So the new alignment study is out and it (Times Colonist, BC Local News), as I predicted, takes Douglas St to the Highway and then the E&N route. All is good except for one little detail: they ditched the centre running lanes for curb lanes. What a lovely disaster.
So lets count the ways they have set themselves up for disaster:
- Curb lanes will be slower running than centre ones, because there is simply more chance for cars to stop or slow the transit vehicle, be it bus or train. Centre lanes have a major challenge with stops, as they mentioned in the article by the BC Transit CEO and was the public reason that the Chamber of Commerce opposed it last time. However, many cities have solved this problem successfully, something the Human Transit blog points out.
- Where is the bike lane going to go? Sandwiched between the transit lane and the parking? Spacing Toronto has a good post about what they do in Copenhagen.
- Which brings us to parking. Are they going to remove the parking or take away a travel lane?
- Given BCTransit is likely to be choosing buses for this, how are they going to convince the ICF to let them pave part of the E&N?
That is a lot of fail. There are two open houses, one this Thursday between 4 and 8pm at the Colwood Muni Hall and another between 1 and 7pm on the 20th at the Victoria City Hall. I will be out of town on the 20th at the Gaining Ground Summit, but I hope I can come away with some answers after this Thursday.