Modern Mobility: Floating Bus Islands

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Modern Mobility is simply a biweekly sentiment column. The views expressed are solely the author’s.

Most of Arlington’s existent Protected Bike Lanes person a anemic point: autobus stops.

While riders person a mostly low-stress, comfy thrust separated from moving cars by parked cars, that extortion falls distant astatine the autobus halt wherever they request to premix with ample vehicles that person somewhat constricted rear and broadside visibility.

Floating autobus islands to the rescue!

An illustration of however Arlington presently handles autobus stops successful a protected motorcycle lane created by repaving (via Google Street View)

What is simply a Floating Bus Island?

With a floating autobus island, the autobus halt moves retired to a sidewalk-level land that lines up with the extortion for the motorcycle lane. So with a parking-protected motorcycle lane, the autobus land aligns with wherever the cars park. From the sidewalk, autobus users transverse the motorcycle lane and past hold connected the land for the autobus to arrive. The autobus pulls up, stops successful the question lane, picks up and drops disconnected passengers, and past continues connected its way.

Having occupation picturing what this looks like? No worries, Arlington has 1 connected Wilson Blvd adjacent the caller HB Woodlawn gathering truthful you tin cheque it retired for yourself (or conscionable cheque retired these photos).

A floating autobus land connected Wilson Blvd. adjacent Pierce Street successful Arlington, VA (courtesy Chris Slatt)

This setup is some large for radical connected bikes — nary much mixing with large scary vehicles — but besides large for transit. Since the autobus doesn’t person to propulsion to the curb, it besides doesn’t person to propulsion backmost into the question lane. This saves the autobus (and the galore folks connected the bus) each of the clip it would usually walk waiting for a interruption successful postulation to propulsion backmost into the question lane. Added unneurotic implicit the people of galore stops, this tin person a noticeable interaction connected however agelong the autobus takes to get you to your destination.

A floating autobus land connected Wilson Blvd. adjacent Pierce Street successful Arlington (courtesy Chris Slatt)

Why don’t we person much of them?

Arlington present has respective protected motorcycle lanes, wherefore bash we lone person 1 floating autobus island? Generally, due to the fact that Arlington has achieved astir of their protected motorcycle lanes arsenic opportunistically arsenic portion of repaving, alternatively than arsenic portion of a superior project. During a repaving project, options are overmuch much constricted which is wherefore they are mostly made with overgarment and integrative bollards.

The floating autobus land connected Wilson Blvd. was built arsenic portion of a redevelopment project, wherever curbs were already being changed and factual was already being poured. More floating autobus islands are coming arsenic portion of aboriginal superior projects; respective volition beryllium built arsenic portion of the Army Navy Drive Complete Streets project, for example.

A modular floating autobus land installed connected West Virginia Avenue successful D.C. (via @MarkSussman_ connected Twitter)

It doesn’t person to beryllium this way, nevertheless — we don’t person to hold for a superior project. Cities similar D.C. and Portland person started creating floating autobus islands with a modular product that tin beryllium dropped into place, enabling them to beryllium installed arsenic portion of elemental repaving and restriping projects, alternatively than requiring a costly superior task that pours caller curbs.

A modular floating autobus land installed connected Rose Lane successful Portland (courtesy Zicla)

Arlington should adhd this oregon a akin merchandise to its repaving task toolbox. It would drastically amended the prime of protected motorcycle lane infrastructure that tin beryllium installed arsenic portion of repaving oregon different quick-build projects arsenic good arsenic speeding up transit operations, reinforcing our concern successful autobus work successful Arlington.

Chris Slatt is the existent Chair of the Arlington County Transportation Commission, laminitis of Sustainable Mobility for Arlington County and a erstwhile civic relation president. He is simply a bundle developer, co-owner of Perfect Pointe Dance Studio, and a begetter of two.

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