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admin 25.08.2013

This picture of a bus lane in New York City shows how easily bus priority treatments can be violated without enforcement mechanisms in place. Automated cameras will begin issuing tickets to the owners of vehicles that momentarily stray into bus lanes in New York City, New York beginning Monday. The project marks one of the first uses of automated enforcement in the United States that drops the pretense of being a safety measure. By reducing the space available to general purpose traffic with the bus lanes, city officials also hope to add to the already considerable amount of congestion so that motorists would be encouraged to exchange their personal automobiles for public bus rides. Mayor Michael Bloomberg promoted the idea to the state legislature and secured approval for his plan. Good point, since numerous infractions from parking, littering, jay walking can occur within the city corridor, why not just blanket the vicinity with CCTV cameras London-style. I wonder if these camera systems can be modified so they can issue citations while still adhering to the above exception.  Perhaps only issue the ticket if there is a bus within view of the camera? First Avenue provides one of the only northbound truck routes in Manhattan, emptying into the on ramp for the Deegan and Bruckner expressways, so the trade off is increased traffic especially at rush hour. Anyone who actually reads the article and still approves of this scam deserves to be fined into poverty. I work in Manhattan and I’m a dedicated walker unless I have to walk more than 8 miles or time constraints force me to take a subway. At least in Ottawa they had the common decency to build roads for buses instead of squeezin normal people. Having spent more than a night in New York, on B’Way, the problem with this is B’Way downtown has exactly TWO LANES! If you don’t live here, pay taxes here, take the MTA, or own a car here, New York is the greatest city on Earth!
As someone who lived in NYC for 4 years, went their every year for about 30 years, let me tell you that it only gets better when you stop visiting all together! Before we get self-righteous, realize that New York (or London, or Paris, or whatever) do these things because they cannot treat traffic like Podunk. Seattle is currently taking away active (heavily used) general-purpose traffic lanes and creating BRT (bus-rapid-transit) and bicycle lanes instead.  Same story, different city, same motivation . NYC is like no other city, you have so many options to move around without that hassle of looking for parking, paying for it and get stuck in endless traffic. I can see many new yorkers parking their cars on the street, looking for a spot for hours, once they find a spot, they will not move the car until the next cleaning day, then move it again, never really using it but paying for insurance and registration, for this we have ZIP Car, such a brilliant idea, and if you have a car in the city but not using ZipCar instead, there must be some wrong calculation there for how much your car really cost to maintain.
I live on the Eastside too redmondjp.  We like to blame those Seattle liberals but IMHO the traffic is bad in both directions . There was a failed legislation to charge cars entering Manhattan below 96 st, Bloomberg was fighting for it for some time but it did not work out so well.
So, we have permanent street closures in mid town, bicycle lanes all over the city and there are more plans to close streets for cars (34 st bet 6 and 7 ave). On the other hand, if you come to the city after 6pm, you can park right in time sq on 6 hour meters, very convenient, come before 6p and it’s a nightmare. To my humble opinion, anything the city is doing to drive private cars out of the city in mid week is a good thing, you could see the results of such thing when the MTA went on strike, it was so much fun to walk the streets. The rules really are different in NY (I think it has to do with the number of drivers who learned the art out of country), but I would wholeheartedly agree with your statement if we were talking about a different place. The idea turns out to have been a tremendous success, both in Colombia and Los Angeles, where a version of the TransMilenio, the Orange Line, began operating in 2005. 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. Word On The Street “The entire area around the Botanical Garden is a pedestrian nightmare, and unfortunately, the institution has shown no interest in improving safety. Copyright NoticeThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Sunday marked the first day of service for Q44 Select Bus Service linking Jamaica, Flushing, and the southeast Bronx, so I headed over to Sutphin Boulevard and Main Street during the p.m. The Q44 SBS features the standard package of improvements that DOT and the MTA have employed to cut travel times on several other routes since 2008 — off-board fare payment, dedicated bus lanes, and priority for buses at traffic signals. Unsurprisingly, a lot of people were still getting used to the new fare payment system yesterday. DOT and MTA reps standing by each station to guide riders through it said people are settling into the new and improved Q44. “Most of the people, after they use it a few times, they understand the system,” said DOT’s Artenio Angeles, who was assisting passengers at a stop on Main Street. One younger rider, Mohammed, who declined to give his last name, said he had stopped riding the Q44 months ago due to overcrowding and long wait times — until this week. When we get contactless taggers they should put them at all doors and move to Proof of Payment. Yesterday we had the inspectors get on and they were fairly quick, but the bus was not crowded. The MTA needs to pull its head out of its own ass and do it that way every other city does it – people get on the bus, the doors close and they pull out their badges and ask for proof of payment while the bus is moving. NYC is the only place I know of where they stop transit vehicles in order to conduct fare checks.
