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I ride a bus on the Shirley highway almost every day. While there are exceptions on some days, the HOV3 lanes generally work quite well, and the buses sail ahead of traffic in the conventional lanes - that carpoolers do as well does not detract from the speed advantage.

Also the HOT lanes will end at the mixing bowl, IIUC (due to Arlington County's opposition). The lanes from the mixing bowl will not be HOT lanes, but HOV3. The opening to HOT traffic south of the beltway will be accompanied by additional capacity, to be financed by the tolls.

If and when the HOV3 lanes become congested on a regular basis, discussion on modifying them to HOV4 could begin (just as there is discussion of changing HOV2 to HOV3 on I66) The flexibility down is also flexibility up.

Note though, Shirley highway is still not "gold standard" rail equivalent BRT. There are no intermediate stations along the highway before the Pentagon, no high platform boarding, etc.

The main barrier to more bus ridership, at least for the routes from southern Fairfax, is not congestion on the busway - its the low densities and auto centric layouts of the areas where the buses collect. If Braddock and/oR LRT had bus only lanes that would be a huge advantage. As it is, it usually takes far longer getting from Annandale TO I395, then it does getting from LRT to the Pentagon on I305 (despite the section from LRT to Seminary being in conventional lanes)

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jul 12, 2012 10:41 am • linkreport

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