APPLICATION & CONTEXT
At queue jumps and queue bypasses, buses use the curbside lane to progress through congested intersections and service stops on the sidewalk.
At time points or end-of-route layovers, pull-out stops create space for the bus to wait out of traffic flow. Layovers are occasionally used for streetcars.
On streets with low-frequency bus service, high target speeds (≥35 mph), or where in-lane stops are not geometrically feasible, sidewalk stops provide a safe boarding space with limited expense.
Pull-out stops consume somewhat more time than in-lane stops, since buses exit the travel lane completely, pull to the curb for passenger boarding and alighting, and then merge back into the flow of traffic.
Sidewalk stops may create conflicts between through-moving pedestrians and alighting passengers when the bus is dwelling.
Sidewalk width standards vary by municipality, but 4’ is the ADA minimum width requirement. 6’ is a common standard sidewalk width requirement. Because 8’ width is required for the boarding zone, sidewalks at stops should be at minimum 8’ at stops, though at least 10’ is preferred, and 14 feet is required where shelters are placed (4’-foot clear path along the curb, 4-foot shelter width, and 6-foot sidewalk width).
DDOT Sidewalk Installation Guidelines and Policy. District Department of Transportation (2015).
Street Design Manual, 2nd Edition. New York City Department of Transportation (2013).
Streets and Sidewalks Maintenance Standards. Department of Public Works, City & County of San Francisco (2007).
Shelters, seating, and other stop furnishings should be provided in the street furniture or curb zone of the sidewalk, leaving a wide enough clear path to accommodate pedestrian through-traffic. The through zone should be 8–12 feet wide in most downtown or commercial streets; see the Urban Street Design Guide for sidewalk guidance.
When curbside stops are partially blocked by illegal loading or parking, transit vehicles may have insufficient space to transition, increasing the likelihood that passengers will be forced to board from street level and that the through-traffic lane will be blocked.
Even when provided with entry and exit tapers, buses may not be able to pull close to curb, making boarding more difficult.