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NYC DOT and the MTA have developed three design concepts for Select Bus Service on Woodhaven Boulevard and Cross Bay Boulevard in southeast Queens, and two of them go further than previous SBS routes to keep cars from slowing down buses [PDF]. The Woodhaven SBS project, which covers a 14.4-mile corridor running from the Rockaways to Woodside, is the biggest street redesign effort in NYC right now. Agency representatives showed the three designs at an open house in Ozone Park where residents could leave written comments on posterboards. In Concept 2, the buses would run in a dedicated lane next to through traffic, not on the service road. Concept 3 puts the bus lanes in the center of the street, minimizing potential interference from car traffic. All of the concepts include the standard suite of SBS features like off-board fare collection and enable local buses to use the dedicated transit lanes. Woodhaven and Cross Bay are currently a jumble of different configurations, with a confusing array of service lanes and concrete medians that shift along the route. Ulrich, who has emerged as a big supporter of the project, said Concept 1 would be the easiest for his constituents to digest but was also intrigued by Concept 3. With the first phase of the Woodhaven project slated to paint bus lanes along two relatively short stretches, Ulrich clearly wants to do more to address the high level of injuries and deaths along the corridor, as well as the delays for both bus riders and motorists. The transit advocates and bus riders in the audience last night saw more appeal in Concept 2 and Concept 3.
Emily December, 23, a student at Queens College who takes the bus from her home near Atlantic Avenue, agreed that Concept 2 looked the safest.
Riders whose top priority is to create the clearest possible path for buses preferred Concept 3.
Last night’s open house was the latest in a series of public meetings DOT and the MTA have held on the project. The debate about whether people get dropped off in the center or along the service road doesn’t make much sense. What no one has mentioned is that center-running bus lanes (Concept 3) have fewer conflicts with turning vehicles, since they only cross paths with left turning cars. Also not discussed is why we prioritize a high level of car movement, at the expense of ped and bus improvements. My understanding is that there would not be right turns across the bus lane at intersections in Concept 2. The thirty minute variability in run times isn’t because the buses sometimes hit extra red lights. Sorry, that won’t happen until New Yorkers are willing to sacrifice parking spaces in the name of safety.
I agree with Council member Eric Ulrich on using option one which is the easiest to implement. Eric Beaton said some sections of Pelham Parkway in the Bronx have this configuration and it’s worked well.
Did they speak about the section of Woodhaven Blvd where it crosses train tracks on a viaduct between Metropolitan Ave and Union Turnpike? One option being considered for Webster Avenue Select Bus Service would have the buses run in the center of the street, potentially speeding service even more than existing SBS routes. Since bus riders wouldn’t be able to wait on the sidewalk to board the bus, DOT would build new protected platforms in the street. Median-running bus lanes and platform-level boarding are two of the most important features of world-class BRT identified in the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy’s BRT Standard scorecard.
The Webster Avenue project is still in a very early stage and all three options are little more than concepts at this point.
Whether DOT opts for the full center-running option or not, any transit improvements are sure to be appreciated.
Select Bus Service on Fordham Road, the city’s first enhanced bus corridor, reduced travel times by twenty percent using a curbside bus lane design.
IMHO the amount of traffic coupled with the lack of enforcement will net the same level of service improvement.
And when someone is double parked, or parallel parking the traffic can get around by sneaking part way into the median bus lane. For center-running BRT, look no further than Cleveland, Ohio, where the HealthLine has specially designed signals for buses, high-level, sheltered platforms, and center-running right-of-way. Some tram systems (Amsterdam, for example) split the stations and have islands on the right side.
I suppose their might be cost tradeoffs: constructing more concrete islands for split stations, or procuring special buses with more flexible door locations. Nice thing about buses with doors on both sides: you can have either split platforms or center platforms, depending on the specific needs of each station location.
