Today is the day that the semi-vaunted “test” of Hennepin Avenue dedicated bus lanes kicks off. What excitement for people who are really interested in transit design and/or on-street parking policy!
(A special “hello” to all twelve of you.)
Kidding aside, the test is a big deal. Congestion on Hennepin Avenue during rush hours is relatively bad, and speeding up the bus could make a meaningful difference for the lives of hundreds or thousands of people.
Via Jon Commers’ Twitter, here’s a chart from the Metro Transit’s brochure on the test:
As Commers says, “at peak hours,
@MetroTransitMN service carries almost half the people traveling Hennepin Avenue, in just 2-3% of the total vehicles.”
Hennepin Avenue is a major transit artery, and yet buses are stuck in traffic on the street every day. Because the street is so narrow, any changes short of a gondola (yes that is a real link) involve a trade-off. In this case, we’re getting rid of some of the on-street parking during certain hours of the day (at least in theory) and giving that space to people riding on buses.
True story: I once parked on Hennepin Avenue during rush hour and it was terrifying.
If you’re around Hennepin Avenue South over the next few days, or taking the buses down or around Hennepin, please write a post or comment here about what you think of the trial design!
That area is so stressful. Any improvement, however small, is welcomed.
Speaking of gondolas, Disney is installing a new gondola system (“The Disney Skyliner”) at DIsney World to carry people from several resorts to EPCOT Center and Hollywood Studios. It is fun to see a real-world gondola system being built that goes to multiple locations and being used for practical purposes outside of a ski resort!
I only wish that the pilot lane extended further North for southbound buses as that’s my main bus transit woe. However, I can see how some of those blocks would be tricky as they contain so many parking lot entrances/exits and are popular street parking areas as well.
Yeah. go big or go home. A half-measure will only piss people off without accomplishing much.
These are figures that certain people at the legislature need to see.