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.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Another impetus for the consideration of bi-articulated buses in the US: Metrorail service shutdown next year in Alexandria and Fairfax

The Washington Business Journal reports ("Metro to shut down all rail service south of Reagan National Airport over summer 2019) that in the Summer of 2019, Metrorail will shut down service south of National Airport, to completely rebuild station platforms at three stations, and for other work.

This will shut six stations.

According to the article, on.planning will begin now to mitigate the impact and provide quality transit service to the affected areas.
Bus and bicycle priority lanes on Market Street, San Francisco
Bus and bicycle priority lanes on Market Street, San Francisco

Dedicated transitways ("Dedicated bus transitway on Georgia Avenue," 2016; "It's been a drawn out process, but DC is in the process of creating transitways on 16th Street NW," 2017) and bi-articulated buses ("Revisiting stories: the L Subway Shutdown in NYC and what to do") ought to be considered.  Except that in the US, such buses aren't legal, although they are legal in comparable road settings in Europe, including in-city operation on narrow streets.

Of course, with one year away, that's not enough time to get the Federal Transit Administration and other US DOT units on board for bi-articulated buses, nor is it enough time to procure, secure, and test them before putting them into operation.

It's probably not enough time to get a dedicated busway network operational either.

This is comparable to the missed opportunity to use Metrorail shutdowns on the Red Line as a way to push for improvements to MARC railroad service, including bi-directional service from DC to Frederick.

Van Hool ExquiCity bi-articulated bus in Barcelona, Spain

As I have discussed in other contexts, but mostly with double deck buses, the use of bi-articulated buses in cities with high enough ridership can be a way to reposition and rebrand bus transit as a high quality and desirable service, more so than even what is touted for bus rapid transit.

-- "Will buses ever be cool?," 2017

Bus Rapid Transit promotion device, Montgomery County, MarylandI was late to the Montgomery County GreenFest last Saturday, so I missed most everything, including the transit displays, but I thought this cut out was a fun way to get people thinking about riding the bus.

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At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This proposal can't stand. There is no reason to shut down all six at once, during the summer in a city with a significant tourism economy.


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