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WNYC: East Side Plans Feature Separate Lanes for Bikes, But Not Buses

6:57 PM EST on January 14, 2010

WNYC's Andrea Bernstein is reporting that plans for Bus Rapid Transit on First and Second Avenues include protected bike lanes but not physically separated bus lanes. Bernstein says the MTA would not allow the bus lanes to be separated from traffic:

The city and MTA are poised to unveil a proposal for BRT on these majornorth/south arteries. But the MTA, expressing concern that trucksparked illegally in bus lanes would stop traffic, vetoed the idea ofphysically segregated lanes. The plans do include tighter enforcementof bus-only lanes and off-board payment of fares, both of which makebuses move faster. And, according to those who have seen the plans,transportation officials do envision hundreds of blocks of discreetbike lanes on First and Second avenues.

The plans are being unveiled at the Hunter College School of Social Work tonight (129 E. 79th St., 10th Floor), at a meeting that's currently in progress and scheduled to last until 8:30 p.m. We'll have more on this development tomorrow. For now, it looks like big improvements in street safety are on the table, but officials at the MTA and DOT are counting on bus lane enforcement cameras to keep riders from getting slowed by traffic. Which means the effectiveness of this project will, to a significant extent, be determined by Albany.

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