Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Is it really a good idea or even safe to allow buses to go the wrong way on a one-way street?


By now, anyone who as driven recently on West 11th traveling west has more than likely experienced a set in headlights coming at them head on. It is a drunk driver? Some crazed maniac going the wrong way? No, it is the EmX bus going east in its special two-way dividerless traffic lane.

Don Herbison of LTD states that this stretch of West 11th from Franklin to Mill is the most dangerous.
" "We're heading the wrong way on a one-way street," Herbison explains as we drive. "All the traffic coming from my right, on Ferry Street, if they don't look -- if you look at this van right here. I made eye contact with him. But we've had a couple of incidents where they pull out in front of me. "

The most recent accident between a vehicle and EmX bus occurred Tuesday after a car ran a red light and clip the front of an EmX bus at 11th and Patterson. This makes the fifth accident in just five months. (or an average of one every month for a small fleet of buses)
" "The more and more we grow, the more and more changes we'll have," says Angie Sifuentez of LTD, "and so people need to just be more aware of what's going on, and continue the defensive driving." "

Herbison says the biggest key for drivers is to read the sign said Mark were you can't turn on red, are were you can't pull U turn to stay safe.

It's not something that drivers would normally expect to see is a bus traveling the WRONG WAY on a one-way street in a UNPROTECTED, and in my opinion and not very well marked bus line. Keep in mind that this is the university area, where drivers attention is also focused on a large number of pedestrians and bicycles that are crossing the street and any given time and place.

More importantly, is let's focus on the average of one accident per month especially on this very small fleet of buses.

As the EmX grows through Eugene Springfield on roads that they will share with the public, should these buses be allowed to travel the wrong way on one-way streets?

Personally, I say no. It's confusing enough as it is having these "special" bus lanes that look like a turn lane much less having headlights coming at you the wrong way on a one-way street.


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