When planning a bus stop and parking area, some special considerations should be kept in mind. For one, the sheer size of buses brings with it a number of difficulties. That being said, there are a number of guidelines that have been formulated to best address these difficulties. Following these guidelines will make for a safe bus stop and parking lot.
One such difficulty is when a bus needs to make a turn, or its turning radius. Obviously, a bus needs a lot of space to turn. A parking bus parking area should have enough space to accommodate a minimum inner turning radius of 28 ft and an outer turning radius of 50 ft, with a desirable turning radius of 30 ft inner and 55 ft outer.
Buses are also wider than cars, so its width is also a consideration when designing a parking lot or stop. An entrance way of at least 14 ft is the ideal width to best accommodate buses.
Pavement material is also a consideration since a bus can weigh over 20,000 lbs. As such, the pavement material for bus stops and parking areas should be sturdy enough to accommodate repetitive bus axle loads of at least 24,700 lbs. Concrete is the ideal pavement material since a concrete pavement lasts longer than one made of asphalt.
Since buses usually travel in the curbside traffic lane, another consideration is overhead clearance when planning a bus stop. Overhead obstructions like traffic lights should be a minimum of at least 12 ft above the ground. Curbside obstructions, on the other hand, should not be located within a minimum of 2 ft from the curb edge to avoid being struck by the bus’ mirrors. This includes future curbside modifications.
Another important consideration is accessibility for persons with disabilities.