Friday, April 10, 2009

BRT >> HOV >> HOT >> Lane

If you pave a road, anything with a rubber tire can go on it. Meaning at some point, someone will want to co-opt that street for a personal vehicle. Is it a process. Don't get tricked. How long till BRT becomes HOV becomes HOT becomes a regular lane? The pressure is on.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've seen private rights of way for trams become roads. Pave it and they will drive on it.

Ian said...

sounds like devolution. how about the reverse, ending with BRT >> LRT ? that's a much more logical evolution

Red said...

What about Rails to Trails?

M1EK said...

No, BRT to LRT isn't a logical evolution; it's never happened and is never likely to happen. It's a pig in a poke.

Richard Layman said...

it's actually "co-opt" from co-optation. but hey, I majored in political science

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Yeah my English can be horrible at times. I was wondering about that when I wrote it but didn't take the time to check.

As for Rail to Trails Red, many times it's fine to do that, but many times once it becomes a trail, it's hard to get back without hurting a lot of people's feelings. Many times the trail was a temporary thing, but it becomes a permanent fixture in many minds. It's like putting grass on a lot. Once its grassed, its harder to develop because people think the grass meant the property was going to stay that way.

Mad Park said...

Here in Pugetopolis, most of those supporting BRT seem also to want to have more miles of HOV lanes laid. They do not REALLY believe in segregated ROW for transit, but they want transit dollars to pay for more pavement for autos, which, after they decide BRT is a failure (as it surely will be), then those lanes can be turned over to autos at no cost to car drivers. Voila - MORE FREE lanes on the "free"way!

Jon said...

this was the very thinking behind making a proposed transitway that was originally planned as a busway into the first light rail line in portland. they knew that if it was a busway next to a crowded freeway that it would through political pressure be made into a widened freeway and transit would lose its exclusive right of way.

Matt Fisher said...

To Anonymous #1: I agree. In fact, I believe this BRT over LRT movement is partially about co-optation.

Like I said, this promise of possible conversion from BRT to rail is often neglected, and in the end, the pavement just stays there indefinitely. That's why I consider it more important to go with rail, rather than a busway that will be (hypothetically) converted to rail some day, especially if a former rail line is paved over.

Paving over a rail line for a busway is objectionable to me. Who thinks it is a good idea? Why? (We did it here in Ottawa, and I don't know why it was a good idea.)

Cavan said...

It's about political capital. Once the busway is built, there is not enough political capital to redo the whole corridor with rail.

t_F said...

All of these bus haters...man. Fixed rails or no, if a majority of the public want more traffic lanes, they will have them. This is what killed the streetcar in almost every large American City!

Luckily, we are approaching peak oil and the inevitable economic un-sustainability of the personal automobile. At that point, the middle-classes will be clamoring to get back on the bus, maligned for years as welfare on wheels. And what is the advantage of the bus over fixed rail? Its not fixed! Which means you needn't drive your car to the park-and-ride just to get on one.

Rights-of-way will function best when they are designed to accommodate as many modes of transportation as possible, allowing built-in flexibility for future routing and new technology. Trams share the road with cars all over Europe, and in several American cities--they will share the highways too. Here's what it might look like.

Matt Fisher said...

The "flexibility" argument against rail again. Buses are not as attractive as trains. Who's still with me against the idea of paving over rail lines for use as busways? Why is this still a good idea?

I'm not saying we should wage "mode wars". I am saying that rail, though it shouldn't always be used everywhere, should never, EVER, be substituted with buses!