City-wide signs and bollards have been added to the Hylan Boulevard Bus Lane in the hope of keeping drivers out of the lane during rush hour — but in the case of the bus lane on The Esplanade, no signs at all and that’s confusing people. In a city where decals were considered parking regulations in the past, any sign in the official “No Parking Zone” sign-designated “posted bus lane” zone raises a lot of questions: (1) Wasn’t part of the idea to keep drivers off the bike lane from the Esplanade, and the bus lane itself? (2) Is it illegal to stop in the bus lane if you need to make a left turn onto The Esplanade? (3) Is it illegal to stop in the bus lane, and if so, why? (4) Why is there no sign at all on the Esplanade?
The Times’ Kristen Priest-Robinson is now among those confused. “We were supposed to use this, but nobody knew what it was,” she told us. “It’s kind of pointless in many ways to sort of mix it up. It’s the same thing on Van Siclen — signs at one place, but even the stripes are different!”
In fact, with little signage, we can see the issue of illegality all too clearly. Even The T, our neighbor, noted the confusion of not only two bus routes, but two bus-only lanes.
The people on social media are also reportedly confused. Some have urged the city to remove the lane from the neighborhood altogether, while others are worried about potential safety issues for pedestrians in a busy intersection.
City officials said the right-turn arrow can’t be left- or right-turn arrows for a more comprehensive reason: “Right turns in travel lanes that lead to intersections require more scrutiny in order to ensure vehicles and pedestrians stay within the travel lanes,” said spokeswoman Pat Hogan. While Hogan noted that drivers can enter the lane at any time after they travel less than three feet in a direction of travel, the city and local officials are working to provide a “high visibility educational component” — hopefully something more efficient than just sending out roughly twenty buses to rotate periodically — to inform drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
Meanwhile, the signs are all lined up a block away from The Esplanade. In order to catch drivers, some bike-lovin’ and walkin’ folks have been holding up “is this a bus lane?” signs while pushing strollers. We have no comment on that except to say, it’s time to get some signs.
Related: The Times’ photographer is New York City’s most hated bus driver (He has a wife, and a good job)
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