Thursday, November 07, 2013

In praise of bus bays

A lot of rush hour traffic jams are at least partially preventable. If we had bus bays that let GRT buses get off the road when they stop to pick up passengers, cars wouldn't have to queue up behind them.

The reason we don't have bus bays, according to local councillors and staff, is that cars don't let buses back on the road. But that problem is solvable. Many local buses don't even have Yield signs on their backs. We need a PR campaign to inform drivers that they must yield to buses pulling into traffic, and we need enforcement.

Increasingly, the cities and Region are reducing roads from four lanes to two. The LRT will increase that trend. The Region is also putting more buses on the roads - a great initiative, but one that will increasingly cause headaches for drivers.

Many local government staff are committed to making driving inconvenient as a way to encourage people to stop driving. Unfortunately, the main effect of this movement is to encourage people to avoid the downtowns and shop in the malls instead - the malls have good multi-lane access roads that aren't jammed up with buses.

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