Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Monckebergstrasse transitway in Hamburg, Germany and bi-articulated buses

Because it seems so difficult to create a network of dedicated transitways within DC ("Lane excuses: Buses deserve dedicated space," Express), on those roads where bus traffic is high, and the ridership carries a significant proportion of the passenger throughput on those streets (such as H Street NW and 16th Street NW especially), it was interesting to see Monckebergstrasse in Downtown Hamburg.

The transitway isn't limited to public buses. Taxis, tourist buses, bicyclists, and pedicabs are also allowed.  (Don't know if shared cars have an exception and can use the street, I doubt it.)

It's a block or two from the train station as well as the inter-city bus station and parallel to the pedestrian shopping street, Spitalerstrasse. Cars are permitted overnight, but not during the prime mobility hours.

It was notable that some of the routes use three-section articulated buses, a so-called "bi-articulated bus" that is 82 feet long, manufactured by Van Hool (they make the buses used for the DC Circulator).  Apparently these routes get about 50,000 riders per day, which is why the local transit authority switched to longer buses on those lines.

In the US, buses of this length aren't legal, although tractor trailers with additional trailers are legal on the roads in many states.  These combos can be 100 feet long.

Also see the past blog entry, "Making bus service sexy and more equitable," which is about double deck buses as a way to re-brand and reposition traditional bus service.

This image of a bi-articulated is from the grounds of the Central (inter city) Bus Station, which is proximate to the train station.  I like how they proudly call attention to the length of the bus in its graphic design scheme.

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