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Bus Rapid Transit

Albany to Consider Bus Lane Enforcement Legislation

11:14 AM EDT on June 3, 2008

bus_cam.jpg
Bus-ted! In London, automated enforcement has led to significant improvements in bus service.

A package of legislation recently introduced in the state legislature would help speed New York City buses and enable traffic agents to cite drivers for blocking the box. Members of the Campaign for New York's Future, the same coalition that fought for congestion pricing, are meeting with elected officials in Albany today. Streetsbloggers can lend support by contacting your representatives in the Senate and Assembly.

Here's what's on the table, as noted in the Campaign's press release:

    • Bus camera legislation (S7229 Golden / A10233 Bing), which wouldallow for the installation of enforcement cameras on buses to detercars from using bus-only lanes.
    • “Block the Box” legislation (S6811 Lanza / A10071 Kavanagh), which would reclassify blocking the box infractions as parking violations, thereby allowing traffic enforcement agents (and not only police officers) to issue tickets and enhance enforcement.

Given that New York City DOT and the MTA are, for the most part, not creating physically-separated bus lanes as is done in cities like Bogota, Colombia and Paris, France, bus-mounted cameras will be essential to keep lanes clear and make BRT routes truly rapid. In a statement, Tri-State Tranportation Campaign director Kate Slevin said, "The Campaign strongly supports photo devices that capture violators in bus lanes because they will enable speedier commutes for bus riders even when police officers are not able to be present."

In addition to calling, you can urge support for these bills online through the New York League of Conservation Voters.

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