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Transportation, Urbanized, News

Extensive bus-only lanes coming to 41st Avenue for new B-Line rapid bus

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Kenneth Chan May 13, 2019 2:17 pm 3,381

The extent of the bus-only lane measures along 41st Avenue in Vancouver, between UBC and SkyTrain’s Joyce-Collingwood Station, have been fully revealed in the latest public consultation phase for TransLink’s new 41st Avenue B-Line rapid bus route.

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The changes are designed to allow the frequent, high-capacity, fast bus route to operate with an enhanced reliability and speed. This new B-Line will replace the existing No. 43 express and result in changes to the existing No. 41, which will short-turn at Crown Street instead of continuing westwards to UBC and switch to electric trolley vehicles.

Earlier this year, city staff revealed plans for significant intersection changes in the area of the intersection of West Boulevard and 41st Avenue in Kerrisdale and bus-only lanes for the full length of Joyce Street between Kingsway and Joyce-Collingwood Station.

The municipal government has since stated that the Kerrisdale area improvements require further public consultation and will not be implemented until 2020.

But the vast majority of the changes to the street design of 41st Avenue will be completed this year, just in time for the fall launch of the new B-Line.

Plans for the changes indicate most of 41st Avenue will see some bus-only changes and parking restrictions, which will vary in time and in direction between sections. The areas with the largest changes generally currently see the highest congestion.

In addition to new special B-Line bus shelters with real-time, next-bus digital signage, which includes the separation of some of the bus stops from local service bus stops, here is a breakdown of the planned major changes along the 41st Avenue roadway (click on the image for an expanded version):

41st Avenue B-Line

May 2019 plan for the 41st Avenue road design changes to accommodate the new 41st Avenue B-Line rapid bus. Click on the image for an expanded version. (City of Vancouver)

The width of 41st Avenue varies depending on location, from as narrow as four lanes (including curbside parking) west of Kerrisdale and in the area of Rupert Street to as wide as eight lanes in the area of Main Street.

For detailed descriptions of each section of 41st Avenue that will see changes (not including the Kerrisdale and Joyce-Collingwood Station areas):

Victoria Drive Street to Kingsway

  • Extended parking restrictions, effective 7 am to 7 pm, seven days a week, on both sides of the street from Victoria Dr to Kingsway.
  • Installation of a northbound queue jump lane for buses at the Joyce Street and Kingsway intersection. The queue jump lane allows buses to bypass the lineup of cars and stop at the front of the intersection, reducing delays.

Main Street to Victoria Drive

  • Installation of bus-priority lanes on both sides of the street, from Main Street to Victoria Dr. This will result in the removal of parking from both sides of the street while the bus-priority lane is operational (7 am to 7 pm, seven days per week). Parking will be restored outside of these hours in the evening and overnight. The existing two general vehicle lanes in both directions will remain.
  • B-Line bus stops on both sides of the street at Main Street, Fraser Street, and on the north side of the street at Victoria Drive, separate from the regular No. 41 bus stops
  • Removal of the pedestrian crossing at St. Catherines Street.
  • Upgrade the crosswalk at Ross St to a pedestrian activated crossing, currently planned for 2020.

Cambie Street to Main Street

  • Implementation of bus-priority lanes, in both directions, between Cambie Street and Main Street. This will result in the removal of parking on both sides of the street while the bus-priority lanes are operational (7 am to 7 pm, seven days per week). Unregulated parking will be restored outside of those hours in the evening and overnight. The four existing general vehicle travel lanes, two in each direction, will remain.

Oak Street to Cambie Street

  • Installation of a bus-priority lane eastbound from Oak Street to mid-block between Oak Street and Willow Street. This will result in the removal of parking while the bus-priority lane is operational (7 am to 7 pm, seven days a week). Parking will revert back outside of these hours in the evening and night.
  • Installation of a bus-priority lane westbound from Cambie St to mid-block between Oak Street and Willow Street. This will result in the removal of parking while the bus-priority lane is operational (7 am to 7 pm, seven days a week). Parking will revert back outside of these hours in the evening and night. The existing two general vehicle lanes in both directions will remain.

