You know, for all the hand-wringing about letting cyclists have a piece of the Burrard St. bridge, the bridge is never really the problem.  The worst part of Burrard is northbound traffic between the bridge and Burrard station, especially during the afternoon rush.  That’s where the numbers 2, 22, and 44 slow down to a crawl.

The worst part is how much time those buses spend standing dead still.  Here’s an example.  The Davie stop is on the south side of Davie, so buses don’t need to cross the intersection to get to the stop.  In theory, that means buses should be able to pull into the stop even when they’ve got a red light in front of them.  Drivers can let people on and off the bus while the light’s red, and then head through the intersection when the light’s green.  Except that can’t happen.  There are so many cars backed up at the intersection that a bus can’t get past the line of parked cars on its right to pull into the stop.   So the bus sits idling in a line of cars waiting for the light to change.  When the light turns green, it pulls into the Davie stop, and loads and unloads passengers while the green light goes stale.  Inevitably, the light turns red while the bus is at the stop, and it sits though a second red light before it can get through the intersection.  This is slow.

But it’d be so easy to fix!  Cheap, too!  The secret?  Get rid of parking.  Eliminate parking in the northbound curb lane and make it a bus-only lane. Then buses could whip straight down the lane, without having to pull in and out of near-gridlock traffic.  There’s already no parking in that lane during the morning rush, and in the afternoon there’s no parking further north.  So why not just give the whole lane to buses?

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