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BOSTON TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT

DRAFT - AUGUST 2011

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SIDEWALKS

Principles Sidewalk Zones Sidewalk Width Chart Sidewalks by Boston’s Street Types Features to Activate Sidewalks Sidewalk Materials Greenscape Street Trees Vegetated Stormwater Management Street Furniture Transit Stops Street Lights

BOSTON COMPLETE STREETS GUIDELINES


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SIDEWALKS

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BOSTON COMPLETE STREETS GUIDELINES

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DRAFT - JULY 2011

BOSTON TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT


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Transit Stops TK Bus Stops TK Bus Shelters

Sidewalks provide access to transit and, in most cases, a location for transit stops. Transit stops should extend from the Pedestrian Zone to the curb and provide ample room for persons waiting without crowding the pedestrian clear path. Where space permits, shelters should be added to bus stops to make them more comfortable and transit more convenient. Transit stops may also be provided on curb extensions and floating islands.

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SIDEWALKS

Information for travelers should also be provided at bus stops. This should include at minimum schedule information and real-time arrival information where possible. Bus stops can also be locations for local area maps and wayfinding information. All transit stops should be fully ADA accessible for passengers. Of the MBTA’s 350,000 average weekday bus passengers, a majority board at stops and shelters located on Boston’s streets. The MBTA’s busiest bus routes ply through Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, JP, Allston, Brighton, and the South End. While many stops are demarcated only by “tombstone” signs on either end, several hundred bus shelters have also been installed through Boston’s Coordinated Street Furniture program. The MBTA’s Bus Stop Planning and Design Guidelines serve as the primary reference for the design, spacing, and location of transit stops in Boston. Light rail stops are typically provided in the median and should be custom designed in coordination with BTD and the MBTA. As the preferred location of transit stops is adjacent to intersections rather than mid-block, their siting and spacing is covered in Chapter 3.

BOSTON TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT

DRAFT - JULY 2011

BOSTON COMPLETE STREETS GUIDELINES

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Download this document TRANSIT STOPS

SIDEWALKS

Bus Stops Overview

Use

Bus stops are the most basic transit stop and should be comfortable, safe, and accessible. They must accommodate the standard 40’-0” bus, or articulated 60’-0” bus for busy routes. Bus stop amenities improve operations, ridership and the value of transit to the community. Amenities can include benches, trash, recycling receptacles, shelters, lighting, bicycle racks, bus schedules, maps, real time/next bus arrival information, newspaper boxes, and public art. Personalizing bus stops give the community a sense of ownership and pride.

>> The length of the stop depends on vehicle type as well as the placement of the stop, (i.e., near-side, far-side, or midblock) and should be done in consultation with the MBTA. In general, bus stops should be a minimum of 60’-0” in length (80’-0” long if mid-block). Routes serving articulated buses should be a minimum of 80’-0” (120’-0” if mid-block). (See detailed chart in Chapter 3: Intersections). >> The Pedestrian Zone of the sidewalk should extend to the curb at stops so that passengers may access the sidewalk directly from the bus doors. The area on the sidewalk where passengers load and unload at bus doors is called the landing pad. The landing pad at the front of the bus stop must be a clear zone 5’-0” long (parallel to the curb) and 8’-0” deep at minimum.

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Stops should be visible, providing a clear sightline between bus operators and users of the system. Simple stops without shelters are appropriate for lower volume routes and on Neighborhood Residential and Industrial Street Types. Installation of amenities should be done in consultation with the MBTA and the City of Boston, as most amenities will require maintenance agreements.

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Considerations Curb extensions can provide additional pedestrian space and improve bus travel time by reducing the time needed for loading and unloading. The width of the curb extension is determined by the width of the adjacent parking lane, and the length should be long enough to allow passengers to board and exit at all doors of the bus. Because they can delay through traffic, they should be utilized where traffic volumes are relatively low and bus service is frequent.

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>> Extensions are generally utilized at near-side bus stops. See Chapter 4, Intersections, for further information. They are not compatible, however, with intersections that have high right-hand turn volumes. >> Curb extensions should be approximately the width of the parking lane (if one exists) with consideration for bicycle lane placement. A bollard can be placed at the beginning of the section to protect the pedestrian space. >> Extensions are a good location for amenities such as bicycle parking and trash or recycling receptacles, so long as the requirements for waiting area, clear path, and the landing pad are met.

