ONEN Transit Committee Analysis of Bus Routes Through ONEN

ONEN Transit Committee Analysis of Bus Routes Through ONEN

June 6, 2016

The newly-formed ONEN Transit Committee met for the first time to discuss the short- and long-term goals of transit for our neighborhood, surrounding neighborhoods, and the City. We discussed the need to work with MMT to find solutions that improves public transit for the masses rather than pushing personal agendas. We concluded that before we approached the ONEN board or MMT with any suggestions, the surrounding neighborhoods should be able to provide feedback. The full minutes from this meeting may be found here.

ONEN Master Plan

As detailed in an earlier post, the ONEN Transit Committee is concerned with the additional traffic and stress the recent bus route changes place on Nevada Avenue. The ONEN Master Plan states to, “Maintain an equitable distribution of traffic flow among existing arterial streets in the neighborhood, so that no one street is excessively overloaded with non-local traffic.”  The latest traffic counts on the four north-south arterial streets through ONEN are shown in the following table:

Traffic Counts in Average Daily Trips (ADT)
Cascade Avenue Nevada Avenue Weber Street Wahsatch Avenue
2013 Traffic Counts 10,400 (29%) 15,700 (44%)
4,600 (13%) 4,800 (14%)
2016 Traffic Counts 6,615 (20%) 17,564 (54%)
3,417 (10%) 5,181 (16%)

Access to Amenities

In an earlier post, MMT provided the complaints they received during the comment period. The number one complaint applicable to the bus routes through ONEN was reduced access to the Bon Shopping Center (14) followed by Safety issues of Nevada Avenue (10). The first image below shows the sheltered bus stops that serviced the discontinued route 6 down Wahsatch Avenue. The Safeway is the building on the left with the white roof. The second image shows a closer image of one of the stops. Safeway employees used to help the elderly and handicapped with their groceries to these stops. By moving the closest bus stop 2 blocks over to Nevada Avenue, the bus system reduced the accessibility to these amenities. The third picture shows this stop on Nevada. Notice that a shopping cart was required for one bus rider to transport groceries to this stop.

Locations of the currently unused bus shelters directly in front of the Bon Shopping Center

Wasatch-Bon-Bus-Shelters

Bon Shopping Center bus shelter on Wasatch Avenue (Photo taken before the bus changes)

Bon-Bus-Shelter

Photo of nearest bus stop 3 blocks from Safeway on Nevada Avenue (northbound)

Nevada-Bus-Stop

UPDATE: This 4th photo was taken on June 10th during a rainstorm. This poor person had to cross Nevada Avenue with a grocery cart to reach the southbound stop.

Photo of nearest bus stop 3 blocks from Safeway on Nevada Avenue (southbound)

Nevada-south

15-Minute Service Concerns

The ONEN Transit Committee recognizes that a 15-minute bus service is a lot to ask for any residential street. 15-minute back-and-forth service means a bus going in front of your house an average of every 7-1/2 minutes. We hope to work with MMT to come up with ways to ease the impact of a single street having to carry the buses. Some that were mentioned in the planning meeting were:

  • Split route 9 and route 19 down two separate streets (30 minute service on each).
  • Create a loop route between two streets where one carries northbound buses and the other carries southbound buses.
  • Use 15-minute service for peak hours only.
  • Use smaller, quieter buses for 15-minute routes.

Analysis of Arterial Routes

Using an interactive Google map showing the possible destinations of bus users, each arterial street was considered for the following criteria when compared to the existing route down Nevada Avenue:

  1. How would the change better serve the ONEN Master Plan?
  2. How would the change affect safety?
  3. How would the change affect efficiency?
  4. How would the change best connect local businesses to bus riders?
  5. How would the change best serve the surrounding neighborhoods?

After considering Cascade, Weber, and Wahsatch in relation to Nevada, the committee came to the consensus that Wahsatch Avenue seems to best meet the criteria. The following picture shows the Nevada route in red and the Wahsatch route in yellow. Points of interest are marked with a red pin and existing Wahsatch bus stops are marked with a yellow pin.

Analysis of current Nevada bus route (red line) versus using Wasatch (yellow line). Red pins mark places of interest. Yellow pins mark existing ADA bus stops on Wahsatch.

Nevada-vs-Wasatch

The pros and cons of each arterial route vs. Nevada Avenue is detailed in the following table.

