April 3, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
Vehicles that illegally encroach onto the new Flushing busway on Main Street will be hit with fines starting next week, the Dept. of Transportation announced Friday.
Only buses, trucks, and emergency vehicles are permitted to use the new busway and the DOT will begin issuing fines for violations on April 9.
A single-vehicle violation will cost $50 with fines increasing to as much as $250 for a fifth offense. Violations are issued against vehicles, not drivers.
The DOT said it has installed cameras along the 0.6-mile route – from Northern Boulevard to Sanford Avenue – that will identify vehicles flouting the new traffic rules. New signage and markings indicating the new rules have already been put in place as well as signs indicating that the bus lanes are camera-enforced.
The controversial new busway went into effect on Jan. 19 as part of a 1-year pilot program to speed up bus services along the busy commercial route. A group of local businesses mounted an unsuccessful legal challenge to stop the busway from being installed, arguing that it would deter customers from coming to the busy shopping zone.
The MTA said the layout would improve slow and unpredictable bus speeds for the thousands of riders who traverse the route every day. The city moved ahead with the plans in early January after a temporary restraining order that had delayed the project was lifted.
The DOT started issuing warning letters on Feb. 8 to motorists who illegally use the busway. The warnings have been part of an effort to help drivers get familiar with the new rules.
Under the new layout, only buses, trucks, and emergency vehicles are permitted to travel along Main Street from Northern Boulevard to Sanford Avenue and along a portion of Kissena Boulevard, according to the plans. The rules are in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Passenger vehicles are only permitted to use the busway for garage access and for pick-up or drop-off within one block.
The DOT said it will continue to monitor the busway for the remainder of the program.
It the worse then before for business owner. It does speed up somewhat but not that much like the MTA hype up. They should use the same methods like west 14 street certain. Hours of the days not allow. So it will be a win win for both partys. Doing 24/7 except buses and trucks and local delivery dont make any sense. Night and weekend it not necessary to imply . Take a look at west 14 street best example. Hope they have some common sense left on whoever is the mastermind.
My elderly mother-in-law lives in Downtown Flushing and we often visit her and were completely unaware of this new restriction. We have begun to receive tickets from late April, which is what made us aware of the new busway. The signage posted on the streets are unclear, posted high up, and at least 1 is obscured by trees. The city should adjust the location of some of the signs. In addition, the city should PAINT THE STREETS, so it is very clear that it is a busway and personal vehicles aren’t allowed. I have personally witnessed hundreds of drivers travelling along the busway, completely oblivious that they are committing a traffic violation. This seems like another money-grab scam designed by city officials. The city is probably raking in extremely large sums of cash from innocent drivers and hard working taxpayers who are unaware of the new regulations.
I don’t think it’s fair to fine drivers for driving through bus lanes as long as it’s not being used. Lanes should be shared not monopolized
It caused the other routes, say College point, and highway jammed. We spend 30 more minutes by average to get into Flushing favorable restaurants in May and June
And they’ve managed to turn traffic on Union and Roosevelt into a nightmare.
24 hour per day? what sense does this restriction make for the non-busy period of time like mid-night? In NYC there are a lot of this kind of 24-hour-a day restriction. Those who make it into 24-hour, are either lazy or simple-minded.
As long as other vehicles aren’t parked in the bus lane what is the big deal about driving in it? The people who come up with these stupid, money grubbing laws probably have private cars with tax payer paid drivers to take them all over the place and they can park wherever they want whenever they want.