Bus Corridors Ignore Cyclist Safety

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By Charles Pekow — The transportation planning profession needs to produce standards for bike/ped safety in bus rapid transit corridors. So concludes a new study from the Transit Cooperative Research Program, Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety in Bus Rapid Transit and High-Priority Bus Corridors.

100 S and 1200 E in Salt Lake City. 100 S is a major bus corridor, but the conditions for buses are not great. Additionally, the lack of bike lanes makes it unsafe for cyclists. Photo by Dave Iltis

The study examined existing worldwide research and design guides to see what they said about cyclist safety in the corridors. It looked at practices in seven bicycle-friendly US cities, including Fort Collins, CO. Researchers found that most safety studies of bus corridors didn’t look closely at the issue for cyclists. Existing guides on safety, however, often include sections on bike/ped safety.

The program found that cookie-cutter approaches won’t suffice, as no two situations are identical. As a rule of thumb, cyclists are less likely to get in conflicts with buses when the bus lanes lie in the middle of the road.

It says further research is needed on matters such as how curb extensions used to load/unload passengers affect bicycles, and lanes only for buses and bikes. These cause conflicts when buses swerve to pass a cyclist or have to get close to a curb to pick up/drop off passengers.

See https://nap.nationalacademies.org/download/27007.

 

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