This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.
A post on the CD News blog makes the case, noting that “adding more buses won’t really help – the #3, #4, and #48 routes are already running about as frequently as you can on our narrow roads and in traffic, as evidenced by the way the buses will bunch up together at peak times,” and that “Otherwise we’re going to keep adding 200 unit apartment buildings and other infill development and suddenly find that there’s no capacity for people to get around.”
I’m sympathetic to both of those points. On the latter, I think there’s more of a chicken-and-egg phenomenon than the author allows. True, we saw a lot of 200-unit buildings go up in Capitol Hill and the Central District in the boom years, but my guess is we won’t get many more (beyond the ones already in development) until it’s easier to get to and from the neighborhood.
And while I’d like light rail there as much as the next guy, I think solving the crosstown traffic problem with better bus right-of-way and signal priority is a good interim solution.