Solving The Mystery of Transit Priority Lanes

capmetro1_011414Transit Priority Lanes magically appeared on Guadalupe St. and Lavaca St. a couple of months ago and since that “abracadabra” moment there has been a lot of confusion and complaints about them. LGN’s crack news staff decided it was time to reveal the secrets behind the new lanes. Read on to learn about how the new lanes got there, and how they work.

Neither Lavaca nor Guadalupe could be widened without “disappearing” private property and buildings. That would take serious black magic. Constrained to only good magic, Public Works has some additional limits. It is physically impossible to have more than 2,130 cars per hour on a road like Guadalupe or Lavaca. That’s about 2,556 people per hour, and that’s when traffic is moving as efficiently as possible. Vehicles turning, collisions, and lane changes reduce the actual number of people traveling on Guadalupe or Lavaca.

Here’s where the magic happens: more people can travel on Guadalupe and Lavaca by separating cars, buses, and bikes. True, only two “general purpose” lanes handle fewer cars (1,420 cars or 1,704 people per hour); however the transit lane allows more buses to operate on these streets. Those buses carry 1,280 people per hour with the capability of carrying double that. That means more people can now travel in the same amount of road space – and that doesn’t count the people bicycling. It also means the flow is smoother for all users, and having those transit lanes will help with traffic on other streets by allowing most buses to move from Congress Ave. and Brazos St.

To learn more, visit this website, or check out this video.




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