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Transit Fan

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  1. I had the exact same thoughts. Have the stop line for eastbound Max buses drawn farther back to allow buses enough room to make the turn. Although, I still feel like there's just enough clearance even if they kept it as is. There are far tighter turns buses have to make across the city. As for the red light, it really doesn't make sense for buses to wait at the red since they're not crossing oncoming traffic. I would guess that they avoid making this official to avoid some potential case where an operator might enter the transitway on red when cross traffic on 50 St has right of way.
  2. I should also mention that there is a ton of operational inconsistencies at this location as well. At the intersection at 50 St SE, the left-turn signals are staggered so that both directions aren't turning left at the same time. I believe the intention and correct procedure is for the Route 1 to safely turn into the left-turn lane and then enter the transitway when the left-turn signal is green. However, because it's a left-turn signal, the priority of this light is not very high compared to the regular EB and WB lights which often means a relatively long wait. So what you'll frequently see is that route 1 operators will still enter into the transitway when the left-turn signal is not active but is active for straight-thru traffic. In this case, they'll usually slow down and yield to check for any incoming MP buses and then proceed. I've also been in one situation where the operator entered from the left through lane and into the transitway. I was wondering why we wasn't turning into the left-turn lane and then at the last second, we swerved right into the transitway. No idea if he forgot that one time or if this is done on a regular basis.
  3. While we're on the topic of Route 1, they really need to sort out the situation at WB 52nd Street. Today, I was on the Max platform waiting for a MP the entire time. According to transit55, both inbound Route 1 and MP were running quite a bit late. Both of them look liked they'd arrive at roughly the same time. However, the times in the app and on the platform's real time display were complete garbage compared to what I was seeing based on the actual location of the MP bus. I must have been waiting on the platform for about 15 minutes. In that span, there was about 10 people waiting. The amount of flip-flopping some of these folks were making between the two stops was insane. A few people started off on the Max platform, and then switched to curbside and vice versa. Eventually, many saw the MP approaching and jumped back onto the Max platform. As predicted, the 1 also decided to show right when they did so. Most of the time, people will stand by the emergency exit and hop across if they see a 1 coming or vice versa. I usually transfer here from an 87 on a regular basis and I see this almost every single time. Never have I seen anything like today though with people jumping back and forth multiple times unsure of which bus would arrive first. They desperately need to figure out how to get the 1 to stop on the platform rather than curbside. Obviously, it's dangerous for people to be darting across the road last minute and it also makes for a horribly unpredictable and frustrating waiting experience. Unless the bus is running completely on time, if you rely on the app or real time display, good luck with figuring out which will arrive first and where you should be waiting.
  4. I wonder if there would be any demand for additional Stampede Express routes outside of Centre St. Probably not or we wouldve seen more of them already. They had the 303 from the west prior to the west blue line being built. Centre St has the benefit of already high ridership plus there's the park and ride at North Pointe.
  5. Canada Day does tend to see an increase in passengers to/from downtown. Coupled with heavier traffic downtown, the construction in Parkdale/Bowness and the reduced frequency, that's a good recipe for disaster yesterday. Next two weekends aren't going to be pretty with the Stampede either. I still think 25 minute frequency for a mainline crosstown route is quite low especially since there's few other routes to balance it out in the west leg. East end has the Max Purple as well as the 411 on 9th Ave and 87 on 17th Ave for shorter trips. I was out yesterday as well. Took a 1 inbound and MP outbound. Both were decently filled but not jammed pack. There was a good number of families out for Canada Day events. I can see how it would've been overkill with the previous weekend service hours, at least on this leg.
