The Alternative To Building Bus-Only Lanes: Highway Shoulders

With the region's traffic getting increasingly worse, and little funding in the pipeline, Washington D.C. transit officials have proposed a plan to develop new bus-only lanes on the shoulders of highways.

1 minute read

April 19, 2008, 11:00 AM PDT

By Christian Madera @

"Washington area transportation officials are pushing a plan to run buses on the shoulders of the region's highways and other major roads, allowing the vehicles to drive around congestion and go to the head of the line at traffic signals.

With prospects for increased transportation funding fading, regional leaders are looking for alternative -- read: cheap -- solutions for easing congestion.

"It's about as low cost a thing as you can do," said Chris Zimmerman, chairman of the Metro board and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. Zimmerman is proposing a 100-mile system of shoulder lanes, the same length as the Metrorail system.

Metro General Manager John B. Catoe, who was credited with innovations when he ran the Los Angeles bus system, is meeting with top transportation officials in Maryland and Virginia this week to push shoulder use and other bus improvements.

With Washington commuters mired in the second-worst traffic in the nation, area leaders are increasingly open to new, even radical, ideas for getting people across the region, including extensive tolling, better timing of traffic signals and using every inch of existing pavement, including highway shoulders. "

Friday, April 18, 2008 in The Washington Post

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