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DOT Unveils New Bus Lane on Battery Place, Improving the Staten Island Bus Commute

An express bus using the new lane on Battery Place. Photo: Henry Beers Shenk

The Battery's up!

The Department of Transportation has fixed one of the notorious snarls for the Staten Island-bound bus commuter — creating a dedicated and protected bus lane on the short three-block stretch of Battery Place between Bowling Green and West Street, long a congested roadway thanks to tour buses and car drivers in rush-hour.

The DOT unveiled the new lane and the relocated tour bus stops on Thursday — and it as quickly clear that city buses bound for the Battery Tunnel (now named after former Gov. Hugh Carey) will benefit from the clear intersection.

Let's take a look at what's changed:

Before

The bad old days.
The bad old days. At top right, the right turn onto West Street that now has a bus only turn signal.
The bad old days.

Staten Island DOT Commissioner Roseann Caruana said at the unveiling that before the project, buses heading to the Rock were often delayed on this stretch for 20 minutes — and if you add up all that wasted time, it comes to several days in the life of the New York bus commuter

"In a year's time, each commuter will have gotten a full day of their lives back," DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman said in a statement.

After

It's almost unrecognizable without the mass of tour buses blocking the road, but this is the same corner that is pictured above:

The intersection at Battery Place and West Street. On the left side, new barriers further clarify the edge of the bus lane.
The intersection at Battery Place and West Street. On the left side, new barriers further clarify the edge of the bus lane.
The intersection at Battery Place and West Street. On the left side, new barriers further clarify the edge of the bus lane.

Buses also have a dedicated turn signal onto West Street.

Remaking the Staten Island commute has been an ongoing challenge for DOT and Staten Island Borough President James Oddo, who has long called for better service for workers who rely on the express bus every day.

"Moving 30,000+ Staten Islanders to and from Manhattan every day will never be easy," he said, but he said it's important to "improve everything in our control."

One thing in 'our control'

Maybe we can get the cops to follow the law?

Despite the clear "Only Bus" signs, an NYPD car used the lane as a regular one, impeding the tour bus behind.
What's he doing here? Photo: Henry Beers Shenk
Despite the clear "Only Bus" signs, an NYPD car used the lane as a regular one, impeding the tour bus behind.

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