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Buses are great but please use just your lane...

Driving from East Liberty to City on Penn, Fifth Ave, Center is tough as the buses generally occupy TWO lanes for pick-up/discharge.

Photo of Rebecca Harris
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I drive to and from the City of Pittsburgh a lot for meetings as my office is in East Liberty near Bakery Square. For the past several years I have observed that most buses when dropping off or picking up passengers will NOT pull fully into the curb lane. What they do is block both the left lane they are traveling in AND the right lane they are using for drop off, so the front of the bus is in the right lane, back is in the left lane (if this is a street with two lanes). So all traffic must stop. There is no opportunity to pass on the left, which is the correct thing to do. The bus drivers don't want to wait to get back into traffic so the best way is to block it. There must be a huge transportation traffic time cost as the result of this common practice. This should be studied anonymously both when buses do this and don't do this and behavioral changes should be made.


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Photo of Craig Toocheck

I don't understand the issue...are you talking about pulling into a parking lane? Or just a curbside travel lane? Fifth and Penn don't have parking for long stretches so buses just pick up from the curbside travel lane. Centre is the only street where there's parking for most of it, but this should be a bus-priority street; the bus lines that run down it have some 20,000 riders a day; only about 10,000 cars use the street.

Buses are gonna be too wide to fit fully into the parking lane anyway; parking lanes are generally 7' and buses are 8.5' wide. And in many places, to fully pull over (pull-out stop) would require removing 100+ feet of parking.

In any case, I support in-lane stops to give buses priority. Drivers never would let them back into traffic.

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