HOUSTON – Question: Have you driven in downtown Houston lately and noticed the wider red lanes on Travis Street near Interstate 45? Why are those lanes are so wide? Is it necessary to have them take up two lanes of traffic?
Answer: We reached out to Houston METRO and they told me those transit lanes have been in place for a while and they’re wider because this allows for drivers to easily see them.
Drivers are able to distinguish them from regular traffic lanes and clarify they are reserved for buses only, improving traffic flow. Designated bus-only lanes also improve safety for drivers, cyclists, and walkers.
According to Houston METRO, “It’s an opportunity to refresh and update the lanes using an industry best practice of red striping and markings to provide visual instruction to road users. Red lanes improve traffic flow by having designated lanes for public transit vehicles, and they can also improve safety for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians – making streets more equitable for all. You can find similar projects in New York, Chicago, Washington D.C. and San Diego.”
You can find more information here.