Street Cheats: The 13th Precinct Parks All Over the Second Ave Bus Lane

The bus lane carries the second highest-ridership route in the city, and police routinely block it during the afternoon rush.

The Second Avenue bus lane on a Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. Photos: Rich Mintz
The Second Avenue bus lane on a Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. Photos: Rich Mintz

In the competition to use city-issued parking placards to immiserate the greatest number of bus-riding New Yorkers, the 13th Precinct on the East Side of Manhattan gives the cops and court officers of downtown Brooklyn a run for their money.

It’s not quite the all-day, every-day bus lane blockage you see on Livingston Street in Brooklyn, but when the 13th Precinct decides to occupy a chunk of the Second Avenue bus lane, they really commit. And they slow down the bus for very large numbers of people — the M15, which plies First and Second avenues, is the second highest ridership bus route in the city, carrying about 45,000 trips each weekday.

Personal vehicles and squad cars from the 13th Precinct routinely obstruct the Second Avenue bus lane in the vicinity of 20th Street, stealing time from transit-riding New Yorkers.

Reader Rich Mintz posted reports of pervasive Street Cheating during the afternoon rush on Friday, Monday, and Tuesday. Each time, police were hoarding between two and five blocks of the bus lane, he says.

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We’ve added Rich’s submissions to our Street Cheats map. The reader response since we called for entries has been a little overwhelming, and we’re working through a backlog. In addition to placard cheats, people are sending us pics of squad cars obstructing streets and sidewalks, as well as chronic bike and bus lane blockage by non-government vehicles (mostly delivery trucks).

We plan to map it all, and we’re working on streamlining our system so we can process all the entries efficiently. In the meantime, please keep sending your Street Cheats photos to tips@streetsblog.org.

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  • crazytrainmatt

    There’s also a metal barrier on the other side of the second avenue in the bike lane (seen in the last photo), separating the bike lane from the parking spaces which have also been commandeered by NYPD. I’m not sure if it’s there to keep the bikes from scratching the police cars, or to keep the police officers from parking fully in the bike lane (NYPD tends to park quite a bit to the left of the signed spaces, I guess they are paranoid about getting scratched by traffic?). Either way, it creates quite the cattle chute.

    And is this also the precinct that is constantly ticketing cyclists at first and 23rd for going through the red bike arrow, but that does nothing about the far more dangerous cars that run their red arrow or bully bikes in the mixing zones?

  • NYCBK123

    Keep up the 311 complaints and contact your local reps.

  • JarekFA

    Wiley Norvell said he’d ring up enforcement over this: https://twitter.com/WileyNorvell/status/968929449155743745

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