidade.gov/neatstreets/library/ complete-streets-design-guidelines.pdf) and the City of Miamiâs Complete Streetâs resolution. The project manager at the Miami DDA (interviewee) said that they knew it was an ambitious corridor to attack, but that the payoff would be great if the project were successful. There are 15 bus and trolley routes that utilize Southeast/Southwest 1st Street at varying lengths, and the corridor has a great sense of place. The project had four distinct objectives: improve safety for all roadway users, promote economic growth in the area, encourage the use of various transportation modes, and enhance the overall roadway network. (2) WHY THE QUICK-BUILD METHODOLOGY The Miami DDA is not a public agency that focuses on the implementation of capital improvement projects, so the project needed to be framed as temporary. Furthermore, dedicated bus lanes are still a new concept in Miami, and approaching the project as a pilot was a good way to communicate that everyone was learning from it and to get buy-in both from the public and from local government. The pilot approach also helped the Miami DDA justify a less-intense technical analysis to acquire approval for the pilot project. Using Caltrans as a consultant, the Miami DDA had performed thorough analysis and was confident that even if the pilot were a failure, it could be adjusted. (3) PROJECT TIMELINE: 1 year, 4 months The acquisition of approvals from the countyâs Department of Traffic Engineering and the countyâs procurement process to secure the contractor were two elements that contributed to the longer-than-expected timeline. At first, there was some disagreement about the number and type of analyses needed to justify the project, when the Miami DDA had already performed a traffic analysis that indicated that there was enough excess capacity on the corridor to implement the lane repurposement. The project team held a stakeholder workshop in April 2016 to gather input from stakeholders and develop concept alternatives for the corridor, and this workshop was followed by a project report in June 2017. Discussions with the city and the county about coordinating the implementation of the project started immediately thereafter, in order to line up responsibilities for each of the agencies. Implementation of the lane started in spring 2017. The project became fully operational in September 2017. STREETS FOR PEOPLE
107 (4) PROJECT TEAM + ROLES â¢ Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA) â¢ Consultants â¢ City of Miami â¢ Department of Public Works â¢ Office of Capital Improvement Projects â¢ Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works â¢ Traffic Division The Miami DDA was responsible for leading the development of concept alternatives and interagency coordination for the project. The DDA hired consultants to develop a traffic/technical analysis, concept plan alternatives, an implementation strategy, and permit plans for the preferred alternative. Because it was not a construction project, only signage and striping plans were needed. These plans were reviewed by the countyâs Traffic Division, and the cityâs Office of Capital Improvement Projects and Department of Public Works. A county-procured contractor was used to install the project. The data collection and evaluation were executed and published by a consultant. In the months prior to the installation, the City of Miami repaved the street where it was in particularly bad shape. The city told the project team that it did not want the striping or pavement markings to go down without a resurfacing. (5) PROJECT ELEMENTS + DESIGN PROCESS â¢ 6 a.m.â8 p.m. dedicated bus lane â¢ Buffered bike lane â¢ Signal adjustments â¢ Signage Southeast/Southwest 1st Street was originally a three-lane, one-way thoroughfare. The Miami DDAâs traffic analysis, informed by the Florida DOTâs lane elimination guidance (streets with moderate volumes of 8,000â15,000 AADT are candidates for road diets) revealed that the corridor had excess capacity, which offered an opportunity to create room for other modes without compromising the streetâs existing or projected car-carrying capacity. The DDA opted for a pilot project that included both a buffered bike lane (in the northernmost lane, in specific segments, adjacent to parallel on-street parking) and a dedicated transit lane (southernmost lane), leaving one central travel lane for through traffic and turn lanes at each intersection. This alternative was preferred in the April 2016 stakeholder workshop and was also the choice identified by a computer simulation model. The project team considered a shared bus and bike lane in the southernmost lane as the second alternative. The pilot tested progressive bicycle and transit lane design features such as high-visibility paint and wide bike lane buffers inspired by NACTOâs Urban Street Design Guide STREET PLANS STREET PLANS 2019 2019
