Seems like this is the perfect way to implement it half-assed. Then it won’t be much improvement, people won’t use it. And then when there is talk of and next phase or expansion, all the naysayers will come forward saying it’s a waste of money because no one uses it.
Spend the money and do it correctly. And if funding is limited, cut back the amount of lines. Prove out the system, then get more funding to expand.
At the open house, I asked about how a bike/bus commute will be supported on the BRT buses. Will BRT buses have bike mounts on the front like current buses (slow loading and likely dangerous from the BRT platform)? Will BRT buses allow bikes to roll in from the loading platform with designated places for bikes (and presumably strollers)? The answers I got made it clear that they have not thought about this - “might mean we need to use 60 foot buses vs 40 foot buses” and “we are thinking about what kind of bike parking we need at stations”. If you are a current or potential bike/bus traveler, I encourage you to engage on this subject, either at meetings or in public input. Also the need for safe sidewalk and bike lane access within a 15 minute radius of BRT stations is one which needs to be addressed as the stations are designed.
It feels to me like it’d make sense from a planning point of view to do just this.
…but each step to work towards a full-length busway would end up being their own project, each of which need their own environmental studies etc. From a financial point of view, would the cost savings on planning be worth it?
GoRaleigh’s more recent promotional/city council presentations make it sound like they’re prioritizing the New Bern and Western lines first (but the Wilmington and Capital lines are pushed back for later). Is it possible for them to save this project by narrowing their scope to using the $350M just these two lines? They already broke up New Bern and the other lines into separate FTA Small Starts grant requests, so it doesn’t sound like an impossible move.
I will not accept an approach that puts busways where they are easiest, cheapest, and least controversial, but have little effect on performance. If that’s what we are going to do, then forget BRT. But instead of dropping the money on rail, I would say use it on bus service enhancements.
If we put busways in the hardest, most controversial, most important, and most impactful places first, then I could be convinced that an incremental approach is still better than nothing. Not happy about it though.
At any rate it sounds like the New Bern route is getting dedicated lanes from downtown to WakeMed, which is great, but that was always going to be the easiest of the BRT routes to implement. And really, the most congested part of New Bern seems to be the area between WakeMed and 440, and they aren’t planning a busway there. The reasoning is that the Crabtree Creek and 440 bridges (all of them, but especially the westbound creek bridge) have limited space - but at some point in time we will need to go there.
There’s enormous pressure for Wake County voters, who approved the sales tax, to see something on the ground soon. That’s why New Bern is going first. It’s also the only corridor that doesn’t need new ROW acquisition. The fact is that the two most important elements of functional BRT are dedicated running way and transit signal priority, and New Bern will have both all the way between Downtown and WakeMed and TSP to New Hope Rd.
Main issue I have with the New Bern route is the absolute, complete lack of urbanization in the New Bern corridor. I was hoping for new development to start springing up in this corridor by now but that hasn’t happened and current regs on this corridor is anti-density.
5 minute BRT needs lots of people to ride it profitability.
Just like affordable housing, the city/county has to get creative and bold on private/public partnerships to create funding. If the tax doesn’t cover it, figure out an impact fee or use tax to be charged to specific businesses like GAS STATIONS. I don’t know what’s legal, and maybe the options are very limited, but seems like they could get more creative!
In Cary if you want to subdivide land into a neighborhood, you have to improve the streets to their design standards including a 10’ wide paved meandering Greenway with adequate landscaping. The M/I Homes of the world pay for the curb and gutter, storm water, Greenways, and beautification because it’s the price of admission. Now I know New Bern itself isn’t being redeveloped enough to implement anything similar, but maybe they can look at a radius of new development around the corridor that contribute to traffic? Loosen parking reqs in exchange for BRT subsidy so builders can increase density while partially funding BRT instead of reserving land for parking.
Yes, but it isn’t as if Charlotte’s new light rail line is ready to start construction tomorrow. This is just allocating funding to study and design the line so that they can come back in 5 years with more accurate cost estimates and a funding proposal. Raleigh will probably have multiple BRT lines in service before construction even starts on the Silver Line in Charlotte.
Please help spread this information and survey. The City of Raleigh has a project associated with BRT implementation called “Equitable Development around Transit”. The project manager, Jason Hardin, has asked for help spreading the word and the survey beyond the City’s usual communication vehicles. Below is the information about the project and the link to the survey. Please help spread this information and take the survey. Thanks Transit nerds!
Let’s talk about growing around transit
Raleigh is in the midst of the largest expansion of transit in the city’s history. To fully see the benefits of the investment, we need to think not just about buses and transit stations, but how the city should grow in the future. Planning around transit help address key issues and needs in the city, including:
Healthy, walkable places
Climate change and air quality
The City of Raleigh is having a community conversation to explore these topics. It’s called “Equitable Development around Transit,” and it seeks to answer two big questions that go hand-in-hand with our community’s transit investment:
How much should Raleigh grow around transit in the future?
How do we ensure the benefits of bus rapid transit are shared broadly and equitably?
I also found some interesting things in the draft minutes for the GoTriangle Board of Trustees meeting due later this month:
This post is specifically about BRT-related things -and interestingly, some new momentum to get more input from lower-income communities and people of color, who are (purposely or not) often left in the dark about these sorts of things until shovels are in the ground.
It’s a long read, but this piece argues the same thing: that we can no longer build any large projects in the US (except highways for some reason), because the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction after the abuses of Robert Moses and his ilk.