Saturday, 31 January 2009

How bus lanes slow down traffic

Our strategic partners, the Association of British Drivers, have a special dislike of Bus Lanes. They make some valid points. One of their criticisms, for example, is that they make buses more popular, hence more people get on them, hence the bus gets slower. That is an important issue, for which all existing bus passengers must thank the ABD for looking after their needs by fighting bus lanes.

Another criticism is that they slow down traffic by creating congestion, forcing two lanes of traffic into one. That's a bit simplistic, as Amdahl's Law implies that the bottleneck is always the single lane stretches: you have to make everything dual carriageway. Still, the idea merits investigation, on the showcase A38 route, down at the Arches.

Here we can see that they are in fact of so little value, even the buses do not use them.
The problem is that solid lane markings mean that car drivers cannot use them. The double yellow lines mean that law-abiding car drivers cannot park in them.

This means that only drivers like that of L794FWO who refuse to recognise double yellow lines park in them. which renders it useless to buses and taxis, and is of no value to anyone wishing to ignore the restrictions and drive down it. Yet it is still of no value for anyone wishing to park legally.

Clearly the solution to this is to downgrade it from a bus lane to a car parking lane, so that anyone can park there. That way, it will have some value at least. Right now, with even the buses blocked out of it, it is a waste of valuable road space.

We are very grateful for the ABD drawing our attention to this problem, and encourage every grateful bus user to contribute to this forward-thinking organisation by purchasing one of their recommended driving CDs.

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