Instead of a Monorail in Charlottesville

Or Streetcar, or whatever they want to call it, why not this? It combines Bus Rapid Transit and bikes, and doesn’t require a ten-million-dollar a mile investment.

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  1. TrvlnMn February 4, 2008 at 11:02

    I like the idea.

    While red buses circulate along main arteries, smaller green buses circulate in the neighborhoods, picking up passengers for free and feeding them into the main stations. Making feeder buses free (while still recognizing the need for easy access to stations) gave the city a serious incentive to pave bike paths to stations.

    However in Cville I would suggest that “the red buses” or their equivalent should have “transit only” lanes. Plus there still needs to be commuter lines to and from the bedroom communities in Albemarle and other counties (with populations that commute to work in Cville) with at least once an hour pickups.

  2. Anonymous Coward February 4, 2008 at 13:32

    This is a wonderful idea . . . I can think of a dozen interesting implementation possibilities here in C’ville. I agree with the previous commenter about the benefits of a transit-only lane — and we could have one without much stress on several major thoroughfares (e.g., Preston, Water, 29 (important!). We would also benefit from bicycle parkhouses at the University and downtown.

    One big problem is what to do about commuters from Albemarle — they drive a lot of the traffic problem, at least from the perspective (admittedly partial) of this interested observer. The goal would be to get people out of their cars on the feeder roads. I think subsidizing out-of-city parking, along with significant restrictions on parking in town, would help. Then run transit-only lanes of the satellite lots, frequent buses, and voila.

  3. DaveNorris February 5, 2008 at 10:55

    I agree that this is precisely the direction Charlottesville/Albemarle needs to take with regard to our transit system — a BRT trunk line with neighborhood feeder routes, and easy access at all points to bicyclists and park & ride commuters. I haven’t made up my own mind yet if it makes sense to try and incorporate a streetcar line into such a system (especially given the enormous cost); as for building transit-only lanes, it’s a good idea in concept but ridiculously expensive. Thanks as always for spurring creative thought Jim.

  4. TrvlnMn February 5, 2008 at 11:11

    …as for building transit-only lanes, it’s a good idea in concept but ridiculously expensive.

    More ridiculously expensive then laying tracks down the center of West Main for a project that will really do nothing to get people out of their cars? For a project that will only benefit one neighborhood at the expense of the rest of the city?

    Really all it would take would be a separate set of painted lines on the roadway, and a traffic cop to write tickets for violators.

    Or you could do it the way Los Angeles does it- during AM and PM rush hour along high congestion routes you lose curbside parking and that becomes the “transit only lane” during peak times. As an extra incentive, think if the added revenue to the city (tickets and towing) with the enforcement.

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