Yesterday I had a good meeting with two representatives from SDOT, Sara Walton and Maria Koengeter. Nat Stratton-Clark, president of the Madison Valley Merchants Association, was also there. The focus of the conversation was BRT.
Here are my notes from our meeting:
• SDOT has received a lot of feedback suggesting they extend the BRT to Madison Valley, so they are adding the extension to the Valley to the study. The feedback and research does not support taking BRT to Madison Park, so that is no longer on the table.
• The BRT busses will be mixed in with cars from Madison Valley up to 23rd, where the BRT will have a dedicated bus lane. This is because Madison St is not wide enough for a dedicated lane beyond 23rd coming down the hill.
• SDOT does not know yet if the dedicated bus lane will be only for BRT or for all buses.
• Locations for BRT stops in Madison Valley are still under consideration, but they are looking at an eastbound stop on Madison in front of Essential Baking, and a westbound stop in front of Bailey-Boushay House.
• The location for the bus turnaround and layover station is also being studied, although it’s looking as if the station will be on E. Arthur Place behind the dry cleaner & Jae’s Bistro. This does mean the one way on E. Arthur will change to the opposite direction. (See photo below)
• There will be BRT meetings in Madison Valley in March, for those who want to provide input or get additional information.
• BRT is electric and runs on wires. This means the busses have minimal noise and exhaust, but it also means a mesh of overhead wires.
• If the BRT comes to Madison Valley this could change the schedule of the #11 bus, though more study needs to be done regarding routing and scheduling.
• The study will end this summer.
• If BRT is approved, estimated construction and completion will be in 2018-2019.
• This study cost $1 million. The proposed BRT is estimated to cost $87 million.
Some good info from an article on the Capitol Hill blog:
“Is this just a re-branded bus route?
“Nope. Former mayor of Bogotá Enrique Peñalosa describes his city’s BRT, TransMilenio, like this:
“TransMilenio bus system actually works much more like a subway on wheels than a traditional bus. Buses go on exclusive lanes. People pay when they enter the station. When the buses arrive, the station doors open simultaneously with the bus doors [which align with the station floor]. You can get a hundred people out and a hundred people into the bus in seconds.
“In their own lanes, BRT buses bypass traffic jams; riders hop on and off in the time it takes to type a text message. See? Like light rail, but with buses.”
More info at The Urbanist Blog.