Tuesday, May 30, 2023

BRT Should Use Shared Not Dedicated Lanes, HTX #1 real estate market, college grads flee the superstar cities, cutting zoning reduces housing costs, and more

A few smaller misc items this week: 

  • BRT Should Use Shared, Not Dedicated Lanes. Everything in here absolutely applies to the planned METRO Universities BRT line, especially on Richmond inside the loop. 'Lite BRT' would be a great option for that line.

"Dedicating two of the six lanes on major streets in Chandler, Mesa, Scottsdale, and Tempe exclusively to buses would be a complete waste, says a new report released last week by the Arizona Free Enterprise Club and two other groups in the Phoenix area. Each of the lanes that Valley Metro would take for buses typically move roughly three to four times as many people per day as would have taken the bus before the pandemic, and bus ridership has fallen by 50 percent since the pandemic. ...

Instead of dedicated lanes, the report recommends the Valley Metro experiment with “lite BRT,” which means running frequent buses in shared lanes and coordinating traffic signals so everyone can minimize the number of stops they have to make. If these modest improvements significantly increase ridership, Valley Metro could experiment with other improvements, but if they don’t, “then it is unlikely that . . . dedicated lanes and traffic signal priority would do any better.”

"In 2004, Denver voters approved spending $4.8 billion building six new rail transit lines, and the first line opened ten years ago. This was soon followed by four more to the gushing praise of various outsiders.

Inside Denver, however, people are beginning to realize that the whole thing was a miserable failure, suffering massive cost overruns and never attaining its ridership projections. The West line, which had its tenth anniversary last week, never carried as many passengers as were projected in its first year. It’s too bad that the reporters who are questioning this now weren’t asking the same questions in 2004."

"Policymakers have debated whether allowing more market-rate—meaning unsubsidized—housing improves overall affordability in a market. The evidence indicates that adding more housing of any kind helps slow rent growth. "

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