  6. I think the reason they haven't done this is that some of those turns are quite busy during peak hours. I remember last summer when the signals were first installed at 19th St. For about 2 weeks, the transit light was green the entire time that the east-west traffic light was green. Since that cycle is up up to 3 minutes long, NB 19th St was backed up (since no right turns on red were allowed) which led to EB 9th Ave being backed up as far as 12th St. I get that they want to avoid something like that again (since it would negatively affect EB buses as well). But the current green time that they give to that movement is still a bit much. The transit signal there currently gets the last 30 seconds of that 3 minute east-west cycle. You know you're in for a really long wait if you arrive at the intersection just as the EB/WB lights are about to turn red or if they just turned red. My idea of adding in more light opportunities for buses would be something like giving the first 30 and last 30 seconds of the east-west cycle instead of just the last. You would end up shaving off that 2:00-2:30 min wait for the cycle to end. Of course, this would only happen if a bus was detected. During off-peak when there isn't a bus waiting, the transit light wouldn't need to have a green so regular traffic isn't forced to stop for nothing.
  7. I think the big concern with giving buses that kind of priority is unpredictability of the lights for other drivers and pedestrians. People manage to get hit by trains even with flashing lights, warning bells and crossing arms. If you have a case where a light turns green and then immediately changes to red within seconds (which happens often at our at-grade LRT crossings), this can be quite jarring and unexpected.
  8. Well, technically, the existing sensors in the concrete already detect buses on the transitway. You'll notice that the transit light cycle is skipped when there are no buses waiting at the intersection. We also have those blue light sensors which detect the presence of buses at many intersections across the city. Our issue is more that we are not prioritizing bus traffic and instead have them wait for their next turn in a predefined light sequence. If you arrive at the intersection close to when your next turn will be, that's great. If you arrive even a second too late, you'll have to wait one full cycle before you get your turn. I don't think we need full signal preemption where the light must immediately turn green when a bus is there, this isn't a train. But it'd really help if they scheduled in more slots in each cycle for transit rather than just one.
  9. Honestly, the signage for that turn could be a lot better. The intention is that right-turn-on-red is permitted if the light is solid red. Turns are only restricted when the explicit red arrow and big no-right-turn sign is lit. So many times, you'll see people waiting on a solid red. My favorite is when they do that only to decide to turn when the red arrow comes up... I can only dream of how awesome the Max Purple would be if we could've afforded underpasses at both 19 and 26 Street. Full speed, no interruptions from 9th Ave to 28th St. 😍
  10. Honestly, if the design is going to regress that much to the point where they would need to close off intersections downtown in order to accommodate at-grade stations or keep the line running at-grade at a major intersection like 16th Ave N, I wouldn't bother building this thing at all. They'd be better off reverting back to the old BRT transitway plans and building that out all the way to North Pointe and Seton with buses running in mixed traffic in downtown.
  11. Now that you mention it, i've seen a few cars enter the transitway at that spot on multiple occasions in the last week. Always someone turning right from NB 26th St. I'm surprised I haven't seen anyone accidentally take the Deerfoot bridge yet. One could easily make the wrong turn if they're coming from NB 19th St. Perhaps it happens regularly and i've just not seen it in person. 😂
  12. Hopefully they can wrap up the construction in the west end soon. Although the Max Purple was running a bit late (10-25 minutes) this afternoon as well. Not sure if there was heavy traffic in downtown or 9th Ave again.
  13. In the end, it really needs to either be tunnelled or elevated. It's disappointing that they're even contemplating any kind of at-grade possibilities through the core and beltline at this point. I'll admit that having an elevated portion in the downtown isn't the nicest looking option. 2nd St SW isn't exactly a super wide street like the one in the image above. Getting it to run along 12th Ave SW would be interesting as well.
  14. It does seem like there's a big gap between the red and green lines that could be filled in. However, i'm not sure extending the Airport APM would be the best solution though for two reasons: From the Green line to the airport is currently big empty space. Not so much between the green and red lines. Good luck trying to get a fully grade separated right of way. Regarding having it operate on a $5 airport fare. That would certainly be a deterrent for some people; particularly if their destination is not the Airport.
  15. That would make sense. I can't help but feel there's other shuttle routes out there more worthy of having a big bus though.
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