There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Monday, November 12, 2007

PSR #07-1409 65th Street Station

Got a response to my question about why the buses enter 65th Street from Folsom rather than 65th Street.

John,

Thank you for your inquiry about pedestrian safety at the 65th Street station.

I spoke with one of our Transportation Superintendents and the reason our buses do not go southbound on 65th and turn left onto Q Street is because of complications caused by excessive traffic on 65th Street. At rush hour, when the light rail train comes and the crossing guard comes down, traffic backs up on 65th Street all the way to the Folsom Blvd. intersection. Routing our buses this way would not only introduce more uncertainty into their schedules, but potentially expose them to unsafe conditions in a backed-up intersection. By turning left onto eastbound Folsom, our buses can clear the intersection safely and arrive at their destination at the scheduled time with greater consistency.

I also spoke with a Safety Specialist about your issue and visited the site with him. There are ADA compliant painted crosswalks both at the intersection of 65th Street & Q Street and at 67th Street & Q Street, i.e., at the east end of the bus area, which is what pedestrians should be using to cross the street.

Please also note that RT is currently working with a consultant team on a potential redesign for the 65th Street Station. Based on a presentation I attended about a month ago on initial design concepts, I know that pedestrian safety is one of the issues the project members are striving to improve. I am forwarding a copy of your inquiry, as well as this response, to Fred Arnold, our Director of Real Estate, who is not only RT's lead on the station redesign project, but also RT's representative on the 65th Street Redevelopment Advisory Committee.

RT thanks you for your concern and initiative in bringing this issue to our attention and we realize that jaywalking, running after trains, and other unsafe behavior is bound to happen and should be accounted for as best as possible. However, given the limited ways our buses can safely and reliably enter and exit this station, we will not be changing the alignment at this time.

Thank you again for your interest in Regional Transit.

Regards,

James Drake
Assistant Planner
Sacramento Regional Transit
In the 10 months I have been traveling into and out of the 65th Street station, I have never seen southbound 65th Street traffic backed up to Folsom. Maybe it happens, but clearly not often enough to suggest that using 65th Street entrance would "potentially expose them to unsafe conditions in a backed-up intersection."

Mr. Drake and RT get consolation points for their timely response.

2 comments:

The Derek said...

Actually it backs up really bad most of the time. I dont know about the time of day you take the train, but most of the time, both trains arrive at the same time. This causes the entire 65th and folsom intersection to come to a standstill. The real issue are the cars that run the left turn while pedestrians are already in the intersection.

John said...

I agree that traffic backs up when the trains are in the station or near it. Last night I was watching to see how much it backed up. It was 6:30 p.m. The traffic waiting for the crossing gates to lift reached Folsom. But what's important is that the standing traffic quickly cleared as soon as the gates lifted.

A bus turning at Q Street needs to just travel a half-block from Folsom before it can enter the left turn lane. It is that half-block that is critical.

In the morning when I arrive, generally before 9 a.m., the traffic is never backed up. The bus could always get to the station without delay and those riders who are taking the train would be better served, especially the disabled.