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Alternatives Development for Roosevelt Boulevard Transit Enhancements

June 30, 2016

Roosevelt Boulevard is a complex corridor with many needs. The purpose of this project was to take a fresh look at transit needs specifically and develop improvement strategies that could be achieved at grade within the existing cross section of the roadway, at comparatively lower cost and in a shorter timeframe than the subway/elevated line that has historically been the focus of transit planning efforts and remains a long-term ambition. The public has expressed an ongoing interest in improved public transit service on Roosevelt Boulevard, through such feedback efforts as the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission's (DVRPC) Dots & Dashes exercise to develop the 2008Long-Range Vision for Transit, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission's 2035 Comprehensive Plan, and DVRPC Choices & Voices feedback for the Connections 2040long-range plan. This project was a response to that feedback, and to a sense that the corridor has been long on plans but short on progress—owing to solutions that have resided in perpetual long range for financial reasons.

Boosting the Bus: Better Transit Integration Along West Chester Pike

June 20, 2011

The purpose of this study was two-fold:First, to develop a set of best practices to improve the quality of transit service in the West Chester Pike corridor (with a focus on SEPTA Route 104) as well as its integration with corridor development;Second, to use VISSIM microsimulation to test the impacts of various operational improvement strategies on the speed and running times of Route 104 buses. This project draws on the findings of several prior efforts by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) and its planning partners for enhancements to transit service in the West Chester Pike (PA-3) corridor. These include a 2007 DVRPC feasibility study for a dedicated median busway between 69th Street Transportation Center and I-476 (Feasibility Analysis of West Chester Pike Busway, pub. no. 07001) as well as a Transportation Management Association of Chester County (TMACC) study from the same year that considered the feasibility of Transit Signal Priority (TSP) in the Chester County portion of the corridor (Transit Advantage: Transit Signal Priority on PA Route 3). Drawing on the generally favorable findings of the latter study, DVRPC's 2008 Speeding Up SEPTA report (pub. no. 08066) included a case study on SEPTA Route 104 in a chapter that addressed strategies to improve the effectiveness of suburban bus service.Following stakeholder discussions, staff developed a series of three enhancement scenarios for Route 104: a) a corridor-length implementation of TSP; b) TSP plus a relocation of many nearside stops to the far side of their intersections; and c) TSP plus a new limited-stop operating pattern (the West Chester RapidBus). DVRPC's simulations of these enhancement scenarios suggest that they would result in travel time savings, with the most meaningful benefits naturally being observed under the RapidBus proposal (which was simulated to cut the time competitiveness gap between auto and transit by about 32 percent in the westbound direction, and 66 percent eastbound). The time savings estimated for the TSP-only and TSP plus far-side stop scenarios are much more modest, with only a negligible additional benefit being observed for the addition of far-side stops to TSP.For West Chester Pike, the next steps toward improving bus service are to pursue implementation strategies (either incrementally or as a single project). The Delaware County TMA (DCTMA) is presently managing a feasibility and outreach project on implementing TSP and land use access improvements, which are expected to be consistent with the recommendations of this report. The experiences of other cities and regions that have pursued bus enhancement or Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)-lite projects like the proposed RapidBus, from major cities to suburban corridors, suggest that when it comes to the effectiveness of improvements, perception is reality.Whichever improvement strategies are pursued -- from simple TSP to the full RapidBus vision - they should be promoted and branded rather than made quietly.

Bicycle-Bus Conflict Area Study

December 31, 2009

Increasing bicycle use and bus ridership are both desirable policy goals from a sustainability standpoint, but on city streets these two modes of transport are often in conflict. While occupying opposite ends of the size and weight spectrum, they typically operate in the same space and at roughly the same speeds over significant stretches of road. This report includes a review of crash data and an analysis of videologs along Walnut Street in University City, with an aim of documenting and highlighting the precise nature of this conflict in Philadelphia. After reviewing how other places have dealt with these conflicts, staff proposes two specific strategies to address the problems that were observed: the increased use of left-side bike lanes on one-way streets where transit conflicts exist, and the pursuit of a citywide 'yield/courtesy pyramid' to clarify roles and responsibilities (with one example being a new 'do not pass stopped transit vehicles on the right' rule for bicyclists).

Increasing Intermodal Access to Transit: Phase IV

September 1, 2007

Phase IV of this continuing project assessed non-motorized (pedestrian and bicycle) accessibility to five rail stations in the region. Three SEPTA Regional Rail stations (Bryn Mawr, Fox Chase, and Glenside), one SEPTA Broad Street Subway station (Erie), and one New Jersey Transit Atlantic City Line station (Atco) were analyzed using PLOS and BLOS model software. Field measurements and observations provided data for this analysis, which was supplemented by a qualitative examination of access conditions in the immediate vicinity of each station. A summary of recommended enhancements was prepared for each station, noting strategies that would address specific problem areas.