Why Remove Bus Lane?


Here is one of the letters that try to shed light into unreasonable removal of the bus lane.  Based on Civic Association letter, one of our residents from 22nd street wrote the letter directly to Ms. Diggs, who is the County’s project manager. Unfortunatelly, we are still awaiting her follow up response since Jul 20.
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Ms. Diggs,

I have a question regarding Item 3 in the County’s response to the residents’ input into the plan for the Arlington Ridge Road Improvement Project regarding the bus pull-out at the NE corner ofArlington Ridge Road. I raised the question through Arlington Ridge Civic Association (ARCA) and offered to pursue this question directly with the County so that I can share the answer with the residents.

In its response, the County states that eliminating part of the pull out makes for a “stop compliant with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).” My reading of 49 CFR PARTS 27, 37, 38 (ADA), the regulatory history, and the final rule posted on the Department of Transportation’s website shows that ADA does not mandate the construction of bus stop pads. The final rule clarified this point, and as can be found on DOT’s website regarding the final rule,

“New paragraph (c) of this section clarifies a provision of the Access Board’s standards concerning the construction of bus stop pads. The final Access Board standard (found at section 10.2.1(1) of Appendix A to Part 37) has been rewritten slightly to clear up confusion about the perceived necessary construction of a bus stop pad. Section 10.2.1(1) does not require that anyone build a bus stop pad; it does specify what a bus stop pad must look like, if it is constructed.”

As such, I don’t see why the County cannot consider the neighborhood’s request to keep the bus pull out area. As a minimum, I would be interested to know why the County thinks this is necessary forADAcompliance.

Please let me know what I am missing in my read of the Act so that I can share the response with my neighbors. Thank you.

WB
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Ms. Diggs answered on Jul 19th as follows:

Thank you for your email allow me to clarify. We agree with your interpretation ofADArequirements – specifically thatADAgenerally does not mandate the construction of a transit facility or any other facility, but that it does mandate the features, dimensions, materials, etc. of any facility that a municipality chooses to construct.

It seems that you may have misinterpreted our original response to state thatADAmandated removal of the bus pull out – which is not what our response was intended to convey. I’ll try to clarify and re-state our original response: “The elimination of the bus pull-out is consistent with County’s vision in providing a safer environment for transit riders and creates a stop compliant with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). ”

Support of transit operations is integral to the County’s transportation goals, objectives, and policies. Consistent with those policies, the County intends to upgrade the transit facilities within the project limits. Elimination of the bus pullout is consistent with the County’s transit goals and policies, and also provides for an ADA compliant bus stop.

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On July 20, I followed up with the letter:

Ms. Diggs,

Thank you for the quick response and clarification. Unfortunately, I am still somewhat confused. If I may dissect the original response:

“The elimination of the bus pull-out is consistent with County’s vision in providing a safer environment for transit riders …”

I don’t understand how elimination of the bus pull-out provides a safer environment for transit riders if cars making the turn from23rd Street Southon toArlington Ridge Roadfind it more difficult and passengers from the bus will not have the area they have now to alight from the bus and avoid much of the traffic. I may need to see the final plan to better understand this. Driving on that intersection several times a day, I simply don’t see how the County’s plan is safer, and besides the concern over the safety of transit riders, there is a concern over the safety of cars and their passengers. The redesign ofJoyce Street, in my opinion, has made the street much more dangerous for cars, passengers getting in and out of parked cars and bicycle riders due to the narrowing of the street. I would not want to see a situation like that repeated at the23rd Street/Arlington Ridge Roadintersection that winds up being more dangerous for all. Again, the County’s plan may be OK – I simply don’t see it.

“… creates a stop compliant with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). ”

I don’t understand the statement in that I don’t see where elimination of bus pullouts is something that is covered under 49 CFR Parts 27, 37, and 38. Again, I may be missing something that can be easily explained.

If you prefer to discuss this over the phone, please give me a time slot and telephone number and I will call you. Thank you again, and I hope you can appreciate my concern.

WB
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As of July 26, we have not heard back Ms. Diggs (project manager) reponse.

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