Maple Street to Oak Street

  • Installation of a bus-priority lane eastbound from Maple Street to just west of Granville Street and from just east of Granville Street to Oak Street:
    • This will result in the removal of parking on the north side of the street from Maple Street to Oak Street (no parking anytime).
    • This will result in the removal of parking on the south side of the street from Maple Street to Oak Street while the bus-priority lane is operational (7 am to 7 pm, seven days a week). Parking will revert back outside of these hours in the evening and night.
  • The existing two general vehicle lanes in both directions will remain.

Dunbar Street to Macdonald Street

  • Installation of a bus-priority lane eastbound from just east of Dunbar Street to just west of MacDonald Street.
  • Parking will generally remain on the south side from Dunbar Street to Carnarvon Street, adjacent to the bus lane which will be in operation 24 hours per day. Some limited additional parking removal will be required to make room for bus stops and left turn bays. On the north side of the street there will be two westbound general purpose lanes. Parking will not be permitted on the north side of the street between 7 am and 7 pm. Parking will be permitted in the evening and through the night.
  • Between Carnarvon Street and MacDonald Street, full-time parking will be retained on the north side of the street, along with two westbound general purpose lanes. On the south side, there will be one general purpose travel lane, as there is currently, along with a bus priority lane. The bus lane will be in effect from 7 am to 7 pm and will revert back to parking outside of those hours (in the evening and night).
  • New left turn bays for westbound and eastbound traffic on 41st Ave to turn onto Dunbar Street, Blenheim Street, and Carnarvon Street.

Southwest Marine Drive to Dunbar Street

  • Installation of bus-priority lanes, westbound from Dunbar Street to Holland Street, and eastbound from Holland Street to Alma Street. This will result in the removal of parking on both sides of the street while the bus-priority lanes are operational (7 am to 7 pm, seven days a week). Parking will revert back outside of these hours in the evening and overnight. The existing single vehicle travel lane in both directions will remain.
  • New left turn bays for westbound and eastbound traffic on 41st Avenue to turn onto Crown Street and Dunbar Street.

UBC is also in the process of implementing changes to its portion of the B-Line route on Westbrook Mall between West 16th Avenue and UBC Exchange, which is being fully rebuilt with new bus-only lanes, new intersections, pedestrian crossings, and public realm upgrades.

41st Avenue B-Line

February 2019 route map of 41st Avenue B-Line. (TransLink)

41st Avenue B-Line bus stops will be spaced about one kilometre apart and the service will use new articulated buses and all-door boarding. Bus frequencies will be high, with buses running every three to six minutes in peak times and every eight to 10 minutes during non-peak. It will operate daily from 6 am to 1 am.

Currently, bus routes No. 41 and No. 43 Express on the same route carry over 10 million riders combined annually.

With over 26,500 daily boardings, the No. 41 is the second busiest bus route in Metro Vancouver, just behind the 99 B-Line, but it makes frequent stops and has a slow average speed of 21 km/h.

The No. 43 has a slightly higher average speed of 24 km/h, but it runs less frequently, only operates on weekdays with service ending at 9 pm, and sees less ridership of 6,400 boardings daily as a result.

transportation capacity

Transportation mode capacity comparison. (City of Vancouver)

Overall, the 41st Avenue B-Line will provide 33% more capacity than existing services and reduce waiting times by 50% compared to the existing No. 43. End-to-end travel times of between 45 and 60 minutes during the busy peak periods are projected.

TransLink plans to launch all three new B-Line routes this fall, with the other two routes serving the North Shore between Park Royal and Phibbs Exchange, and Lougheed Highway between Coquitlam Central Station and Maple Ridge.

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