Your Views: Bus lanes on Duke Street

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Your Views: Bus lanes on Duke Street
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To the editor:

Streets are our largest public space and buses allow more people to use them. Dedicated center-running bus lanes on Duke Street are the way to maximize that space for people. Buses that do not have to contend with cars move quicker and more efficiently, improving travel options for all. If car travel time and bus travel time are closer, Alexandrians can make easier choices to use public transit. Living near Charles E. Beatley, Jr. Central Library, my family frequents Duke Street to visit stores, friends and athletic fields. My seventh grader plays soccer at Witter Field two to three times per week. Right now, the bus takes him 40 minutes while a car will take 15 minutes. A faster bus eliminates my eight to 12 weekly car trips, which alleviate traffic and help the environment. I can’t solve the cut-through commuters, but I will be able to get off the road. Plus, my son would be learning independence and navigational skills. Let’s prioritize moving Alexandrians over cars!

Who else in Alexandria rides the bus? Besides kids, not everyone can drive or own a car. For many, especially in the West End with a higher density of low-income households, their only choice for transportation is the bus. These marginalized communities may be traveling to work, a grocery store or to a faith event. Bus Rapid Transit with dedicated center-running bus lanes removes both the high cost of cars and the burden of time, so people can access and enjoy these necessities. BRT makes living in Alexandria possible for them. A faster bus creates more equitable conditions for all our city’s residents.

Duke Street is a vital East-West connection across our city, but also a vibrant destination. Let’s use this public space to give efficient service, equitable access and convenient transit options to Alexandrians by building dedicated center-running bus lanes on Duke Street.

-Nicole Radshaw, Alexandria

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