Thursday, August 27, 2009

Seen/Scene in NYC: Forget Cabbies, 34 St Bus Lane a Parking Lot

Btwn Lexington and 3rd Aves/34 St: On Tuesday, I witnessed a new Bus Arrival sign, not in operation yet, installed at a Northbound Madison Avenue/32 St bus shelter (probably M4, M16).

But forget that, the bigger news story was the extreme abuse of the 34th Street bus lane. The lane was installed earlier this year to help speed up buses running along that street which is notorious for having extremely slow bus speeds. I had previously heard of the NYPD and cabbies leaving their cars in the lanes, but I had to see it for myself to believe that it was worse than that.

You can see for yourself in the following 2 pictures that were taken here. Limos and cars just parked in a bus lane clearly demarcated by a red-colored asphalt topping, along with street signs proclaiming "No Standing, 7am to 7pm Mon to Fri". Both pictures were taken on a Tuesday at 1:09 PM. From what the New York State Dept. of Motor Vehicles' regulations say,
"A NO STANDING sign means you may stop only temporarily to load or unload passengers."
Some of those vehicles didn't even have a driver in the vehicle! Perhaps some transit-advocates (maybe if I had spare time) could document each offending vehicle's license plate as well as the surroundings, and post them somewhere! I was going to do the same thing Tuesday, but there were way too many valet parkers and only one of me...

Image 20090825_34St-3Av_BusLaneBlock, taken myself
Image 20090825_34St-3Av_BusLaneBlock-2, taken myself

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  1. Hi there, I got here via Streetsblog. I work in that neighborhood and sometimes take the 34th St. bus (although I more usually walk). So I'm a big fan of the bus lane. I did want to point out, though, that your second picture appears to have been taken in front of the NYU Cancer Center. Although it doesn't look like a hospital, this is where a lot of patients get chemo, to the best of my knowledge. They even have chairs in the elevators of that building because some patients aren't strong enough to stand for the whole ride up! That doesn't explain cabs parked there, but I think the cops give ordinary cars a pass because it's just logistically difficult for people to load/unload passengers there, if the passengers need help getting around.

  2. Hi Emily,
    Thanks for your comment. I believe it was in front of the NYUCC, so perhaps there should be a little sidewalk "cavity" for cars, maybe a 30 min limit. But nevertheless, it is currently a bus lane and just cannot be used for parking during the 12 hour period.