DRAFT - JULY 2011

BOSTON TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT


Download this document FRONTAGE ZONE PEDESTRIAN ZONE GREENSCAPE/FURNISHING ZONE CURB ZONE

SIDEWALKS

>> Trees should not be planted within 15’-0” of bus stops. >> Bus stops should be setback a minimum of 5’-0” from crosswalks. Where feasible, a 10’-0” setback is preferred. >> Where possible, trash and recycling receptacles should be placed to the front of the bus stop, left of the landing pad (minimum 18” clear zone), minimum 3’-0” away from benches, and in the shade. They should also be anchored to the pavement to deter theft.

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>> Newly constructed sidewalks must have a minimum 8’ x 8’, ideally 10’-0” x 8’-0” landing pad to provide an accessible space for loading and unloading. >> The width of the Pedestrian Zone at the stop should be 10’-0” at minimum. If the sidewalk is not wide enough to support a 10’-0” landing pad, a curb extension must be built to accommodate the minimum width. >> Landing pads should be provided at all doors of the bus. For articulated buses, the distance between the front and rear landing pads is 18’-0”.

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Bus bays are a protected bus stop area with curb extensions at the beginning and end of the bus stop. Bus bays are generally not favored because they tend to procure further delay when re-entering into traffic, and are better suited for slower speed environments. On higher speed roadways, bus bays do provide more separation for pedestrians boarding and exiting the bus, but will require more space for deceleration and acceleration.

BOSTON TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT

Min. 8’-0” 1

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For newly constructed sidewalks, minimum 10’-0” Length of stop depends on bus length and stop location, see Chapter 3: Intersections.

DRAFT - JULY 2011

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Download this document TRANSIT STOPS

Bus Shelters Overview

Use

Well-designed transit stops can help make transit use more comfortable and convenient. Transit shelters in Boston are currently part of the Decaux contract. Transit shelters should be provided on all Key Bus Routes if sidewalk space allows and offer amenities including seating, shelter, and route and system information. When providing a bus shelter, the bus stop must be ADA compliant with a 5’-0” long (parallel to the curb) x 8’-0” deep landing pad and a 4’-0” minimum clear path.

The City of Boston’s contract with Decaux provides for three types of shelters: three sided, two-sided with a column on the third side and a thinner one with just a back wall with attached seating. The thinner version should be located only where there is insufficient space to provide the three-sided shelter. This may be true on neighborhood residential streets, narrow neighborhood main streets and industrial streets.

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SIDEWALKS

Shelter placement must allow for unobstructed loading and unloading. Shelters must provide at a minimum the stop ID, bus route served, the name of the shelter’s owner, a telephone number for maintenance, and provide protection from the weather, seating or leaning bars, and route information where possible. Bus shelters should have a name that incorporates a local landmark displayed prominently on a panel facing the street.

The siting of shelters is determined on a site-by-site basis. The MBTA’s Bus Stop Planning and Design Guidelines provide criteria to help determine which stops are eligible for shelters. Factors include the amount of weekday daily boardings, Key Bus Route designation, senior, disabled, medical or social service, key municipal facility close to the stop, community recommendations, bus route transfer point, infrequent service, poor side conditions, or if the shelter promotes adjacent development/increased ridership. After eligibility is determined, a site suitability test must be conducted.

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Considerations Shelters can provide more than just protection from inclement weather and a place to rest. >> Smart shelters can provide real-time travel information or other news

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BOSTON COMPLETE STREETS GUIDELINES

>> Shelters are a good location to incorporate art displays or historic information >> Designs may also consider solar power to support lighting and heating elements to increase the comfort of waiting passengers

DRAFT - JULY 2011

BOSTON TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT


Download this document FRONTAGE ZONE PEDESTRIAN ZONE GREENSCAPE/FURNISHING ZONE CURB ZONE

SIDEWALKS

The following minimum clear widths for shelter placement must be maintained: >> 6’-0” from the ad panel door >> 1’-0” from the building face >> 4’-0” from the back of curb >> 15’-0” from crosswalks at nearside bus stops for visibility >> 1’-0” from any ground obstruction (i.e., manhole, tree pit, sign) >> 10’-0” from fire hydrants >> 3’-0” to the right of the landing pad (maximum 25’ to the right of the landing pad)

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The following requirements must be met before a shelter can be considered: >> Property ownership >> Abutter approval >> Compliance with ADA >> Adequate physical space and clear widths >> Close proximity to an existing bus stop >> Approval and maintenance agreements by the City of Boston

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Notes: 1 For newly constructed sidewalks, minimum 10’-0” 2 Distance between landing pads depends on bus length and articulation, see MBTA guidelines.

BOSTON TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT

DRAFT - JULY 2011

BOSTON COMPLETE STREETS GUIDELINES

87

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Sidewalks provide access to transit and, in most cases, a location for transit stops. Transit stops should extend from the Pedestrian Zone t...

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