Bus controlled traffic lights

Pete Owens
Posts: 1483
Joined: 7 Jul 2008, 12:52am

Re: Bus controlled traffic lights

Postby Pete Owens » 25 Mar 2019, 12:09pm

For a give way or roundabout it is even more important to get into the correct lane; drivers at the give way line are overwhelmingly paying attention to the road they are trying to join so are likely to fail to notice a bus or cyclist approaching from behind. In this example you can see that the gap in the bus lane has had to be made longer:
https://www.google.com/maps/@53.3993508,-2.6459956,3a,75y,233.13h,74.82t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s40SuGR6CzcLvrF_FX3IyPQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656.
Yes, that does mean slightly less priority, but only because it is an extraordinarily bad idea to overtake a stream of traffic that is turning across your path.

Ideally at a junction such as this there would be a compact roundabout with single-lane approaches and exists on all arms. General traffic would need to merge into the bus lane on the approach. The way to ensure priority would be to install a set of lights to control the merge. These could would be set to give a long red stage to the general traffic in advance of a bus approaching, so when the bus reaches the end of the bus lane the queue will have cleared.

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 16930
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Bus controlled traffic lights

Postby Vorpal » 25 Mar 2019, 1:21pm

In the USA, when bus or bike lanes become turn lanes (usually right turn lanes, as they drive on the right), drivers entering the turn lane still have to give way to bikes or buses already in the lane.

They are labelled with a sign, something like
Right turn lane begins
Yield to bikes & buses

Some of them have symbols, like a merging arrow, with one coming form the left, and the other coming from the diamond used for bike & bus lanes, there.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Bmblbzzz
Posts: 2702
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: Bus controlled traffic lights

Postby Bmblbzzz » 25 Mar 2019, 1:22pm

There's what might be called a hybrid system here:
https://goo.gl/maps/BY8Nzd3Zi3w
The general traffic lanes lead up to signals on to the roundabout, but the bus lane bypasses the signals and ends in a give way line. Possibly there's a system to hold the lights for that road on red when a bus is in the give way? I don't know. It does allow the buses to stop off at a conveniently sited stop right by the roundabout, rather than a hundred metres back, so hopefully increasing the attractiveness of the buses. I don't think any of the buses from that direction turn right there.

Another curiosity is that the streetview seems to have been filmed from the pavement, presumably using some sort of backpack-mounted camera.

MikeF
Posts: 3706
Joined: 11 Nov 2012, 9:24am
Location: On the borders of the four South East Counties

Re: Bus controlled traffic lights

Postby MikeF » 25 Mar 2019, 1:43pm

Pete Owens wrote:Ideally at a junction such as this there would be a compact roundabout with single-lane approaches and exists on all arms. General traffic would need to merge into the bus lane on the approach. The way to ensure priority would be to install a set of lights to control the merge. These could would be set to give a long red stage to the general traffic in advance of a bus approaching, so when the bus reaches the end of the bus lane the queue will have cleared.
As in my example above and repeated here.
Bus controlled lights Other motor traffic is held to allow the bus to pass. In this case buses go straight ahead and through a bus gate. I think the bus sensor is immediately after the last bus stop, which is some way back.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

brynpoeth
Posts: 10497
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: Bus controlled traffic lights

Postby brynpoeth » 25 Mar 2019, 8:37pm

Pete Owens wrote:
StephenW wrote:
What about bus lanes in the middle of the road, rather than at the kerbside?


Would make getting on and off the bus a bit exciting.

There are some in Hamburg* for example, the stops are protected by barriers and there are lights so PoFs can cross
Many trams run in the middle of the road, when they stop vehicles have to wait, undertaking is not allowed
* used to be served by three-segment bendy buses :?
Entertainer, juvenile, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we love life

Bmblbzzz
Posts: 2702
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: Bus controlled traffic lights

Postby Bmblbzzz » 26 Mar 2019, 8:51am

As noted earlier, either 100% of passengers cross half the road or 50% of passengers cross all the road. However, central stops do require extra building and in UK there is no tram priority law.

Pete Owens
Posts: 1483
Joined: 7 Jul 2008, 12:52am

Re: Bus controlled traffic lights

Postby Pete Owens » 26 Mar 2019, 9:28am

Stepping off a bus into a live traffic lane is rather different prospect to crossing half a road.

Bmblbzzz
Posts: 2702
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: Bus controlled traffic lights

Postby Bmblbzzz » 26 Mar 2019, 10:09am

Central stops, or more accurately island stops. Not necessarily a good idea though, for one thing it means the bus lane isn't really usable by cyclists.

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 16930
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Bus controlled traffic lights

Postby Vorpal » 26 Mar 2019, 12:00pm

Oslo has island stops, mostly for trams, but also for buses in a few places.

There is normally a pedestrian crossing from the island to the footway.

I just use the lane that goes around the stop. A couple of busy streets also have a cycle lane. Some have tracks in the middle for trams (not other traffic), a general travel lane, and a cycle lane, like this https://www.google.no/maps/@59.9217884, ... 312!8i6656
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Bmblbzzz
Posts: 2702
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: Bus controlled traffic lights

Postby Bmblbzzz » 26 Mar 2019, 1:11pm

That cycle lane looks nice and wide.

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 16930
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Bus controlled traffic lights

Postby Vorpal » 26 Mar 2019, 1:24pm

Bmblbzzz wrote:That cycle lane looks nice and wide.

It's almost wide enough to avoid the doors opening from parked cars & still stay in the lane!
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Pete Owens
Posts: 1483
Joined: 7 Jul 2008, 12:52am

Re: Bus controlled traffic lights

Postby Pete Owens » 26 Mar 2019, 1:51pm


Well I suppose if you start off with an 8-lane carriageway with a modest volume of traffic you can allocate 2 lanes for trams + 2 lanes for islands + 2 lanes for general traffic + 2 lanes for parking bays - and if you make all of those a bit narrower than normal traffic lanes you can squeeze in a door-zone cycle lane.

But do we really want to allocate quite so much of our cities real estate to transport infrastucture?

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 16930
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Bus controlled traffic lights

Postby Vorpal » 26 Mar 2019, 2:29pm

Pete Owens wrote:But do we really want to allocate quite so much of our cities real estate to transport infrastucture?

No, and building new housing & infrastructure, Oslo doesn't do that, either. The width of that street hasn't changed much in 200 years. It used to be the main route out of Oslo to the south.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 13251
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Bus controlled traffic lights

Postby mjr » 26 Mar 2019, 3:23pm

Pete Owens wrote:

Well I suppose if you start off with an 8-lane carriageway with a modest volume of traffic you can allocate 2 lanes for trams + 2 lanes for islands + 2 lanes for general traffic + 2 lanes for parking bays - and if you make all of those a bit narrower than normal traffic lanes you can squeeze in a door-zone cycle lane.

But do we really want to allocate quite so much of our cities real estate to transport infrastucture?

It seems so here, as parts of the main road into our medium-sized town is now 9 carriageway lanes across (westbound 1 left, 3 ahead, 1 right; eastbound 2 left, 2 right) while everyone walking and cycling is directed into one 3m sidepath (but plenty ignore it and walk/cycle "wild" across the carriageway and along the verge, generating angry comment from motorists in local press) and buses get stuck in the jams of general traffic.

IMO it's high time to reallocate the roads and build for what we want to encourage, instead of repeatedly failing to build out of congestion. Some should become busway and some should become cycleway.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

Bmblbzzz
Posts: 2702
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: Bus controlled traffic lights

Postby Bmblbzzz » 26 Mar 2019, 3:26pm

Yes. And some should become buildings, greenery, etc.