Boston Turns to Tactical Urbanism to Improve Bus Service

A particularly frustrating 1.2-mile stretch became a whole lot smoother when simple orange cones turned a parking lane and a bike lane into a lane for buses.
December 15, 2017, 10am PST | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Mayor Carlo DeMaria

In Boston, the tricks of "tactical urbanism" are coming in handy for legitimate transit operators. Regarding one snarled stretch, Angie Schmitt writes, "The intense traffic congestion can drag out the approximately 1.2 mile-long trip between Roslindale Square and the Forest Hills Orange Line station as long as 45 minutes."

But in a recent trial run, "Bus riders got a dramatically faster ride thanks to a one-day pilot in which Boston DOT and the MBTA converted a parking lane and a bike lane into a bus lane using just orange cones."

The improvised bus lane was a hit, shaving around 30 minutes from many riders' commutes. "This is an incredibly cost-effective way to move more people more efficiently along our streets without the time and resources required for capital projects," remarked Andrew McFarland of Boston's LivableStreets Alliance. Similar and longer experiments of the same kind are planned for the new year.

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Published on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 in Streetsblog USA
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