108 (https://nacto.org/publication/urban-street-design-guide/). The design also included signal adjustments and two leading pedestrian intervals, which the team acknowledged were crucial to the bus laneâs effectiveness and to efficiency for all modes on the corridor. AM peak-hour leading pedestrian intervals were installed at the intersections of Southeast/Southwest 1st Street with Southwest 2nd Avenue and South Miami Avenue; these replaced all-pedestrian signal phases and gave pedestrians a 6-second head start in crossing the street. (6) MATERIALS + IMPLEMENTATION â¢ Epoxy traffic paint â¢ Thermoplastic pavement markings and striping â¢ Delineator posts The striping and pavement markings are thermoplastic, and the green and red paint is epoxy traffic paint. These materials are not considered temporary but were the ones the county required for installation of the project. The team installed vertical surface mount delineator posts in the bike laneâs buffer zones as protective barriers. (7) PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT The team held a stakeholder design workshop in August 2016 to choose the final design; the workshop was followed by a project report in June 2017. The implementation of the project took place during the next few months and became operational in September 2017. The interviewee said that because the countyâs timeline for contractor procurement and selection was a bit unclear at times, the Miami DDA did not execute proper outreach efforts until only a month before the implementation started. For the first few weeks, some people felt they had not been adequately informed. (8) PUBLIC FEEDBACK + OUTCOMES The project received some negative feedback in October and November 2017 (the first 2 months following the pilotâs full implementation). Most complaints came from motor vehicle commuters, who cited added delays on the corridor, and there was confusion on the corridor at first about how to interact with the bus lane. According to the projectâs final evaluation report, completed by a consultant, public approval of the bus lane, single through lane, sidewalk walkability, and street crossing safety all increased between March 2018 and September 2018 (the end of the planned pilot). Approval for the bus lane went up from 51% to 79.5%. According to a postimplementation evaluation report, the consultant measured crash incidents, volumes of vehicles, bus ridership, pedestrian and bicycle volumes, traffic speeds and travel time for vehicles and buses, and economic viability at two points during the life of the pilot: March 2018 and September 2018. Peak-hour bicycle volumes in September 2018 showed an increase of 40% as compared with the volumes from March 2016. Vehicular travel speeds have decreased an average of 5.7 mph along the corridor since March 2016. AM peak-hour vehicular travel times also decreased by 18.8% between March 2016 and March 2018, indicating that vehicular traffic is moving more efficiently during the morning peak hours. Between September 2017 and September 2018, there was a 65% reduction in crashes on the corridor compared with the yearly averages from 2012 to 2015. Four out of seven transit routes along the corridor experienced an increase in ridership as compared with the previous year. Peak-hour pedestrian volumes decreased between March 2016 and September 2018, which is likely a seasonal effect, and economic data are not yet available. Transit travel speeds did not change significantly over the course of the first year of the pilot. On average, they stayed the same across all routes. However, the improved vehicular travel times are a strong indication that the bus lane improved the flow of traffic along the corridor as a whole. (9) QUICK-BUILD LESSONS + ADVANTAGES The project team acknowledged that speeds did not decrease overall, but, given the positive results of other aspects of the pilot, they consider it an overall success. The interviewee said that the pilot was important in that all involved parties showed an interest in implementing projects quickly, relative to other capital projects in the county. (For example, implementation of the Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit (SMART) Plan adopted by the MiamiâDade County Transportation Planning Organization in 2016, has yet to begin.) The process was also a good lesson in the approval, implementation, and communications of a pilot project and of future Complete Streets projects and was a good opportunity for government agencies to work toward much-needed improvements in public infrastructure and transit. (10) CHALLENGES The traffic signal adjustments were not implemented until months after the painting and striping were completed, which likely contributed to the frustration expressed by commuters immediately after implementation, when traffic patterns changed. Not only had the roadway been reduced to a single traffic lane, but two of the largest intersections still had 26-second exclusive pedestrian signals. Had the implementation not been drawn out over many weeks, the initial public response may have been less critical, although the original difficulties have not seemed to taint public opinion now that the pilot has been in effect for more than a year. Additionally, in part because the pilot project was to remain in place for a year, a maintenance plan was not created or enacted in the beginning. Delineator posts have been hit, considerably damaged, or removed since the pilotâs implementation and have not been replaced as quickly as they have been hit.
