Eyes on the Street: NYPD Shows Bus Lane Scofflaws How It’s Done


Thanks to Chris O’Leary at On Transport for posting the best documentation we’ve seen so far of NYPD’s utter disregard for the 34th Street bus lane. He took this picture yesterday during the middle of the evening rush, around 6 p.m., a time when there’s absolutely no excuse:

The shoulder lane is dedicated to buses only between 7am and 7pm on weekdays. But the eight empty police cars parked in the lane between 5th and 6th avenues would suggest otherwise.

As a result, buses had to load and unload in the one eastbound
travel lane, causing gridlock and leaving cars in the crosswalk of a
major pedestrian crossing.

Who will enforce the law when the enforcers won’t even obey the law?

We’ve seen traffic enforcement SUVs clog this bus lane before, but these are regular precinct vehicles, without a doubt. "At first I figured they were responding to an emergency," O’Leary said, "but there
was no police presence on the street or sidewalk, they were ALL
unoccupied, and the lights and engines were off."

The community affairs desk at Midtown South denied that officers from that precinct ever park in this bus lane. Perhaps officers from another precinct decided to make a pit stop and, just for good measure, mess with all the straphangers counting on Select Bus Service to get around town.

  • Wow, I took the same picture yesterday; I just haven’t put it on Flickr yet! Will do so in a few minutes.

  • Blue Wall

    The PD is there curing terrorism. There have been no terrorist attacks on 34th Street. This is why.

  • You can tell what precinct the cars are from based on the markings on the side towards the rear. I can’t read them from this photo, though.

  • Be careful when you take your pictures. They know what we’re up to and will arrest you and seize your camera.

  • Here are the shots I took. It was around 6:30pm when I got there.


    Think_twice, the only answer to the threat you warn about is for as many people as possible to take as many pictures as possible as often as possible.

  • Great pictures, ddartley. I can at least tell one is from the 104th Precinct, which is out in Ridgewood and Glendale, Queens. No excuse – the signs are clear.

  • Thanks, Chris; I had the same thought process as you when I saw this. “Emergency? Engines off, all empty…not likely.”

    And you make a good point–taking that bus lane out of service doesn’t just slow down bus riders, but everyone in the area.

  • Blue Wall

    These are cops stripped from precincts all over the city and assigned to drive around Manhattan in anti-terrorist surges paid for by federal homeland security grants. It’s a way for PD to put cops on the federal payroll. According to PD it “deters” terrorists.

  • That’s nothing. I saw a fire truck once not able to park or hook up there houses cause some fat female NYPD cop had illegally parked in a fire lane in front of a hydrant. People had to come into the Popeye’s, where she was eating, to get her to move her car. Oh yeah…she walked leisurely to move it. Oh, to be immune from prosecution must be sweet.

  • I meant “hoses” instead of “houses”. iPhones aren’t as smart as they think they are.

  • Um, Author, sorry (to everyone) to be a PC cop here, and sure, imagery is a great tool for a writer, but I glanced at your blog and see you’re someone with noble ideas… surely someone like you sees that the “fat, female” part is not very relevant to the story?

    A relevant anecdote, sure, but I couldn’t resist making that remark on it…

  • The popeyes part suggested her size anyway.

  • northgardner

    This is bad, but it’s only one example of the NYPD’s rampant disregard for traffic regulations. I often see NYPD cars *without their lights on* run red lights, make illegal U-turns, and the like.

  • Try sending these and other pics to the community affairs desk, then to the Community Board, and if all else fails, to the TV STATIONS. They’d love to get a piece of this action.

  • Ian Turner


    The media in New York are quite cautious about bringing up the parking impunity issue because they are also a part of the placard-carrying elite.

  • @ddartley

    Yes I know. Point taken, but I was trying to be as illustrative as possible with the aid of a photo.


    And yes, as you stated, the “fat” reference was most likely unnecessary given her dining choice…lol

  • IsaacB

    “…Just remember folks, BRT is as good as light-rail, for a fraction of the cost…” 😉

  • I keep parking enforcement’s # on my cell phone:
    “Hi, parking enforcement?
    I’d like to report a vehicle parked in the exclusive bus lane on 34th Street.
    I’m concerned, because a lot of people are trying to get home from work, and the bus can’t get through.
    License plate number 2042.
    It’s a white Crown Vic with blue markings.
    Can you tell I don’t live in NYC? 😉

  • wake up

    These cars are parked there as a anti-terrorism task force. They go around Manhattan and park outside of prominent potential terrorism targets (like the Empire State Building on 34 street) and do terrorism sweeps as well as maintain a presence.

    Would you rather have some marked cars block a bus lane for a few hours or have mid-town Manhattan inaccessible for a month as they clean up the remnants of the Empire State Building after a terror attack?


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