Pardon the stupid question, but, aside from superficially being similar to Bogota, what’s the advantage? The bus lanes are clearly marked but as CBS 2 HD’s Derricke Dennis reports the lanes are now also being monitored by video cameras. The M15 Select Bus Service uses streetside kiosks to dispense tickets, which much be purchased before boarding. If you’re caught on camera in a bus lane during restricted hours, you can be fined by mail for between $115 and $150. You can, however, drop off or pick up a passenger by the curb if there’s no alternative (like around the corner), but you have to be fast. Drivers are simply going to have to adjust to the new reality and, in the end, traffic should move faster and better, speeding up travel by an estimated 15 minutes in some cases. Unauthorized vehicles may enter a bus lane only to make a right turn at the next city street, to access a curb cut or driveway within 200a€™, or to quickly drop off or pick up passengers.
Unless otherwise restricted, vehicles are permitted to enter the bus lane to make right turns onto the next city street, or to any curb cut within 200′ of the point of entry.
With an offset bus lane, there are some locations where there is a curbside right turn lane before an intersection. If you are actively in the process of parking, you may cross through the offset bus lane to enter the parking space. If possible, arrange your pick up or drop off where there isn't a bus lane a€“ across the street, or on the cross street, for example. If you drive, park, or stand in a bus lane during hours of operation you face fines ranging from $115 to $150.
New York State has authorized the City of New York to place cameras along bus lanes to catch violators on selected corridors.
The New York Police Department regularly patrols bus lanes, and issues both moving violations and parking violations to bus lane violators.


I love the looks and the apparent car-repulsing properties, but how does the paint shed water?
I actually think it looks pretty good, perhaps because I spent some time in London where (as mentioned) bus lanes are red and bike lanes are green. I’ve been told that in some parts of Europe, they use solid blue paint to mark bike lanes.
Yeah, I would have picked a darker shade of green, this is going to be cited by some property owners in the more swell sections of town as a reason to oppose bike lanes. Other countries that have more dedication to this use other treatments, whether it be pigmented pavements (which don’t wear off) or surface applications.
They had done some kind of a test of a darker, perhaps more tasteful, green paint on Henry St.
Besides, in about a few weeks, the color will not be as vibrant I am sure after the sun and weathering cuts down on the color. When I see this green lane I see a street that has become safer and more functional and a city that’s becoming greener, literally and figuratively. I thought the paint job was poorly done, not so much the color but that it started perhaps 50-60 feet from Clark St and then ends at Love Lane (perhaps they’ll return and finish).
On the plus side, looks like it’s reasonably wide and fortunately not next to parked cars (door zone).
Why not either make the lanes the same dark green as the Bike Lane signage OR change the Bike Lane signs to neon green?
This stretch of Henry is pretty narrow, only about 2.5 lanes wide, and constantly has cars double-parked (either in the traffic lane or in the bike lane). I saw a recent report or statement somewhere that this coloration is a trial, and that it may be introduced throughout the city. I like the green streets it shows that we aren’t so plain and that we can be exciting. Preparations for the next phase of Bus Rapid Transit in New York City ramp up tonight with the first of seven public workshops to gather ideas for future routes. As for how the routes operate, the Phase 2 report lays out all the options, from fare payment to station design. The BRT idea sounds like a nice waste of money that could be spent on capital improvements to our aging subway system. If anyone is thinking about attending this meeting, it’s cheaper to park your bike than your car. Transit has an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but bus service is often much less carbon-reducing than a mode like subway due to slow travel times — because of vehicle congestion. Copyright NoticeThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
All of the options include some measures to shorten crossing distances for pedestrians on one of the city’s widest and most dangerous streets. All the City Council members along the route have said they want big changes, and the concepts on display last night indicate that DOT and the MTA can deliver. At intersections, the sidewalk would widen at bus stops, and an island in the center refuge would cut crossing distances in half.
This would keep deliveries, parallel parkers, and turning vehicles out of the path of buses — a significant step up from current SBS routes that run next to the curb or in off-set lanes, which leads to conflicts between buses and vehicles accessing the curb.
