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Support bus lanes on South Halsted

Transit agencies are considering major upgrades to a busy bus route on Chicago’s Far South Side and in the South Suburbs. As part of the project, they’re looking for public input — but you must act by February 9.  

Pace and CTA started the South Halsted Bus Corridor Enhancement Project in 2018 with the goal of improving transit along 11 miles of South Halsted Street, between the Pace Harvey Transportation Center and 79th Street. The project also includes segments of 79th and 95th Streets that provide connections to the CTA Red Line’s 79th and 95th Street Stations.

Pace and CTA are considering three design options that each give priority to buses in varying degrees.

Active Trans supports Option #3  because it would have the greatest impact on improving the speed of the buses. For this option, Halsted would get bus-only lanes between 98th Street and the Pace Harvey Transportation Center.

The overall study has explored a full range of potential transit improvements for the corridor’s 12,000 daily transit customers. Improvements being considered include revamping bus stop spacing and scheduling, adding bus only lanes, adding transit signal priority, and adding Pace Pulse stations south of 95th street.

The project is also considering bus queue jumps, which is a type intersection design that gives preference to buses by adding an additional travel lane.

In addition to recommending option #3, we’re asking the agencies that the bus queue jump design takes note of the buffered bike lane on Halsted, which ends at 85th Street and is one of the longest stretches of bike lane in Chicago.

This bike lane also crosses the Major Taylor Trail and the Cal-Sag Trail. We’re asking that the planning team place Pulse stations at the transfer points to these trails to make the most of these intermodal connections.

There are some trade offs when it comes to dedicating a travel lane only to buses. For example, design #3 may require parking removal or sidewalk narrowing. In this case, we’d prefer not to see the already limited space for pedestrians narrowed any further, and would rather see parking removal.

Please consider letting project planners know that you would like to see these changes, too. Submit your comments in support of bus lanes on South Halsted by Sunday, February 9.