Bike/LIT and bus lanes should be painted and protected
A line of paint doesn’t do much to prevent people from driving cars or trucks in bike lanes. Instead, physical protection – think concrete barricades, raised curbs, and posts – is what makes bike/LIT lanes safe for everyone.
Some of the many who benefit from bike lanes that are protected from motor vehicles:
- Kids biking around the neighborhood with friends, experiencing the growing freedom that comes with independent transportation
- Adults biking or scooting to patronize local businesses
- People using the sidewalk – especially older adults, people with disabilities, and children – who rely on the dedicated space of the sidewalk to easily get around without faster-moving vehicles like bicycles vying for space
- People driving who rely on easily understood markings and the predictable behavior of other people
- Residents and all those who want to use the road safely
It's unclear if MARTA’s plans for the Campbellton Road transit project include protected bike lanes. The image below from the MARTA project website is of a dedicated bike lane with potential space for physical protection.
Bus lanes also need to be protected to prevent misuse. When people driving cars mistakenly use bus lanes, it slows down bus operations. While there are limitations to how much MARTA can do to prevent this, we want to make sure they’ve fully explored the options, such as those identified in the NACTO Transit Street Design Guide. NACTO suggests bus lanes should be painted red, at a minimum, with additional protection options ranging from rumble strips to concrete curbs.
Designing the dedicated bus lanes in a way that prevents people driving cars and trucks from using them is a preventative measure - it prevents dangerous traffic interactions, and it also prevents unnecessary police interactions. Relying on enforcement is not a good approach. Let’s prevent these problems before they start.
Image from NACTO Transit Street Design Guide
All of the More MARTA projects funded by voters in 2016 should result in safer and more complete streets that meet a variety of people’s needs. MARTA’s goals for the program include “improve first and last-mile connectivity.” Campbellton is one of the first high-quality, high-frequency transit projects to advance from More MARTA, so it’s important to set a good precedent.
Let MARTA know people using bike and bus lanes need better protection than paint alone. We need barriers that will maintain these lanes for their intended uses - for sustainable transportation - and preserve the safety of people using them.
You can help!
The Campbellton corridor transit project is at a key inflection point, so we need you to weigh in now!