Title

Moving the Bus Back into Traffic Safely - Signage and Lighting Configuration Phase I

Document Type

Report

Publication Date

2007

Subject Area

operations - traffic, infrastructure - stop, infrastructure - vehicle, planning - safety/accidents, planning - surveys, planning - signage/information, planning - signage/information, ridership - drivers, mode - bus

Keywords

Accident data, Bus bays, Bus delays, Bus drivers, Bus stops, Field studies, Florida, Law enforcement, Surveys, Traffic conflicts, Traffic safety, Traffic signs, Transit safety, Vehicle lighting, Vehicle signing and information systems, Yield to bus laws

Abstract

With an increase in the number of bus pull-out bays in Florida, a growing number of bus operators find that it is very difficult to merge back into traffic from a bus pull-out bay. Some transit agencies do not support building new bus pull-out bays because of concerns that it will cause additional delays and safety problems. Bus operators sometimes refuse to use the existing bus pull-out bays because they know the difficulty of moving the bus back into traffic. Without the proper traffic control devices, motorists do not know when or how they should yield to buses, which is part of the Florida Statutes requiring motorists to yield at specifically designated bus pull-out bays. This makes enforcement of existing yield-to-bus (YTB) laws very difficult. Field observations and conflict studies showed that additional delays and many traffic conflicts were caused when buses attempted to move back into traffic from a pull-out bay. This research uses bus operator surveys, crash data analysis, and field studies to develop recommendations for lighting and signage on the back of the bus, roadway signs, and Florida YTB statutes. The study found that the decal currently affixed to the back of Florida buses has no significant safety and operational effect. There are no roadside signs or pavement markings for YTB. Proper signage and lighting were recommended to help the bus move back into traffic safety, decrease bus delay, and improve bus operations. However, this must be accompanied by adequate laws and law enforcement.