Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Observations from Paris from Jarret at Human Transit

Bus LaneImage by thorinside via Flickr

Jarrett from the Human Transit Blog has an interesting post about the city of Paris.

paris: the street is ours!

Jarrett points out many streets in Paris not only have dedicated bus lanes that can be used by bicycles but also have dedicated bike lanes.

However, while the lanes would be great would they last here in the United States in our auto dominated society? Chances all the answer is no.

Jarrett points out that many times the lane appears empty despite it carrying more people than the general purpose lane. However, auto drivers will see a lane that is not congested like their lane so their sense of entitlement will click in and say they should be entitled to use that lane because it is not being used enough.

We have see this here in Utah with the HOV lanes. Many drivers say they are entitled to use the HOV lanes and make every excuse in the book why they should. Eventually the lanes will be opened to other traffic during off peak before gradually being degraded during rush hour.

This is one of the fears with dedicated bus lanes for BRT such as those on 3500 South and what is planned in Orem/Provo. In Los Angeles the El Monte busway opened as a dedicated busway but now is open to car pools and is just as congested and sometimes more congested than the regular lanes. Because of the mistaken belief that the lanes were not carrying enough traffic now the lanes are actually carrying less because they are congested.

It would be wonderful to see this design on streets such as State and 200 South that would allow faster movement of buses and safer movement of bicycles. Yet, it will take a major change of attitude before it becomes workable here in the United States.
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