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Thread: Signal priority on MBTA Silver Line?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian ChevyChaseDC's avatar
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    Signal priority on MBTA Silver Line?

    Does the Silver Line use signal priority on the phase I (Washington St.) corridor? What about phase II (South Station - Logan Airport - Waterfront)? I think that Phase II is mostly tunnel or seprate ROW...

    If so, which kind? (passive, active, preemption, etc.)

  2. #2
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Anyone? This is an interesting question. Judging by some of the pics posted earlier the line does face some interesting land-use challenges. I'd like to know what works.

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    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ChevyChaseDC
    Does the Silver Line use signal priority on the phase I (Washington St.) corridor? What about phase II (South Station - Logan Airport - Waterfront)? I think that Phase II is mostly tunnel or separate ROW...

    If so, which kind? (passive, active, preemption, etc.)
    None, the city transportation department reneged and will not allow it at major intersections. The plan was for passive. The Waterfront line only has one intersection between the surface portion of the busway and the city streets (D Street) and I believe it is a standard loop set-up for the buses. The street-running portions have no signal preemption.

    The Washington Street segment of Silver Line is a complete joke. It is BRT by marketing propaganda only. The Waterfront line is only BRT when underground.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally posted by jmello
    None, the city transportation department reneged and will not allow it at major intersections. The plan was for passive. The Waterfront line only has one intersection between the surface portion of the busway and the city streets (D Street) and I believe it is a standard loop set-up for the buses. The street-running portions have no signal preemption.

    The Washington Street segment of Silver Line is a complete joke. It is BRT by marketing propaganda only. The Waterfront line is only BRT when underground.
    What he said. You can get full details here:

    http://www.badtransit.com/TheT/Silve...r_update_5.htm

  5. #5
    Cyburbian ChevyChaseDC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by doinky
    What he said. You can get full details here:

    http://www.badtransit.com/TheT/Silve...r_update_5.htm
    I've seen this website. Awfully cranky. They claim that the MBTA is the nation's most inept transit agency...well, I beg to differ. SEPTA is far worse any day of the week!

    Seriously though, what I'm working on is a report on BRT: what it is, and what it's proper place is. Very often we hear BRT proponents touting such a mode as "having the high performance of rail with the lower cost and flexibility of buses." Rail does cost more, but LRT does have higher productive capacity and line capacity, and, unless the BRT buses are fitted with streamlined body shells that make them look futuristic, they are difficult for potential riders to differentiate from regular buses. The very flexibility touted by BRT enthusiasts also has drawbacks - its converse, permanence, results in much stronger influences on land use - i.e. TOD's. BRT can be very successful if implemented properly, with separated rights of way, distinctive vehicles, and a simple routing system with short headways (as opposed to the byzantine bus systems of many cities), but it is not a substitute for rail; it's abilities as transit fall in between conventional bus service and light rail service.

    Thus, I think BRT is ill-suited for Boston's density and potential volumes, and well-suited to low-to-moderate size and density urban areas.

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ChevyChaseDC
    I've seen this website. Awfully cranky. They claim that the MBTA is the nation's most inept transit agency...well, I beg to differ. SEPTA is far worse any day of the week.
    Ya ain't seen bad transit till you've been to Detroit! (hope my boss don't read this)

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    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ChevyChaseDC
    Thus, I think BRT is ill-suited for Boston's density and potential volumes, and well-suited to low-to-moderate size and density urban areas.
    I largely agree. However, the biggest single flaw with the Washington Street segment of the Silver Li[n]e is the placement of the horrendously-marked bus lanes inside of the curb parking lanes. In Boston, this area is reserved for double-parking. Seriously. The bus lanes should have been outside of the parking lanes separated by some type of narrow curbing or flexible bollards or in a center reservation.

    Another problem with this section of the Silver Li[n]e is the lack of exclusive bus lanes at the two ends of the route: Chinatown/Downtown Crossing and Dudley Square. Both are dense commercial districts with heavy congestion. There is plenty of room for the lanes, the city just needs to be willing to sacrifice a little on-street parking (and it is not).

  8. #8
    Cyburbian safege's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    Ya ain't seen bad transit till you've been to Detroit! (hope my boss don't read this)
    A newspaper in Atlanta got into a jousting match with a paper in Houston over bragging rights for light rail accidents. It turned out that Atlanta had no lead in any category.

    What's the point in being bad when the competition is so tough?
    Psychotics are consistently inconsistent. The essence of sanity is to be inconsistently inconsistent.
    -Larry Wall

  9. #9
    Cyburbian ABS's avatar
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    That's terrible mismanagement.
    Great mindless think alike.

    Planning my way out of wet paper bag since 2003

  10. #10
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by safege
    A newspaper in Atlanta got into a jousting match with a paper in Houston over bragging rights for light rail accidents.
    Atlanta doesn't have any light rail....weird.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian safege's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jmello
    Atlanta doesn't have any light rail....weird.
    Sorry, my post was totally wrong.

    The only article involved was from the Rocky Mountain News in Denver (not Atlanta), and the only response was an e-mail from the transportation reporter for the Houston Cronicle regarding said article. The rest is hyperbole generated by an internet discusion.

    My apologies.

    Here is a snipit of part of the exchange from the reporter from the Rocky Mountain News:

    Of course, you could also argue that the startup year is a
    statistical aberration until the public becomes familiar with the
    system. The fact is that Denver's first calendar year saw 44
    accidents, and the line at the time was shorter than Houston's at
    5.3 miles. So the first-year rate in Denver wasn't really too
    dissimilar to Houston's experience at all -- 8.3 per mile versus 8.8
    per mile, before adjusting for the more appropriate measures of
    vehicle-miles of travel or number of grade crossings. In fact,
    almost all of Denver's LRT accidents -- 97 percent -- occur in a
    single stretch of 2.4 miles through downtown. The 8.7 mile extension
    that opened in 2000 has had virtually no accidents, although there
    have been some pedestrian suicides on the grade-separated ROW.
    Psychotics are consistently inconsistent. The essence of sanity is to be inconsistently inconsistent.
    -Larry Wall

  12. #12
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Driving by the portal for the Waterfront segment of the Silver Li[n]e this morning, I witnessed another horrendous planning/engineering mistake for this line:

    Immediately after emerging from the tunnel, the Silver Li[n]e crosses the D Street Extension, a four-lane thoroughfare. The intersection has a signal and D Street has two signals at other intersections about 250-500 feet from the Silver Li[n]e crossing. As a result, traffic frequently backs up into the Silver Li[n]e intersection and the buses cannot exit or enter the tunnel. When I drove by this morning, there were three buses stuck just outside the portal that could not get across D Street, and one bus stuck on the other side of the intersection.

    There has been political pressure to extend the tunnel under D Street, but there is no funding available. The sad thing is: exclusive bus lanes along Summer Street (a wide parallel street) could have provided the same service as the tunnel for less than 1/4 - 1/3 of the cost.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Dharmster's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jmello

    Immediately after emerging from the tunnel, the Silver Li[n]e crosses the D Street Extension, a four-lane thoroughfare. The intersection has a signal and D Street has two signals at other intersections about 250-500 feet from the Silver Li[n]e crossing.
    This problem can be fixed. You can install sensors and have some type of adaptive system, or you can simply reduce the green time through the lights during peak hours. It can be done, but at the price of reducing capacity on the D Street intersection.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dharmster
    This problem can be fixed. You can install sensors and have some type of adaptive system...
    These are all brand new signals. I am sure they have the latest technology. The problem is: traffic engineering consultants fail to understand the mentality of Boston drivers. Running red lights, blocking intersections and double parking are not only de rigueur, but also necessary evils. I mean, why on Earth would you put exclusive bus lanes just inside of the curbside parking lanes (Washington Street segment)? What MAY work in Miami, LA or Las Vegas will most likely fail on the streets of Boston.

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    Quote Originally posted by jmello
    Atlanta doesn't have any light rail....weird.
    It doesn't?

    Does that mean that MARTA is a heavy rail system?

    The joke in Seattle is that 'Seattles rail system was in Atlanta' a nod to the 765 million dollars worth of funding that went to Atlanta for MARTA when the Seattle vote on rail went to the voters in 196-.

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    Quote Originally posted by jmello
    These are all brand new signals. I am sure they have the latest technology. The problem is: traffic engineering consultants fail to understand the mentality of Boston drivers. Running red lights, blocking intersections and double parking are not only de rigueur, but also necessary evils. I mean, why on Earth would you put exclusive bus lanes just inside of the curbside parking lanes (Washington Street segment)? What MAY work in Miami, LA or Las Vegas will most likely fail on the streets of Boston.
    In Sydney cameras have been installed at buslane points that drivers and habitual parking offenders use.

    Snapshots catch cheaters and are mailed to the address of the owner of the vehicle registration with a hefty fine.

    http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/trafficinf...e_cameras.html

    It works, even in our car-priority planning environment.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Transport Queen
    In Sydney cameras have been installed at buslane points that drivers and habitual parking offenders use.
    Good idea, but the civil liberties activists and police unions in Massachusetts have already stopped the Boston mayor's plan to install red light cameras in the city. I can only imagine their outrage at this proposition.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian safege's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jmello
    Good idea, but the civil liberties activists and police unions in Massachusetts have already stopped the Boston mayor's plan to install red light cameras in the city. I can only imagine their outrage at this proposition.
    I recommend that anyone interested in this topic sign-up for this group.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Transportation-Security/

    Select individual e-mails from the properties list. Only three posters on this list, and no spam.
    Psychotics are consistently inconsistent. The essence of sanity is to be inconsistently inconsistent.
    -Larry Wall

  19. #19
         
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    Quote Originally posted by jmello
    Good idea, but the civil liberties activists and police unions in Massachusetts have already stopped the Boston mayor's plan to install red light cameras in the city. I can only imagine their outrage at this proposition.
    That's a shame, because the rights of the in-fringers should be forfeit from the moment they disobey the traffic laws to their own personal advantage. Infact, lets have a personal wall of shame -- and send the offending picture to their neighbors. Everyone should know that speeding, lane cheating, drink driving, is just as unacceptable.

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