Ydanis Rodriguez: “We Should Leave the Right of Way Law As It Is”

Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez opposes an amendment to the Right of Way Law that would provide a special exemption for bus drivers.

Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez. Photo: NYC Council
Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez. Photo: NYC Council

“I stand in support of the bill as written,” he told Streetsblog this afternoon. “I think that we should leave the Right of Way Law as it is.”

The Transport Workers Union is seeking an exemption from the law, which makes it a misdemeanor for drivers to strike pedestrians or cyclists with the right of way. The union targeted Rodriguez with a work slowdown in his district this morning. Previously, Rodriguez had not said where he stood on the TWU bill, which is sponsored by 25 of the council’s 51 members.

“My focus is not on changing that bill, but my focus is on what can we correct when it comes to dangerous intersections,” Rodriguez said. “We can focus on how to make streets safer for everyone.”

Rodriguez said he is developing three pieces of legislation to improve conditions for bus drivers and pedestrians alike. One would require DOT to “daylight” dangerous intersections by removing two parking spaces at the corner. Another bill would require DOT to work with MTA to reduce the number of left turns on bus routes. A third bill would call on DOT and MTA to study technology that alerts drivers to pedestrians or cyclists in their blind spots.

While Rodriguez opposes TWU’s attempt to secure a special exemption to the Right of Way Law, he says he has not yet formed an opinion on a bill from Council Member Rory Lancman that would micromanage NYPD’s crash investigations of Right of Way cases.

  • Ben_Kintisch

    Thank you Ydanis! Daylighting certain dangerous intersections is a start. Better yet would be to daylight every corner in the city. “But the parking!”

  • J

    Good for Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez! I imagine TWU’s comically awful PR stunt and utter disdain for life and rule of law has only helped bolstered this decision.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Someone should point out to these folks that if they don’t also exempt all the other unionized public employees right now, they’ll be left to pass the “me-too” legislation right as they are running for re-election, less they face someone funded with signatures running against them. Might as well be honest and do it now.

    And how about failure to obey signals and speed? Should the member of public employee unions be required to follow those laws? Get something they’ll demand more, just like all those retroactive pension increases.

  • Eric McClure

    Glad to hear CM Rodriguez affirm his support for the RIght-of-Way Law. And I know a bunch of intersections in my neighborhood that could use some daylighting.

  • BridgeTroll

    Ydanis has proven himself a worthy chair of the transpo committee. Way to lead!

  • tweet a thank you to him @ydanis

  • Matthias

    Thank God for someone with common sense!

  • neroden

    Thank goodness SOMEONE cares about the lives of people crossing the street!

  • JEng

    I have to disagree with the bus drivers from personally witnessing that bus drivers who have too many passengers these days and too many other vehicles on the road are definitely breaking traffic laws. One even rammed into our car and then lied about it to the police and they refused to hand over the camera in the bus to prove it. The following week, someone was killed by a bus driver. Bus drivers definitely have a very tough job that usually they do perfectly. But the law is the law and just because there is a union, does not mean that this administration’s politicians should always side with the side that their bread is buttered on against everyone else in NYC e.g. rent regulated minority against everyone else and the minority of 421a beneficiaries when regulated landlords get no tax abatements and are overassessed for carrying the majority of subsidized housing which is not even BASED on income so it is SUPER affordable and super undeserved in MANY cases.

  • JEng

    also the city recently created a death trap right by the movie theater near the police academy by opening up a useless road that has no stop sign nevermind traffic lights and now it is a terrifying experience for drivers that will eventually lead to a tragedy. Even people in queens are starting to sass police even when they are in the wrong which I saw twice within 15 minutes this morning when someone who was double parked outside a dim sum parlor actually got out of the car and started to argue with the cop (he didnt have a partner with him) and again someone looked like he had driven into the police academy’s road and was being escorted did not look apologetic.

    I guess it’s a good thing they are not taking any more applicants because the security around the academy looks nonexistent and it would cost nothing for foreign organized crime/terrorists with deep pockets to the point of owning submarines to collect data for facial recognition to compare to future operatives to ensure they are not actually undercover law enforcement.


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