tech ridge needs better access for pedestrians. this would include installing sidewalks with ramps along the areas where riders board and unboard. sidewalks and ramps would make for more fluidity for riders walking between buses and walking/riding a bike in and out of tech ridge without being forced to walk in the bus lanes where buses are coming and going. removing the river rocks that create hazzards for pedestrians is needed. removing the wrought iron fence that runs right in between bus channels creating a barrier for pedestrians who may need to catch a connection bus on the opposite channel once disboarded. with capmetros current budget proposal is about darn time to install restrooms for bus travelers. any concern of vandalizm is remedied with cameras and capmetro security personnel and stainless steel toilets. capmetro is concerned more with appearance. it may look good but if it doesnt function well, it fails
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While riding my bike to tech ridge to catch 801, I was stopped at Howard and I35 access road. I saw an 801 turn onto Lamar heading south. I thought, oh great I will just cross Howard ride a bit down Lamar and catch 801. After riding and riding and riding on my bike, passing three 275 stops I stopped and called capmetro to locate an 801 stop on lamar. I discovered there are no 801 stops in either direction on lamar between howard and chinatown. Two 801s passed me while I biked down Lamar. C'mon peeps is it really going to slow down the Rapid to add one stop between chinatown and howard on lamar? And why does Rapid cost more money? Riders spend more money when having to catch local buses first. The day passes should be transferable both ways, not just one way.
What ever happened to the rails with trails idea. This seems like an incredibly affordable way to improve traffic. lets do this. http://www.capmetro.org/docs/tod/RWT-Study.pdf
Too many times I have had to wait for the next bus, making me late for work, due to a full bike rack with two bikes, and it is especially frustrating when I know the bus only has three people on it all the way to my stop, which is too far away to ride the whole way. I have read comments about allowing bikes IN the bus, but I think space should be increased, not decreased. I propose a rack that could secure several bikes perpendicular to the current orientation with the front wheel detached which could easily be hung on hooks secured to the ceiling inside the bus. This shouldn't affect the length of the bus more than adding a rack which would allow just one more bike. No decrease in passenger room and a huge increase in bicycle room, and it would be much safer for only tires to be on board than entire bicycles.
As a cyclist I've noticed this a lot and have had others point it out to me. It seems as if a bus travels about the same speed as a bicycle at least on many stretches of road. I can never justify to myself to take the bus, because after adding in a 5 minute average wait time it's very unlikely I'll get a significant advantage over cycling to my destination. If we're going to have a bike share program in the city, I think it will be very efficient to have buses reduce the distance and to have the bike share make the last mile effort simpler. Even without a bikeshare program, the stronger riders would have an incentive to take the bus. I think this comic does a good job of showing how many cyclists feel about buses: http://www.yehudamoon.com/index.php?date=2010-10-20 .
Other than make bus journeys faster, it would improve safety for all traffic especially bicycles by reducing the number of stops and the number of people making unsafe maneuvers to overtake a stopped bus. This is especially bad for cyclists because they end up overtaking the bus at stops and the buses overtake them otherwise causing a game of tag.
The biggest con I see for this is it will make being a pedestrian in Austin more inconvenient especially if that is your only method of transport. This would be especially bad when carrying groceries.
Secure bike parking (cages/shells/lockers) allows transit centers to be part of a commuter's trip plan