BRT rush-hour delay along Richmond Street? About 90 seconds: Study

It all boils down to an extra 90 seconds.

The same amount of time it takes to sing O Canada or to brush your teeth.

That’s the extra delay London drivers will face during afternoon rush-hour on the most contentious stretch of London’s $500-million bus rapid transit (BRT) project, a new projection says.

After months of hand-wringing in Old North and along Richmond Row, a new city hall traffic study suggests drivers will be slowed by 90 seconds between Oxford Street and the Western University gates once BRT-only lanes are built down the middle of Richmond Street- writes lfpress.com

“There will be a bit of a delay. But I think it’s good news, frankly, for people who live in that area of the city,” Coun. Jesse Helmer said of the traffic projections. “What we’re really talking about is fewer cars up and down Richmond Street. If you don’t have a destination on Richmond, you’re probably going to choose another route through the city.”

For those on the bus, that 1.7-kilometre trip on Richmond from Oxford to University Drive, expected to be the most-used BRT stretch thanks to heavy student ridership, is projected to take about six minutes along the BRT lanes. There’s no projection for how much extra time it will add to drivers’ morning rush-hour commutes.

The latest projections are part of the newest cache of BRT documents released by London city hall. It’s a true document dump— hundreds upon hundreds of pages, outlining the nitty-gritty details recommended by staff for every inch of the 24-kilometre network.

The city’s traffic modelling suggests many drivers, up to 300 an hour, will choose to use a widened Western Road or Adelaide Street— where a new rail underpass is planned— once they feel the BRT traffic crunch on Richmond.

Opponents of the city’s $500-million project, dubbed Shift, aren’t convinced by the numbers.

“We’re going to have to see what the actual human behaviour is once we see the impact on the ground,” saidCoun. Phil Squire, whose ward includes part of the Richmond corridor. “Until we actually see it, we don’t know exactly what streets people are going to choose as an alternate. This is just a prediction of what might happen.”

Dan McDonald, spokesperson for anti-BRT group Down Shift, called the 90-second projection “wishful thinking.”

“It just doesn’t seem practical or practicable,” he said, questioning whether drivers heading to north London will use Adelaide. He thinks the traffic studies make the case for routing BRT on Western Road instead.

There will be a bit of a delay. But I think it’s good news, frankly, for people who live in that area of the city

Coun. Jesse Helmer

On Richmond, the so-called north corridor of the BRT system, staff recommend running two BRT lanes down the middle of the road and leaving another two lanes (one northbound, one southbound) for general traffic. That stretch of Richmond now carries four lanes of traffic and would be one of few places in the BRT network where the space for general traffic would be reduced.

Close to 30,000 vehicles travel Richmond daily between Oxford and University Drive. Today, without BRT, it takes afternoon rush-hour drivers anywhere between two to eight minutes to make that trip, the newest study says.

Politicians will debate these fine details next week. Here are a few basics on the project, and more details from the latest documents:

City council has approved a BRT system that would run high-frequency buses along L- and 7-shaped corridors bisecting London, with downtown (specifically the intersection of King and Wellington streets) as the hub. From downtown, buses will run north to Masonville Place mall; east to Fanshawe College; south to a spot near White Oaks Mall; and west to Oxford Street and Wonderland Road. At peak times, those buses will go by every five to 10 minutes.

Plotting traffic volume and flow around Richmond Street is something like a game of Tetris in the bustling north-south corridor. Western University plans to close the University Drive bridge to most vehicle traffic, excluding buses and emergency and service vehicles, as part of a plan to go car-free in the centre of campus. That move will shift more than 200 vehicles an hour onto Richmond Street, traffic modelling suggests, but farther north— between University Drive and Windermere Road. The research projects 200 to 300 cars an hour will migrate away from Richmond between Oxford and University Drive, instead choosing Western Road or Adelaide Street to go north and south. A few vehicles— fewer than 50 an hour — are expected to use other smaller corridors such as Wellington, Waterloo and Colborne streets once BRT is up and running.

Richmond Street will go from four lanes to two, but that’s not including left-turn lanes. Helmer describes it as “one and a half lanes” for cars. Left-turn lanes — and advance left-turn signals — will ensure vehicles waiting to turn aren’t holding up long lines of cars in the only general traffic lane. But waiting for those advance signals is part of what’s expected to cause the 90-second delay.

The other BRT corridors— routes that extend east to Fanshawe College, south to White Oaks Mall and west to Oxford Street and Wonderland Road — won’t see the same kind of delays as Richmond Street, because those roads are slated to be widened. Drivers would be able to use the same number of lanes as they do now— for instance, long stretches of Wellington Road would have the four general traffic lanes (two northbound, two southbound) they have now in addition to the two BRT-only lanes.

Rapid transit will nix a total of 106 on-street parking spots, including 82 spaces along BRT routes in the downtown. Another 122 on-street spaces will remain along the rapid transit routes in the city’s core.