Since the MTA would not be purchasing left-door buses to run on this route, bus stops would not be on a center median but instead to the right of the bus. Concept 1 would involve the least amount of change to the existing roadway and could be implemented the fastest.
If bus stops can safely be located on islands in the street, he said, he could get behind the center-running bus lane design.
Joan Byron of the Pratt Center for Community Development said that at first blush, Concept 2 looks like the best choice, combining good separation for bus traffic with calmer service roads that, while lacking bike lanes, would not be terrifying to bike on. Drivers frantically shifting lanes are a major problem on the corridor, she said, interfering with all traffic, including buses, and she thinks Concept 2 would be the best way to impose consistency and order.
Phillippe Pierre, 24, lives in Rosedale and takes the bus to get to the Queens Center Mall and the beach.
He has been covering the movement for safer streets, effective transit, and livable cities since 2008.
In Concepts 1 & 2, buses conflict with BOTH left and right-turning vehicles, adding significant delay to bus movement, and creating more opportunity for collisions. Why can’t we have BOTH center-running bus lanes AND a service road configurationb that prioiritizes the ped environment? All right turns would be made from the service road, which could be accessed from slip lanes, and that would involve drivers merging across the bus lane. Are buses so frequent that the professional drivers cant be trusted to temporarrily use the opposite lane to pass? I understand that a green wave for buses (stopping only at bus stops) makes the same for cycling difficult or impossible. All the rest seems almost pointless if all it might do is let buses speed unimpeded, only to be stuck at the next red light. If the classic BRT configuration (center platform stations and left-hand door buses) has to be modified to work here, I’d argue that needing to integrate with a robust local bus network is a good problem to have. The service road doesn’t cross the rail tracks, so essentially its only 3 lanes in each direction. At a community meeting Wednesday evening, the Department of Transportation and the MTA presented three visions of improved bus service for the corridor [PDF]. Away from the curb, there are significantly fewer obstacles from parking, loading, and turn conflicts.
If the platforms are built totally level with the bus floor, as on the subway, this would make boarding the bus much faster, especially for the elderly or disabled. However, the potential for serious transit improvements is especially high here, because there’s already strong political support for Select Bus Service. The existing bus service, the Bx41, is the most unreliable in the Bronx, according to the Straphangers Campaign. With a single lane for other traffic, turn lanes, car service and deliveries coupled with the reduced parking and the ever present double parking plus the reduced service on the line it will increase customer complaints, accidents, stress and jeopardize all concerned for minimal improvements.
I see plenty of disadvantages: the need to cross the street to reach the bus from anywhere, an inhospitable, low-capacity waiting area in the middle of the street, the inability for local buses to benefit from the bus lane, the inability of riders to wait for either local or SBS, whichever pulls up first, and the awkward arrangement for cars waiting to turn left across the bus lanes.
Parking and standing at the curb are not permitted during the hours the bus lane is in effect. To make a right turn from a bus lane, enter the bus lane safely toward the end of the block you are turning from.


Drivers should merge through the bus lane and use the curbside lane to make their turn, so that they do not block the bus. Please dona€™t block buses by waiting in the lane for someone to leave a parking space a€“ you can get a ticket! However, you may stop in a curbside bus lane for the time it takes for a passenger standing at the curb to enter or a passenger to exit the vehicle and get onto the sidewalk.
Many curbside bus lanes have mid-day hours where parking and deliveries are permitted, and many streets with bus lanes have delivery space on an opposite curb, or on a cross street. Signs are posted along corridors where bus lane cameras are in use to warn drivers to keep out of bus lanes, except for allowed right turns and passenger pick-ups or drop offs.
The lane stops before the intersection, and starts again on the other side of the intersection.