109 There was also initial criticism that the bike lane did not connect to any other bicycle facilities. Part of the message from the Miami DDA, the city, and the county had been that the implementation of the bike lane along Southeast/Southwest 1st Street was one connector piece across downtown, within a planned network included in the City of Miami Bike Master Plan. (11) FUNDING The project was jump-started through a $10,000 grant from the Health Foundation of South Florida and jointly funded by the City of Miami, MiamiâDade County, and the Miami DDA. The county contributed $300,000 for the striping, pavement markings, and bike lane delineators, the Miami DDA contributed $80,000 for the traffic analysis and development of alternatives, and the City of Miami contributed $100,000 in the form of repaving the street. (12) WHATâS NEXT? There are no other pilot or bus lane projects in the works at this time. Solutions to transit woes and first- and last-mile challenges are still being evaluated as a part of the regionâs SMART Plan. The plan identified and prioritized seven corridors slated for transit improvements, but these corridors remain under study. STREET PLANS STREET PLANS 2019 2019
110 WASHINGTON ST. BUS LANE PROJECT TEAM: City of Boston Transportation Department, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority PROJECT LOCATION: Washington St. between Roslindale Square and Forest Hills subway stations (Orange Line), Boston, MA PROJECT INSTALLATION: November 2017 (2-day demonstration), May 2018 (4-week pilot) PROJECT DURATION: 2 days, 4 weeks MATERIALS: Cones DID IT WORK? Itâs already permanent! An AM peak-hour shared bus-bike lane including signage, first demarcated with cones and has since been made permanent. (1) PROJECT IMPETUS As a part of the cityâs Go Boston 2030 comprehensive mobility planning effort, Bostonâs Transportation Department had identified routes that would greatly benefit from improved bus service. The director of planning for the Transportation Department (interviewee) initiated a test project along Washington Street, one of the corridors that had the highest ridership (19,000 riders per day, 10 bus lines), after verifying ridersâ complaints of unreliability with data from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). Wait times for the buses were varying from 15 to 30 minutes. Most users of the corridor were traveling by bus, so it seemed like a good corridor to tackle. (2) WHY THE QUICK-BUILD METHODOLOGY Using the Quick-Build methodology just âwasnât something that the city was doing.â The Transportation Department was intrigued by the idea of being able to see what a bus lane on the corridor could look like and then quickly determine whether it was feasible and what impact it could have. The project team decided to ease into the process, planning first for a 2-day demonstration and then a 4-week pilot. On the basis of the results of these two tests, the department would decide whether or not to make the bus lane permanent. (3) PROJECT TIMELINE: 3 months (demonstration) The timeline for the demonstration was about 3 months. For the pilot, the city began outreach in April and implemented the longer test in May. Prioritizing transit on Washington Street between the Roslindale Square and Forest Hills MBTA stations with a bus lane was specifically identified as a goal in the Go Boston 2030 Action Plan, so the Transportation Department used that to justify the tests and ease concerns from City Hall about public distress. The department felt strongly that the phased approach of testing the bus lane would make the project more likely to succeed and move quickly toward permanent implementation. (4) PROJECT TEAM + ROLES â¢ City of Boston Transportation Department â¢ Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) The Transportation Department has jurisdiction over what happens in the right-of-way, so it only needed internal approval for the tests. MBTA was very supportive and was well aware of the issues along the corridor. The city took on the installation of the signage and of the cones from 5 to 9 a.m. each weekday morning to indicate the shared busâbike lane (implemented in the curbside parking/travel lane). The city also led the public outreach and messaging. MBTA helped with reinforcement for the demonstration and with motorcycle policing on the first few days of the pilot. It also educated its drivers about the use of the lane. This route was also