Garbage collection could create traffic jams in BRT corridors where there is only one lane for cars,such as Richmond Streetor in the downtown core where rapid transit lanes are recommended along the curb. A late-night trash run, or pickup at other off-peaktimes could become a possibility in some parts of the city.

There are 469 properties with heritage value along the BRT network, including 16 that are officially designated heritage properties. London’s Advisory Committee on Heritage screened a list of more than 500 heritage properties, but decided that 104 didn’t need to be studied further. The structures and properties that are still on the list will now go through a detailed evaluation and research process to highlight their heritage value.

Staff suggest building BRT-only lanes down the centre of most routes, but recommend curb-running lanes for small portions of the network, such as the downtown couplet where buses are expected to run along the edge of King Street. For a portion of the west route on Wharncliffe Road, buses will run in mixed traffic.

The rapid transit network runs through or near seven natural heritage areas, including two environmentally sensitive areas – the Westminster Ponds area along Wellington Road and the Medway Valley Heritage Forest in north London. Permits from the proper agencies, including conservation authorities and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, will be required before the city can develop or build in these areas.

Read more news of London on our site.

lfpress.com
BRTrush-hour
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
2 views in august
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Comments are designed to communicate and discuss the features of an enterprise or event, as well as to find out the interesting questions on it.

Society
Cases of measles in Europe have hit a record high, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). More than 41,000 people have been infected in the first six months of 2018, leading to 37 deaths - writes bbc.com Last year there were 23,927 cases and the year before 5,273. Experts blame this surge in infections on a drop in the number of people being vaccinated. In England, there have been 807 cases so far this year. The WHO is calling on European countr...
Incidents
Scotland Yard said the women, aged 64 and 30, suffered injuries "consistent with a violent assault" at Adderley Gardens, Eltham, at about 12:10 BST. Joe Xuereb, 27, who lives locally, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in Sidcup on Sunday evening. The women, who did not know Mr Xuereb, are being treated at hospitals in south London. A hammer believed to have been used in the attack was recovered from the scene, police said. Neighbour Bob Gover,...
Society
A man has appeared in court over the death of a tradesman who was repeatedly stabbed 30 times on Friday in Walworth, south London. William Treadwell, 67, entered no plea to a charge of murder when he appeared before Camberwell Green Magistrates' Court. The victim, Gary Amer, 63, had been working to fix the boiler at Mr Treadwell's home on Madron Street. Mr Treadwell was remanded in custody to next appear at the Old Bailey. He wore a grey sweatshirt and jog...
Society
Birmingham Prison is being taken over by the government from the private firm G4S, after inspectors said it had fallen into a "state of crisis". Chief Inspector of Prisons Peter Clarke described it as the worst prison he had ever been to. Inspectors found blood, vomit and rat droppings on the floor, sleeping staff, cockroaches and an overpowering smell of drugs. Extra staff are being brought in and the jail's capacity cut by 300. G4S said it welcomed the d...
Society
Wasp nests are keeping pest controllers five times as busy across the UK, according to experts. "Pest controllers usually remove two to three nests a day but at the moment our members are being called to deal with 10 to 15 a day," said Natalie Bungay, technical officer at the British Pest Control Association (BPCA). Search interest in the word "wasp" in the UK was the highest in five years between 5 and 11 August, according to Google Trends. And the hashta...
Society
A council is to offer free sanitary products in all its public buildings in a bid to tackle "period poverty". North Ayrshire Council said it was the first UK local authority to extend free provision to all libraries, community centres and other public offices. Sanitary products will be offered via vending machines in toilets in up to 100 buildings. The council was already one of the first to introduce free sanitary products in secondary schools. Since laun...
Society
Rules around e-cigarettes should be relaxed so they can be more widely used and accepted in society, says a report by a committee of MPs. Vaping is much less harmful than normal cigarettes and e-cigarettes should be made available on prescription to help more people quit smoking, it said. The report also calls on the government to consider their use in public places. There is no evidence e-cigarettes are a gateway into smoking for young people, Public Heal...
Incidents
A man has been charged with the murder of a nurse who appeared on Britain's Got Talent in an NHS choir. Simonne Samantha Kerr, 31, from Wembley, was found fatally injured in a house in Grayshott Road, Battersea, on Wednesday - writes  bbc.com She was treated by paramedics but pronounced dead at the scene. Desmond Sylva, 40, of Grayshott Road, will appear in Wimbledon Magistrates' Court on Friday. Police are not looking for anyone else over Ms Kerr's death....
Society
A maths teacher has been showing off her artistic skills by decorating rocks with incredible miniature versions of book covers. Ella Dickson, 39, spends up to an hour painting covers of books like Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Northern Lights and Matilda on rocks. She posts her intricate creations on a local Facebook page before hiding them near her local library for kids to find, photograph and then often re-hide. Mum-of-two Ella is part of th...