Boise Councilor Seeks To Squeeze 10′ 3″ Bus Into 10′ Traffic Lane

bus widthAt the risk of sounding too logical the GUARDIAN questions how Boise City Councilor Maryanne Jordan plans to squeeze a 10 foot 3 inch wide city bus into a 10 foot traffic lane. In a recent letter to the ACHD, she asserted 10 feet was plenty of room for traffic lanes.
The question arose after the Ada County Highway District board signed off on a traffic lane plan for Capitol Blvd with Chairman John Franden getting the rest of the board to agree to 11 foot traffic lanes. Jordan wrote the board asking them to reconsider their 11 foot decision and shave off one foot of each lane and donate the space to bicycles.

We found a typical bus and measured the front from mirror to mirror to establish the 10 foot 3 inch width. Even with 11 foot lanes, bus drivers have only 4.5 inches of “wiggle room” on either side in the downtown area. Pitty the poor cyclist who gets too close to a mirror in one of those tiny traffic lanes.

This latest round of bickering between Jordan and the ACHD points up an even larger issue. Boise streets, sidewalks, and blocks are rather small. New buildings like the Zions Bank really belong on at least twice the space.

The 8th Street parking garage is too small for standard size vehicles to do anything less than play “bumper cars” trying to park. The Grove Hotel is so big it intrudes into the sidewalk and forces closure of a lane of traffic. Reality dictates we need some open space downtown and that includes between cars, buses and bikes on the streets.

Painting more stripes does not a wider street make.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Dale Gribble
    Oct 2, 2014, 3:04 pm

    “Pity the poor cyclist who gets too close to a mirror in one of those tiny traffic lanes.”

    Pity the poor cyclist who would have NO bike lanes if ACHD had their way (or so it seems according to recent events).

    I’d rather have a small bike lane than share a vehicle lane with a bus. But that’s just my opinion, you know, someone who actually rides a bike.

  2. Bieter begone
    Oct 2, 2014, 4:31 pm

    Dale. ACHD didn’t say no to the bike lanes. They said no to 10′ car lanes. Don’t believe the city’s propaganda.

  3. 97% of the users of the streets are cars. We live in a city that cares more about the minority than the majority. It is just that simple. Bikes mean more than cars – period.

  4. Dale Gribble
    Oct 2, 2014, 4:57 pm

    “Bieter begone” – you are right, they didn’t reject bike lanes, they rejected extra buffer. But I don’t know what this has to do with the “city’s propaganda”, since I didn’t read statements from them.

  5. Bieter begone
    Oct 2, 2014, 5:30 pm

    Dale. There is still a lot of buffer for the bike lanes. And there is a bike lane. So for you to say if ACHD had their way there would be no bike lane is horse puckey.

  6. In the Army we used to call that squeeze a “blivet.”

    A more socially acceptable comparison for trying to fit a 10′-03″ bus into a 10′ lane would be like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube.

  7. codwalleder
    Oct 2, 2014, 9:09 pm

    achd resurfaced gekeler ln. this summer. The car lanes are very narrow and the bike lanes on both sides of the street are very wide. My first thought was that the car lanes are to narrow for bigger cars.

    Followed a bus the other day that was constantly driving on the white lines. Unavoidable with the stupidly narrow lanes.

  8. Kip, the idea to reduce the # of cars on the road and INCREASE the # of bicycles.
    Don’t you think that is a good thing?

    Or do you love OPEC?

  9. Brian Rippy
    Oct 3, 2014, 9:24 am

    The ACHD took 12′ out of the Gekeler roadway for bike lanes. Trucks or buses cannot fit in the lanes now, cars just barely.

  10. Dale Gribble
    Oct 3, 2014, 10:21 am

    “Bieter begone” – There is usually no buffer on any bike lanes. Not sure what you are talking about. ACHD is proposing between 18 and 42 inches buffer for this one particular section of road, but that isn’t very normal for bike lanes and doesn’t even exist yet.

  11. I want bike riding to be safe, but I don’t agree with super-sizing the bike lanes to do it.

    On the other hand… if Team Dave wants a double-play… to have the bike lanes and go greener on the buses… they could use smaller buses. I’ve noticed the buses are typically way below capacity anyway. We only run them now to get the fed money?

  12. Easterner: OPEC? No, no. Turn off CNN.

    Buses cars bikes and oil:

    Who’s the world’s number one producer of crude oil AND refined petroleum products? The USA. Yes that’s right, we are… in spite of O’bumer… We are! But due to enormous amounts of bull crap from media, politicos, and oil corporations… people like you think we’re having an energy crisis. We are not… we do have a pollution crisis and a price gouging crisis and a population crisis and a shortfall of intelligent people reproducing crisis, but noting we can fix with or without a bike lane. (You must see the movie Idiocracy)

    Buses got their start when GM convinced the politicos to pull the old rails from the streets. It’s seems that trains and cars/trucks often collided (and still do). Buses seem to do it better, cheaper, safer.

    Rail is now pushed on us again. It’s a scam, just like the new stadium idea… the only people who will win are the middlemen. Gotta love rail for moving freight, but the politicos are only pushing it for people transport while they let the freight rail rot. Typical.

    Bikes are great if you are smart enough to understand that spandex and bike friendly laws will not protect you from Suzie Soccer Mom’s mini-van, prescription drugs, and iPhone. And I can’t imagine riding to work and trying to look collected / organized after a dangerous 30 minute workout in my suit and tie.

    So, Cars rock! Have you seen the numbers on some of the newest muscle cars… Park the buses and bikes, we’ve finally arrived!

    Economics of the bus… if a metro area has very few free/low priced services… who’s more likely to live there? What will the crime rate look like? What will the public schools be like?

    Team Dave: When was the last time Boise coppers bothered to catch a bike thief? How many bikes reported stolen in your city? Why such a huge ratio of unsolved theft?

  13. Rod in SE Boise
    Oct 5, 2014, 10:43 am

    You cannot force people to give up their cars and ride bikes. Bieter is also trying to end the single-family home and force us all into tiny downtown condos or apartments. That won’t work, either.

  14. When Maryanne Jordan gets the lanes 10′ wide; then she will have ammo to force Bieters streetcar on her constituents

  15. Hey, ROD (and apparently all you other ostriches) – forcing someone to do something is not the same as encouraging someone to do something.

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