Bus Lane Returns, Permanently

Front of MBTA 79 bus as it moves past stalled trafficalong the temporary bus lane demarcated with orange and white traffic cones.

A bus takes advantage of the temporary bus lane at about 7:15 AM last fall. At Thorndike Street facing Arlington Center.

Tested last fall, ratified last February, delayed several times, the AM-rush-hour bus (and bike) -only lane in East Arlington is scheduled to restart tomorrow.

Permanently.

As before, the lane is bus-and-bike only 6 – 9 AM from Varnum Street nearly to Boulevard Rd. (near Route 16), where the lane opens up to right-turning motor-vehicle traffic.

Different this time: street markings replace traffic cones, and after the first month there will be only routine enforcement of the new traffic rules governing the lane, which include a parking ban until 9 AM.

The express lane is the only idea tested out last fall that did not become permanent last year. It measurably improved bus service and was approved on a permanent basis by the Select Board in February.

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