Bike Lanes - Why Not New Light Rail Lanes
Outside of the Obvious (Cost) and with the success of the bike lanes and seemingly little interuption of car traffic flow why not invest in Light Rail.
Lots of discussion about need for more/better PT so why not invest in more Light rail with dedicated lanes
Lombard and Bainbridge (we need an east west)
Fairmont and Brown
22nd and 21st (North and South)
2nd and 3rd
As I understand it the other streets in Center City have already been considered for bike lanes but the impact of removing a traffic lane was too high. The other factor is that the bike lanes still allow pickup/dropoff for deliveries and a passing lane for emergency vehicles, things that wouldn't be feasible with rail. So you'd need to take out a traffic lane and the parking lane.
The bigger question is, what benefit would light rail bring to these routes over buses? Doesn't seem like public transit dollars well spent to me.
Cap'n Transit Rides Again: Why streetcars don't work anymore
That's a general overview of why streetcars as they were built in the early 1900s and as their tracks still exist in Philly streets are not a good idea. The basic reason is that they aren't fast when they have to share lanes for significant parts of the trip with automobiles. Now, if we start giving street cars dedicated street space similar to the new generation of European tramways then we can have useful transit routes that are faster than buses and also allow for a better experience with longer articulated cars, low-level platforms, etc. It would take a lot of public support and political will to build something like that in areas where people actually live and work.
As BarryG noted, the buffered bike lanes still see significant usage by cars. They are used for loading, illegal parking, right turn lanes, a way to get around the guy who is turning left, etc. If a train is going to be running down the lane at 30mph+ cars definitely can never stop in the lane. There are some mountable curbs in European systems but you don't drive there, you only use it to pass cyclists or possibly a disabled vehicle.
Last edited by concourse; 08-01-2012 at 12:47 AM.
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