Maybe the SBS doctrine calls for the buses to keep moving, but the inspectors prefer to do static checks, and nobody tells them otherwise. Gridlock is our future unless we leave the 1970s behind and start learning from the best cities on the planet about multi-modal convenience and options.
We all know how horrible King Street is for an urban street, and its dangers have been confirmed by merchants sharing stories of customers who don't feel safe enough to cross the street. King St is a disgrace and is directly hurting our bottom line by killing economic development potential.

I sent a submission to the person I was told was the lead contact on the bus lane back in the spring of 2013.
From Bay to Locke, we have room for curb parking on the north curb (where the merchants want it), a bus lane, two general traffic lanes and bike lane on the south curb lane protected by bollards and narrow curbs.
I find it ironic that the couple of businesses that left King Street West relocated into Jackson Square, with no parking at their front door. Another quick fix, which I've also emailed to staff, is to adjust the timing of the green lights on King between Wellington and James. The lights should turn green from West to East, not from East to West as they currently do. During the heart of rush hour, more people use transit on King than all other lanes of cars combined.
I have personally not set foot into any of the businesses with 'no bus lane' signs as I refuse to support businesses not willing to put one ounce of creativity into making Hamilton better. I can't help but notice that no residents from anywhere else in the city are offering up their local streets, or suburban downtown streets for five-lane freeways. Please make the easy, simple fixes noted above, as well as adding transit-only turning signals at James and MacNab so buses can turn left without encroaching on the general travel lanes.
Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children.
People aren't going to magically stop driving cars to work overnight because we reduce the lanes available to them by a significant percentage.
That picture depicts a much wider street as well - do you realize how long a change of that magnitude would take to implement?
With half of trips in Hamilton under 5km, many drivers could very easily switch to walking, biking or transit. The first picture shows three lanes of non-transit motor vehicle lanes (plus a transit and bike lane and ample parking). If you really live in this area you know King has been 2 lanes from Wellington to Mary for years and traffic flowed just fine. His point is not that there's no problem with traffic-flow from Wellington through to Mary, but that the problem is caused by the screw-up of lights through downtown. Make the rinky-dink side-streets palatable with local or city-wide Idaho Stop legislation (put up "Yield to Cyclist" signs on all-way-stops on Napier, Market, and King William if city-wide Idaho-stop isn't palatable) streets and contra-flow bike-lane on the 1-way portion of King William.
Everything can remain the same but we can add parking onto the south curb in roughly a 6-7 foot wide parking lane. But yes, parking lanes are usually in the 7-8 foot range such as was recently done on Cannon east of Victoria. The city managed to alienate its natural support base for the bus lane through an implementation that was painfully tone-deaf. Removing curbside parking from the side of King that has the most intact street wall and the most retail businesses.
Designating the lane as a "reserved vehicle lane" rather than a "high-occupancy vehicle lane", so cyclists could not use it. It's no wonder at least some Councillors feel killing it is a no-brainer - it was never given a real chance to succeed. Traffic control officers, bus-mounted cameras or self-enforcing contra-flow lanes can help ensure that street space dedicated to buses is available for them to use.  Bus priority is a hot topic here at PlanItMetro.
