Monday, March 12, 2007

A new device: the bus bulb

A bus bulb is an extension of the sidewalk into the street at bus stops.

Instead of going out of the flow of traffic to pick up and discharge passengers, the bus stays in the lane as it pulls up to the stop. The bus bulb forces traffic to wait behind the bus, greatly improving the ability of the bus to return into traffic. That has the effect of improving bus service.

This topic and the picture above are from Aaron Naparstek at Streetsblog. More information about bus bulbs in the The Federal Transit Administration's Evaluation of Bus Bulbs (PDF).

I'm not sure how many places where getting back into traffic is an issue for buses in Newton. But, if it is ...

1 comment:

Dan Halbert said...

There is what looks like a bus bulb on Trapelo Road a few blocks west of Cushing Square in Belmont.

I have a memory of the bus stopping at the bulb when it was first constructed (maybe a year or two ago), but now it stops before or after the bulb, depending on the direction. The bulb seems to me to be instead a safer place for pedestrian crossing. I wonder if the bus stop was changed in the recent past, and for what reason.

Belmont does have some awful traffic points (e.g., Leonard Street and Concord Avenue, which is a nightmare). Recently the formerly formless intersection of Blanchard, Washington, and Grove Street was turned into a mini-rotary, which seems to be working fairly well.