First read of the Ashland BRT Environmental Assessment

posted Nov 20, 2013, 8:49 AM by Colin Murphy
The CTA released the Ashland BRT Environmental Assessment yesterday. 

The key points: 

1) 13 out of 89 intersections would operate at "unacceptable" Level of Service (E or F) vs. 6 in no-build scenario. But proposed mitigation (signal times, changes to roadway geometry etc.) at all 13 intersections bring LOS to acceptable levels or even improve it. However, some of the proposed mitigation measures would involve widening the roadway or other changes inconsistent w DOT's Complete Streets guidelines, which will have to be worked out. 

2) Some parallel roads, esp. Western and Racine/Southport, will see more congestion, but travel speeds (off Ashland) shouldn't be impacted more than 1-3%. The grid should be able to deal with diverted traffic such that no neighborhood streets will be hit especially hard, but mitigation of impacts will be addressed block by block as needed. 

3) 88-89% of parking on Ashland is retained, which is still much more than the amount of parking actually used even at peak demand (55-74%, usually much less), so no mitigation is proposed.

4) Bus travel time and reliability are vastly improved--83% avg speed increase (to 15.9 mph), 9.4 min time savings on typical 2.5 mi trip, 50% better on-time performance. Expect 29% more riders and 26% transit mode split along Ashland.

5) Net regional decrease in emissions (less auto traffic, but more buses)

There's lots more in the report, but those are the easily summarized points so I don't forget them.