The cash-strapped metropolis imported the idea from London where a similar system generated 293,000 citations and more than ?35 million (US $56 million) in 2008. The stated purpose of the new cameras is to give buses a travel priority over automobile traffic. Inscos already use your age, credit history, work history, how many times you’ve moved, etc. This is a low-cost alternative to building more subways and intra-city travel is vastly improved, but getting out of town on Friday evenings is going to get even harder. For all that everyone seems to despise (myself included) the camera ticket inspired changes to due process few seem to realize that this is already the case in NY, and for tickets issued by actual officers.
NY camera tickets aren’t pointed (as yet), but the city gives insurers open access to their ticket databases (lawsuit please). Especially on the north-south avenues with timed lights, but that really applies everywhere. Since then, traffic along its route during the morning rush hour is moving 14% faster, and the rush hour itself begins 11 minutes later. 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). He has been covering the movement for safer streets, effective transit, and livable cities since 2008. Creating more bus lanes will only increase the amount of traffic on the streets instead of bringing it underground. Whereas riders on the old Q44 paid one-by-one entering the bus, the new system allows them to do so before they get on and board at any door, speeding the process significantly. On Monday the bus had filled up and left before I could get my bike folded; today the bus drove off before this one jerk had gotten his ticket and he ran into the street and actually cracked one of the side windows in frustration.
But from talking to the helpers in reflective pinnies at the SBS stops, it’s my impression that SBS guidance is not very clear.
This study from 2012 does not indicate that holding the bus is standard procedure, but that inspectors ride the bus while inspecting or check disembarking passengers (scroll down to p64 of the pdf). Try to remember a time when you attempted to grab a dinner or do some shopping in their downtowns but were too scared to cross the street. It lies along rapidly redeveloping neighbourhoods such as mine with a massive built-in customer base - a built-in customer base that avoids this gross freeway like the plague.
Now I'm sending it to all of you, because it addresses one of the main points of contention: the loss of curb parking on the north curb. This extra space could be used to protect the bike lane with curb parking on the south curb. As you've clearly heard from the businesses you supposedly are trying to support, their customers are too scared to cross the street even with one lane of general traffic removed. Customers now need to go underground, snake around, come upstairs, walk through the mall to find these businesses.

When all the lights are red and cars are waiting, what good does it do to have the light turn green at Mary simply to allow cars forward into the block with a red light at Catharine?
Then Hughson could go green, then John and back to the east, each block clearing the way for the incoming cars. Surely we don't live in a city with such disregard for anyone who doesn't get around via car that we're willing to scrap a pilot project instead of fixing it. That is horrendous and will continue to harm our ability to redevelop into a truly livable, sustainable city. When the buses (especially B-Line) don't move faster --or at all-- it negates the purpose of the lane. Now it's also 2 lanes west of Mary but traffic is slow because of the badly timed lights and lack of advanced left turn for buses just like Jason has been saying.
Amazing to me how people forget all the way back one whole year how fast flowing Wellington-Mary was prior to the bus lane. The people who should have been its strongest advocates were systematically ignored and alienated by how the project was rolled out. I don’t think it is generally applicable or useful, but for a very few cities like NY it is. In moving from RI to MA (from hell to a bed of coals) my son found out that the age rating factor in RI extends to 30(!). The issue will be how they deal with turns off of the road, merges onto the FDR, or up top, people bearing right onto the Willis ave bridge.
You get a ticket in NYC, even if the cop fabricates the entire exchange, and well, screw you pay me is what you’ll hear. Points will start being assigned once the administration feels like they’ve got this system in the bag.
Taxis, delivery trucks and idiots veer off to double park willy nilly, and accepted lane change practice is just do it and let everyone else sort out the braking end of things.
It's expected to improve bus speeds by 35%, on a route where buses are stationary a whopping 40% of the time. 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. The bus lanes don’t cover the whole route, since eastern Queens pols threw a fit about them in Briarwood and Kew Gardens Hills, but they do enable riders to bypass traffic on the most congested sections in Flushing and Jamaica. When you stop the vehicle you are slowing down the service, which counters all the measures to speed up service in the first place.
