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Counter Flow Bus Lanes Endure in Mexico City
Mexico City's buses sometimes drive in their own lanes in the opposite direction of traffic on one-way streets. The design was created in the '70s when the city was looking for ways to increase the throughput of private vehicles. The one-ways allow for wider lanes and higher speeds, and accommodate bus travelers who would have to walk to more distant one-way streets to catch a bus.
So the city built bus-only lanes for buses to go in the opposite direction of traffic. A problem with this design is that drivers sometimes do not recognize the uncommon design and pull into the lane of the oncoming bus. "World Resources Institute, a research organization that found a 146 percent increase in pedestrian crashes and a 35 percent increase in vehicle collisions in counterflow lanes," Natalie Schachar reports in CityLab. Unfortunately, updating these streets would cost $6 million per kilometer. "For now, the next best solution appears to be optimizing bus corridors by installing better signaling, mid-block crossings, and physical barriers to prevent vehicles and pedestrians from straying into the wrong lane," Natalie Schachar writes.