Western & Ashland Corridor BRT - Pros and Cons

Figures and images extracted from the Chicago Transit Authority's October 2012 open house display boards

 ProsCons

1. Center Running, Travel Lane Removal

  • One center running bus lane in each direction
  • One auto travel lane in each direction
  • Parking retained on both sides
  • Left turns removed
  • Wider sidewalks provided at station intersections
  • Landscaped medians provided
  • Western Avenue cost: $9.8m per mile ($155m total)
  • Ashland Avenue cost: $9.9m per mile ($161m total)
  • Highest potential for increased bus speeds (bus speeds are projected to increase 82-83% over local bus)
  • Potential for less point-source pollution from automobiles in this locale (because of lowered capacity)
  • Additional sidewalk space
  • Keeping parking provides access to businesses and residences

Western Avenue

  • 107% increase in transit mode share
  • Bus reliability would increase 50%

Ashland Avenue

  • 46% increase in transit mode share
  • Bus reliability would increase 50%
  • Lack of left turns could put increased traffic on side streets as automobiles must enter them in order to turn around to turn left; however, as the October 2012 display boards indicated, there are many routes to the same destination.

Western Avenue

  • 5% of parking spaces removed (42 are CPM)

Ashland Avenue

  • 8% of parking spaces removed (74 are CPM)
Center running, travel lane removal

2. Center Running, Parking and Median Lane Removal

  • One center running bus lane in each direction
  • Two auto travel lanes in each direction
  • Parking retained on one side
  • Left turns removed
  • Western Avenue cost: $10.7m per mile ($170m total)
  • Ashland Avenue cost: $10.8m per mile ($175m total)
  • Highest potential for increased bus speeds (bus speeds are projected to increase 82-83% over local bus)

Western Avenue

  • 40% increase in transit mode share
  • Bus reliability would increase 40%

Ashland Avenue

  • 36% increase in transit mode share
  • Bus reliability would increase 40%
  • Lack of left turns could put increased traffic on side streets as automobiles must enter them in order to turn around to turn left; however, as the October 2012 display boards indicated, there are many routes to the same destination.
  • Wider sidewalks not provided
  • Parking capacity is decreased

Western Avenue

  • 53% of parking spaces removed (178 are CPM)

Ashland Avenue

  • 54% of parking spaces removed (342 are CPM)
Center running, parking lane and median removal

3. Curbside Running, Travel Lane Removal

  • One curbside running bus lane in each direction
  • One auto travel lane in each direction
  • Parking retained on both sides
  • Left turns retained
  • Wider sidewalks provided at station intersections
  • Landscaped medians provided
  • Western Avenue cost: $7.1m per mile ($113m total)
  • Ashland Avenue cost: $7.1m per mile ($115m total)
  • Local buses can share the lane with BRT buses and experienced their own travel time decreases
  • Potential for less point-source pollution from automobiles in this locale (because of lowered capacity)
  • Additional sidewalk space
  • Keeping parking provides access to businesses and residences

Western Avenue

  • 73% increase in transit mode share
  • Bus reliability would increase 20%

Ashland Avenue

  • 64% increase in transit mode share
  • Bus reliability would increase 20%
  • Buses will be delayed by delivery vehicles and people parking their automobiles
  • Local buses sharing the lane with BRT buses could slow BRT buses

Western Avenue

  • 3% of parking spaces removed (21 are CPM)

Ashland Avenue

  • 4% of parking spaces removed (37 are CPM)
Curbside running, travel lane removal

4. Curbside Running, Parking and Median Lane Removal

  • One curbside running bus lane in each direction
  • Two auto travel lane in each direction
  • Parking retained on one side
  • Left turns retained
  • Western Avenue cost: $6.8m per mile ($107m total)
  • Ashland Avenue cost: $7.4m per mile ($120m total)
  • Local buses can share the lane with BRT buses and experienced their own travel time decreases

Western Avenue

  • 20% increase in transit mode share
  • Bus reliability would increase 10%

Ashland Avenue

  • 21% increase in transit mode share
  • Bus reliability would increase 10%
  • Lowest increase in mode share and bus reliability
  • Buses running with parking will be delayed by people parking their automobiles
  • Buses running without parking will be delayed by delivery vehicles
  • Wider sidewalks not provided
  • Parking capacity is decreased
  • Local buses sharing the lane with BRT buses could slow BRT buses

Western Avenue

  • 53% of parking spaces removed (178 are CPM)

Ashland Avenue

  • 54% of parking spaces removed (342 are CPM)
Curbside running, parking lane and median removal

Grid Chicago articles about Bus Rapid Transit

Parking notes

Ashland Avenue has considerably more metered parking spaces than Western Avenue (in the project limits for each street). Metered spaces are leased from the City of Chicago by Chicago Parking Meters, LLC (CPM), which contracts the operation to LAZ Parking. For the city to use the space occupied for metered parking, it must be rented from CPM or unmetered spaces of a similar value in another location be converted to metered spaces.

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