Pros/Cons analysis of each ONEN arterial n/s street versus Nevada Avenue
Cascade Avenue
Weber Street
Wahsatch Avenue
ONEN Master Plan Pros: ADT 6,615 vs 17,564 Pros: ADT 3,417 vs 17,564 Pros: ADT 5,181 vs 17,564
Safety Pros: Fewer parked cars; Less busy; No turn onto Jackson; No school zones
Pros: Less busy; Quieter Uintah crossing; Easier turn to/from Jackson Pros: Fewer Parked cars; Less busy; Quieter Uintah crossing; Easier turn to/from Jackson; No school zones
Efficiency Pros: On-time performance Pros: On-time performance

Cons: Adds two blocks to route

Pros: On-time performance

Cons: Adds four blocks to route

Businesses Cons: Farther from businesses Pros: Closer to businesses Pros: Closest to businesses; Pass directly by many including the Safeway (Bon Shopping Center)
Neighborhoods Cons: Farther from Patty Jewett Pros: Closer to Patty Jewett Pros: Borders ONEN and Patty Jewett
Infrastructure Pros: Existing ADA bus stops Pros: Existing ADA bus stops, including shelters directly in front of the Bon Shopping Center.

 

Conclusions

The ONEN Transit Committee concluded that, based on these criteria, the four north-south arterial streets through ONEN rank as shown in the following table. We conclude that Wahsatch Avenue has clear advantages and the fewest disadvantages and ranks at the top of the list. Nevada Avenue is just the opposite. Nevada made the bottom of the list with few advantages and a long list of disadvantages.

Cascade Avenue and Weber Street were very close for different reasons. If we had to pick between these two streets for the only bus route to serve ONEN and Patty Jewett neighborhoods, Weber would certainly provide a better proximity to riders and amenities. However, if a second route was selected in addition to a route on Wahsatch Avenue, Cascade would seem to be a better choice based on safety and existing infrastructure. For this reason, Cascade Avenue is listed above Weber Street.

Street ranking based on criteria
Rank Street Pros Cons
1 Wahsatch Avenue
  • Closest to amenities
  • Borders ONEN and Patty Jewett
  • Safer
  • Better on-time performance
  • Existing infrastructure
  • Adds 4 blocks
2 Cascade Avenue
  • Direct route
  • Safer
  • Existing infrastructure
  • Better on-time performance
  • Farthest from amenities
  • Farthest from Patty Jewett
3 Weber Street
  • Closer to amenities
  • Central to neighborhoods
  • Safer
  • Better on-time performance
  • Adds 2 blocks
  • No infrastructure
  • Passes through a school zone
4 Nevada Avenue
  • Direct Route
  • High traffic
  • Dangerous
  • Passes through a school zone
  • More delays
  • Farther from amenities
  • Farther from Patty Jewett
  • No infrastructure

The ONEN Transit Committee plans to collect neighborhood feedback on this analysis before asking for ONEN board approval or presenting it to the City. Please provide initial comments on Facebook, Nextdoor, or directly on this page. We plan to send out polls in the near future to solicit opinions from the people of ONEN and Patty Jewett before making our recommendation to the ONEN board and City officials.

UPDATE: Online poll is open on Nextdoor.com for ONEN and Patty Jewett neighbors. If you haven’t joined this online community, now is a good time to do so and cast your vote.

Poll

 

 