This is actually the color of the asphalt (or the tiles), which means that it won’t disappear through wear. NYC DOT had tried a few options in the past, but now that there is a federal standard, they are using it. London’s TfL has tables and tables listing costs, durability, friction, and other considerations for methods of achieving a colored lane for bike, buses, and other purposes. While they seem to have different types of this, the one most commonly used is awful in quality. The bike lane requires a car approahing a pinch point to yield to the bicyclist, let him or her through first. Tonight's workshop gets underway at 6:30, at the College of New Rochelle (it's in the Bronx -- 332 East 149th Street, between Morris and Courtlandt Avenues).
Creating more bus lanes will only increase the amount of traffic on the streets instead of bringing it underground. On some blocks, between intersections, a concrete divider would separate the bus lane from through traffic. This design also includes two pedestrian islands at intersections, cutting down on crossing distances. Because this design calls for a passing lane where SBS buses can pass local buses, not as much street space is set aside for sidewalk extensions and pedestrian islands as in the other two designs. The other two designs would entail tearing up more of street and would take longer to build out, potentially stretching into 2017. She also preferred the location of bus stops in that design, which would drop riders off next to a service lane instead of a through lane, as in Concept 3.
A pedestrian island with concrete curb is then located directly to the left of the bike lane. But the stupidity of it is anyone looking for a parking space would need to use the bus lane exclusively until they find one.
The merge from multiple lanes to 3 (including a left turn option southbound at Union Turnpike) is probably the biggest cause of traffic on the entire corridor. As on all SBS routes, passengers would pay their fares before boarding, allowing buses to spend time moving rather than waiting for each passenger to dip their MetroCard in turn. Both State Senator Gustavo Rivera and Assembly Member Vanessa Gibson have endorsed Webster Avenue SBS, though they have not spoken about particular designs. Travel times on the five-mile corridor can vary by as much as 20 minutes, the DOT said [PDF]. Bus lanes keep buses from getting stuck in traffic, making travel for bus riders fast and reliable and improving the overall traffic flow of a corridor. You can use these hours and locations for deliveries, or schedule the delivery before or after the bus lanes are in effect. If you have received a bus lane camera violation, you can view the video footage used to issue the violation. When there are no free bike crossings (in Holland, on major roads, bicycle paths have their own crossings and traffic lights), the special asphalt continues on over the crossing, especially to alert turning drivers.
See how the lane is painted red to alert drivers that they have to give way to bikers going straight on. This color is actually OK by me, but I do think it still needs bike icons in white or else people have no idea what it means. This is the prettiest neighborhood in the city, the first historic district, brownstone brooklyn. I think it’s a great meeting of form and function and far more attractive than a big, empty swatch of black asphalt. As a cyclist, I’d feel safer here if they got rid of the bike lane, maybe put big bike icons in the middle of the street.
Planners are considering an array of options, including off-set bus lanes, busways that run along the median, and -- for wide streets with lots of bus traffic -- physically separated lanes. While this would keep some cars from violating the bus lane, it would also mean buses would share the lane with vehicles accessing the curb.
A bus carrying upwards of 50 people should definitely have priority over everything else except emergency vehicles.
I’ve always felt that any bus plan needs to address this specific subsection, otherwise traffic buildups will be inevitable. More than 50 people participated in Wednesday’s open house, said a DOT spokesperson, and were broadly supportive of the transit improvements. There are currently about 19,000 riders on an average weekday and 24,000 daily riders on the weekend.
If they want to make the bike lane clearer then put a raised ridge between it and the other part of the road to catch a tire. It is usually just put on at the very end manually, without a steamroller smoothing it, so the result is awful to ride on. Since the bus lane is on the main roadway buses don’t have to deal with double parked cars, turning vehicles etc. For 50 years, 1010 WINS has been a news and information utility for the New York metropolitan area.
The green tarmac is also usually not at all durable, and chips and cracks quickly, making the ride even worse. At first I though the loss of a travel lane would back up traffic but it hasn’t made a significant difference. If it has its only slowed to near the speed limit (35mph) as opposed to what used to be widespread speeding.



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