Work Begins on New Dedicated Bus Lanes Downtown

| May 15, 2017 | 0 Comments

Maryland Transit Administration Press Release: 

In an effort to transform public transportation in Baltimore, the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) and the Baltimore City Department of Transportation (BCDOT) are rolling out the next phase of dedicated bus lanes in parts of the city beginning the week of May 15. These dedicated bus lanes are a key element of the Hogan Administration’s BaltimoreLink plan to transform transit in the Baltimore region.

“These dedicated bus lanes will help our system’s reliability by allowing our buses to move faster through the downtown area,” said MTA Administrator and CEO Paul Comfort. “These new lanes will complement the existing bus-only lanes on Pratt and Lombard streets and allow us to continue to deliver on our promise of transforming transit in Baltimore.”

Working between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., crews expect to paint each street beginning on or around the following dates:

  • Week of May 15 – Baltimore Street (from Arch to Gay streets);
  • June 5 – Fayette Street (from President to Arch streets);
  • June 28 – Gay Street (from Baltimore to Forrest streets);
  • July 17 – Guilford Avenue (from Pleasant to Fayette streets);
  • July 17 – Hillen Street (from Forrest to Front streets);
  • July 31 – Lombard Street (from Howard to Penn streets and from President Street to Market Place);
  • August 14 – Pratt Street (from Greene to Howard streets);
  • August 21 – Charles Street (from Madison to Oliver streets); and
  • September 25 – St. Paul/Light Street (from Monument to Redwood streets).

Dedicated bus lanes will be painted red to make them clearer to the public. In areas with a solid red marking, only buses, bicycles, emergency vehicles and school buses can travel. All vehicles can enter areas with dashed paint in order to make a right turn at the next intersection. In some areas, the dedicated bus lanes are for peak periods only and will not be marked with red paint, but simply with signage and markings on the pavement.  Each dedicated bus lane will serve at least 18 buses an hour in the peak periods and will move the same number of people as the adjacent travel lane.

“Roadways for dedicated bus lanes were evaluated based on traffic volumes, the number of buses operating on each street, and the proportion of people being moved by transit versus private vehicles,” said BCDOT Acting Director Frank Murphy. “By separating transit vehicles from mixed traffic, we’ve committed to making transit a more viable transportation option in Baltimore.”

During September and October of 2016, the MTA Police ForceBaltimore Police Department and Baltimore City Transportation Enforcement Officers undertook a large, two-month public education campaign to inform the public about dedicated bus lanes in Baltimore. There was a grace period during this time where the public was issued warnings for driving in a dedicated bus lane. Anyone who violates state law and drives in dedicated bus lanes will receive a $90 fine and one point on their driver’s license. Baltimore City Transportation Enforcement Officers, the Baltimore Police Department and MTA Police are handling enforcement.

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