In an unofficial study, during this winter, I have noted on my daily weekday commute the number of bicycles and buses that travel eastbound along Portage Avenue in the morning rush hour. I have come to the conclusion that this special lane destination for bicycles and buses is a joke.
I have yet to see a cyclist. As far as the buses go, many days I see only one or two buses between Polo Park and Memorial Boulevard. It is beyond me why motorists lose 25 per cent of the roadway to give special access to such a small amount of traffic.
When the roads are slippery and dangerous as they have been on many days this winter, the traffic is bumper to bumper in three lanes and totally empty in the bus lane. I think this issue needs to be re-visited. Perhaps it would make more sense to have these lanes designated during the summer months only when people actually ride their bicycles.
The bus lane is always the lane compromised after a snow storm. Plowing starts from the centre boulevard and moves to the curb lane. For many days after a snow storm buses are crowding cars in the second lane as their lane has not been completely plowed. It is only when the city has a chance to get back and clear all boulevards that buses have their own lanes.
So in actual fact, buses use more than one lane until this is done. This again causes problems for motorists and the amount of road available is reduced.