Award–winning journalist Andrea Bernstein is Senior Editor for Politics & Policy for WNYC News. She has previously served as Metro Editor, Political Director, Director of Transportation Nation, and Senior Reporter.
From the NYC DOT:
Immediate Release RELEASE # 10-057
Thursday, November 18, 2010
NYC DOT AND MTA/NYC TRANSIT ANNOUNCE CAMERA ENFORCEMENT OF 1ST/2ND AVENUE BUS LANES BEGINS MONDAY
Authorized by Albany, bus lane cameras will speed transit by deterring unauthorized use
New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman/CEO Jay Walder today announced that bus lane camera enforcement of the new, exclusive Select Bus Service bus lanes along First and Second avenues will begin Monday to further enhance bus service and speed travel for the 54,000 daily riders of the M15.
“SBS is redefining East Side transit,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “Dedicated lanes and paying before boarding are already speeding buses, and now camera enforcement will give M15 customers a VIP ride.”
“The City’s 2.8 million bus riders have been held hostage for far too long by motorists who routinely block bus lanes, and these cameras will send a clear message that bus lanes are for buses only,” MTA Chairman and CEO Jay H. Walder said. “We have already been able to speed up travel times along First and Second Avenues by more than 15 minutes on the M15 and these cameras will help to further improve service.”
The State Legislature authorized camera enforcement this year along Select Bus Service routes. Under the City traffic code, vehicles are permitted to enter a bus lane only to make the next available right turn or to expeditiously discharge or pick up passengers. Any unauthorized use of the bus lanes is subject to a $115 violation.
Five cameras have been installed along First and Second avenues, with additional locations to be activated in the coming months. Bus lane camera footage will be viewed by DOT, which will issue a $115 Notice of Liability (NOL) for vehicles improperly traveling in the lanes. The NOL will be adjudicated by the NYC Department of Finance. In addition to First and Second Avenues, cameras will be installed in 2011 on 34th Street in Manhattan and Fordham Road in the Bronx.
DOT is currently using video technology on 34th Street, Lexington Avenue and on Broadway to show evidence if taxis are violating Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) rules that all traffic laws be observed, by violating bus lane rules. Taxi medallion owners are issued summonses for violations, which are adjudicated before TLC administrative law judges.