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Comments

  1. Chris Orsborn, June 9, 2016
    I agree with this study that Wahsatch is a better choice for the busses to travel N from the downtown area. Nevada is already quite busy and traffic counts indicate so. Reply
  2. Peter Frantz, June 9, 2016
    I thank the Transit Committee for their effort in devising this plan and taking the initiative to pursue better options for our community. I agree that Wahsatch is a better choice than Nevada: 1) it has less than 1/3 of the traffic, 2) it has had far fewer fatalities, 3) the roadway is in better condition, 4) the bus stop infrastructure is already in place, 5) it provides more convenient access for businesses, and 6) it is outside the historic preservation overlay. However, it is a significant burden for our Wahsatch neighbors to bear. I would prefer to see this burden shared by Cascade, which has enjoyed a 36% reduction in traffic in just 3 years may be reduced even further when the road diet is implemented south of Uintah. Also, Cascade has been accustomed to buses since the 70's. Still, I understand that this option is probably not as desirable to the city, and would reduce our chances of affecting any change from the current situation. Reply
  3. Emily Chan, June 9, 2016
    Thank you for the detailed analysis. I agree with Peter Frantz's perspective that Wahsatch is the best candidate given its proximity to places (amenities) where people would need to access the bus (the Google map above). Splitting the routes with cascade could help ease the "burden of traffic" but if you look at the absolute numbers, we are talking about very low numbers regardless. Moving one line to cascade also does not solve the problem of people at Bon Shopping center not having accessible access to public transportation. Reply
    • Allison Reilly, June 9, 2016
      I, too, want to thank the ONEN transit committee for their data collection and analysis. Well done. I can see the need for Wasatch to not only help carry the bus load but also for the need of people to use the Bon Shopping Center. Cascade has had quite a reduction in traffic over the years based on your data and my fear is that the two lanes to one lane will only increase traffic onto Nevada and continue to lighten their load. They should help with the traffic burden. But, to start with Wasatch would be a move in the right direction Reply
  4. Chad, June 9, 2016
    Great analysis! I wholeheartedly agree with its assessment and will support. Reply
  5. Chris allen, June 9, 2016
    Good analysis. I agree with study/review and think Nevada is least suited for needs. Reply
  6. Joy Heartsong, June 9, 2016
    The analysis you have presented is extremely useful and compelling. It also begs the question of how much data the city collected prior to switching their bus routes to Nevada Avenue. Their motivation for this change will also be of interest to me. Every time I look out my window or leave my driveway, I wait for a bus or have one right behind me. Two days ago several cars were behind or beside a #19 bus. The driver, pulled over into part of the parking/bike lane apparently to give us more room to get around him/her. I was surprised, but I also could see that the bus took up most of the driving lane. The width of the lane doesn't allow much margin for error. Also, the buses on Nevada add more traffic and noise to an already busy street adding to the potential for more accidents fromfrequent stops and greatly reduced visibility. I have seen many accidents at the intersection near my house including parked cars that were totaled.. The hospital is a large employer that adds considerable traffic when shifts are changing. The buses add to the congestion especially at these times Thanks to the joint efforts of the city, ONEN and CDOT, Nevada Avenue Is no longer a designated truck route. Due to the qualifications and restrictions for truck routes, Nevada should never have been approved as a designated route. Now instead of benefiting fully from that change, bus routes have somehow been approved to run along Nevada. Some of those same qualifications and restrictions regarding truck routes apply to buses. I suggest using that information in the presentation to the city and council members as well as MMT reps. Does anyone know how many riders were using the Cascade route? Were many hospital staff riding? I used to see riders waiting at the stop just south of Fillmore on Cascade. If there were many riders, perhaps a couple runs a day would be helpful to those people. I applaud the great work of the ONEN Transportation Committee.I like the committee's ideas and the comments the residents are sharing. Thank you all. Reply
    • Brian Safigan, June 9, 2016
      The current buses still come down Cascade, across Fillmore then cuts over to Nevada on Jackson St. We do not feel this needs to change as this services the residential areas on Cascade north of Fillmore. Our study is for the section between Jackson and Uintah to serve the people and businesses of ONEN and Patty Jewett. I assume public transit is exempt from truck restrictions but if you can find something that says otherwise please share it with us. Reply
      • Joy Heartsong, June 10, 2016
        My comment about the Cascade route only pertained to the section south of Fillmore. If that route cuts across at Jackson, that will handle the people I have seen waiting for the bus in that area. As far as the requirements for a bus route, I'm not certain of the source. It may have come from a flyer I received at my door coming from a woman who lives near a bus stop just north of Uintah. I don't know if I still have it, but perhaps someone else will. The criteria were not the same as for truck routes but there were some similarities. Reply
    • Brian Safigan, June 9, 2016
      Concerning the number of riders that previously used route 9 and route 6, the tables on this previous post show the average boardings per stop. Reply
      • Joy Heartsong, June 10, 2016
        Thank you for clarifying that. Reply
  7. julie herold, June 10, 2016
    Kudos to the hardworking comittee! May all your sincere intentions be recognized. It is 2016 after all and you have proven that the citizens can and should be heard. Reply

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