111 particularly busy for school buses, and MBTA coordinated with the school system so that the school buses could use the lane, too. (5) PROJECT ELEMENTS + DESIGN PROCESS â¢ AM peak-hour shared bus-bike lane â¢ Signage The demonstration and pilot projects were executed with cones and signage; designs for the permanent lane had not been started. The cones were placed on the outer line of the 14-foot curbside lane (8-foot parking lane plus 6-foot bike lane) heading inbound (toward Boston) on the 1-mile stretch. The city used a consultant for the detailed design of the permanent lane, which was implemented immediately after the pilot in June 2017 (conceptual design of the permanent lane had begun prior to the pilot; the pilot enforced the need for it). Parking is not permitted in the permanent lane while peak-hour restrictions are in effect (5 to 9 a.m.). (6) MATERIALS + IMPLEMENTATION â¢ Cones (both demonstration and pilot) Using cones was the fastest and cheapest way to test the initial impact of a bus lane on this corridor. The Transportation Department knew that it wanted to eventually implement a permanent bus lane on this segment of Washington Street, as put forth in the Go Boston 2030 plan, but used the very impermanent approach of cones for a few reasons. The demonstration was first to get operations staff comfortable with placing the cones, executing enforcement, and understanding the changes to the road configuration. The Transportation Department used this approach to create a buzz and to make sure that nothing really bad would happen before it committed to a longer test. For the pilot, the city worked with MBTA to do more data mining to make sure that the lane was having its intended effect. It also did much more outreach prior to the implementation and collected more public feedback during it. A city contractor installed the permanent lane, which includes the existing bike lane markings, red paint, additional bus-only pavement markings, and permanent signage. (7) PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT Before the demonstration, the city had a few discussions with local community groups and did a survey of the parking on the test stretch, only to learn that the majority of people parking there were not local residents. The city also performed door-to-door outreach in the neighborhoods bordering the corridor to inform them that the project was coming and had a face-to-face conversation with every business along the 1-mile project segment of Washington Street. The interviewee said that the local stakeholders did not need much convincing, since they had expressed a desire for the bus lane and were aware of its prioritization in Go Boston 2030. LIVABLESTREETS ALLIANCE BOSTON TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT
112 The interviewee said that while the city does not take public engagement lightly, the intensity of it varies on a case-by-case basis. The city did not hold a formal public meeting for either test. It was not receiving much pushback, save for a few particularly concerned businesses, which the city helped during the pilot (e.g., working out delivery issues). (8) PUBLIC FEEDBACK + OUTCOMES There was overwhelming support from the neighboring community, and the city received a lot of thank-yous via e-mail and social media. The city received help from the LivableStreets Alliance in surveying riders and other corridor users during and after the pilot. Survey responses were overwhelmingly positive in favor of the bus lane: 94% of riders and bicyclists supported making the busâbike lane permanent, 92% of respondents said they perceived a travel time savings from the lane, and 89% of riders and bicyclists said they felt safer in the lane. During the pilot, bus travel times dropped 20%â25%. That was enough to justify keeping the lane. (9) QUICK-BUILD LESSONS + ADVANTAGES The tests helped reinforce that the bus lane was both feasible and necessary. Because the project had been identified in Go Boston 2030, the city was prepared to learn from the tests and make sure that the basic design of the lane would be effective. (10) CHALLENGES The interviewee said that making City Hall comfortable with the test was not necessarily a challenge but also was not immediate. Similarly, the Transportation Department just needed to constantly make sure that it was communicating transparently and often with MBTA. The city did not experience much trouble with enforcement. Drivers were generally respectful and caught on to the test quickly. (11) FUNDING The city used its own equipment and Transportation Department staff time for the tests. Overtime labor was required, which the city was prepared to fund. The permanent lane funding came out of the departmentâs operating budget. (12) WHATâS NEXT? The bus lane was implemented permanently in late June, right after the pilot (still with cones). The city set aside resources to create its first ever transit team, housed within the Transportation Department, in 2019. This six-member team is to have planning and operations staff and engineers to prepare for the in-house design of the other bus lanes identified in the Go Boston 2030 comprehensive mobility plan. The interviewee said the team will just start âgoing down the list.â BOSTON TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT Permanent lane BOSTON TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT