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Thread: Bus pull-outs

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Bus pull-outs

    What are people's thoughts on bus pull-outs? I'm helping edit a land use policy document the currently calls for bus pull-outs to help support transit.

    However, I'm conflicted on these. I think they generally diminish transit service, notably in trying to maintain consistent headways, since buses are often stuck in their pull-outs and left to the mercy of yielding, or typically, unyielding drivers. I know pull-outs are designed to remove buses from general traffic while they pick up passengers, but if passengers get on the bus fast enough, especially if they have a pre-paid ticketing option, wouldn't bus service improve if buses didn't veer in and out of traffic?

    Also, the particular corridor that this plan concerns (Gallatin Pike) is all highly constrained right-of-way, as its the precursor of I-65 and thus has development along it that's been accumulating since the 1900's at its southern end and development from the 1970's onward on its northern end.

    I appreciate any thoughts or links for a better idea on how to improve bus service in an existing strip arterial corridor.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Flying Monkeys's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tall Fella' View post
    What are people's thoughts on bus pull-outs?
    Look into using them in conjunction with 'que-jumpers'. These allow the bus back into the traffic steam if statigicaly placed downsteam of a signal.

    I support the use of pull-outs. Even if the bus has problems re-entering the traffic stream, it still allows for higher capacity on the roadway. Some municipalities have big stickers on the back of the bus that tell traffic that it's the law to yeild to the bus, or somthing like that.
    What’s in a name? – Your reputation….:)

  3. #3
    Cyburbian jkellerfsu's avatar
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    We have gone back and forth on the issue here. Have you talked with the ACTUAL bus drivers? I know that may seem like an obvious question but so many decisions are made without the bus drivers' input.

    For example I was involved on a project where we (the consultant) were adding/eliminating bus stops as directed by the transit administration. We put together a site meeting and involved a rep for the drivers. They provided the BEST input and we ended up scrapping the majority of the locations - come to find out the guy identifying the locations was just a paper pusher and did not use the transit system.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    I do not support them unless they are used in conjunction with queue-jumpers or yield to bus laws (Washington, Oregon, Quebec, etc.). Without either of these, the buses will become stuck in the pull-outs as drivers speed by. The delay caused by buses is often exaggerated by those who most likely never ride the bus (and have an issue with public transit in general). We are talking about a few buses per hour in most cases. Just a drop in the bucket, really.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian b3nr's avatar
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    'Pull outs', or lay-bys as there known here have fallen well out of favour in recent times for precisely these reasons. Busses now spend about 50% of their times stationary or pulling out. Recent change to the national 'code' for driving means you "should" let the bus the pull out in the UK.

    In the United Facist States of Europe (jk!), in most countries its illegal not to, i imagine in places like Switzerland, Denmark and Holland, being guilty of it gets you a 100 lashes or somthing similar...

    The solution seems to be to paint a bus stop on the road, (so no parking) but not provide a lay-by, this means the bus stops the traffic. But, well so what. Passenger facilities are important (shelter, timetable).

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Here in Philly, they for the most part just pull right out into traffic, regardless if there are cars beside them or not. So the driver and cyclist in me is in favor of them, the bus rider is not.

    I've never heard of those yield to bus laws before. I could never see them working here in Philly though, or NYC.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    What I'd be in favor of is a change to the signalling that buses use. 4-way flashers are o.k. when they're stopping to load/discharge passengers. What really ticks me off is to find out that I'm trapped behind a bus where the driver has just stopped to take his break or is killing time to maintain his schedule. Especially in heavy traffic or where he's blocking me from getting to the corner where I planned to turn. A nice addition would be a flashing arrow on the rear to warn you that you should move over because he ain't goin nowhere no time soon!

  8. #8
    Cyburbian jkellerfsu's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    A nice addition would be a flashing arrow on the rear to warn you that you should move over because he ain't goin nowhere no time soon!
    I'd support that one no doubt!!!!!!

  9. #9
    Member
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    Bus pull-outs

    Regarding bus pull-outs:
    Bus driver hate them, because it increases the hassle of driving the route and staying on schedule.
    Car drivers love them because it gets the durned bus out of the way.

    From a transportation-planning standpoint, there are advantages and disadvantages. There are also advantages and disadvantages to any strategies or tools you might use to address problems arising from using bus pull-out.

    My (transit planner's) take on bus pull-outs is: there should't be a hard-and-fast rule. Sometimes they make sense, sometimes they don't. Facilities like bus pull-outs should be planned from a context-sensitive standpoint where you look at the actual street you're dealing with and figure out which approach is going to work best at that location.

    Not every street needs to be optimized for through-traffic flow. In these cases, stoping buses in the lane of traffic makes sense because the added delay in the corridor is minimal. For other streets, traffic through-put is going to be more important and bus pull-outs will make sense there, even if they impinge on the quality of transit service.

    In all our advocacy for transit and pedestrian-friendly transportation and development, one thing we sometimes lose sight of is that just because the last sixty years of transportation planning has been all about cars, doesn't mean that it still isn't sometimes about cars.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Flying Monkeys's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by aporitic View post
    Regarding bus pull-outs:
    Facilities like bus pull-outs should be planned from a context-sensitive standpoint where you look at the actual street you're dealing with and figure out which approach is going to work best at that location.

    Not every street needs to be optimized for through-traffic flow. In these cases, stoping buses in the lane of traffic makes sense because the added delay in the corridor is minimal. For other streets, traffic through-put is going to be more important and bus pull-outs will make sense there, even if they impinge on the quality of transit service.

    In all our advocacy for transit and pedestrian-friendly transportation and development, one thing we sometimes lose sight of is that just because the last sixty years of transportation planning has been all about cars, doesn't mean that it still isn't sometimes about cars.

    Well put... Good points. Not every street does need to be optimized for thru-traffic. However, on busy streets the effect of a bus stopping frequently can result in delay that could have been reduced had the bus exited the traffic steam long enough to allow for building traffic behind it to move on.
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  11. #11
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Flying Monkeys View post
    Well put... Good points. Not every street does need to be optimized for thru-traffic. However, on busy streets the effect of a bus stopping frequently can result in delay that could have been reduced had the bus exited the traffic steam long enough to allow for building traffic behind it to move on.
    Are you talking about two-lane facilities or multi-lane facilities? Or are you just speaking in general? On multi-lane facilities, the effect on delay is minimal (we are generally talking about a bus a few times each hour). Driveway cuts have a much larger impact on traffic operations. Money would be better spent on combining and closing some driveways.

    On two-lane facilities, bus pullouts or passing lanes may make sense.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
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    good points about access management

    [Are you talking about two-lane facilities or multi-lane facilities? Or are you just speaking in general? On multi-lane facilities, the effect on delay is minimal (we are generally talking about a bus a few times each hour). Driveway cuts have a much larger impact on traffic operations. Money would be better spent on combining and closing some driveways.]

    Access managment via driveway consolidation and proper spacing (i.e. 300' more more between driveways/intersections on arterials) is crucial. My particular street in question is a 4-lane arterial street, with a two-way left turn lane (TWLTL) median along most of it. The state highway remnant of it (north of Briley Pkwy.) was shoulders, which already function (or dysfunction) as bus pull-outs, turning/accel/decel lanes.

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