Comment 86711

By Noted (anonymous) | Posted February 25, 2013 at 08:46:04

A dedicated, bus-only lane on King Street between Mary and Dundurn streets is among the series of proposals city councillors will consider Monday. The proposal’s immediate goal is to speed up transit. That has the potential of getting people out of their cars and onto buses, increasing ridership on what would be the route for the city’s proposed light rail transit line. It also provides an opportunity for city officials, drivers, pedestrians and transit users to get a sense of the impact LRT would have on downtown traffic.

This one-year dedicated bus lane experiment is a sensible proposal. It reflects and bolsters the city’s pursuit of LRT, which is proposed to run about 14 kilometres from Eastgate Square to McMaster University along Queenston Road, King Street and Main Street.

That is particularly important given that Mayor Bob Bratina is not championing LRT for the city. If LRT doesn’t come to this city, a dedicated bus lane through downtown would be an asset to our transit system in the future.

The philosophical premise of the bus-only lane is a solid one that has worked in other cities. Doing it on a trial basis provides opportunities for tweaking. Should it be all day or only during certain hours? Should it be for express buses only, or all buses? Which lane is best, both for buses and surrounding traffic, cyclists and pedestrians? The only down side we can see is failing to give it a try.

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