Do you expect them to get off and cross the street and stand around for who knows how long and wait for the next bus in the opposite direction?
The rest of the street continues the same cross-section as described above all the way to Dundurn.
This lane was poorly designed from the start, along with the unfinished Hunter bike lanes and general lack of non-car optons city-wide. Traffic volumes on King are simply not high enough to cause congestion with 2 lanes available. The problem comes when in monkey see monkey do fashion these systems come to Podunk towns and cities. As it stands now you have to wait too long before moving right, or else you eclipse the end of the painted bus lane.
No jury, threats of inflated points and fines, license suspension, all delivered at the begining of proceedings, just to keep you from having any notion that you might say not guilty. I know people who’ve lost coverage for receiving red light tickets, despite not having points assigned. Police do it, school buses do it, city buses do it (and cause a good percentage of it), it’s part and parcel of driving in NY.
And it marks another huge, bold idea from Janette Sadik-Khan, the DOT commissioner who's overseen a slew of projects, ranging from the new sidewalk saffolding to a pedestrianized Times Square.
Every day I park in a business lot with about 16 spaces, 4 of which are handicapped reserved and in 20+ years I’ve only observed a few dozen vehicles with handicapped tags in any of those spaces.
However, I can say that the bus lanes (and the introduction of the Select Bus service which requires payment before boarding) have radically improved bus service on First and Second avenues. This might not seem like a big deal, but you try hesitating when 50 psychotic uptown NY cabbies are driving into your rear bumper.
Hell, in a lot of places lanes are really just a suggestion, and frequently you’ll see long stretches of road without any visible lines at all, when you know damn well there are at least 4 lanes. Considering this, and the fact that food banks and 'flop houses' are struggling to survive as it is now due to regulation and legislation, not only will you lose your job if you don't pay their 'ransom' but you will starve and be homeless as well. You'll notice that west of James the roadway is identical as east of James - 2 car lanes, a bus lane and parking lane.
People will get tons of tickets while trying to obey the law and driving safely, that’s my take, you can already see it every day.
This is the beginning of the deployment of a totalitarian dictatorship cleverly disguised as 'going green'which on initial inspection, seems like an excellent way to 'clean up' the environment, but the only 'green' thats 'going' is the green from the insurance and oil industries pockets into the government pockets leaving the environment issue nothing more than a 'side effect' of this policy. This also solves the problem of the 'religous lunatic fringe' by putting rich religous oil barons out of business virtually overnight, therefore completely dis arming them by way of bankruptcy as far as 'terrorist attacks' goes. Your 'flash pass' for public transit will immediately inform police of your whereabouts at all times and will give access to your T-4 so the transit and government can see exactly how much you make and adjust your 'fare' according to what you make monthly, and you ll pay whatever they want or so much for your job and good luck with eating and finding a place to sleep after you've lost your job. Bicycle lanes and the political rise of 'concern for pedestrian safety' are just a lame way to show that this is 'still' a democracy because you still have a 'choice'as far as 'alternate' transportation goes. John Torys policy of further intentional frustration to drivers is clear in his policy of 'narrowing' lanes and 'halfing' the speed limits for 'safety reasons' which clearly underlines the governments agenda of railroading people onto public transit systems. We must also consider that it is TORONTO that is responsible for the bus and bike lanes, and the city of Hamilton has no say or authority to the contrary in the matter which proves the political dictatorship on a federal, provincial, and municipal level has already begun and is slowly 'trickeling down' to citizens in general, and drivers in particular. This is an excellent plan when viewed from a corporate standpoint, and considering that your 'say' is less important than the political agenda, and that driving is a 'privilege' and not a 'right' that can be taken from you at any time, the government is clearly 'well within their rights' to implement this plan which is just the tip of the iceberg as far as losing your voice in a democracy thats been re worked into a totalitarian dictatorship.

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