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Part 1: Mark Baumer Reflection: Impounding Vehicles & Immigrant Rights

This is part of a multi-part reflection I've been doing following the death of my friend, Mark Baumer . There's nothing graphic i...

Bus lanes are sexy.

My contribution to the new hashtag #MakeAFirstDateWeirdInFourWords:

Bus lanes are sexy.

Seems a shame to waste a good median. So let's use it for boarding.


What, don't you agree? Maybe this date is weird for me too then.

Why do the bus lanes go in the middle, and against traffic? Median bus lanes are easier to operate without getting in the way of turning vehicles. Contra-flow bus lanes allow use of the existing bus stock (the doors being on the right of the vehicles).

This design completely ignores bikes, and that's okay because having frequent transit is something worth trading some bike infrastructure for--but Hope Street should get protected bike lanes to make up for that.


We could implement this on N. Main St. and Exchange Street easily. I'm not sure that all of Broad St. has the room to take this. I think that parts of downtown Providence should be made Autoluwe, and that could also help speed the bus routes through.

The RIPTA Riders' Alliance has been critical of removing bus stops from the R-Line to speed up the buses. The change has resulted in an 18% improvement in end-to-end trip times for bus riders. I sharply disagree with the Alliance. Making our bus routes more efficient should be a top concern for anyone concerned with transit. Instead of keeping unnecessary, closely-spaced stops. RIPTA would do better to work with the city to improve pedestrian conditions at the existing ones. I would even remove some stops in addition to the ones that have been taken away. There's no need to have a bus stop in front of the Whole Foods on N. Main and just a block over at Doyle. The reason taking the Doyle stop to Whole Foods is so troublesome is entirely because the intersection is designed with huge turning radii to along vehicles to speed through the intersection above the speed limit.

Look at that turning radius! Maybe this could get a ramp if the
sidewalk is extended as well.
The R-Line is already set to get signal priority, which should further improve times. At the busiest stops, RIPTA should be offering off-board payment options to allow faster in-and-out times for the buses. 

RIPTA should also be looking at where real BRT can be used in Pawtucket. The stadium fiasco should convince anyone who was in doubt that Pawtucket definitely needs to get its act together and recognize that it's a city, a place with people who might not want to own a car, and a place where it would be nice to have some decent transit options. An east-west BRT route would go a long way for the city.
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